Verizon Wireless Defends Fee

Verizon Wireless (VZ) said a new $350 fee that it charges some subscribers to break cell-phone contracts is necessary to cover its higher costs and the “risks” of offering high-speed wireless Internet service.

The wireless giant offered up a defense of its new fee–double the fee charged to other subscribers–in response to an inquiry by the Federal Communications Commission.

The fee applies to smart phones, including some BlackBerry models and the new Motorola (MOT) Droid phone.

“The higher (early termination fee) associated with Advanced Devices reflects the higher costs associated with offering those devices to consumers at attractive prices, the costs and risks of investing in the broadband network to support these devices, and other costs and risks,” Verizon wrote in a letter Friday to the FCC.

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