Verizon eliminating "unlimited data plan"

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PHOENIX – Just about everybody has a cell phone these days.

Many of them can get emails, send pictures or even get movies using a cell phone data plan.

"I do some of that, not the Netflix so much, but I do watch a lot of videos," said Ben Morin who, like many people, has the unlimited data plan with Verizon. Verizon just recently announced they're getting rid of that plan.

"I'm unhappy with it. I can understand from a business model why they would do it, but it's not conducive on how people live their lives and do their work."

Next month, Verizon is moving to a more "usage-based model." Beginning July 7, customers will have to choose from three data options, 2 gigabytes for $30, 5 gigabytes for $50 or 10 gigabytes for $80.

Verizon wouldn't answer our questions about the change so we spoke to computer and cell phone expert Ken Colburn with Data Doctors who says, “If you're not a veracious user of streaming media, you don't have to worry about going over the two gigabytes, it's more than enough. If you're really into downloading videos, downloading games, downloading a lot of songs those are the kinds of people who need to look at the five and the 10 gigabyte."

Last summer, AT&T was the first to move to a more "usage-based model." Since then Ken Colburn has been answering a lot of questions about the switch.

"Bandwidth is like water pressure, there's only so much of it out there. If 5 percent of the people are using 80 percent of the bandwidth that's really inequitable for the rest of us that aren't using that bandwidth, so it really is the best thing for, pay for what you use as opposed to everybody pays the same where some people use a lot of data and some people use hardly any."

There's an easy way to estimate how much data you might use. Both Verizon and AT&T have online calculators. You can find those calculators on azfamily.com.