In a nationwide move that took effect on Sunday, May 6, Verizon will discontinue stand-alone Internet DSL for new customers and existing customers who make changes to their accounts or move to a new location.
From the effective date forward, all Verizon Internet must be coupled or bundled with a Verizon landline, except for current standalone Internet customers who make no changes to their service. In the past, Verizon customers could purchase stand-alone Internet, but no longer. Verizon estimates that 10 percent of its customer base currently uses stand-alone DSL.
The move is seen by media commentators as a way for Verizon to preserve its shrinking landline business as more and more people nationally are switching to cell phones for all telephone uses, an industry term called “cord-cutting.”
At the same time, Verizon is rapidly expanding its mobile LTE/4G (long term evolution) mobile technology and service. Verizon’s LTE/4g is advertised as able to handle 100 megabits per second for every 20 megahertz of spectrum used. Verizon has about 24 million voice subscribers but has, as of Jan. 24, 2012, 108.7 million mobile subscribers, having added 1.5 million in the last reported quarter.
Verizon West Coast Media Representative Jarryd Gonzales explained the company’s action. “Our decision to adjust the way we offer DSL service more accurately represents the broadband customer base at Verizon,” he said. “By discontinuing a stand-alone DSL offer after May 6, we can control our cost structure more effectively, enabling us to continue providing competitively priced services to existing and new customers. New DSL customers going forward will be getting the best value we can offer for the service even with voice added. Verizon has proactively provided existing customers a 30-day advance notice to make speed upgrades or downgrades to their existing service if they choose to do so, but the vast majority of Verizon DSL customers enjoy it as part of a bundle.”