Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) announced Tuesday that it is offering wireless broadband backup to small and medium business customers that purchase its dedicated Internet access service. The new offer, which is available nationwide immediately, is made possible through an agreement with Verizon Wireless, according to Patrick Sullivan, director of SMB product marketing for Verizon.
The service is available for sale through the indirect channel, but partners must have agency agreements with both providers – Verizon and Verizon Wireless – in order to be compensated for the sale.
Verizon Internet Dedicated Access with Mobile Broadband – automatically routes business traffic to the Verizon Wireless 3G EV-DO broadband wireless network in the event of a service disruption.
Sullivan said the service is in response to feedback from SMB customers that are using Internet for mission-critical applications, such as e-commerce. “They are concerned that it’s never down,” he said.
The service requires installation of an ADTRAN NetVanta 3200 router connected to the primary T1 (or 2 x T1) and the 3G wireless network. Sullivan explained that if the router senses a breach in the landline connection, the wireless connection kicks in. When the landline is operational again, the connection transfers back.
The monthly charge for the service is a combination of the IDA fee, which is $450-$500 depending on location, and the wireless fee, which is $59.99 for 1gbps and $99.99 for 5gbps. The router is an additional charge of about $3,000, which can be paid upfront or built into the monthly charge for the term of service. Verizon provides managed installation at no additional cost. Customers receive two bills – one from Verizon for the IDA and router lease, if needed, and one from Verizon Wireless for the backup service.
Quoting and installation is integrated, however, Sullivan said.
Previously, the alternatives for Verizon customers were other landline options, such as DSL, FiOS or a diverse IDA connection. For most SMBs, Sullivan said, it’s difficult to justify a redundant T1 at $450. So, they normally would choose FiOS, which is similar in price to the wireless option, or DSL, which costs less at $29.99-$39.99, but offers less bandwidth.