It took a while, but

Verizon

(VZ) - Get Report

blinked too.

The New York-based telco joined rival

BellSouth

(BLS)

in dropping a fee it briefly tacked onto broadband service bills after a government surcharge expired.

"We have listened to our customers," said Bob Ingalls, chief marketing officer of Verizon Telecom, "and are eliminating this charge in response to their concerns."

Verizon and BellSouth

drew criticism earlier this month after they rolled out the new fees.

The demise of the federal Universal Service Fund fee on digital subscriber line connections was to have saved subscribers as much as $2.83 a month. But Verizon and BellSouth raised

eyebrows with regulators by setting plans to charge customers up to $2.97 in company surcharges aimed at recovering costs.

BellSouth backed down last Friday after media reports said Federal Communications Commission Chairman Kevin Martin was "very upset" at the companies' plans to sock consumers. The FCC also sent Verizon a list of questions about the move.