Verizon cuts off big 3G users: Last November, I wrote an article about the terms of service for Cingular, Sprint Nextel, and Verizon's 3G service. All three restrict what you can do, with Verizon having the strictest policies requiring you to only surf, read email, and use intranet applications. All other uses strictly prohibited.
The Wall Street Journal covers this issue today because the three domestic 3G carriers--T-Mobile isn't up to their speeds yet--are starting to cancel 3G subscriptions (Verizon) or bill heavy users (the other two). Verizon has apparently killed 100 user accounts for people using "thousands of times the average" network usage. And, holy net neutrality, Batman, Verizon will eventually detect protocol types so it can ban specific kinds. Of course, this means that virtual private network (VPN) users will be able to hide their particular habits, but not overall usage. The Journal notes that wireless data hasn't yet been part of the neutrality discussions.
Fundamentally, we all know the dirty little secret is that not that carriers have per-megabyte costs that they need to recover, but that they have extremely limited spectrum for these services, and that heavy users dampen the availability of 3G services for adjacent users. Heavy users also tax the cell backhaul connections, which, I have been told my multiple sources, is generally a relatively low-speed digital service line, like a T-1 or equivalent. Carriers have been eyeing fixed WiMax as a way to reduce their backhaul bottleneck.