Happy Anniversary. Love, Verizon.

Almost a year to the day after Verizon announced it would cease offering unlimited mobile data plans, we're being handed a stinker of an anniversary gift in the form of leaked details about Verizon's upcoming data caps.

According to documents given to Android Central, starting July 7 new Verizon Wireless customers will be asked to choose from among three data plans: $30/month for 2GB of data, $50/month for 5GB, and $80/month for 10GB. Overages run at $10 per additional gigabyte.

Compare this to the current price of $30/month for unlimited data. In two weeks, new customers will pay the same for 2GB as current customers pay for unlimited data.

It makes sense... if you're a giant wireless company trying to squeeze dollars out of your loyal customers.

These data caps come at a time when mobile Internet use is exploding. We use our phones to watch movies on Netflix, stream music with Pandora, Rdio, Amazon and Google (and soon iTunes), and more and more mobile devices are our primary gateways to the Web. Given these trends, you'd hope Verizon and its pals would find ways to embrace the future. Instead, they've constructed expensive, artificial walls to stop us from using the mobile Internet, heavily penalizing those of us who jump over them.

And there's no way out. Wireless competition barely exists now, and could soon disappear completely. AT&T, Verizon's major competitor, has already instituted similar caps. Struggling Sprint is the only major carrier that still features unlimited plans, but the way things are going, it's only a matter of time before Sprint submits to the power of tiered pricing plans (if it isn't eaten up by Verizon first).

One slight silver lining on all of this: Current Verizon customers will be able to grandfather in their unlimited data plans (though for an unspecified time). Yay.

We knew Verizon's news was coming but still, it's disappointing. On this sorry excuse for an anniversary, it's worth repeating what Karl Bode of DSLReports.com wrote in response to last year's announcement from Verizon: "The desire to impose low caps and overages is about money — not about altruism, congestion, saving endangered species, or whatever justification AT&T and Verizon use this week."

People + Policy

= Positive Change for the Public Good

people + policy = Positive Change for the Public Good