Higher prices, huge early termination fee...
Broadband Reports has obtained documents, accidentally posted by Verizon to a publicly accessible website, that highlight some of Verizon's 2010 FiOS bundle and pricing plans. The information indicates that customers can look forward to price hikes ranging from $10 to $20 depending on your bundle -- starting January 17 of next year. Packages will be revamped slightly in several markets, with Verizon's "TV Essentials" package being replaced, and symmetrical FiOS tiers making an official return.
Most interesting perhaps? The information indicates that double, triple and quadruple FiOS customers can also look forward to a $360 early termination fee
in 2010. The ETF will be pro-rated (it decreases slightly for every month you're under contract). In a clear effort to salvage their declining landline and home voice business, FiOS customers won't have to pay this ETF if they're willing to sign up for residential voice service.
According to the information, users will be forced to pay this ETF if you move to a non-Verizon area. That's a tricky proposition in markets like Manhattan, where a user could technically move a few blocks and wind up in an area that hasn't been wired with FiOS yet. Verizon has promised to wire all of NYC by 2014, but the NYC franchise agreement does allow some wiggle room -- and you can probably expect Verizon lawyers to wiggle once the most lucrative neighborhoods have been wired.
Keep in mind of course that these broadband hikes, like the AT&T U-Verse hikes we reported this morning
, come as the cost of wholesale bandwidth and network hardware continues to drop. The television hikes, meanwhile, come despite the fact that Verizon and AT&T lobbied state lawmakers in dozens of states promising lower TV prices -- if they were willing to reconfigure the video franchise system
to make life easier on the baby bells.
It also appears that Verizon will be further expanding their free Wi-Fi offer to include customers on 15 Mbps tiers. The service previously was restricted to FiOS customers that subscribed to 20 Mbps service or faster. Like speed? It looks like Verizon's symmetrical 35 Mbps tier, which is only available in select markets, will be showing up in all Verizon markets next year. The company's 25/15 Mbps tier will officially become 25/25 (most customers report those speeds already).