Verizon’s Router Maintenance Charge (Sept. 2016)


Verizon’s September 2016 change

As of September 29, 2016, Verizon is changing the way it charges customers for the router that connects a customer to the Internet.

As Verizon describes the change:  “a Fios TV customer with an older model router that is being discontinued will have the option to keep his or her current router and Verizon will begin billing, on September 29, 2016, a monthly Router Maintenance Charge of $2.80.”  The charge will appear in the September or October bill cycle.

What is the Router Maintenance Charge?

Verizon describes the “Router Maintenance Charge” as a way to compensate the company for “the rising costs of supporting the outdated devices.”

A customer who wants to avoid the new charge can upgrade to a newer router – but will have to pay either a rental or a purchase fee for the new device.  In other words, the customer will incur an additional cost no matter which option is selected.

Which routers are affected?

The older routers that will incur the new charge are the Actiontec MI424WR Rev A, C, D, E and F, and the Westell 9100EM Rev A and C.

Customer Options

A customer with one of these older routers has three options:

  • Keep the existing router and pay the $2.80/month Router Maintenance Charge.
  • Upgrade to a refurbished, pre-owned third generation Broadband Home Router (“Fios Advanced Wi-Fi Router”).  This third-generation router can be purchased for $59.99 (plus tax, shipping free as of 8/4/2016), or rented for $8/month.
  • Upgrade to a Fios Quantum Gateway, Verizon’s most up-to-date router.  It can be purchased for $199.99, discounted to $149.99 as of 8/4/2016 (plus taxes and shipping), or rented for $10/month.

Either type of router may be available for purchase at lower prices through third parties such as Amazon.

Regulatory status

Under present law, Verizon’s Internet pricing and equipment requirements are not subject to local regulation.  Complaints may be directed to the Federal Communications Commission’s Consumer Help Center at 1-888-225-5322.

 


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