Verizon forces users onto pricier plans to get $50-per-month gov’t subsidy

Illustration with a Verizon logo on a smartphone screen and a stock market graphic in the background.

Enlarge (credit: Getty Images | SOPA Images )

Verizon and other Internet service providers are preventing some low-income customers from getting new $50-per-month government subsidies unless they switch to different plans that are sometimes more expensive.

Over 825 ISPs nationwide are selling plans eligible for the new subsidies that the US government made available to people who have low incomes or who lost income during the pandemic. Verizon stands out among big ISPs in its use of the subsidy to “upsell” customers to pricier plans, according to a story yesterday by Washington Post tech columnist Geoffrey Fowler.

“Soon after the EBB [Emergency broadband Benefit program] launched, I started hearing from Washington Post readers about their frustrations signing up with certain ISPs,” he wrote. “Verizon elicited the most ire from readers.”