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Rural America: Welcome to Verizon LTE Broadband – $120/Mo for 5-12Mbps With 30GB Cap

They are coming.

With both AT&T and Verizon petitioning various state regulators for permission to switch off rural landline phone and broadband customers and force customers to use wireless alternatives, getting affordable broadband in the countryside is becoming increasingly difficult.

Last week, Millenicom — a reseller of wireless broadband service specializing in serving rural, long-haul truckers, and recreational vehicle users notified customers it was transferring their accounts directly to Verizon Wireless and will no longer have any role selling discounted Verizon Wireless broadband service.

Reports indicate that Millenicom’s contract renewal negotiations with Verizon did not go as expected and as a result customers are facing potential price increases and long-term contracts to continue their wireless broadband service.

Both AT&T and Verizon have told regulators they can satisfactorily serve rural customers with wireless LTE broadband service as an alternative to maintaining rural landline infrastructure. Neither company likes to talk about the price rural customers will pay if they want to keep broadband in their homes or businesses.

Some Millenicom customers have been invited to preview Verizon Wireless’ Home LTE Installed Internet plans (formerly known as HomeFusion) and many are not too pleased with their options:

lte1

lte2

Verizon’s overlimit fee is $10/GB for those that exceed their plan limit. According to several Amazon.com reviews of the service (it received 1.5 stars), customers are quickly introduced to “Verizon’s shady usage meter” that consistently measures phantom usage. Bills of $400-500 a month are not uncommon. One customer was billed for 18GB ($180) in extra usage despite following Verizon’s suggestion to stop using the service when it reported he reached 29GB of usage.

verizon bill

This bill includes more than $3,000 in data overlimit fees.

“The bill came with the bogus data charges, and it was twice as much as the meter detected,” the customer reported.

In fact, the phantom usage has become so pervasive, Verizon customers have dubbed the phenomenon “ghost data,” but the overlimit fees Verizon expects customers to pay are very real.

“[It] went out more than my DSL and my first bill from Verizon was $1300+,” reported Jill Kloberdanz. “I want this demon out of my house.”

“According to [Verizon], I used over 65GB in just one week,” reported Aron Fox. “And they want almost $800 for it. My wife and I are two 60-somethings that never game and rarely stream.”

“Definitely stay away […] unless you like to see your data charges skyrocket (in my case more than doubling) when your use doesn’t,” reported Richard Thompson. “I’ve pulled the plug on it — literally.”

“We have the same problem – huge data overages, meter does not match our usage,” writes Heather Comer. “We turn the router off at night and when we check the next morning, it is still accumulating data.”

There are close to a dozen more complaints about Verizon’s usage meter, all stating they were charged for usage even when the equipment was switched off.

While both Verizon and AT&T stand to save millions disconnecting rural landline customers, they stand to earn even more switching rural customers to their more costly (and profitable) wireless alternatives.

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Dekay
Dekay
7 years ago

I was one of those unlucky Millenicom customers who just had their plan ($90/month) abruptly terminated. To get the same plan through Verizon would cost me $130/month plus taxes. Verizon Wireless is not an alternative to landline broadband, you can barely watch any online video due to the abysmally low data caps which automatically locks us out of many learning, financial, and social opportunities. For example; one living out here can’t take online education courses, we can’t skype with family and friends, and we can’t stream games or do LP videos. Verizon can take their patronizing ‘cantenna’ and stick it… Read more »

Mike
Mike
7 years ago
Reply to  Dekay

can you tell us more about this ebay plan?

Ron
Ron
7 years ago

Agreed. They should be sticking with the same price or dropping their prices for rural area use. Who goes and deals with wire cables when your getting wireless service. And they just hooks you up with wireless service just once and you never see them again. Bullocks! Don’t play their game. Force net neutrality.

Erik
Erik
7 years ago

I am military moving to a semi-rural area in upstate NY where Verizon controls the copper lines. Unfortunately the house I selected (before I realized how screwed I will be by Verizon) was just outside the range of the local cable company. My wife telecommutes via the internet and I have 4 kids that are very into their tablets, x-boxes, and Wii’s. Everything in this article I discovered on my own over the last few days researching my available options. Verizon does not offer any type of DSL services, why would they when they can force us to their wireless… Read more »

Mike
Mike
6 years ago
Reply to  Erik

I would consider getting that xbox off your lan…Wii also…some games will kill your data. My college aged son was home for the
summer and I got hit hard …he has a gaming laptop and an xbox and wound up with a bill topping 600.00 dollars. thats when
I started doing the stuff in my other posts.

Mike
Mike
7 years ago

same issues as reported above…I get less actual usage with this than I did the 20 gb melinicom plan. I used to be able to game on melinicom and now I dare not touch anything…My wife is afraid of it and after about 2 weeks I am showing near all 30 gb used up. The phantom usage is real and though they claim retransmits are a small amount of usage I dont think they should be charging for it as the retrans could be their own internal problems. We do not stream anything at all no music..no movies no tv.… Read more »

Rebeccs
Rebeccs
6 years ago

I too was a victim of the Verizon Wireless Cantenna usage fraud. I had this LTE device installed back in June and had a 30 Gig plan. My family does not game or watch movies so was concerned when Verizon said I had overages. I reached out to them and spent several hours on the phone with them only to here them basically make me feel like a liar. In July me and my family went on vacation taking our only laptop and all cell phones we were gone 15 days and while there I kept getting overage alerts so… Read more »

Juan
Juan
6 years ago
Reply to  Rebeccs

Can you please help me with more info on how you did it my 20gb plan started on the 7th of this month and my phone blew up with messages from verizon saying i used all my data not only that but i used 30gb in overages a total of 50gb within like 5 mins. How is that even possible when it takes me more than 40mins to download 1 gb of music or movies..etc

Mike
Mike
6 years ago
Reply to  Rebeccs

They will tell you all kinds of lies…will claim to investigate and call you back…etc. Basically tthey dont do anything..they dont care and they dont investigate anything that I can tell. My experience detailed above is still going on, but I have it better controlled. You can only do basic web browsing without getting nailed…email..just the more mundane things. I do download software but it is for linux systems not windows which are not near as large a download. The software is much smaller as I believe that unixes in general use alot more system file calls….might not be the… Read more »

Mike
Mike
6 years ago

I forgot to mention some of the other things that you can do……if you like a technical challenge…basically you bring the services that you like to use into your lan at home. That is another advantage to isolating your gear from the internet. These things are all free to do as long as you have an extra pc or two around. I have done all of the following: 1) if you like streaming media …music mostly ……there are a number of streaming media servers free to download and install.. I use ampache as I have a web server running here… Read more »

Betsy
Betsy
6 years ago

I could have written the post above myself. Exact same experience. I had a Hughes Net competitor for 7 years and rarely used more than 15 GB per month. With Verizon, I go over every month. Not just a little bit…in December it was 76 GB. Verizon has no explanation. We are a household of two people. No streaming of videos or music. No smart tv, nothing. Every time I call I get the same runaround.

Rebecca, you mentioned some sort of parent ticket. Sounds like a great start to a class action law suit.

Scott
Scott
6 years ago
Reply to  Betsy

Same exact experience as Betsy. Verizon just keeps insisting that I am using the data. I was also with Hughes net for years and never came close to my usage allowance. I am afraid to touch the computer at this point. I have turned off all automatic updates. I disconnected my phones from the wifi weeks ago. Data keeps accumulating. Verizon reps just keep saying if it shows you are using data then you are using data. This is like having a broken power meter on your home. Who oversees these type of disputes? FCC?

John Pope
6 years ago
Reply to  Scott

We have the exact same complaint. We have been dealing with Verizon on this for months with no satisfaction. We put in an FCC complaint (very easy to do), and the FCC responded quickly. They gave Verizon 30 days to answer, which they finally did through regular “Postal Service” mail. Why not use the internet I don’t know, other than it makes it easier for folks like us to pass on the information. The answer was useless and did not address the real problem. I rebutted with the FCC and again Verizon has 30 days to answer. Nevertheless, during the… Read more »

Scott
Scott
6 years ago
Reply to  John Pope

John,

Thanks for the information. I just completed filing a FCC complaint.

On two occasions, a Verizon LTE Home Installed Internet specialist/technician was to return my call within 48 hours and never did call me. There are also multiple complaints about this issue on the Verizon Community website. The Verizon reps just keep telling me that if the Cantenna equipment says that I am using the data then obviously I am in using the data. They will not even consider that there could be any legitimacy to my complaint.

John Pope
6 years ago
Reply to  Scott

For those interested here is the FCC site to file a complaint. Maybe if enough people complain they’ll do something about it!! Also, you can google the site for FCC complaints.

https://consumercomplaints.fcc.gov/hc/en-us?return_to=%2Fhc%2Fen-us%2Frequests

John Pope
6 years ago
Reply to  John Pope

Thanks Scott. I just filed another complaint with the FCC and gave the FCC site for others to use.

Mike
Mike
6 years ago
Reply to  John Pope

I filed mine just before Christmas someone called me from some cryptic number about the usage and I could not return their call..I did get a chance to discuss it with a female contact who handles these things. The fcc is supposed to contact you after the investigation I have not heard from them., but we need to keep up the complaints….If you look at your usage you will probably see the ghost data that occurs when no one is using your internet…they will tell you alot of dumb stuff about turning off auto updates of any machines and things… Read more »

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