Verizon to start throttling data speeds for new subscribers and optimizing content for all

Verizon Wireless is to start throttling data speeds and optimizing content for smartphones like the Verizon iPhone from today according to a PDF memo on its website. The throttling will only come into affect for new customers who subscribe to a data plan or feature from February 3, 2011, however the optimization will affect all data users new and old.

Verizon Wireless strives to provide customers the best experience when using our network, a shared resource among tens of millions of customers. To help achieve this, if you use an extraordinary amount of data and fall within the top 5% of Verizon Wireless data users we may reduce your data throughput speeds periodically for the remainder of your then current and immediately following billing cycle to ensure high quality network performance for other users at locations and times of peak demand.

Verizon claim to be taking these steps to ensure that the remaining 95% of its data customers are not affected by the 5% that use a large amount of data each month. The optimization part of the process, will include caching less data by compressing images and video which reduces the overall quality of the experience.

We are implementing optimization and transcoding technologies in our network to transmit data files in a more efficient manner to allow available network capacity to benefit the greatest number of users. These techniques include caching less data, using less capacity, and sizing the video more appropriately for the device. The optimization process is agnostic to the content itself and to the website that provides it. While we invest much effort to avoid changing text, image, and video files in the compression process and while any change to the file is likely to be indiscernible, the optimization process may minimally impact the appearance of the file as displayed on your device.

It has not take Verizon very long to start worrying about the impact the iPhone may have on its network. What do you think about Verizon's throttling and optimization methods? Let us know in the comments!

[Verizon PDF via BGR]