When your ISP can sell you a broadband connection
By now you’ve probably seen the headline of this story, and you probably don’t like it: “Verizon is selling your rural internet service.”
But that’s just the beginning.
Verizon has sold over 5 million rural Internet access lines since the company bought Time Warner Cable in 2012, according to a new report by the consumer advocacy group Public Knowledge.
But Verizon’s business model has changed dramatically since the acquisition.
The company now has the capability to sell broadband to rural customers for the lowest price on the market, which is a pretty big deal in a world of price wars.
This week, we learned Verizon is planning to offer $50/month plans for rural residents of the state of Georgia for $100/month.
That means a single rural broadband line costs $3.50 per month to run, and that’s only the cost of the equipment that the company already sells.
Verizon plans to offer that same service for $50 per year for those in the state for an additional $100 per year, which could mean a new, cheaper and more efficient broadband service.
The move would be an extremely important one, but it doesn’t mean Verizon is actually selling rural broadband to its customers in Georgia.
Rather, it means it is turning rural internet access into an increasingly valuable business opportunity for Verizon, which currently has the most competitive broadband service market in the country.
A new report from Public Knowledge shows that rural broadband is also becoming an increasingly important business for Verizon.
While it’s not quite as important as cable TV, the company has made a lot of progress in that space in recent years.
It now sells its service to more than 90 million Americans.
That’s up from just 10 million in 2009, and is roughly double the number of customers in the US as a whole in 2015.
In the last decade, the telecom company has taken on a more competitive position than most companies in the market.
Since the acquisition of Time Warner in 2012 Verizon has offered rural Internet service to customers in 17 states, including Georgia.
For many rural communities, the new $50 monthly broadband plan could be a significant boost.
In some areas, such as western South Dakota, a rural line costs only $30/month, while a cable service line costs as much as $180 per month.
The $50 plan is the cheapest option in the region, according the Public Knowledge report.
Public Knowledge is working to help communities purchase rural broadband as part of the National Rural Broadband Plan, which the Federal Communications Commission is working on to ensure broadband service is affordable and accessible to rural Americans.