Verizon (NYSE: VZ) may once again strike the ire of broadband consumers with plans to stop offering "naked" or standalone DSL services (aka dry loop DSL), meaning that new users will have to buy a wireline POTS even if they don't want it.
Beginning on May 6, Verizon's DSL service will be sold only as part of a bundle that also includes a wireline phone connection.
Any existing dry loop DSL customers who want to make a change to their account, including upping their connection speed, will be required to purchase a voice line.
Verizon, which was able to offset DSL losses in Q4 with 201,000 new FiOS data customers, said it decided to make this move so it could continue to offer "competitively priced services" and to improve the user experience for new and existing users.
Verizon said in a statement that this move is "enabling us to continue providing competitively priced services to existing and new customers."
Verizon added that "The vast majority of our DSL customers enjoy it as part of a bundle with reliable home voice and TV service" and that "By bundling, customers receive a better overall experience and value by having multiple services as part of a package."
Of course, Verizon's move, as pointed out by Broadband DSL Reports, is a leap backwards to a time when telcos were forced by regulators to offer naked DSL to consumers who wanted to leverage their broadband connection not only to access the Internet but also purchase a competitively priced alternative voice service from the likes of Vonage (NYSE: VG) or 8x8 (Nasdaq: EGHT).
This drive also comes at time when the service provider has publicly declared it won't build out its Fiber to the Premises (FTTP)-based FiOS service in any new markets and has turned its attention to pursuing consumers with new wireless alternatives like its Home Fusion wireless broadband service.
- Broadband DSL Reports has this article
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