Verizon: Network Optimization Annoys Subs, Shares Down 1.8%

After suggesting a potential data throttling plan this winter, Verizon (NYSE:VZ) confirmed the change on Thursday. The company has not referred to it as data throttling but is calling it “network optimization.” The company’s top 5% of data users currently under its 3G unlimited plan will now endure slower connection speeds in congested cell sites. Once they leave the area, it will resume to faster speeds.

This change comes at an interesting time as Sprint (NYSE:S) recently announced plans to launch the Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone 5 in October. The new phone will come with an unlimited data plan and the company hopes this will bring new users from its competitors.

Verizon’s (NYSE:VZ) stock is down 1.80% to $36.06 on the news. Shares are up 0.78% year to date. The stock has traded in a 52-week range between $36.03 and $36.41.