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Verizon To Throttle Data Speeds, Compress Images & Videos To Keep Its Network Up

Early reviews of the Verizon iPhone were clear about one point: it’s a great phone, but data is slower than AT&T’s network. The Verizon iPhone gathered good phone call points among reviewers, but each one of them mentioned the fact that, both in download and upload, AT&T was faster. And it looks like things are only getting worse.

As reported by BGR, to handle the flock of new iPhone users on its network Verizon will begin throttling data speeds for the top 5% data users:

Verizon Wireless strives to provide customers the best experience when using our network, a shared resource among tens of millions of customers. To help achieve this, if you use an extraordinary amount of data and fall within the top 5% of Verizon Wireless data users we may reduce your data throughput speeds periodically for the remainder of your then current and immediately following billing cycle to ensure high quality network performance for other users at locations and times of peak demand.

But it gets even worse than data throttling. To keep its network capacity at an optimal level for customers, Verizon will compress images and videos over the air (to save bandwidth) before they’re served to a device. Here’s what the PDF memo says:

These techniques include caching less data, using less capacity, and sizing the video more appropriately for the device. The optimization process is agnostic to the content itself and to the website that provides it. While we invest much effort to avoid changing text, image, and video files in the compression process and while any change to the file is likely to be indiscernible, the optimization process may minimally impact the appearance of the file as displayed on your device.

While it’s likely that these “optimizations” (we think “compressions” is a more appropriate term) will happen only during the first period of Verizon iPhone on sale, it’s still inconvenient for customers to not have access to high-quality media on 3G. Full excerpts and link to the PDF document available on BGR. Pre-orders of the Verizon iPhone went live last night.

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