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Verizon’s Heavily Capped Wireless Replacement for Rural DSL Goes Nationwide

Verizon Wireless’ answer for rural America’s broadband troubles goes live across the country today, offering the broadband deprived the opportunity of getting wireless service at almost twice the price of conventional DSL, with a 10GB monthly usage allowance.

HomeFusion Broadband uses Verizon’s LTE network to deliver service to homes and businesses within range of Verizon’s 4G network.  For rural America, the speeds Verizon is capable of delivering offer a significant improvement over rural DSL.  Verizon promises 5-12Mbps down and 2-5Mbps up, depending on how many users are sharing the cell tower and how strong a signal one receives.

“HomeFusion Broadband is another example of Verizon Wireless’ commitment to providing our customers with the most innovative products and services,” said Tami Erwin, vice president and chief marketing officer, Verizon Wireless. “With HomeFusion Broadband, customers across the United States, in towns large and small, will have the chance to link devices to the Internet and take advantage of the speed, coverage and connectivity offered by our 4G LTE network.”

Whether they can afford it may be another matter.

Verizon Wireless charges a one-time equipment fee of $199.99, which includes professional installation of the required cylindrical outdoor antenna and router that allows customers to share the wireless connection with other devices inside the home.

Monthly service fees start at $60 a month and include 10GB of monthly usage. If you need more data, you will pay a significant amount to get it — up to $120 a month for 30GB of usage.  As a tease, customers get 50 percent more data allowance for the first two full billing cycles of service.  If you become accustomed to using that extra allowance, it could be very costly once the first two months are up.  Overlimit fees run $10/GB.

Verizon claims two-thirds of the country is now covered by their 4G LTE network, including the regions Verizon sold off to companies like FairPoint and Frontier Communications.  Those independent phone companies will soon have Verizon as a broadband competitor in states like West Virginia, Vermont, Ohio, and Maine. If customers value speed over everything else, Verizon could be a formidable competitor over traditional rural DSL, which often operates at speeds of 1-3Mbps, as long as customers steer clear of allowance-eating online video.

Verizon has positioned HomeFusion as a rural broadband solution, and earlier pricing and policy changes make it clear Verizon is downplaying its traditional DSL service.  In April, Verizon announced it would no longer sell standalone DSL service to customers without voice phone lines, or to those who live in areas also wired for the company’s fiber optic network FiOS.

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  • bern jenkins: Good commentary . I loved the points - Does anyone know if I would be able to find a fillable a form form to fill in ?...
  • jennifer: Horrific customer service. But don't worry, I was assured I'd have a technician come fix my internet a week from today. :/...
  • Kyle: It has nothing to do with consumer choice on broadband. It has to do with unelected bureaucrats in the FCC, who are not accountable to congress (the p...
  • Bryan: I would never support anyone who directly or indirectly would want to limit consumer choices for internet. If a municipality can provide faster and c...
  • Kyle: The FCC is not a federal court. They should not be able to overturn state or local law. This has nothing to do with municipal broadband. It has to do ...
  • Johanna D.: Moved out of state for my job in March, was waiting for a final verizon bill, and received 3 bills from fronteir all dated the same day with different...
  • Clinton Kirk: It's not that Sen. Cruz is against the expansion of Broadband in growing communities. The issue is that it should be the States decision and not some...
  • Dahlia: If you do let me know, I will join. They try to say I used 865GB in one month and charged me an extra 20$ for overages. That is BS, there is no way in...
  • Sherice Cuadra: Timely article ! I learned a lot from the facts - Does anyone know if my business might be able to grab a blank a form copy to work with ?...
  • Ethan: A few months ago, TWC gave me a quote for $23,268 for 12 (!) pole permits and about 1600 feet of cable, even though there's a line only 5 poles and 80...
  • Mark: My ailing 85-yo mother, who lives in Yucaipa, CA, has been completely without phone service for almost A WHOLE MONTH now!!! She cannot call her doctor...
  • Raymundo: Us simple folk in FL can only dream of being as smart as you, Joe. Thank you for taking the time to explain things to us so we can understand them....

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