Verizon notified about 8,500 customers living in the countryside that they should start looking for another service provider as their unlimited plans aren’t profitable enough. This week, the wireless careers partially flip-flopped on that plan.
The story starts in 2010 when Verizon brought those underserved customers 4G LTE services. At the time, around 2.6 million people benefited from the partnership between Verizon and 21 smaller carriers located in rural areas.
Verizon described the partnership’s goal as providing resources and tech support to those service providers. Following the agreement, countryside customers were able to fend off roaming fees as Verizon was paying those fees to the smaller carriers. Smaller carriers were also able to expand their business, so the deal was a win for everybody until Verizon found that many of the roaming charges were too burdensome. Most of its customers had no clue that those charges even existed as Verizon was footing the bill.
Verizon Backs Off in Montana
In a recent interview, the telecom said that rural customers are using too much data outside its network blueprint. Verizon was talking about “a terabyte or more” of data every month. However, an investigation from Ars Technica showed that even though some rural customers used a few gigabytes of roaming data monthly, their data usage still prompted Verizon to discontinue service.
Verizon’s decision will affect customers in 13 states. One lawmaker in Montana even penned a letter to the company demanding answers. Senator Jon Tester argued in his letter that customers should not be discriminated against just because they live in less populous areas.
Tester was upset that the notification was given in short notice and emergency services will be affected. Following the pressure in Montana, Verizon backed off and announced that the service won’t be terminated across the Treasure State.
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