Confusion reigned supreme during the launch of a Verizon gigabit internet plan that was to cost $70 a month. For one, an announcement by Verizon Communications had said that the service would be accessed by over 8 million homes at the start. The telecommunications giant, however, failed to indicate that the price of $70 would apply only to those who are not already signed up for Verizon FiOS. Customers who tried to upgrade when they already had FiOS were informed that it would cost them $200 per month.

Clarification from Verizon

According to Verizon, customers who are already signed up for the 750Mbps service can upgrade to the gigabit service and their monthly bill will be reduced to $80. Those who are signed up for the 100Mbps speed will be able to upgrade and they will only be charged $30 more per month. Customers who are signed up for the 150Mbps service and want to upgrade will get charged an extra $20 a month.

Another confusion that Verizon had to clear up was the fact that the $70 monthly charge was a promotional price only and would be available for a limited time. The confusion was made worse by the fact that Verizon’s online ordering system said otherwise.

Router leasing charges

After the expiry of the promotional period, customers will also have to pay a monthly leasing fee for the Verizon FiOS router and this will cost $10 per month. Alternatively, customers can choose to pay a one-time fee of $150 for the router if they don’t already have one. Other extra charges that add to the cost include fees, taxes and Verizon charges which vary based on location.

Besides confusion on price, frustration was also caused to existing customers who wanted to upgrade. However, they can only upgrade after April 30 since Verizon still has to make some changes to its IT system.

The improvement to a gigabit service has been attributed to the fine tuning of network hardware and fine-tuned diagnostics. However, the service does not exactly reach 1Gbps as the average speeds as measured by Verizon are 880Mbps upstream and 940Mbps downstream. The 8 million homes that will be reached are locations such as Washington D.C, Providence, Boston, Hampton Roads and Richmond in Virginia, Philadelphia, New Jersey and New York.