Verizon is now competing home internet service providers in rural areas utilizing its 4G LTE network. That's based on reports detailing the carrier's announcement, with the service already available in five states. Those include Georgia, Missouri, Tennessee, Virginia, and Kentucky.
The company indicates that the decision to push forward with home internet offerings is spurred by changes in the way users access the internet. And that's not all about COVID-19 either, although company spokespersons have reportedly said that was factored in. More succinctly, senior vice president of consumer marketing and products at Verizon Frank Boulben says that the need for connectivity is "critical."
What deal is Verizon offering to deliver better internet via 4G LTE?
In terms of pricing, the new Verizon 4G LTE home internet should prove competitive. With peak speeds expected at around 50Mbps and unlimited data on offer, pricing hits at just $60 per month. Verizon will require users to purchase a router as well, costing around $240.
It isn't immediately clear whether current Verizon mobile customers will be getting discounts on the router. Or whether they'll be able to buy the gadget on one of the company's payment plans. But Verizon customers will get a discount if they already use the company's networks. For those customers, plans will cost $20 less — at $40 per month.
The price here is also $10 less for current subscribers than a similar offering tested by T-Mobile last year.
…but don't get too excited just yet
Of course, there are also caveats to this rollout — although almost none of those is expressly linked to Verizon. For starters, this isn't necessarily a wide rollout. It's not even technically a statewide rollout and the areas serviced aren't necessarily the most rural either. Verizon is only offering up its 4G for home internet in select regions of each state. And, at least for now, that's limited to select cities.
In Georgia, for instance, the service is now available in Savannah. Springfield, Missouri joins the exclusive list too. For Tennessee, Virginia, and Kentucky, the service is only available in the Tri-Cities region.
The speeds — albeit potentially faster than the average 39Mbps experienced by most rural users via DSL — won't be the fastest available anywhere. While data is unlimited, download speeds are claimed at an average of 25Mbps. Since cell service is typically, and historically, bad indoors. There's no way to be certain peak speeds will ever be seen by any given customer.