We can't say we weren't warned, since Verizon updated its data policy way back in February, but it's still a punch in the gut to hear its "network optimization" plan went into effect yesterday. A new policy page pointed out by Droid-Life explains how the policy will affect only the "top 5 percent of data users with 3G devices on unlimited data plans" (LTE and tiered data users are in the clear) by managing their speeds when connected to towers it has deemed are congested. Those conditions, termed network intelligence by Big Red, are what it feels separates this scheme from mere data throttling since it will only affect a few users (those consuming 2GB or more of data per month) at certain times and places, but it's hard to see it any other way. If you're one of those affected, expect a message on your bill or My Verizon account, although you may go into and out of the affected group depending on your usage. Hit the source link below for all the details -- anyone else think it's not a coincidence this policy popped up just before the iPhone 4 came to Verizon and is being implemented only weeks before the next iThing is expected to arrive?