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Verizon to start throttling video streaming to as low as 480p tomorrow

Verizon will throttle video streaming to 480p or 720p on your smartphone, depending on your data plan, and there will be no way to stream in 1080p.

Published onAugust 22, 2017

If you’re a Verizon subscriber and love to watch videos online, we have some bad news. According to a report from Ars Technica, starting tomorrow, the carrier will throttle video streaming to as low as 480p, depending on the plan.

Verizon actually divided its unlimited plan into two new options for consumers. The first, called Go Unlimited, starts at $75 for a single line and will get you what the company calls “DVD-quality streaming,” which means 480p on smartphones and 720p on tablets. If you fork out an extra $10 per month, you can subscribe to the Beyond Unlimited plan that bumps up the resolution to 720p on smartphones. The plans also offer 1080p video streaming on tablets, but that will cost you an extra $20 per month.

This means that you won’t be able to watch 4K videos on any device that’s connected to Verizon’s network anymore. The largest US carrier is trying to justify this by saying that more than 96 percent of its users have never watched a 4K video.

If you already have one of the old unlimited plans, you can keep it without having to choose between the two new ones. However, the video resolution will be will be reduced to 720p on smartphones and 1080p on tablets in this case, which also applies to limited data plans.

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When Verizon started offering unlimited smartphone data plans back at the beginning of the year, it said it didn’t impose limits on video streaming quality. It looks like the company has since had a change of heart in an effort to try and reduce or prevent congestion in its network.

We’re doing this to ensure all customers have a great experience on our network since there is no visible difference in quality on a smartphone or tablet when video is shown at higher resolutions than 720p on phones and 1080p on tablets. — Verizon

So, there you have it. No matter what Verizon plan you’re on, video streaming will be limited starting tomorrow. You won’t have the option of watching 1080p videos on your smartphone anymore, no matter what plan you are on.

What do you think about Verizon’s decision to throttle video streaming? Let us know in the comments.

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