Submit Hint Search The Forums LinksStatsPollsHeadlinesRSS
14,000 hints and counting!

Verizon's BroadbandAccess and Mac OS X Internet
There's been some past discussion of Mac compatibility with Sierra Wireless broadband PC cards, but there's a new speed leader: Verizon's BroadbandAccess plan, with sustained transfer speeds up to 500Kbps and bursts up to 1.5Mbit (at least if you dwell in a coverage area). $80 a month for unlimited access is the price of entry.

I had the opportunity to try one of the Sierra Wireless PC5220 cards in my PowerBook at the Verizon launch breakfast last week at the Waldorf=Astoria (yes, it has an '=' in its name) in NYC. Although you won't find mention of Mac compatibility in the Flash manual for the card, and though Verizon and Sierra Wireless reps were unaware of it, there are drivers for the card built-in to Mac OS X as of 10.3.5 (and available from Apple for 10.3.4). Just pop in the card, and a new network interface shows up automagically ... walk and surf at the same time!
  • Currently 2.00 / 5
  You rated: 3 / 5 (4 votes cast)

Verizon's BroadbandAccess and Mac OS X | 13 comments | Create New Account
Click here to return to the 'Verizon's BroadbandAccess and Mac OS X' hint
The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Verizon's BroadbandAccess and Mac OS X
Authored by: ricardom on Nov 02, '04 11:16:13AM

I've been using Verizon's Broadband Access with the Sierra card in Washington, DC for about 4 months now. I love it and it's worth every penny. No more having to worry about finding a WiFi access point and I get anywhere from 100 kbps to 500 kbps (usually averaging 385 kbps). I can also roam outside of my calling area with no extra charges sicne the $80 covers you anywhere on the Verizon network. But the connection speed downgrades to 1xrtt outside your calling area.

[ Reply to This | # ]
Verizon's BroadbandAccess and Mac OS X
Authored by: aclarke on Nov 02, '04 02:22:10PM

I'm glad to hear that this service is working out for you. I pay $30/month for T-Mobile's service and it's very slow. Are you sure though that all of your information is precisely correct? I was under the impression that the faster speeds were only rolled out in Washington, DC and San Diego. As such, you don't get dropped out of broadband access down to 1xRTT when you leave your calling area, but when you leave a broadbandaccess area.

For instance, if you lived in Kansas, you would get 1xRTT in your local area, and would get broadbandaccess speeds if you travelled to DC or San Diego. Right?

[ Reply to This | # ]
BroadbandAccess availability
Authored by: mikerose on Nov 03, '04 09:49:59AM

You do drop back to the slower service when you are out of an EvDO coverage area. Verizon's web page lists currently available locations:


Washington, DC

San Diego, CA

Las Vegas, NV

New York, NY

Philadelphia, PA

Miami-Fort Lauderdale, FL

Atlanta, GA

Los Angeles, CA

Austin, TX

Kansas City, MO

Baltimore, MD

Tampa, FL

West Palm Beach, FL

Milwaukee, WI


Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX)

Dallas/Ft. Worth International Airport (DFW)

Dallas Love Field Airport (DAL)

George Bush/Intercontinental Houston Airport (IAH)

Houston William P. Hobby Airport (HOU)

Orlando International Airport (MCO)

Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY)

Jacksonville International Airport (JAX)

[ Reply to This | # ]
Verizon's BroadbandAccess and Mac OS X
Authored by: Michael1963 on Nov 03, '04 12:50:39PM
I have been using the PC 5220 card for around 4 months too. It was great when I recently traveled to Las Vegas (which had EVDO). I am in Chicago and waiting for EVDO to come here.

To read a heart warming story on how EVDO helped recently:

click on the "Read this" link.

[ Reply to This | # ]
Verizon's BroadbandAccess and Mac OS X
Authored by: DavidRavenMoon on Nov 02, '04 04:18:48PM

I have Verizon DSL at home (in Northern NJ) ... it's just as fast as the Comcast cable modem I had before, and it's only $30/mo.

G4/466, 1 GB, Mac OS X 10.3.5

[ Reply to This | # ]
Verizon's BroadbandAccess and Mac OS X
Authored by: thirteenva on Nov 02, '04 04:46:13PM

Not sure if your confused or not but the topic of refers to the wireless/mobile service provided by verizon called 'broadbandaccess' and is not referring to broadband in general such as verizon dsl which is mac supported (verizon even has a dsl mac technical support team for this purpose)

[ Reply to This | # ]
Verizon's BroadbandAccess and Mac OS X
Authored by: TokyoJimu on Nov 02, '04 11:33:31PM
Unfortunately, many Mac laptops (all iBooks and 12" Powerbooks) do not have a card slot. Is there any hope of using these with some kind of Cardbus-to-USB adapter?

In Japan, Air-H offers a USB wireless solution and supports the Mac. See

However, it's only 128 kbps.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Verizon's BroadbandAccess and Mac OS X
Authored by: NikonFlyer on Jan 10, '05 01:11:11AM

I just purchased a Verizon PC 5220 for my G4 Powerbook. I figured I could try it out since I have a 15 day trial period.

I slid the card into the PCMCIA slot, and within a few seconds, a configuration box came up. I clicked as requested, and in no time, a signal strength icon appeared in my menu bar. I clicked on it, and selected connect and within a few seconds, I was up and surfing the web! It couldn't have been easier! I can be cruising down the interstate (as a passenger!) and be surfing the web.. yahoooo!

I pity the poor PC users who have to install the drivers, and the connection manager software that comes on a CD in the box.

God I love my Mac :-)


[ Reply to This | # ]
Verizon's BroadbandAccess and Mac OS X
Authored by: puklich on Mar 17, '05 09:15:38AM

I've been using (and loving) this service for several months, even though it's not true BroadbandAccess in my area just yet.

Now, something interesting happened this morning that I though I'd pass along in case anyone else stumbles into it. The default settings for Apple's BroadbandAccess support seems to use a bogus Account Name that's apparently now invalid (it starts with 6 zeros). So, if you're getting PPP or PAP authentication failures all of a sudden, check this, and make sure it matches the phone number your BroadbandAccess account is tied to. I believe the password can be left as-is.

[ Reply to This | # ]
Verizon's BroadbandAccess and Mac OS X
Authored by: EVDOguy on Jun 21, '05 11:33:41AM

Here we are June 21 2005 and the PC 5220 card is still king when using with Mac OS X. We posted directions how to use the Kyocera KPC 650, Novatel V620 and Sierra AirCard 580 at, however, the PC 5220 is the only one that still shows signal strength, if you are in an EVDO or 1xRTT area and the ability to activate update PRL.

[ Reply to This | # ]
Verizon's BroadbandAccess and Mac OS X
Authored by: lsnover on Aug 02, '05 06:00:58PM


Can you explain what you mean by "upgrade"?

We just got two of the PC5220 cards. I set one up in a new Powerbook G4 15", and another in a IBM ThinkPad. The access speeds on the Thinkpad are much better then the Mac, using Firefox, and Remote Desktop. Is there anything that can be done to optimize the speed on the Mac? It's really like night and day. We are using the drivers supplied with the OSX Tiger from Apple.


[ Reply to This | # ]
Verizon's BroadbandAccess and Mac OS X
Authored by: trystero on May 22, '06 12:02:36PM

beware: unlimited bandwidth does not mean unlimited bandwidth! My account was unceremoniously terminated this morning after my usage exceeded 10 gigabytes during a 30 day period. Verizon determined that this bandwidth "could only have been attained by activities such as streaming or downloading movies and/or video", which is a violation of the usage agreement. Actually, I explained that I generated this traffic by using Timbuktu, a remote desktop application which lets me virtually sit at my office computer. They refused to acknowledge this as being legitimate usage. Verizon doesn't seem to care how you use the bandwidth - they just don't want you using it!

final words:

>unlimited does not mean unlimited.
>Verizon has a nasty, preemptive way of getting rid of customers who they deem are using too much bandwidth by blindly accusing them of violating their agreements.

You also don't get a whole lot of warning. I received my letter indicating termination on the 22 on the 19th!

Caveat Emptor!

[ Reply to This | # ]
Verizon's BroadbandAccess and Mac OS X
Authored by: lynnlovestennis on Oct 26, '06 09:22:44AM
Few questions:

1) Can anyone tell me if this is still the best option going? I'm esp concerned about the one user that said that they got their service cut off by Verizon.

2) Given the above, is there another carrier that you can contract with that's more "liberal" with their bandwith? Sprint perhaps? (TBH, I've heard the same problems with Treo owners and Verizon)

3) Anyone tested this out on the Metroliner? I'm going to be travelling between DC and NYC a lot in the next few months and if I can't get service on the train than it's pretty much not worth it. I just don't know if the range is limited.



[ Reply to This | # ]