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In the Media: Verizon hiking DSL fees

Wed, 03/06/2013 - 3:01pm
Brian Santo

Verizon will be upping the price of its basic tier of DSL service by $5 a month.

The price hikes are not universal. The price has not changed in some cities where they company has franchise obligations to not increase its rates, according to DSL Reports.

Verizon has been losing DSL customers. Some of those losses have been to competitors, but some of it has been cannibalism, as the company has migrated many users to its FiOS service, in those areas where FiOS exists. But the company has not been rolling out FiOS into new markets and has no formal plan to do so. (The company will extend its network in some circumstances, such as wiring new neighborhoods.)

DSL Reports quotes the notice distributed by Verizon announcing the hike: “We realize you have choices when it comes to your broadband services. That’s why we would like to take this opportunity to say thank you for being a loyal customer and for choosing Verizon as your broadband provider. We hope you understand that to maintain our broadband networks, from time to time we need to increase our rates. Your monthly rate will increase from $23.99 to $28.99 (not including additional services or, taxes and surcharges) and will be reflected on your bill within the next two months. The new rate will remain in effect for one year.”

DSL Reports says the claim of maintenance costs is false. “The e-mail of course is lying – Verizon's fixed line network investment and maintenance is dropping like a stone as the company shifts its focus to wireless, where it can avoid union headaches, regulation, and can charge users much higher rates to the tune of $15 per gigabyte,” DSL Reports wrote, going on to accuse the company of deliberately driving DSL users away.

Verizon is investing less money in its DSL network, and the company has had contentious relations with unionized workers. Employees who maintain the company’s DSL network are largely unionized, while employees who maintain the FiOS network largely are not. The accusations made by DSL Reports are also made by Verizon’s unionized employees.

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