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Verizon may give you unlimited data, up to an hour at a time

The PopData program lets customers pay for a brief all-you-can-eat pass onto Verizon's data network, but not necessarily when the customers want it.

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Miss the joys of an unlimited data plan on Verizon Wireless? You can now buy a brief spin back into the binge lane.

Verizon Wireless

Verizon Wireless stopped offering an unlimited data plan way back in 2011, but it's now letting some customers buy a taste of that data freedom.

The carrier's new PopData program, currently available in beta, lets customers use a link in the My Verizon mobile app to purchase unlimited data -- either 30 minutes for $2 or 1 hour for $3.

But before you can hand over your money and queue up an HD stream of Netflix's "Stranger Things," the My Verizon app checks to see if there's enough room on the network. Indeed in my own quick test of the service, from CNET's Manhattan office in the middle of the workday, the app said PopData wasn't currently available.

The pass can be used only on the customer's line, a Verizon rep confirmed to CNET. Tethering other devices to one using PopData is allowed, though.

Users can expect to stay on Verizon's 4G LTE network as long as they remain in its coverage area. If they leave the area and move onto Verizon's 3G network during the session, they'll still have unlimited data. If they lose the signal entirely, the timer will still be running.

Customers must have Location Services turned on for the My Verizon app to start the pass, but they can switch them off during the session.

The PopData program is the latest addition as Verizon restructures its plans. The carrier added Carryover Data and a Safety Mode during a July shake-up that also saw rates increase by as much as $10 per plan for new customers.

Update 2:20 p.m. PT: Added note that tethering is allowed under PopData.