Verizon has extended its Fios Forward program to existing customers. The program, which provides assistance to customers who qualify for the FCC-managed Lifeline assistance program, is available for as little as $19.99 a month plus tax.
The service provides users with access to the same services received by fully-paying subscribers. It does not place them on a separate lower tier. Those who qualify for the Lifeline program can sign up for a Mix & Match Fios Home Internet plan that provide savings of as much as $20 month.
The federal Lifeline program provides up to $9.25 per month to eligible customers The subsidy can be applied to either phone or internet service, but not both. Households with income that is 135% or less than the federal poverty guidelines or that participate in SNAP, Medicaid, or other programs can qualify.
“Our guiding principle is that we create the networks that move the world forward,” Frank Boulben, Verizon’s Senior Vice President-Consumer Marketing & Product, said in a blog post. “We know the impact connectivity has on advancement, so we’re extending Fios Forward to support digital inclusion and help create opportunity with affordable access to high-performing broadband Internet.”
There are three options: Fios 200/200 Mbps (300/300 Mbps in the New York Designated Marketing Area) for $19.99 per month; Fios 400/400 Mbps (500/500 Mbps in NYDMA) for $39.99 and Fios Gigabit Connection (up to 940/880 Mbps) with router included for $59.99. There are no data caps on the services, according to Verizon.
Customers can provide their own routers or get one from Verizon. The carrier will waive that charge for the first 60 days for new subscribers. New customers also qualify for additional benefits, including a free year of discovery+. Verizon says that its actions could help as many as 38 million students in 40 states and the District of Columbia.
In November 2019, the FCC released a report and order aimed at strengthening rules for the Lifeline program by changing enrollment, recertification and reimbursement processes. The FCC hoped to eliminate improper payments, which had been an issue for the program.