Verizon extends discounted internet plans through 2020

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Angela Lang/CNET
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Since April, Verizon has been offering discounted internet rates to users who qualify for the US government-backed Lifeline program, which aims to keep connectivity affordable for low-income users during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Now the company says it’s extending those discounts through the end of the calendar year.

Each discount knocks $20 off the monthly cost of one of Verizon’s Mix & Match internet plans. Here’s what each one costs after applying AutoPay and income discounts:

  • 200/200 Mbps for $19.99 a month.
  • 400/400 Mbps for $39.99 a month.
  • Gigabit connection (up to 940/880 Mbps) for $59.99 a month (includes Fios router).

Qualifying customers may also be eligible for promotional benefits, including a free year of Disney Plus or Hulu, or 60 days of waived router rental costs.

The rub is that Lifeline is available only for certain customers — specifically, those who meet the income requirements and who live in Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, Maryland, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, and Washington, DC. A spokesperson for Verizon tells me the company has nothing to add with respect to expanding to other states at this time. In the meantime, you can click here for more on the eligibility requirements and application details.

Internet plans have taken on an extra layer of importance as mitigation efforts continue to keep many workers and families at home during the pandemic. In March, Verizon offered unlimited users an extra 15GB of free hotspot data, and it was one of several ISPs that signed the FCC’s Keep Americans Connected pledge, promising not to disconnect any customers through June 30.