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Verizon Networking The Internet

FiOS User Finds Limit of 'Unlimited' Data Plan: 77 TB/Month 573 573

An anonymous reader writes "A California user of Verizon's FiOS fiber-optic internet service put his unlimited data plan to the test. Over the month of March, he totaled over 77 terabytes of internet traffic, which finally prompted a call from a Verizon employee to see what he was doing. The user had switched to a 300Mbps/65Mbps plan in January, and averaged 50 terabytes of traffic per month afterward. 'An IT professional who manages a test lab for an Internet storage company, [the user] has been providing friends and family a personal VPN, video streaming, and peer-to-peer file service—running a rack of seven servers with 209TB of raw storage in his house.' The Verizon employee who contacted him said he was violating the service agreement. "Basically he said that my bandwidth usage was excessive (like 30,000 percent higher than their average customer)," [the user] said. '[He] wanted to know WTF I was doing. I told him I have a full rack and run servers, and then he said, "Well, that's against our ToS." And he said I would need to switch to the business service or I would be disconnected in July. It wasn't a super long call.'"
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FiOS User Finds Limit of 'Unlimited' Data Plan: 77 TB/Month

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  • Misleading Title (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 24, 2013 @11:01AM (#43812689)

    FiOS user finds how to violate TOS

  • by EmagGeek (574360) <gterich@NOSPAM.aol.com> on Friday May 24, 2013 @11:08AM (#43812777) Journal

    Yep. Running servers is against Verizon's residential ToS. Regardless of how much BW the guy is using, he's breaking the rules.

  • Re:Misleading Title (Score:5, Informative)

    by homey of my owney (975234) on Friday May 24, 2013 @11:12AM (#43812831)
    Right. In fact the user did not find what the title claims. He found the point at which they would ask WTF. And it turns out TF was that he was doing something the TOS said he couldn't. Nice job misleading.
  • by Shoten (260439) on Friday May 24, 2013 @11:12AM (#43812833)

    Why are ISP's allowed to sell an 'unlimited' plan that has limits? Isn't that against false advertising laws? "Unlimited" has a well known and very specific meaning, and that meaning does not include limits, not even "30,000 percent higher than everyone else".

    The limit isn't on the data here; it's on the form of use. They asked what he was doing, and it turned out that what he was doing qualifies as business, rather than residential use. And at that point they told him that he'd need to change account types.

    Look at it this way: what if someone got an account like this, and set themselves up as a small ISP for their neighborhood? Would that be acceptable, simply because it's an unlimited account? Of course not...and the ToS that the customer would have agreed to says as much. Since when is it acceptable to simply ignore the contracts we sign? Oh, wait...that was your point, wasn't it? Well, it goes both ways.

  • by iamhassi (659463) on Friday May 24, 2013 @11:12AM (#43812847) Journal

    Why offer that much throughput then complain when people actually make good use of it.
    If you want people to buy business lines, make it competitive with your home accounts.

    perhaps you didn't read the summary. He has a 300Mbps/65Mbps plan (300 megabit/65megabit = 37.5 megabyte/8 megabyte). He used 77 terabytes in a month. Most people only has 1 to 4 terabyte hard drives in their home computers. He used 77 terabytes. That would fill the entire hard drive of the average home computer about 50 times, and he did that in a month. Excessive much? Yes.

    According to Math, 37.5 megabytes a second is 3.2 terabytes a day, so he had to be running full bandwidth for 24 days straight. Pretty sure all of our ISPs would be calling us if they noticed we were downloading at full speed for 24 days straight.

  • by Nadaka (224565) on Friday May 24, 2013 @11:19AM (#43812937)

    The ToS for residential service forbids running of servers. He was violating the ToS. Sure, he got noticed because he was using a lot of data. But that isn't why they are terminating service.

  • by Vulcanworlds (2628215) on Friday May 24, 2013 @11:32AM (#43813145)
    Section 4.3 Restrictions on Use.

    The Service is a consumer grade service and is not designed for or intended to be used for any commercial purpose. You may not resell, re-provision or rent the Service, (either for a fee or without charge) or allow third parties to use the Service via wired, wireless or other means. For example, you may not provide Internet access to third parties through a wired or wireless connection or use the Service to facilitate public Internet access (such as through a Wi-Fi hotspot), use it for high volume purposes, or engage in similar activities that constitute such use (commercial or non-commercial). If you subscribe to a Broadband Service, you may connect multiple computers/devices within a single home to your modem and/or router to access the Service, but only through a single Verizon-issued IP address. You also may not exceed the bandwidth usage limitations that Verizon may establish from time to time for the Service, or use the Service to host any type of server. Violation of this section may result in bandwidth restrictions on your Service or suspension or termination of your Service.

    http://www.verizon.net/policies/vzcom/tos_popup.asp [verizon.net]

    Well here's how they can artificially cap your unlimited plan. 'may not exceed the bandwidth usage limitations that Verizon may establish from time to time' or 'use the Service to host any type of server'.

    Plus the AUP allows them to nab you from anything from off-topic posts (Attactment A.2.e) to hitting IP's in embargo'd countries (cuba, sudan, etc) Attactment A.2.l. And unless this somehow excludes personal server, my guess is tons of users are violating some part of the ToS.

  • by Reschekle (2661565) on Friday May 24, 2013 @11:35AM (#43813179)

    No, they don't.

    http://www22.verizon.com/home/fios-fastest-internet/fastest-internet-plans/ [verizon.com]

    Go find the word 'unlimited' on that page.

    In the ToS, they specifically mention that excessive use is a reason to boot you off.

    http://my.verizon.com/central/vzc.portal?_nfpb=true&_pageLabel=vzc_help_policies&id=TOS [verizon.com]

  • by mattventura (1408229) on Friday May 24, 2013 @11:35AM (#43813195) Homepage
    In TFS, it makes it seem like Verizon complained to him because he was running servers which are generally against the ToS of residential plans, rather than the excessive bandwidth usage. The excessive usage may have been what triggered the phone call (so they could figure out what was actually going on), but it was ToS violations that were the issue at hand.
  • by Reschekle (2661565) on Friday May 24, 2013 @11:41AM (#43813267)

    Verizon doesn't call their plans unlimited.

    http://www22.verizon.com/home/fios-fastest-internet/fastest-internet-plans/ [verizon.com]

    No mention of any unlimited plans.

  • by Reschekle (2661565) on Friday May 24, 2013 @11:44AM (#43813297)

    The only person claiming this plan is unlimited is the author of the story.

    While sometimes the marketing people fuck up, Verizon does not label their plans as being unlimited that I can tell: http://www22.verizon.com/home/fios-fastest-internet/fastest-internet-plans/ [verizon.com]

  • by jeffmeden (135043) on Friday May 24, 2013 @11:46AM (#43813343) Homepage Journal

    It sounds like the objection was that he ran servers, the bandwidth thing was merely the trigger to ask.

    I'm baffled ISPs still think "servers" are something that needs banning. Reminds me of when so many clueless ISPs banned NAT (or rather connection sharing between multiple PCs in general.)

    Not many providers think they need "banning" but they are a pretty easy trigger to get out of selling someone a residential service when they are clearly using it for business purposes. If you don't abuse the bandwidth, you can serve anything you want.

  • THERE IS NO LIMIT (Score:5, Informative)

    by gl4ss (559668) on Friday May 24, 2013 @12:01PM (#43813521) Homepage Journal

    The only person claiming this plan is unlimited is the author of the story.

    While sometimes the marketing people fuck up, Verizon does not label their plans as being unlimited that I can tell: http://www22.verizon.com/home/fios-fastest-internet/fastest-internet-plans/ [verizon.com]

    ..I don't see any limit either, just speeds advertised. or anywhere. there's no transfer limits on their marketing.. the only tos that could be found via searching said nothing of it either.

    and factually, there is no limit. there's couple of phrases here and there though, like your use must not harm other users of the service.

    and then there's this ". You also may not exceed the bandwidth usage limitations that Verizon may establish from time to time for the Service, or use the Service to host any type of server. Violation of this section may result in bandwidth restrictions on your Service or suspension or termination of your Service."

    the guy fucked up by simply saying that he has couple of rack mounted servers. should have just hung up on the rep, really. or said that he's streaming his personal video from his other house where he keeps cute cats running around. because, if he had so many machines, I doubt he wanted verizon to cut his service.

  • by Nethemas the Great (909900) on Friday May 24, 2013 @12:05PM (#43813573)
    The ToS of any residential service I've ever heard of expressly prohibits "servers". It is one of the principal differences between residential and "business" class service.
  • by drakaan (688386) on Friday May 24, 2013 @12:05PM (#43813575) Homepage Journal

    ...actually, the ToS [verizon.com] specifically says in section 4.3:

    Restrictions on Use. The Service is a consumer grade service and is not designed for or intended to be used for any commercial purpose. You may not resell, re-provision or rent the Service, (either for a fee or without charge) or allow third parties to use the Service via wired, wireless or other means. For example, you may not provide Internet access to third parties through a wired or wireless connection or use the Service to facilitate public Internet access (such as through a Wi-Fi hotspot), use it for high volume purposes, or engage in similar activities that constitute such use (commercial or non-commercial). If you subscribe to a Broadband Service, you may connect multiple computers/devices within a single home to your modem and/or router to access the Service, but only through a single Verizon-issued IP address. You also may not exceed the bandwidth usage limitations that Verizon may establish from time to time for the Service, or use the Service to host any type of server . Violation of this section may result in bandwidth restrictions on your Service or suspension or termination of your Service.

  • by Jahta (1141213) on Friday May 24, 2013 @12:36PM (#43813943)

    Excessive much? Yes.

    what part of 'unlimited' don't you understand ?

    I'd say the lack of understanding is yours; understanding of basic physics that is. Nobody's bandwidth is unlimited. [insert your favourite ISP here] has an upstream pipe with finite capacity. If one user saturates that pipe, then all the other customers suffer. That's why business plans are more expensive than residential plans; you are effectively funding the ISP to provide you with guaranteed capacity.

  • by NatasRevol (731260) on Friday May 24, 2013 @12:45PM (#43814119) Journal

    It's not lying if he broke the ToS.

    And, no, 'great for games' does not mean hosting a bunch of servers.

  • by Krojack (575051) on Friday May 24, 2013 @01:05PM (#43814359)

    Unless you're playing some old Warcraft 2 or Duke Nukem game, the games today don't require you to start-up and host the server side anymore. The only recent game I can think of that did this was Terraria [terraria.org] which isn't even developed for anymore.

  • by RatherBeAnonymous (1812866) on Friday May 24, 2013 @01:14PM (#43814475)

    Here is the Verizon TOS: http://my.verizon.com/central/vzc.portal?_nfpb=true&_pageLabel=vzc_help_policies&id=TOS [verizon.com] Below are sections where, judging by TFS, he may have been in violation. In my layman's opinion, they had him dead to rights.

    "Restrictions on Use. The Service is a consumer grade service and is not designed for or intended to be used for any commercial purpose. You may not resell, re-provision or rent the Service, (either for a fee or without charge) or allow third parties to use the Service via wired, wireless or other means. For example, you may not .... use it for high volume purposes, or engage in similar activities that constitute such use (commercial or non-commercial). ....You also may not exceed the bandwidth usage limitations that Verizon may establish from time to time for the Service, or use the Service to host any type of server. Violation of this section may result in bandwidth restrictions on your Service or suspension or termination of your Service.

    "You represent that when you transmit, upload, download, post or submit any content, images or data using the Service you have the legal right to do so and that your use of such content, images or data does not violate the copyright or trademark laws or any other third party rights."

    ACCEPTABLE USE POLICY

    "General Policy: Verizon reserves the sole discretion to deny or restrict your Service, or immediately to suspend or terminate your Service, if the use of your Service by you or anyone using it, in our sole discretion, violates the Agreement or other Verizon policies, is objectionable or unlawful, interferes with the functioning or use of the Internet or the Verizon network by Verizon or other users, or violates the terms of this Acceptable Use Policy ("AUP")."

    "Specific Examples of AUP Violations. The following are examples of conduct which may lead to termination of your Service. Without limiting the general policy in Section 1, it is a violation of the Agreement and this AUP to: ... (g) violate Verizon's or any third party's copyright, trademark, proprietary or other intellectual property rights; (h) engage in any conduct harmful to the Verizon network, the Internet generally or other Internet users; (i) generate excessive amounts of email or other Internet traffic; (j) use the Service to violate any rule, policy or guideline of Verizon; ....

    "Copyright Infringement/Repeat Infringer Policy. Verizon respects the intellectual property rights of third parties. Accordingly, you may not store any material or use Verizon's systems or servers in any manner that constitutes an infringement of third party intellectual property rights, including under US copyright law. .... it is the policy of Verizon to suspend or terminate, in appropriate circumstances, the Service provided to any subscriber or account holder who is deemed to infringe third party intellectual property rights, including repeat infringers of copyrights. In addition, Verizon expressly reserves the right to suspend, terminate or take other interim action regarding the Service of any Subscriber or account holder if Verizon, in its sole judgment, believes that circumstances relating to an infringement of third party intellectual property rights warrant such action."

  • by R.Mo_Robert (737913) on Friday May 24, 2013 @02:00PM (#43815059)

    The ToS of any residential service I've ever heard of expressly prohibits "servers".

    Then you haven't heard of them all. Qwest (now Century Link, but I think the old Qwest territory is still under slightly different terms) allows servers according to their agreement [centurylink.com] (and my conversation with customer service in which I had to get a port unblocked--they're my ISP): "Service may be used to host a server, personal or commercial, as lon gas such server is used pursuant to the terms and conditions of this Agreement applicalbe to Service and not for any malicious purposes...".

    Of course, elsewhere in the agreement, it says that you need business service if you're using it for commercial purposes--but there's nothing stopping me from running small Web and mail services on my residential account for my personal use. Of course, I wouldn't really want to do much else on a typical, constrained upload-bandwidth residential ADSL account, either...

  • by devman (1163205) on Friday May 24, 2013 @02:57PM (#43815659)
    Verizon didn't advertise it as 'unlimited'. I'm a FIOS customer, I checked. No where do they use the word 'unlimited'. For my particular service they describe as FIOS Internet up to 35/35.

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