When "unlimited" wireless broadband means "you download porn"...

by Sniffer | posted on 29 September 2006

Verizon offers an "unlimited" wireless data download service. It is, apparently, not all that unlimited. Specifically, it's limited to five gig per month. After that, you get fined $175 and your account is cancelled.


Writes Robert X Cringeley, clearly unhappy: "The people who cancel your account are in the security department and don't know how to answer your questions, they just know how to accuse their customers of downloading pornography."

Cringeley, longtime columnist for ZD and now a PBS blogger, says: "How much Internet service is 'unlimited' Internet service? If you are a user of Verizon Wireless's Broadband Access wireless Internet service, unlimited means five gigabytes per month or less. The company is quite specific in its advertisements that the service is for unlimited e-mail, web surfing, and corporate intranet use, but not for downloading music or videos or running servers."

But how does he know about the porn accusation?

"Now here's the part of this story I find especially interesting: Verizon doesn't look at packets or protocols to determine if you are improperly using bandwidth, they just look at total bytes transferred," says Cringeley.

He reckons if you go over five gigs they have no way of knowing whether you were doing email or logging on to http://www.czechmytits.com/ - they just press the "kill" button. The fine, he says, is an "early termination" charge, so they terminate you, and collect the dosh.

Appeal? Nope. "Verizon's position is that using more than five gigs per month is impossible without violating their terms of service."

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