Verizon took a very circuitous route to get to a point where it could charge customers $10 per month for 4K video streaming while on the mobile network. It didn't happen over night, but that doesn't really matter. It happened, and now customers who were already paying for Verizon's unlimited plans have to pay a little bit more to get a video experience that isn't hampered in a crucial way.
But let's go back a bit. Back to July of this year. Before the end of the month, reports cropped up that Verizon was throttling video on its mobile network from different sources, including YouTube and Netflix. In those cases, customers said their speeds were being throttled down to only 10Mbps.
It didn't take long before the Big Red wireless carrier released a statement, saying that it was performing "network testing" and that the testing period would only last for a couple of days. It also said that customer's video experience "was not affected," but obviously some customers would've argued that point.
That news eventually died out, and things appeared to go back to how they were. Everything seemed fine.
Jump ahead almost exactly one month. Verizon announces that it will be splitting its unlimited plan into two plans. The first would start at $75 per month, and it would limit streaming video content to only 480p on smartphones, and 720p on tablets. The second plan would start at $85 per month, and video would be capped at 720p on smartphones and 1080p on tablets.
Timing seems strange, to be sure.
And then we go ahead and fast forward two months. Before the end of October, Verizon confirmed it would be launching a new add-on for its unlimited plans, which would allow customers to pay $10 per month, per line, to basically unlock streaming video on the mobile network. With that add-on in place, customers could stream up to 4K content to their phone or tablet. No restrictions.
It honestly doesn't even matter if that network testing back in July had anything to do with the changes Verizon implemented on its network. The fact that Verizon took away streaming video without limitations, and then ultimately brought it back just to charge more money is truly unfortunate.
So, now I want to reach out to you Verizon customers and find out if this is a plan add-on that you're willing to pay for. I can't help but wonder how well this is working out for Big Red. I'll be honest, I almost added it to my account, but I haven't yet. It's frustrating to think about.
Where do you stand with the add-on? Are you forking over the extra $10 per month? Let me know!