Verizon shifts FiOS plan to encourage more subscribers

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."

For more:
- see this news release
- Reuters has this story
- see this blog post
- and this story

Related articles:
Verizon offers long-term FiOS bundle pricing
Verizon eliminates contracts for FiOS Tampa subscribers