Verizon, which is throttling back plans to expand FiOS while putting more emphasis on building a subscriber base throughout areas where the service has been started, is adding a couple more incentives for first-time users: a "try-out" period and month-to-month (contract-free) pricing.
Both plans aim to bring in consumers who may have been put off by the telco's demand for service agreements. Since it costs about $1,350 to install a FiOS system, Verizon had sought a two-year contract agreement from new subs to prevent them from quickly abandoning the service.
Now, faced with the need to boost sign-ups, Verizon has implemented a try-out period that eliminates early termination fees and puts pressure on cable and satellite competitors to do the same. It's also expanded nationwide a plan it launched in Tampa and later Pennsylvania that lets subscribers pay on a monthly basis. Even that has been put into the bargain basement since the trial called for a $20 a month extra fee for the pricing plan and the nationwide rollout offers it at the normal $99.99 a month price.
Meanwhile, no matter what Verizon does, it won't have a fan in cable icon and Liberty Media Chairman John Malone, who told a Liberty Global investor meeting that FiOS is a flop in the making and that its returns are "atrociously bad." FiOS, he said, is an overbuild and "I've never seen overbuilds work ... it always ends up badly."
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