New 5G networks were supposed to be the battleground where wireless carriers began competing with cable and fiber providers in the home Internet market.
But with ultra-fast 5G not widely available yet, both Verizon and T-Mobile have recently rolled out home Internet services powered by their 4G LTE cellular networks.
These 4G broadband offerings aren’t promising blazing-fast speeds. But they are relatively inexpensive and target more rural areas where sluggish DSL Internet service is common.
Last week, Verizon rolled out LTE Home Internet in rural communities in 48 states. It promises download speeds of 25 megabits per second on average, with upload links at 3 to 5 megabits. It’s unlimited, meaning there are no data usage caps.
Verizon’s LTE Home costs $40 per month for people who are current Verizon Wireless customers, and $60 per month for people who aren’t. Subscribers also need to buy a $240 router, which can be purchased in monthly installments over two years.
“We built this product off of our existing 4G LTE network, and we are offering it in places where we have capacity in our network to support this kind of experience while maintaining the mobile experience that we have,” said Brian Danfield, vice president of Verizon 5G commercialization.
LTE Home is available in areas where Verizon doesn’t offer its fiber-optic FiOS Internet service or its millimeter-wave 5G Home product. The company provided a list of zip codes where the service is available, including San Diego County backcountry communities such as Julian, Dulzura, Pala, Valley Center and Warner Springs.
Earlier this month, AT&T made its plans know that it would no longer be accepting new DSL service connections, which is the only way that many rural Americans can access broadband internet – that is if you really want to classify AT&T’s 6Mbps DSL as broadband. “We’re beginning to phase out outdated services like DSL and new orders for the service will no longer be supported after October 1,” said AT&T in a statement last week.
“Current DSL customers will be able to continue their existing service or where possible upgrade to our 100% fiber network.”
Given that fiber access in rural parts of the country as rare as hen’s teeth, we know how this is going to turn out for customers: badly. Never one to miss an opportunity to punch a competitor when the opportunity presents, T-Mobile has announced that it will offer its 4G LTE Home Internet service in more than 450 cities and towns across the United States, many of which are considered to be in rural areas.
“We can’t stand idly by while AT&T leaves potentially millions with fewer home Internet options at a time when our connection to the Internet is so vital — for work, remote school, connection with family and friends. That’s why we’re undertaking this massive expansion,” said T-Mobile CEO Mike Sievert. “The Carriers and the Cableopoly have consistently over-promised and under-delivered when it comes to broadband access.”
Naturally, T-Mobile is touting its recent merger with Sprint as giving it the footprint to be able to expands its Home Internet service to more customers. In addition, T-Mobile called out AT&T’s decision to not allow new DSL signup as especially egregious considering that 61 percent of rural Americans don’t have any other choice with regards to home broadband connectivity.
T-Mobile has announced an expansion of its Home Internet pilot to 450 more areas, which it says covers 20 million households. The service uses T-Mobile’s 4G LTE network, and was launched as an, with the carrier saying it’s now opening the service to non-T-Mobile customers.
, with a $0 hardware lease and no data caps.
“We’re understanding this massive expansion … at a time when our connection to the Internet is so vital — for work, remote school, connection with family and friends,” said T-Mobile CEO Mike Sievert.
You can see a list of the new cities and towns online, but it’s now live in certain areas of 27 states.
Read more: The best internet providers for 2020: How to choose cable vs. DSL vs. satellite and more
No contract, $50 per month high-speed Internet access is rolling out to vast swaths of the country, including rural America, for both T-Mobile and non-T-Mobile customers alike
What’s the news: T-Mobile is throwing a lifeline to many communities being abandoned by AT&T. It’s expanding its $50 / month, no two-year contract Home Internet service into more than 450 cities and towns that AT&T is deserting. The Un-carrier is also opening the service to non-T-Mobile customers in these new areas.
Why it matters: Many parts of the country have extremely limited, slow Internet options and the pandemic has increased our reliance on Internet connectivity. AT&T dropping DSL service in those communities makes an already difficult situation that much worse.
Who it’s for: 20 million households in thousands of locations that are sick-and-tired of their Internet access provider jerking them around.
What AT&T takes away, T-Mobile brings back. Following news that AT&T is discontinuing DSL home broadband in many communities, T-Mobile is massively expanding its Home Internet pilot service to give another option to an additional 20 million households in parts of 450 cities and towns — many in rural America — being abandoned by AT&T in the middle of a pandemic when connectivity has never been more important. With this move, the Un-carrier is also expanding its Home Internet pilot to non-T-Mobile customers in these areas.
T-Mobile has been piloting Home Internet on its LTE network, as the Un-carrier prepares to launch 5G Home Internet across the country. And it’s clear the service is badly needed. 61 percent of rural households have no choice when it comes to high speed home broadband.
“We can’t stand idly by while AT&T leaves potentially millions with fewer home Internet options at a time when our connection to the Internet is so vital — for