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Editorial #87-Verizon Stops Unlimited Data Plan--What's Next? Why is Dr. Z Worried?

First it was AT&T and now its Verizon. There are rumblings other carriers might join. It’s not limited to smartphones, but your cable carrier as well. Time Warner and Comcast are reportedly looking into capping their data plans. Some carriers still allow unlimited data in their plans.

Why is Dr. Z concerned?

When we do video communication, we do not use the audio on the phone or the cable, we use the data portion of the phone or internet on cable. When the carriers cap data, this means if we talk more than the cap is allowed (such as 2 GB), we will have to pay extra for more data that we use in order to talk freely. Most audio plans have monthly minutes which can carry over and the minutes are for 300-600-900 minutes. 2GB of data will probably be good for about 10 hours (600 minutes) of video communication, maybe a bit more.

Dr. Z thinks it’s time for consumers to come to the FCC and ask that the carriers treat the deaf and hard of hearing consumers who use video communication to be treated appropriately and be functionally equivalent as the hearing consumers. There is precedent for this–in the TTY days, ATT used to give deaf and hard of hearing users a discount because it took longer to communicate via typing.

Let us keep an eye on those developments and tell the FCC not to limit our video communication because of the data caps!

Dr. Z cares about your communication access.

Disclaimer: Dr. Z is currently the Vice-President of Marketing at CSDVRS, LLC.

3 comments to Editorial #87-Verizon Stops Unlimited Data Plan–What’s Next? Why is Dr. Z Worried? (Updated)

  • Mike

    Just go with Sprint Relay and use their unlimited data only plan. For more info: http://www.sprintrelay.com

  • Mike, that’s beside the point. We should be able to choose our carriers as freely as hearing folks do. I have to admit, Sprint’s network isn’t as good as AT&T’s network – I used to have AT&T before I joined Sprint (mainly cause it was cheaper). I had much faster service, and more coverage. I do regret leaving to join Sprint, but I do save money with their plan. The point that Dr. Z is trying to make is that ALL carriers should provide unlimited data plan for the deaf/hoh. To quote, “There is precedent for this–in the TTY days, ATT used to give deaf and hard of hearing users a discount because it took longer to communicate via typing.” It wouldn’t be right if ALL deaf/hoh folks who want to use mobile video communication, have to join ONLY Sprint, simply because (to my knowledge) they are the only carrier that has an unlimited plan.

  • Mark Hill

    Phil

    It also worries me that some deaf people with mobility disabilities may require more time to use any mobile video communication and by the time, they may end up with fewer calls if ATT and Verizon offer tiered data plans. That’s not acceptable and unfair!

    By the way, congratulations to your new position at ZVRS.

    Mark Hill, President
    Cerebral Palsy and Deaf Organization

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