Verizon has decided to abruptly cut off wireless internet to some 8,500 rural customers in 13 states, saying their heavy data use had made it impossib
Verizon has decided to abruptly cut off wireless internet to some 8,500 rural customers in 13 states, saying their heavy data use had made it impossible to profit off of the accounts—even though many of the users had purchased “unlimited plans”.
“Approximately 8,500 customers—using a variety of plans—were notified this month that we would no longer be their service provider after October 17th, 2017,” Verizon corporate communications director Kelly Crummey said in a press release. “These customers live in 13 states (Alaska, Idaho, Iowa, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Utah and Wisconsin) and in areas outside of where Verizon operates our own network.”
“During a recent review of customer accounts, we discovered you are using a significant amount of data while roaming off the Verizon Wireless network,” Verizon wrote. “While we appreciate you choosing Verizon, after October 17th, 2017, we will no longer offer service for the numbers listed above since your primary place of use is outside the Verizon service area.”
No option to continue, with or without reducing use of mobile data, was given.
Why all of This Especially now?
The issue stems from Verizon’s LTEiRA program, in which the company pairs with 21 regional carriers to provide mobile access to rural regions. Verizon users get to jump on board those regional networks whenever they want, though when they use roaming data Verizon is responsible for paying the carriers’ fees.
Verizon’s decision has ramifications for the regional carriers as well, which say the company encouraged them to build infrastructure to expand their service areas but is now backing out on the deal.