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Verizon is dumping its 4.5 million email customers, in a sense. Customers are being notified that their email addresses must be moved to Verizon subsidiary AOL, transferred to another provider, or left to be deleted by Verizon. In the first two instances, you can maintain your existing Verizon.net address. You have about 30 days to take action once your notified.
Verizon says AOL's email platform is better, which is true. There's likely to be some cost considerations; a large consumer email system can be a pain to maintain administratively. Perhaps there's an ulterior motive of driving people back to the AOL website, but that's unlikely to have much effect. At first glance, AOL.com seems to be a rather junky celebrity news site.
I was going to check my AOL email account, which I probably haven't touched in 10 years, but couldn't recall my signin info and didn't want to go the trouble of finding it. Though I wonder if there's still an audio option for "You've Got Mail". I had an old Verizon account that was transferred to Frontier when that company acquired my local Verizon branch, but my memory is that they cut off your email when your no longer a sub.