In preparation for millions of iPhone 4 users who will soon be jumping onto the Verizon Wireless network, the company has announced that they will start throttling the data throughput of customers who consume an "extraordinary amount of data."
In a PDF memo on the Verizon Wireless website, the company stated that they may "reduce your data throughput speeds periodically for the remainder of your then current and immediately following billing cycle" to ensure the best performance for all users at crowded locations and times of peak demand. Verizon Wireless will only do this if you're in the top 5 percent of the company's data users. They want to make sure that the demands of the few don't ruin network performance for the many.
That's not all Verizon Wireless is doing in advance of the February 10 onslaught of iPhones on their network. The company also states that they're implementing "optimization and transcoding technologies" for data transmission to let available network capacity work for the largest number of users. They're doing this through sizing video "more appropriately" for devices, using less capacity and caching less data. Verizon Wireless doesn't believe that the process will degrade the quality of text, image and video files, but does make the disclaimer that the "process may minimally impact the appearance of the file as displayed on your device."
A detailed document describing the optimization techniques that Verizon Wireless is implementing can be found here.
*Verizon is currently in the process of acquiring AOL, Engadget's parent company. However, Engadget maintains full editorial control, and Verizon will have to pry it from our cold, dead hands.