Verizon Wireless has gotten its hands caught in the cookie
jar over the use of the term "unlimited" when referring to its EV-DO
broadband service. Verizon advertised the unlimited service even though users
could actually bump up against an artificial limit.
Verizon has been dropping
customers for the past few years for excessive data usage, but the actual
limits weren't until recently revealed in the terms of service (TOS). Verizon recently
changed its TOS to indicate that the previously invisible download cap is
actually 5GB per month.
In addition to the 5GB cap, the TOS also shows that,
"Prohibited uses include, without limitation, the following: (i)
continuous uploading, downloading or streaming of audio or video programming or
games; (ii) server devices or host computer applications, including, but not
limited to, Web camera posts or broadcasts, automatic data feeds, automated
machine-to-machine connections or peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing; or (iii) as
a substitute or backup for private lines or dedicated data connections."
The TOS continues, "Anyone using more than 5 GB per line in a given month
is presumed to be using the service in a manner prohibited above, and we
reserve the right to immediately terminate the service of any such person
According to Verizon, its broadband service should only be
used for Internet browsing, email and intranet access.
Verizon Wireless' Jeffrey Nelson had this to say about the
change to the TOS, "Been reading and want to acknowledge that we added
the 5GB language to the Ts and Cs of our "Unlimited FOR" Broadband Access
plan several months ago. And, as some have noted here, while the Ts and Cs have
remained the same, for those who don't go through the fine-print and get their
impression of what the "plan" is just from advertising, we've been
migrating the visuals away from a big "unlimited for" to providing
more detailed information about our monthly broadband plan."
Verizon's website no longer uses the term
"unlimited" to describe its EV-DO service.