Hey! Listen! This post is part of a series on using your own router with Verizon FiOS. Check them all out!
|2016-08-22||Verizon FiOS Router Maintenance Charge|
|2015-07-11||Use your own router with Verizon FiOS|
If you’ve read my other post, you already know how to use your own router with Verizon FiOS. Interestingly enough, that post is my most popular, but I was surprised to see my pageviews double one day in July. I checked the referring links and was surprised to find I had been link to by ArsTechnica (thanks Ars!). The article that Ars posted was about Verizon charging a $2.80/month “Router Maintenance Charge” to continue supporting the older Actiontec routers. This was the first I’d heard of this. The information first went public via email (below), and then started popping up on DSLReports.
Thank you for being a Verizon Fios® customer. We’re committed to providing you with the best internet experience possible, backed by the latest technology.
Our records indicate that you have an older model router that is being discontinued. If you do plan to keep using your current router, we will begin billing, on 9.29.16, a monthly Router Maintenance Charge of $2.80 (plus taxes), to ensure we deliver the best support.
You also have the option to upgrade to a certified, pre-owned Fios Advanced Wi-Fi Router. It’s a one-time purchase of $59.99 (plus taxes) with free shipping and handling for a limited time. This is a great opportunity to enhance your Fios experience with faster Wi-Fi speeds.
Routers being discontinued
After doing some research, it seemed that Verizon was phasing out only a few models of routers. I came across a very helpful post by (someone who appears to be) a Verizon employee in the Verizon forums.
Talking to a Verizon representative also yielded the following information.
XXXXXXXXX(21:21:48): The router that I show on your account is the newer actiontec router, which wouldn’t have a charge. That is the router with the red ring around it. The solid black or black and gray routers are the ones we are discontinuing.
So, the TL;DR of this whole thing is the routers below are being phased out. If your router looks like any of the models below, it’s probably best to call Verizon and confirm.
- Actiontec BHR1 – MI424WR Rev A, C, and D
- Westell 9100EM Rev A and Rev C
What you can do about it
You have three basic options:
- Buy a refurbished Actiontec (from Verizon, eBay, or Amazon), but make sure you get the Rev G or newer (Rev H or Rev I).
- Buy the newer Quantum Gateway ($199 or $10/month from Verizon)
- Pay the $2.80/month fee
Personally, I don’t see why you should keep using one of the discontinued routers (and paying money to do it). They are technological dinosaurs that are only 10/100Mbps and run 802.11g. In addition, they won’t be receiving updates, so they’re probably security nightmares.
DSLReports has a forum, called Verizon Direct, that is monitored by real Verizon employees. I posted there and received a reply within the hour. The technician I worked with was pretty technical (which I wasn’t expecting for Level 1 support), and they took care of me right away. There were reports of users posting there and receiving free replacement routers, but I didn’t go that route (I just requested a return kit for my FiOS router).
Use your own router
Again, if you’re an internet-only customer, you can use your own router with Verizon FiOS. This is what I did, and it works flawlessly.
Hopefully this clears up some of the confusion surrounding the new fees and router models.