Less than a year after it made an arrangement with the Huntsville City, AL school district to provide affordable Internet access to local residents, Verizon has decided to renege on the deal. Sometimes, a deal is too good to be true, but other times, it could simply have a time limit.
The program, called OmniLynx, was one orchestrated by the school district and approved by Verizon. In the beginning, Verizon was very happy with the details, but today, its tune has changed. In an official statement, Verizon has said that it's gone "beyond the terms of the agreement".
Superintendent Dr. Casey Wardnyski doesn't see it that way. He says that Verizon's "concern for education was dwarfed by some other concern".
OmniLynx allowed subscribers to pay a mere $47.75-per-month for access to unlimited wireless service. Verizon provided customers with either a free hotspot or tablet (which acted as a hotspot) that would give customers access to Verizon's network, as well as unlimited bandwidth. This is certainly a deal many would want to get in on, and after a while, many did get in on it.
Verizon says that when the program first rolled-out, it received 1 or 2 signups per day. At the end, it was getting 120 per day. Verizon's reasoning that it went beyond the terms of the agreement doesn't sit well either with Wardnyski, who says that if Verizon wanted to, it could have easily limited access to those within a certain borders.
OmniLynx customers will need to seek out a new provider after November 30th. Wardnyski says that the school district will be immediately looking for alternatives. It should be noted that Verizon will continue to supply Wi-Fi access in the schools themselves; the other notable loss is the removal of Wi-Fi access on school buses, which allowed students to work on homework en route to home.
Perhaps another provider will step in and take Verizon's place. One thing's for certain, though: the deal Verizon offered is sure hard to beat.