Two months after Verizon revamped its unlimited data plans to severely throttle video, the wireless provider is once again tweaking the system, announcing that customers with “unlimited” data plans can finally watch all their videos in high-definition… if they’re willing to pay an additional $10/month for the privilege.
The Verge reports that starting Nov. 3, Verizon will remove video streaming restrictions from its unlimited plans if customers pay an extra $10/month per line.
The change could significantly increase customers’ bill depending on their current unlimited plan, how many lines the have, and how they use those lines.
For instance, customers who subscribed to Verizon’s “top-tier” $85 “Beyond Unlimited” plan, which topped out at 720p video on smartphones and 1080p on tablets, will now pay $95 for the ability to stream video at the maximum quality supported by their device.
But if this customer happens to have three other family members on the plan, and they all just love to stream high quality video, the total bill will be around $125/month.
Likewise, customers who used Verizon’s $75 lower tier that restricted video quality to 480p resolution will now pay $85 for higher video quality. And, of course, if this customer has other family members on the plan, that increase is $10/line.
As always, the change doesn’t really affect customers who only watch video on their devices via a wireless connection.
Just Another Change
As noted above, this isn’t the first time Verizon has changed its unlimited plans since jumping back on the unlimited wagon in February.
In August, the company introduced the video streaming caps.
Those changes in video quality applied to existing customers — not just those on this year’s new unlimited plans, but all Verizon Wireless customers.
The company said at the time that the changes were about network management, as customers were using their connection to watch too much video.
“We’re really managing our network in a way to be able to expand unlimited data to more people,” an executive for the company said in August.
The new plan was a significant change from what Verizon had offered in February. At the time, Verizon’s offering was more generous with HD video than AT&T or T-Mobile, permitting it by default; now it’s the worst, behind Sprint, not even allowing phone video to reach 1080p.