RealTime IT News

Verizon's Router Rebate

Since nothing's stopping Verizon customers from putting a router in the home or office to share high-speed Internet access, officials figured its better to join 'em than beat 'em.

The digital subscriber line (DSL) service now includes a rebate on the Linksys EtherFast Cable/DSL wireless router, officials announced Monday evening. The amount of the rebate depends on the DSL service package a customer orders but could reach 100 percent of the purchase price.

"As you know, there's a lot of routers out there, so people are finding them on their own," said Briana Gowing, Verizon spokesperson. "What we did was a lot of testing with Linksys and it met all of our standards; so we prefer that people use equipment that we've tested and works well with our DSL."

Four packages fall under the full rebate, priced at $180, according to Verizon: the 1.5 Mbps/128 Kbps and 1.5 Mbps/384 Kbps asymmetric DSL (ADSL) plans geared to small office-home office (SOHO) and the two small-business symmetric DSL (SDSL) plans at 384 and 768 Kbps. A $100 rebate is available for the low-end ADSL offering at 768/128 Kbps.

The rebate does not include PC or laptop network interface cards (NICs).

While it's clearly not in a broadband provider's best interests to allow its customers to share Internet access with other computers -- it takes away the potential of selling a second line to the customer -- a growing number of Internet service providers (ISPs) are conceding the popularity of wireless local area networks (WLANs).

According to July report by Instat/MDR, WLAN growth shot up a stellar 175 percent in 2001 despite the economy, and analysts expect business unit volumes to increase 60 percent in 2002. Another industry report shows the WLAN market will grow to a $3.7 billion business in 2005.

In the face of those numbers, Verizon and other ISPs are offering gateway and router deals to sign up new customers who would be sharing Internet access anyways. And those that don't have a gateway or router now, soon will.

"Our statistics show that more than half the people that get DSL have multiple computers and a lot of people do want to connect those and have the added security of a router," Gowing said. "It's really nice for kids to be able to use DSL on the computer upstairs. For businesses it's also nice; they don't all have to huddle over one computer to share the connection."

The Verizon deal is good deal for businesses customers who get the full rebate, and average for those who sign up for the low-end ADSL offering. Verizon is pricing its Linksys router deal at $180, though the price on that particular router is falling daily.

Only six months ago a Linksys EtherFast Cable/DSL wireless router cost about $140; on iBuyernet.com and mySimon.com, you can get a deal on one for $119.95 at press time, which gives potential Verizon customers a $40 break.