If this was Twitter, we'd be tempted to slap a #firstworldproblems hashtag on all our complaints about data caps and download speeds. There's two problems with that idea, though: 1) This isn't Twitter, and 2) data speeds can't even be called a #firstworldproblem when plenty of folks in the rural U.S. don't have access to broadband Internet whatsoever. Verizon's looking to change that tomorrow, however, with the rollout of its "HomeFusion Broadband" service, which brings Big Red's mobile 4G LTE network to stationary homes across the nation.
The concept's pretty simple: a $200 4G LTE antenna gets slapped on the side of your house and delivers the connection to a broadband router that acts as your home's gateway to the Internet. Verizon says customers can expect download speeds between 5 and 12 Mbps and upload speeds between 2 and 5 Mbps. Not too shabby for folks who can only receive dial-up Internet in their location! (Assuming the signal holds up, of course.)
kind of shabby for anyone with any other broadband options, however, namely because of two glaring #firstworldproblems: hard data caps with a sky-high cost. Sixty bucks nets you a whopping *cough* 10GB of data a month; dropping $90 and $120 ups the cap to 20GB and 30GB, respectively. Overage charges clock in at $10 per GB. Plus, you have to sign up for a two-year plan to get HomeFusion, but hey, Verizon will up your data allowance by 50 percent for the first two months of your subscription.
Nevertheless, HomeFusion could be a handy option for would-be rural Internet users. You can
find more information on the Verizon website
(somewhat ironically). HomeFusion goes live nationwide tomorrow, on May 3rd.
Now that 4G is making it into homes, we have to ask: isn't there supposed to be a mobile bandwidth crunch?