After months of rumors and vague promises, Verizon has finally announced its shared family data plan–officially known as the Share Everything Plan–which is scheduled to go into effect on June 28.
At first glance, it’s very exciting, featuring unlimited minutes, texting, and a set amount of shared data for up to ten devices. The cheapest plan starts at 1GB for $50/mo or 2GB for $60/mo, with every additional 2GB increasing the monthly cost by $10 (up to 10GB). Best of all, tethering is included at no additional charge. When I first learned of these details, I was genuinely excited. Then I learned that each device type also has a “monthly line access” fee associated with it. Own a tablet? Tack on $10 a month. Want a WiFi hotspot? $20/mo. Basic phones will cost an additional $30, while smartphones will run you a whopping $40 extra every month. Ouch.
If the monthly line access fees were more reasonable, Verizon’s Shared Everything Plan would be fantastic. Unfortunately, this new plan is more likely to increase your monthly cost than bring it down to a more reasonable level. While Verizon undoubtedly needs to make a profit, it really seems like the company made a misstep. There’s no way to share just your data plan, and $40 per smartphone could get very expensive very fast. AT&T also plans to introduce shared data plans at some point. I just hope that it goes down a more consumer-friendly route.