Verizon Abandons Affordable WiFi Program in Atlanta [telecom]

by Edgar Alvarez

Less than a year after starting OmniLynx, a program that provided low-cost WiFi access to schools in Huntsville, Alabama, Verizon is cutting ties with it. As reported by WHNT-TV, the city's education system recently sent a letter to customers notifying them of the network's decision. "We regret to inform you that your wireless service will terminate effective November 30, 2015," read the Huntsville school district's letter. "This termination of service and any resulting inconvenience has resulted from the service provider, Verizon Wireless." With OmniLynx, Huntsville residents would pay roughly $48 per month for unlimited data, powered by a free Verizon LTE hotspot which came included with the contract-free plan.

According to Dr. Casey Wardnyski, the Huntsville schools superintendent, what ticked Verizon off was that people outside his area started taking advantage of the initiative. In response, he told Verizon "had the capability to limit the service area," calling its vision "short-sighted." While it isn't clear if Verizon plans to reverse the call on pulling out of the partnership, the network did tell WHNT-TV it "will continue to discuss this situation directly with Huntsville city schools."

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