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Fixed Wireless Availability – Accuracy Issues

Earlier today, I tried to order Verizon’s 5G Home Internet. According to Verizon’s website, my address was eligible for service.

A few minutes after placing my order, I received an email explaining that my order couldn’t be completed. Here’s an excerpt:

Dear Valued Customer,

Thank you for choosing Verizon. We were unable to complete the order you recently submitted.

We are sorry, but after further review, it was determined that we are unable to provide home internet service at your address at this time. Prior to qualifying service for any specific location, Verizon evaluates a number of factors to ensure we can provide new and existing customers the best possible experience.

The availability of home internet products may change in the future so we encourage you to stay updated on your eligibility status by visiting https://www.verizon.com/5g/home/ . You can click the “check availability” button and sign up for alerts to stay in the know on when eligibility in your area may change.

According to the FCC’s Broadband Map, my address is eligible. According to the initial screening system on Verizon’s website, my address is eligible. Yet Verizon has some secondary system that quickly and automatically rejected my address. I’m unsure why these different systems are out of sync.

The bit about staying updated on eligibility via verizon.com/5g/home/ isn’t helpful. The info on that page was wrong. That’s why I got far enough to get my rejection email.

Fixed Wireless Availability Conundrums

With fixed wireless services like Verizon 5G Home, network congestion needs to be carefully managed. Perhaps Verizon is regularly tweaking the availability of 5G Home Internet based on how much spare capacity the network has in different areas. While tweaking of that sort wouldn’t explain why one of Verizon’s systems clears my address while another rejects the address, it could explain the mismatch with the FCC’s data.

With the FCC only collecting availability data twice per year, recent changes in availability may not be captured. I’m not sure that explains my experience, but it’s a meaningful limitation of the FCC’s Broadband Data Collection, regardless.

It may be rare for a cable internet provider to suddenly decide a region is oversubscribed and reject new subscribers. However, that kind of behavior will be more common for internet providers using technologies that aren’t resilient in the face of congestion (e.g., fixed wireless and satellite). With fixed wireless and satellite internet gaining market share, this problem will become more relevant.

T-Mobile Expands LTE Home Internet Options

T-Mobile just announced that it will massively expanded the pilot program for its LTE home internet service. Almost 500 cities are being added to the service. T-Mobile shared a list of new locations in its press release.

In the press release, T-Mobile takes a lot of shots at AT&T’s recent decision to cease offering DSL service:

What AT&T takes away, T-Mobile brings back. Following news that AT&T is discontinuing DSL home broadband in many communities, T-Mobile is massively expanding its Home Internet pilot service to give another option to an additional 20 million households in parts of 450 cities and towns — many in rural America — being abandoned by AT&T in the middle of a pandemic when connectivity has never been more important.

While I’ve only looked into it briefly, T-Mobile’s service seems promising. With automatic payments enabled, it comes in at $50 per month. It looks like that $50 includes taxes, fees, and hardware costs. Further, T-Mobile doesn’t appear to be pushing subscribers into long-term contracts.

The service seems to be in its infancy. I entered two different address on T-Mobile’s website to whether the internet service was available. In both cases, I didn’t actually get an answer. Instead, T-Mobile requested my contact information and suggested the company would get in touch if service was available in my area.

You can find more information about T-Mobile’s LTE home internet service on the company’s website.

Verizon Expands LTE Home Internet

Verizon just expanded its LTE Home Internet. The service is now available in parts of 189 markets, including parts of every state except Alaska and Vermont. You can check availability in your area on Verizon’s website.

Verizon’s LTE Home Internet could be a good option in places where conventional broadband is not available. The service has no monthly usage limits, and Verizon says speeds will typically fall between 25Mbps and 50Mbps.


Current Verizon mobile customers can get service for as little as $40 per month.1 For those who don’t already have Verizon service, LTE Home Internet is available for as low as $60 per month.2

A special router is needed to use the service. Verizon sells the router for $240 and offers it through a $10 per month payment plan.