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Verizon caves, won’t charge “spam” fee for texts from teachers to students

Enlarge (credit: Getty Images | SOPA Images ) Verizon has decided not to charge a new fee that would have forced the shutdown of a free texting service used by teachers, students, youth sports coaches, and other community groups. Remind, a company that offers both free and paid communication services for teachers and other users, declared victory today. That's a big change from two weeks ago, when Remind said it would have to stop supporting text message notifications on the Verizon network for users of the free Remind service. At the time, Verizon said the fee was necessary to fund spam-blocking services. But Verizon relented after getting complaints directly from Remind's users, who said their texts are not spam. Read 10 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Verizon cuts 7 percent of staff in failing Yahoo/AOL division

Enlarge / A monitor seen on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2018. (credit: Getty Images | Bloomberg) Verizon this week is laying off 7 percent of the 11,385 employees in its failing media division, which includes Yahoo and AOL. Verizon confirmed the job cuts to Ars and provided the text of an email sent to employees Wednesday. The cuts were  reported yesterday by The Wall Street Journal . "This week, we will make changes that will impact around 7 percent of our global workforce across the organization, as well as certain brands and products," Verizon Media CEO Guru Gowrappan wrote in the email to employees. Read 10 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Verizon blames school text provider in dispute over “spam” fee

Enlarge / A Samsung Galaxy Note 8 smartphone is displayed for sale at a Verizon store in Brea, California, on Monday, January 22, 2018. (credit: Getty Images | Bloomberg) After being criticized for charging a new fee that could kill a free texting service for teachers and students, Verizon is trying to deflect blame over the possible shutdown. However, Verizon has backed down from its original position slightly, and ongoing negotiations could allow the free texting service to continue. As we reported Monday , the dispute involves Verizon and Remind, which makes a communication service used by teachers and youth sports coaches. Verizon is charging an additional fee, saying the money will be used to fund spam-blocking services. Read 19 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Verizon’s 5G promise: It won’t falsely claim 4G phones are really 5G

Enlarge (credit: Getty Images | Scott Olson ) While AT&T pretends to kick off the 5G mobile era early by slapping a 5G network indicator on 4G phones , Verizon Wireless says it won't be doing the same. "We're calling on the broad wireless industry to commit to labeling something 5G only if new device hardware is connecting to the network using new radio technology to deliver new capabilities ," Verizon CTO Kyle Malady wrote in a blog post yesterday  emphasis theirs. "Verizon is making this commitment today: We won't take an old phone and just change the software to turn the 4 in the status bar into a 5. We will not call our 4G network a 5G network if customers don't experience a performance or capability upgrade that only 5G can deliver." One would hope such a promise wouldn't be necessary, but what Verizon described is exactly what AT&T has already done. This past weekend, AT&T started rolling out software updates to Android phones that change the network indicator from "4G" to "5G E." Read 5 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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