Monday, June 04, 2012

Verizon's new broadband tiers to require longer service agreement

Last week, Verizon said it was doubling down on its FIOS broadband, updating its top speed tier to 300Mbps/65 Mbps (down, up) vs. its current max of 150/35, but the company left out two important things: price and a date. Now, we know both.

The new report, leaked via Verizon training materials, shows that, as you might expect, something this fast will be very expensive.

"When" has also been answered. The company will launch these new prices and speeds on June 17.

Verizon is also increasing requirements for service contracts as well (if you're used to no-contract service such as with Comcast, you get what you pay for). This includes prices for already existing tiers.

For example, the already existing 15/5 tier will now cost $64.99 per month, compared to the $54.99 that's currently charged. That is also with a two-year service agreement, in contrast to the current a one-year contract. So not only are they raising the price, they are locking you in for longer.

All the new tiers require a two-year contract, unless you pay an additional $5 per month, in which case you can go month-to-month.

Here are the new tiers:
  • 300/65 - $204.99
  • 150/65 - $94.99
  • 75/35 - $84.99 (VDSL 1 30/5, VDSL2 50/10)
  • 50/25 - $74.99 (VDSL 1 20/5, VDSL2 20/10)
  • 15/5 - $64.99 (VDSL 1 10/2, VDSL2 15/5)
  • 3/1 - $54.99 (VDSL 1 3/1, VDSL2 3.1)
Once again, all require a two-year service agreement.

There are other fees associated with the changes, as well. If you don't have Verizon phone service, you will get an additional $5 surcharge. In addition, the two top tiers require an equipment upgrade, which will cost you $100 unless you sign for the two-year agreement, or are a new customer, or if you already have Verizon's 150Mbps service.

There is a lot of fine print, you can see, and if you are in a building that uses VDSL, which is a system that uses the building's existing copper wiring to deliver FiOS service to apartments instead of fiber-optic cable, you'll see the new prices, but no new speeds, as shown above.

One other note: Verizon's current 3/1 FiOS internet plan is only available as a step-up service for customers upgrading from the company's DSL plans. It's unclear, but we expect the restrictions in the new package to be the same.

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