May 17, 2022

ars technica: “Verizon Demands $880 From Rural Library For Just 0.44GB Of Roaming Data”

From ars technica:

A small library that lends out mobile hotspots is facing a tough budget decision because one of its borrowers accidentally ran up $880 in roaming fees, and Verizon refuses to waive or reduce the charges. The library has an “unlimited” data plan for the hotspots, but Verizon says it has to pay the $880 to cover less than half a gigabyte of data usage that happened across the border with Canada.

Tully Free Library in Tully, New York, a town of fewer than 3,000 people, lends out three Verizon hotspots to a rural population that has limited Internet access. The library started the hotspot-lending program with a grant from the Central New York Library Resources Council, which paid the bill for two years. Crucially, the service plan with Verizon blocked international roaming so that library borrowers wouldn’t rack up unintentional charges if they happened to cross the Canadian border.

But when the grant ran out, Tully Free Library had to get a new contract and service plan, and the organization began paying the bill itself. The new plan seemed to be identical to the old one, but it enabled international roaming.

Read the Complete Article (approx. 1280 words)

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.