updated 10:25 am EDT, Wed June 18, 2008
Verizon FIOS 50Mb US Wide
Verizon today it would upgrade all the speeds for its FIOS fiber-optic service nationwide, giving users in all 16 states the same speeds that were previously reserved only for the most competitive areas. All of FIOS' 16 states now have access to up to 50Mbps downloads with 20Mbps uploads at the highest-end, $140 monthly tier ($90 in New York state and Virginia) versus the 30/15 services that were used for most regions; the synchronous 15/15 service is also slightly faster at 20/20 across those areas without changing the $65 monthly rate.
These and other plans are available without Verizon's landline phone service for an extra $5 each.
Baseline speeds in these areas have been given similar treatment, according to Verizon. The most basic 5/2 tier ($43 per month) has had its download speeds doubled to 10Mbps for all areas; the more common 15/2 plan at $53 per month receives the second-largest upgrade today with an increase to 20Mbps downstream and 5Mbps upstream. All the speed upgrades become active next week, though Verizon notes that existing subscribers can call in to make sure that their service is running at the improved connection rates.
The company also hinted at a further upgrade to 100Mbps in the future, which is believed to be both the ceiling for most current fiber-to-the-home technology as well as most home Ethernet connections. "We've already had successful trials of the 100-megabit home, which will be a reality faster than anybody thinks," according to the company's chief operating officer, Denny Strigl.
Verizon's upgrade comes as a potential blow to a number of US cable Internet operators, many of whom have felt compelled to increase their connection speeds in those areas where FIOS is an option and particularly where the 50Mbps plans have been available. Comcast and Time Warner Cable have also been mulling transfer caps with overage fees to reduce the cost of their own service while Verizon has so far refrained from taking the same approach with its fiber-optic network.