Verizon To Give Some Unlimited Data Plan Customers The Boot

Unlimited data customers that have been grandfathered into their Verizon plans for years and are regularly burning through data may be getting cut off.

Verizon will be forcing customers on unlimited data plans to move to a tiered data plan by Aug. 31 if they use more than 100 GB of data in a single month, as initially reported Thursday by Droid Life and Ars Technica.

If these customers don't make the move to a new plan, they will be disconnected from Verizon's network.

[Related: Verizon Revamps Wireless Plan, Jury Still Out On How It Will Impact Partners]

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Verizon, Basking Ridge, N.J., told CRN that less than 1 percent of its customers are on unlimited plans, with "a small fraction" of a percentage of those customers using "hundreds of times more data than the average user" on a single device.

"Because our network is a shared resource, and we need to ensure all customers have a great mobile experience with Verizon, we are notifying a very small group of customers on unlimited plans who use an extraordinary amount of data that they must move to one of the new Verizon plans by Aug. 31," said a Verizon spokesperson via email.

Moving to a tiered plan would require customers to pay overage fees should they go over their data cap.

Berkeley, Calif.-based solution provider DataXoom specializes in mobility services. The Verizon partner offers large data rate plans that "pool" its business clients, effectively creating nearly unlimited usage for its customers, said Rob Chamberlin, co-founder and chief revenue officer for DataXoom.

Chamberlin said that the change won't impact his business customers.

"When it comes to wireless, there is no such thing as 'unlimited' or 'free,' Chamberlin said. "These are just pricing gimmicks that drive subscriber growth, and they are typically somewhat short-lived."

Not every unlimited data plan customer will be impacted. Most of Verizon's customers on unlimited data plans stay well below the 100-GB data cap. Most of these customers are also off-contract and paying for their cellular services month to month. Verizon discontinued its unlimited data plan for customers in 2011.

For the rest of its customers, the carrier recently revamped all of its wireless plans and created new -- and slightly more expensive -- data pools. Business customers and consumers can now choose from small, medium, large, extra-large, and extra extra-large wireless plans, ranging from 2 GB to 24 GB per month.