Verizon makes Fios free for low-income customers through federal program

Verizon is introducing a new discount on its Fios Forward plans, which should allow low-income customers to get free fiber internet when combined with discounts under the federal Affordable Connectivity Program. The free tier, which is normally $40 per month, includes speeds of 300 Mbps along with a $10 discount on a Verizon Unlimited Wireless plan. Customers who need more bandwidth (and are able to pay more) can get a gigabit connection for $50 per month with the ACP discount, which also includes more benefits and a discount on the cellular plan plus important.

Verizon says Fios Forward is available to those eligible for the government’s Lifeline program. The 200 Mbps tier cost $20 a month, according to a November Wayback Machine archive, so Verizon’s new discounts could save low-income customers a substantial amount of money.

Verizon’s current Fios term plans, with prices after the ACP discount of $30 per month.

The 300Mbps speeds listed on Verizon’s website today should be available to “most customers,” but may vary by location, according to an email to The edge from Verizon spokesman Alex Lawson. Verizon’s press release says speeds start at 200 Mbps, which is still relatively high compared to other low-income internet plans.

This is great news for the millions of people who live at an address that Verizon serves with Fios. Unfortunately, Fios is only available in a handful of metropolitan areas. They’re big, sure — DC, NYC, Boston, Philadelphia and Richmond are all on the list — but for those on the West Coast or in rural areas, that won’t necessarily be an option. Verizon’s 5G and 4G home internet plans are also eligible for the ACP discount.

Fortunately, Verizon isn’t the only provider to upgrade its service to the CPA suite. AT&T recently upgraded the maximum speeds of its Access Plan, which households eligible for the federal discount can get for free. Comcast also doubled the speeds of its low-income plan last year, which is also eligible for CPA.

Disclosure: Comcast is an investor in Vox Media, The edge head quarter.


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