Latest update: It's available in "Certain geographic areas"
Attached is the response from Verizon's eCenter. Apparently, having DSL without basic telephone service is available in "certain geographic areas." I've asked Verizon to specify which of these areas it whether or not one of these geographic areas is Washington, D.C.
The telephone number is apparently for something called the "Verizon Encore Support Center."
Here's what I got back:
"Dear Verizon Customer,
"Thank you for contacting the Verizon eCenter. My name is Tracy, and I will be handling your request today.
"This message is in response to your email dated January 30. You inquired about the availability of Verizon Online DSL service without local service.
"You may be able to get DSL without having local service, but this option is only available in certain geographic areas.
"To find out if this option is available for you, please contact us directly at (800) 688-2880. A customer service representative will be happy to assist you.
"The department to which we have referred you will be able to assist you. If you have any additional questions, please let us know. We look forward to serving you.
"Thank you for using Verizon. We appreciate your business.
I've decided to call the number since I'm getting the runaround.
Running dialog starts now:
I'm literally on the phone right now with Verizon's "Encore Support Center" and the technician said it's something called "dry loop DSL," which will cost $37.95 a month and includes the dial tone. Now she's pitching me on "FIO," which I assume is sales-speak for fiber optic. That's $29.95 for the first year and $39.95 after that (I guess they're pulling up short of asking for the kidney).
Still typing as they talk... Boy, these people sure do talk fast!
Running dialog ends.
So, what they're telling me is that they've covered their bases and are going to great lengths to ensure that customers must have some sort of dial tone if they've got anything but fiber optic. I figure that this is because they want to keep the "Federal Universal Service Charge," which they say is not a tax, but they're required by the FCC to charge it (Hmmm....Looks like a tax. Smells like a tax. MUST BE A TAX!).
Anyway, I ended up dropping the overpriced calling plan we had and took the $22 basic service and pay-as-you-go long distance until I can figure out all the true costs in a spreadsheet.
By the way, I'm now eyeballing the phone box and the wire the technician installed. There doesn't appear to be a filter anywhere on it. I'm sure the guy didn't do anything else because I watched him install it and I saw him go right to his van and leave. I've already tried to see if there was a dial tone coming out of the little tan telephone connector box on the wall; there is no dial tone. I think I'm going to go disconnect the phone wires and leave the copper wire in. Let's see if the DSL works without the basic service at all.
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