Verizon to Offer FiOS Without Contract

Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) will begin promoting an option to sign up for its FiOS television and Internet services on a month-to-month basis at the same price as long-term contracts and without early termination fees.

The move, less than six months after Verizon doubled its FiOS termination fee, follows a wave of advertisements from cable rivals such as Comcast Corp. (CMCSA) and Time Warner Cable Inc. (TWC) slamming Verizon and its FiOS service as restrictive and knocking the practice of early termination fees.

“Many of our cable competitors have been making the contract terms and early termination fees a significant part of their advertising,” said Verizon spokesman Bill Kula. “They can’t do that anymore.”

Verizon in January raised the fees for FiOS customers breaking their contract to $360 from $179. Mr. Kula said the FiOS termination fees help justify the investment necessary to wire a customer’s residence for FiOS, which requires installing new fiber-optic lines.

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