V is for Verizon, void of values

Fresh from its anti-Net neutrality efforts, Verizon wants to change the rules again to the detriment of longtime users

Consistency is a virtue, as the old saying goes. Maybe it is for bowel movements, but it's a bygone concept for telecom companies. Even their mistakes become opportunities to scam more money from loyal customers. Case in (pain) point: Verizon's announcement last week that it would impose threshold-based throttling on the top 5 percent of its data users starting in October.

To hear Verizon tell it, the move is all about "optimizing" network performance for everyone. Clearly, that's what the big, gentle V has always been about: happy customers. That's like me trying to convince Pammy I meant to sleep in the bathroom last Friday because that fifth of Johnny Walker tasted yummier on the way up than it did on the way down.

[ Also on InfoWorld: Verizon's diabolical plan to turn the Web into pay-per-view | For a humorous take on the tech industry's shenanigans, subscribe to Robert X. Cringely's Notes from the Underground newsletter and follow Cringely on Twitter. ]

She didn't buy my story and I'm not buying Verizon's. Its real list of reasons should run something like this:

  1. We want more money.
  2. We offered too much LTE service and hype with way too little capacity and now we're screwed.
  3. We want more money.
  4. We left customers on an outdated usage model and can't move them off without using a stick.
  5. We want more money.
  6. As an industry, we've effectively hacked up various metro geographies into monopolies anyway, so let's see how far we can push it.

    Hmmm, what else? Oh yeah:
  7. We want more money.

Except for the point about monopolies, the rest of those reasons are perfectly legit for your average sociopathic corporate mindset. All businesses want more money -- you can't blame them for that even if they're bloated enough to make Jabba point and snicker.

Verizon has no one to blame but itself

Face it, Verizon: You screwed up and allowed no-limit data plans from as far back as the EVDO era to score huge on 4G. Those users are out of contract anyway, so why make up a transparent lie to justify pushing them to other plans? It's not like one more PR bath will make a difference. Stop servicing them, let us hate you a little more (which we'll do in any case), and move on.

I suppose the last one is the real thorn. Verizon went wide with LTE but failed to go deep, and now it's biting Verizon on its boil-infested derriere. By most reports, Verizon customers get LTE coverage in more U.S. geographies than customers on other carriers, but they suffer from roughly a quarter to a third the transfer speeds -- probably why Verizon wants to burn anyone "wasting" precious bandwidth. If it becomes a popular opinion that Verizon means slow data, folks will seek alternatives even in areas where Verizon is dominant.

It's ironic that the people who stand to make big-time, bat-crap, beaucoup bucks out of an Internet that's speed-volving to a mobile model are the very people doing their utmost to stop that evolution in its tracks. For example, if LTE is really the wireless medium that all us worker bees should use to make our hive lives happy and Web-enabled, why didn't the providers push customers to Voice over LTE? LTE makes much more effective use out of its available radio spectrum, but instead of seriously reaching for an LTE-only goal, the big V paid it lip service and kept right on using CDMA 2000.

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