Verizon has sent out notices of impending disconnection to around 8,500 customers in rural parts of the country because they were using too much data. Reports indicate that Verizon has singled out a large number of rural customers with fairly high data usage figures, and will be kicking them off the network as of October 17th. According to Verizon, these customer accounts are not profitable because their high data usage outside of the areas in which Verizon maintains its own network mean that the carrier is stuck paying high roaming costs to the partners that it uses to provide services to users in those areas.
The 8,500 customers in the report are spread across 13 states from Alaska all the way to Maine, and have around 19,000 unique lines on Verizon's network. The carrier stated that it sent out notices well in advance in order to give customers a chance to find another provider before the cutoff date. Customers will have to find new carriers before that date, however, because Verizon will not simply release those phone numbers once the cutoff date comes; if a customer does not port out their number before the disconnection date, it will be recycled as if the customer had ended their contract or just stopped paying.
According to Verizon, some of the customers due for disconnection under this wave of cancellations are known to use a terabyte or more of data per month, meaning that they have most likely been using their Verizon phone's hotspot function for a home connection, or have been performing extremely data-intensive tasks like virtualization, administration, or torrent downloads through their phones. This is certainly not the first time that Verizon has kicked high-data customers off its network, or even its first time doing so with crops of rural customers outside of its normal bounds. While it's easy to side with T-Mobile CEO John Legere and say that this behavior is symptomatic of Verizon's network being unable to handle the carrier's recent decision to begin offering unlimited plans again, the fact that Verizon was kicking customers off for high usage before it started unlimited plans back up says that such may only partially be the case, if at all.