Technology

Verizon Dropping Its Email Business

Will allow subs to keep email address using Verizon-owned AOL Mail, or pivot to another email provider (Updated) 3/16/2017 1:58 PM Eastern Last updated at 3/22/2017 10:02 AM
Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

Verizon has decided to close down its email business, but will provide an option with corporate cousin AOL that will let its Internet service customers retain their Verizon.net email addresses for no added charge.  

Verizon has posted an FAQ about the transition plan, noting that customers will be alerted with an “Email service notice” when they must decide to keep their existing Verizon.net addresses using AOL’s platform, or shift to a different provider such as Google, Yahoo or Live Mail. The FAQ does not say when Verizon intends to finish the migration plan. The company has been asked for additional comment. Verizon ended 2016 with 7.03 million total broadband connections, including 5.65 million Fios Internet customers.

UPDATE: Verizon has not pinpointed when it expects to complete the migration, but confirmed that the migration will be occurring over the next few months, meaning that not all customers have been notified. Once they are notified, customers will have 30 days to take action.

Verizon, which acquired AOL in mid-2015 and is in the process of acquiring certain Yahoo Internet assets, explained in the FAQ that it ultimately decided “that there are more capable email platforms out there.”

RELATED: Verizon, Yahoo Agree to Slash Merger Price by $350M

By closing down its email business, the company added, Verizon can “focus our energies in providing you with the best in Internet and TV experiences,” adding that the change to the email accounts won’t impact other Verizon services used by those customers.

In the wake of that decision, Verizon outlines the aforementioned two options to subs – to keep their existing email address or download their email, contact and calendar info and move them to a provider of their choice.

For customers with multiple Verizon.net email addresses, they’ll need to make decisions for each email account.

Those that go with the AOL Mail, can keep their email address and get some features associated with that service, including more storage, access to spam filters and virus protection, and the ability to send texts and instant messages from the email inbox, and send email attachments up to 25 megabytes in size. The AOL Mail migration could “take several hours” to complete.

According to the FAQ, users will eventually no longer be able to receive or send email using their Verizon.net email address if they do not take any action at all. Verizon stresses that after 180 days of inactivity it will move to delete the account, as it will help the company “reduce our server storage needs and electrical consumption.”

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