Verizon is supposedly kicking off some of its unlimited customers in rural areas of the country, according to a company spokesperson, they will no longer get service after July 30th, 2017. To put this in perspective, in rural areas of the country, Verizon has a contract with several of the regional carriers in those areas that allows customers to use those carriers and be on Verizon for free. It's essentially domestic roaming, but when you are someone that lives in a rural area, you are mostly stuck with roaming anyways, so the much smaller data cap for domestic roaming doesn't help and makes things worse for those people. And now Verizon is deciding to kick them off of its network.
According to Kelly Crummey who is the director of Corporate Communications at Verizon, the company is "notifying a small group of customers who are out of contract and primarily use mobile data on other networks that we will no longer provide service to them after July 30, 2017." These customers are left with just two options. The most obvious one is to port their number out to another carrier, which Verizon will pay off your smartphone if you do decide to do that. The other is to just lose service from Verizon, which is going to force users to switch to another carrier anyway, so in actuality there's only one option for these customers.
Verizon does have the legal right to do this, as this is part of the LTEiRA program, which allows customers in these rural areas to use Verizon and switch between about 21 regional carriers in those rural areas. Which sucks, and it likely isn't what Verizon wanted to do, as it is going to lose some more customers. But Verizon has to do what it needs to do to keep its shareholders happy. There are other options out there, although they may not be as good as Verizon – seeing as Verizon does still have the best coverage in the US at this point – but it's better than nothing. There's no word on where these customers are, or how "small" of a group of customers that Verizon is notifying about this.