Verizon says gamers should pay more for bandwidth [UPDATE]

[UPDATE] Company provides new statement on the matter.

[UPDATE] Following the publication of this story, Verizon public policy representative Ed McFadden released a statement on the matter, concerning Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam's original comments and a follow-up story on the Huffington Post. His full statement is below.

"On Wednesday evening I responded to a question from a Huffington Post reporter: “Currently I'm doing a short piece on CEO McAdam's speech on Monday, where he mentioned that 'heavy users' should 'help contribute to the investment to keep the web healthy. Could we get some clarification from Verizon on who these 'heavy users' are? Right now, it seems that Mr. McAdams (sic) is in favor of charging both consumers and companies more if they use more bandwidth, and I'd like to make sure I'm not mis-interpreting."

Verizon’s fiber to the home high-speed broadband network, FiOS, doesn't cap usage in any way. But I noted that, in general, the usage-based pricing model also already is in use nowadays. As an example, I noted: "But as you know, wireless customers already pay for the data they use. Some who stream a lot of movies and use data-intensive applications may pay a bit more, those who don't pay less." What was written was, in part, inaccurate.

My quote had nothing to do with wireline broadband customers. Verizon FiOS customers can use our fiber-fueled FiOS network to meet their streaming, gaming or surfing needs at the blazing fast speeds and capacity they want and need."

The original story is below.

Heavy Internet users, like those who stream lots of high-definition video or download video games regularly, should pay more for bandwidth compared to people who don't. That's the opinion of Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam, who said this week that the concept of flat-rate Internet we've grown accustomed to might be headed out the door in the not-too-distant future.

"It's only natural that the heavy users help contribute to the investment to keep the Web healthy," McAdam said during a conference call on Monday, as reported by IDG News Service. "That is the most important concept of net neutrality."

McDowell also brushed aside concerns that Verizon, which rallied against the now-rejected net neutrality rules, would selectively block or throttle bandwidth access.

"We make our money by carrying traffic," he said. "That's how we make dollars. So to view that we're going to be advantaging one over the other really is a lot of histrionics, I think, at this point."

Currently, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) like Verizon and Comcast allow subscribers to stream high-quality video content through applications like Netflix or download 39GB video games without any data cap. This could change, and the indeed, gamers would be affected. But any changes to the status quo remain to be seen.

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @EddieMakuch
Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.

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Discussion

136 comments
bobman8465
bobman8465

Wow, the rage! I'm a low bandwidth internet user. I watch about 10-15 minutes of video a day, no constant streaming and mostly using the internet for web browsing.I only use maybe 20GB a month. I FEEL IT UNFAIR THAT I HAVE TO PAY THE SAME $60/month as the user that is using 500-750GB a month. WHY should I subsidize the heavy users? I know a lot of people that don't have internet because its too expensive. Why not have a internet "lite" for people with me with a lower speed and a data cap? It would get more people online. 


But no...all you are concerned about is "don't take away my free movies & music"

themc_7
themc_7

I don't see how they can allow this. Every customer is paying equal amounts of money for the package they signed up and agreed to pay for. So how can you charge extra to the people who are simply utilizing the service that they are paying for? I don't understand how they can charge more. You offer me download speeds of 15 Mbps, and a download capacity of 150 GB a month, I'm going to use what I payed for. Somebody who streams netflix daily uses far more internet than a gamer.

Takeno456
Takeno456

I always figure this was the next step. One day we will all be charged for our usage and there will be limits to what we can do with our data. Greed by corporations and complacency by law makers almost guarantees this. Verizon is leading the "pay by usage" charge.

orbit991
orbit991

Ever since our corporate interest leaning supreme court did this vote  all we can do is watch net neutrality get ripped apart bit by bit.

shinspikes
shinspikes

Still hoping and praying google fiber comes to Seattle.

ritsukoblue
ritsukoblue

OMG!! and I'm using these greedy fools for internet too! Please! Don't buy Verizon internet! Its SLOW!! How SLOW you say? It takes 30 minutes to load 720p Youtube video!! and on its really bad days. 480p takes a long time to load too!!!

CaptainHerlock
CaptainHerlock

Here's a better idea; how about UPGRADING YOUR NETWORK?! Verizon has pretty much abandoned rolling out FIOS in any more areas because of the cost, and are instead perfectly happy with their wireless business, and have granted the cable companies a defacto monopoly on broadband. Google Fiber was supposed to shame the telecoms into updating their networks and provide better service. It seems to have the opposite effect.

Techtroll
Techtroll

Verizon thinks they can start nickle and diming their customers by trying to get the laws changed boycot verizon!

Arijan83
Arijan83

39gb? lol that is not even one game today lol

DWalker131
DWalker131

guess which ISP we should all be avoiding lol

now spread the message !!!

kryotech
kryotech

Verizon's a horrible company anyways.

PS4Lives
PS4Lives

They are digging for themselves. This company is acting like Zinga and Mobile games on the way they ask for more penni. 

TheRez
TheRez

The infrastructure is a sunk cost. Its already there.  You don't get the charge extra for it. We already pay for the maintenance of those lines plus Verizon's profit margin in our monthly rate.  You won't get a dime extra from me unless your are providing some function that improves my bandwidth or guarantees stability.  And with the crap service I'm being provided, it'll be a cold day in hell indeed when I pass that dime over.  Over the last 28 days, I've had 19 hours of downtime (e.g. absolutely no internet connection with Verizon's service being the cause) and no compensation for it. I'm not even sure my monthly payment is being put to use for maintaining the network; if Verizon's network handling was healthy, I wouldn't be getting DDoS'ed in every game I play (no, the ddos attacks are not targeted at my net, its hitting a node some steps out.)   Add to that, that my area doesn't even have high-tier DSL, much less FiOS...

Fix your shit first, Verizon, then we can talk about you getting more money.

gplayer5
gplayer5

ummm, most gamers already pay more because they sign up for the faster speeds. Why the hell are they going to charge them more twice?? Well I guess that means Comcast and Time Warner will have more business. We know AT&T won't because they already put a data cap on their internet and throttle speeds...

DrKill09
DrKill09

More like Verizon should pay gamers for putting up with their shitty internet service.

trackles
trackles

but how to tell a gamer from a casual and a hobbyist?.

XxXeroxX
XxXeroxX

I hate to sound like a pessimist, but this country is going to shit quick. Both political parties are to blame, and ourselves as well. Net neutrality is going by the wayside and penny pinching like this is going to keep happening if we, the customers, don't do something about it.

Also, surprised no one has said it yet. Thanks Obama.

:P

Jinzo_111887
Jinzo_111887

This is a perfect example of an Oxymoron. They want you to pay for a service and not use it.

Daveof89
Daveof89

If Verizon ever tried to execute something like this, they'd lose so much business. I hate comcast, but I'd ditch verizon in a heartbeat if they tried to charge me extra for using more bandwidth. I pay for unlimited. I shouldn't have to pay more to be 'more unlimited'.

DARKSPACE
DARKSPACE

In a Nutshell:

All broadband providers want HD compatible streaming industries to pay up not just Verizon.  Not sure about the Downloading aspect, since a person with 52k dial up can still get that but it will take about 9months for a 40 gig title.   In the end it's Services like MS, Sony, EA, Taketwo, Netflix, Steam, RedBox, ESPN etc with self built servers they arei initially targeting.  Then those companies inturn target their core userbase.  Until both legal teams owners meet in secrecy on how they can make profit. 


In the end America is fucked cause our ungoverned internet is the wild wild west and congress is ancient fossils when it comes to understanding & regulating the world wide web and the problems it causes. So separating and creating dollar brackets towards it's broadband subscribers is pretty irrelevant since TimeWarner, Comcast, Verizon, TMobile, AT&T etc already cause deceit on ups and download speeds along with offering cost brackets to insure HD quality imagery of their own via monthly billing.

rahl247
rahl247

thats y full digital will never happen

emperiox
emperiox

What about the harm that this would do to college students? I literally cannot function and will fail college without the internet.

toddx77
toddx77

Wow first they want netflix to pay them and now gamers?  We pay them for internet, it is their job to make sure there is enough bandwidth.  That is why we pay them lol.

gamerboy100
gamerboy100

I would love to see Verizon try. They will probably get hit by lawsuits for discrimination against certain customers.

Damnation_6
Damnation_6

I think they should get with the damn times. In my country we have a fair use limit (which I have never reached by the way). Maybe Verizon should improve their service and stop beeing too greedy and invest in their company instead of their luxury villas.

shnelle
shnelle

Net neutrality just got killed.  They can do anything they want now. 

PixelAddict
PixelAddict

I think they're testing the waters.  If one does it, the other will, too.

I, for one, want interwebs sharks to attack their toes every time they test these waters.  I already pay a LOT for my Comcast access.  It's blazing fast, sure, but I pay well for it. I'm not interested in paying MORE.

christhevillan
christhevillan

I would worry if other companies wanted to do the same because i don't believe they would dare try on their own.

holenjd
holenjd

Glad I don't have Verizon, but if I pay to get a faster tier of service I deserve to use all I want as I all ready pay a higher price than those who just get the lowest speed to surf the web. 

Jinzo_111887
Jinzo_111887

This is going to hurt pretty much all streaming services and digital download services or potentially result in Verizon loosing subscribers who switch ISPs.

Karmazyn
Karmazyn

what a stupid statement from Verizon. This logic is convoluted. So maybe fat people should pay more for flight ticket as plane will burn more fuel, or if you watch TV for more than 4 hours you should pay more for your TV license, there is hundreds of examples like this, ohhh and if you like beer, really really like beer, you should pay more for it. Screw this. Thanx god Verizon is not supplying me with the service and there will be others who will offer more reasonable condition for former Verizon customers.

Shouoken4Peace
Shouoken4Peace

As if these ISPs aren't getting enough money as it is. Will these companies be surprised when their internet rationing backfires with LESS business being conducted on the web as a result of their greed? Talk about shooting yourself in the foot.

Enundr
Enundr

@CaptainHerlock they all seem to suck lately and i dont think (as far as here in the US) we should expect them to upgrade their services anytime soon , if they do , expect prices to go out the arse higher <rolls eyes>


CaptainHerlock
CaptainHerlock

@Techtroll  

Boycotting them isn't going to do anything. The United States needs a national internet strategy to bring us up to the level that countries like France, S. Korea, Sweden and Japan have been for years. Google Fiber was supposed to be a "shaming exercise", and all it's done was convince the telecoms that the expense isn't worth the effort. This goes beyond video games and streaming movies. As more jobs move to information technology, the United States doesn't have the network infrastructure to support those jobs. 

XxXeroxX
XxXeroxX

Breaking news my man: unregulated internet is no more. As of this year, thanks to our Supreme Court that is supposed to be fair and just, was recently bought out by corporate America. What do I mean exactly? Well, soon certain sites will be slowed down by companies, on purpose, while others are sped up.

Example: I am A site. You are B site and my competitor. I just paid corporations to slow down your site while speeding up mine so that way, your loyal customers will have slow loading speeds and mine fast. Your customers will note that and will not bother with you and come to me.

But you are right though, America is fucked.

DWalker131
DWalker131

@emperiox  consider yourself lucky, i'm in complete shutdown mode without it, everytime isp shuts off for 1 day for maintanence or faulty stuff, feels like i'm going through withdraws, cold sweats, sweating bullets complete and utter confusion, complete disconnection to the "real world" which ironically is my virutal online world lol

gplayer5
gplayer5

@gamerboy100  Unfortunately, that wouldn't make a difference. Take car insurance companies for example: they are allowed to price people based on racism, sexism, age discrimination, and even discriminate based upon where you live. They are all allowed to do this because of "statistics." I have been driving for 8 years and have never had an accident or ticket in my life, yet I pay substantially more simply because I'm 22 and a male. Such bs...

Jinzo_111887
Jinzo_111887

@shnelle Just because one can do something doesn't mean they should. Think back to how Microsoft was at E3 last year. 

Damnation_6
Damnation_6

@shnelle Ofcourse. What was the last time congress actually acted in favor of the people?

CaptainHerlock
CaptainHerlock

@Enundr @CaptainHerlock 

Which is why the federal government needs to formulate a national strategy. I know, some will cry "the free market", but let's face it, the free market has FAILED in this venture. There should be a plan to roll out fiber, and then put the contract up for bid. As I've said before, this goes beyond just video games and streaming movies. More jobs are going to move to information technology, and the United States doesn't have the network in place to support those jobs. 

DARKSPACE
DARKSPACE

@XxXeroxX Yeah in short policies and prices can go anywhere. Milk, Gas, and Internet.services

gamerboy100
gamerboy100

@gplayer5 I've never heard of that, but then again, I can't drive. I can't believe what companies are allowed to get away with.

shnelle
shnelle

@Jinzo_111887 @shnelle True but a good number of these companies tried to do this when it was ILLEGAL.  So now that it's not there is nothing to stop them.

gamerboy100
gamerboy100

@gplayer5 Actually, I'm 23 years old. I'm just not capable of driving. Thought I should probably clarify.

gplayer5
gplayer5

@gamerboy100  yea no kidding. Just wait until you can drive. I signed up for insurance before I even drove and they charged me over $1,000 for a year just for the insurance... Simply because I was a teen and a boy. I hadn't even had a driving record yet.