Consumer Groups Protest Verizon's Murder of Standalone DSL
Forcing Users to Buy a Landline is So Very 1999
Verizon recently announced that new customers would no longer be sold standalone (aka naked or dry loop) DSL, a move that annoyed a significant number of consumers who had to fight for years to get them to offer it in the first place. New users can no longer buy the standalone option, and while existing naked DSL users are grandfathered for now -- that status shifts if they make any changes to their account, such as upgrading to a different DSL speed. Forcing users to buy an aging landline (and all the wonderful assorted fees) is undeniably an obnoxious move by a company that's shifting its entire focus to FiOS and LTE wireless.
Responding to the effort, a coalition of 17 consumer groups and companies have filed a letter
(pdf) with the FCC lamenting Verizon's shift as an anti-competitive and anti-consumer action. According to the signees:
"the practice of tying broadband service to other services prevents consumer choice, limits consumers from porting telephone numbers, and essentially forces consumers to purchase local services they do not want – either because they have a wireless option or because they prefer to use VoIP or other alternatives. The net effect is to act as a drag on the adoption of broadband and new IP technologies as well as alternative, competitive voice options by making other standalone services economically unattractive."
Verizon will officially stop selling standalone DSL to new users starting May 6 (Sunday).