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Verizon’s discounted COVID-19 deal unavailable to DSL customers

In response to COVID-19, Verizon offered two months of free home broadband Internet and phone service for current Lifeline program participants and a monthly discount of $20 for new low-income subscribers. The federal Lifeline program provides a modest $9.25/month subsidy to low-income households to help pay for modern communications services, including broadband. Unfortunately, Verizon’s broadband offer is only available in regions that support the fiber-to-the-home FiOS service and not where Verizon only provides a slower DSL service.  

"The discount offer is using Lifeline to verify eligibility, but [Verizon has] confirmed with us that it is not Lifeline, so why limit where the discount is available? Plus, Lifeline's qualification standards allow for service to be provided at less than the [speed] standard if that is all that is available. By not including DSL, their most vulnerable customers are being left out of a valuable resource. This includes the low-income communities in underserved cities such as Buffalo and Baltimore,” said NDIA Executive Director Angela Siefer told Ars Technica.

This is in contrast to other providers that have offered much better deals. For example, AT&T is offering all low-income customers two free months of broadband, followed by $5 a month for download speeds of 3Mbps or less and $10 a month for download speeds of up to 10Mbps. 


Verizon refuses to give DSL users its low-income deals during pandemic (ARS Technica, Apr. 7, 2020)