Verizon FiOS Router Maintenance Charge

Hey! Listen! This post is part of a series on using your own router with Verizon FiOS. Check them all out!

DateURLPart
2016-08-22Verizon FiOS Router Maintenance Charge
  • Maintenance Charges
  • 2015-07-11Use your own router with Verizon FiOS
  • Initial Post
  • Introduction

    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.

    20160822_002

    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.

    20160822_005

     20160822_001

    • Westell 9100EM  Rev A and Rev C

    20160822_003

    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.

    Logan

    8 thoughts on “Verizon FiOS Router Maintenance Charge

    1. Its almost a month from the 9/26/16 date, and I checked my verizon bill and did not see a $2.80 support charge yet. I am using ActionTec MI424WR-GEN3I, when they first started shipping those. I called verizon complaining about the wireless G performance and they replaced the old silver band version with this one for free. So I guess I got lucked out.

    2. I have Verizon FIOS and I want to buy my own router. I was told by the technician it needs to have a Coaxial input. Is this true? Also, can anyone recommend which router to buy that will work well with Fios and allow me to use my phone with it as well as provide G-wifi speeds? Thanks

    3. From reading your site, I get the impression that if you purchase / install your own router, it can be ONLY for internet service. Conversely, if you subscribe to a FIOS bundle (internet, TV(s) and telephone), your own router will not provide the most (all?) functions for these other services. Is my understanding correct?

      Further, does the $2.80 monthly charge cover updating or other such service? If it does not, then it seems that the charge is a rip off.

      Finally, I have had FIOS for many years. Verizon installed the initial router and they have replaced it twice when it went on the fritz (due to “weather” events). My bill has never included a separate charge for the router (although it does show separate charges for the STBs). It was always my impression that the “rent’ for the router was include the charge for my bundle. SO — at this time, who “owns” my router? If I must replace his one, can I use it as an object d’arte in my den, or must I give it back to Verizon?

      • That is partially correct. If you have FiOS TV, you are required to have their router on your network (but not necessarily make it your primary router). Check out options 4-7 here, specifically options 6 or 8. Keep in mind, while this will let you use your own router as the primary, and still get TV, not all TV functions are guaranteed to work.

        As far as I know, the charge is only to have Verizon keep supporting your old hardware. The charge is a rip off, it’s meant to get you to purchase a new router from them 😉

        Double-check your first few bills (from when you signed the contract). They may have just split the cost of the router across the first bill or two, instead of charging you a small amount every month for the length of the contract. If that is the case, you “own” the router, instead of renting it from Verizon (but IANAL, you may want to call Verizon to ask).

        • Thanks for the reply. Have not yet gone to the link suggested in your first paragraph. Do not have the first few bills — they were tossed a while ago as they were over 5 years old.

          I called Verizon and was told that my model is not retired. They identify a router by its color(s) — the model numbers are sort of, but not exactly the same. (This is like way the Apple store personnel identifies you when you are waiting for help: “guy in white hat holding a Picasso print,” or other such defining look.) I asked them the same question about needing the Verizon router to get TV, and they said “yes,” as you did. But they did not expand their reply as you did.

          Their reply about the $2.80 charge: allows you to return you current router and get a new one, should the current one go on the fritz. If you decline to accept the charge, you must purchase a replacement out of pocket. IMHO, the charge is not a total rip off — you do get something for it. Of course this charge doesn’t apply to me since my router is not retired.

          I am not familiar with the “message speak” abbreviation “IANAL.” Please enlighten me. My favorite is “YMMV” — “your mileage may vary” — which qualifies someone’s advice which may not exactly apply in a particular case.

          Thanks again.

          • Sounds like you’re all set then. Do you still plan on replacing the router with your own? When I called them, they also identified the model based on color, not number.

            I’ve heard of YMMV, but IANAL means “I Am Not A Lawyer”.

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