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Optical/IP Networks

Verizon Attacks Old Folks

1:15 PM -- At least that's the headline in Mobile Magazine. But in reality, realizing that people are now living longer than they should, Verizon is creating a cellphone plan tailored specially for old people.

If you're old and dusty (over 65) you can get a plan with 200 anytime minutes, 500 night and weekend minutes, and unlimited mobile-to-mobile calling for $30 a month. [Ed. note: How much for immobile-to-immobile?] There is no Web access, text messaging, or caller ID.

It's a cheap plan, but not cheap enough for the cheap old people in my life. My 81-year-old grandpa still has a rotary phone in his house. He has never paid for Internet access in the five years he has owned a computer, which my mother bought for him against his wishes. (He switches back and forth between 30-day free trials of dialup service.)

He only has a cellphone because my aunt bought it for him and pays the bill for it. He only turns it on to make calls, usually from his car telling me where he is. (Hello Ray, I'm in the car and on the phone. Hi Grandpa, no kidding.) Even better is when he calls me and gets my voicemail. He'll leave a polite message asking me to call back, which I never bother doing because I know he's already turned the phone off since hanging up. I don't find it necessary to dial him and go straight to the maxed out voicemail that I can't leave a message on since he doesn't know how to check it.

So nice try Verizon, but if old people are anything like my dear old grandpa, you're just shouting at deaf ears. Literally.

— Raymond McConville, Reporter, Light Reading

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