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ISP cuts off rural customers in 13 states

ISP cuts off rural customers in 13 states
© Encho Enevski | Dreamstime

Can you remember a time before we had internet access and smartphones? Things have changed drastically since those days. We're now able to complete banking transactions, have face-to-face conversations with someone thousands of miles away, send emails and so much more all while we're on the go.

It's hard to imagine going back to the days without this amazing technology. Unfortunately, some people across the U.S. are about to be cut off by their internet service provider (ISP). Are you losing service?

Why Verizon is cutting service to some of its customers

The company that we're talking about is Verizon Wireless. It claims that certain rural customers are racking up so many roaming charges, they are unprofitable for the company.

Roaming charges occur when you're in an area that's not covered by your cell provider, so you are using service from another provider. Rural customers who spend a lot of time using their smartphone in areas where they are not covered can cost their carrier large sums of money.

In response, Verizon has decided to cut service off for thousands of its customers in 13 states. Here is the list of impacted states:

  1. Alaska
  2. Idaho
  3. Iowa
  4. Indiana
  5. Kentucky
  6. Maine
  7. Michigan
  8. Missouri
  9. Montana
  10. North Carolina
  11. Oklahoma
  12. Utah
  13. Wisconsin

What's worse is, Verizon has given these customers only a few weeks to find a new provider. They have until October 17. Verizon sent disconnection notices to impacted customers this month.

Verizon told Ars Technica, "These customers live outside of areas where Verizon operates our own network. Many of the affected consumer lines use a substantial amount of data while roaming on other providers' networks and the roaming costs generated by these lines exceed what these consumers pay each month. We sent these notices in advance so customers have plenty of time to choose another wireless provider."

If you or anyone you know received the disconnection letter, you must act fast. If you don't switch providers by the deadline, you won't be able to transfer your phone number to another carrier.

The good news is, Verizon is waving remaining balances that affected customers have from gadgets purchased through the company. This could mean hundreds of dollars in savings if you recently purchased a new smartphone.

The bad news is, this could set a horrible precedent. Where does this end? Will all providers start cutting service off to its customers at any given moment, and where can they turn for service?

Leave a comment and tell us your thoughts.

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