It may be my fevered imagination from my relatively ancient and superficial training in economics in college, but cutting off a plan to offer unlimited amounts of anything for a flat fee and charging usurous fees for the same service seems to qualify as a cost/benefit-based control of usage.
That is, it's an approach that pays not only for the service itself, but pays for the abuse of the system by a few bad apples by making them pay for disproportionate use with disproportionate fees.
Verizon had its problems getting even a vaguely accurate idea of how much data people were using, of course. That's just incompetence and a refusal to instrument your network to the point that you can actually control it.
I can't imagine any network manager getting an unlimited upgrade budget justified by his or her failure to figure out ahead of time how heavily the network was already being used.
That's what Verizon and AT&T are doing, though. And they're blaming the "extreme users" for putting them in an untenable position.
Is there a tech-industry TLA for hypocrisy, calumny and highway robbery?
Every year the managers of state turnpikes and stat-road-maintenance bureaus make the same argument, by the way: there are too many cars; they're doing too much damage to my roads for me to fix; I need more money for roads.
Those claims are almost always over blown and under-supported by data, too. They have one thing going for them the carriers don't though: Civil engineers responsible for maintaining state highways have no real control over how many people live in the state, travel through it, own cars, drove on highways, or drive on highways a LOT.
Carriers have almost total control over everyone of those things.
The services like Siri, auto-download, auto-updata apps Android users are unable to delete from their phones, and the increasing volume of web traffic coming from smartphones are all growing because the carriers add those services to their networks without upgrading the networks enough to support them.
That's not the fault of people who buy the data-hog phones or use the data-hog services.
It's the fault of the cell-network engineers (actually their boss's boss's bosses) who didn't add a few extra subnets or a few upgraded routers to data bottlenecks.
It's even more the fault of the carriers' financial policies, which charge sky-high fees for every service or move online through a smartphone – money that could easily be used to upgrade the networks supposedly being swamped by extreme-user data-hogging iPhone 4S and Android users.