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Verizon gives a year of free Netflix to new FiOS customers

It's keeping up with rivals offering video freebies.

Reuters/Brendan McDermid

Telecoms have been handing out free video services like candy in a bid to win you over, and Verizon is finally following suit. The network is offering a year of free Netflix if you sign up online for a FiOS "triple play" (internet, TV and phone) at $80 per month. This includes both new and existing accounts, and Verizon will cover Netflix costs up to $10.99 per month.

The move comes right as Verizon is adding direct access to Netflix from FiOS set-top boxes -- you only have to tune into channel 838 and sign in. You probably won't need this when there's a good chance something in your living room already plays Netflix, but it's helpful if you're new to Netflix or just want to cut back on device clutter.

Naturally, there are catches. You're only guaranteed that price if you commit to a 2-year contract, and this is just a year of Netflix versus T-Mobile's in-perpetuity deal. And since it's a triple play, you're locking yourself into three services. If you decide to drop TV or have no use for a fixed phone line, you're stuck. This beats nothing, though, and it's clear why Verizon is doing this. Streaming services are increasingly must-haves in US homes, and Verizon doesn't want to lose customers to other providers (or risk you cutting the TV cord) just because they'll give you no-extra-charge access to Altered Carbon.