updated 06:00 pm EST, Wed December 16, 2009
Verizon fiber test promises 4X faster FiOS
Verizon teased the long-term future of its FiOS service today by confirming that it's the first to test a new form of passive fiber optic network that could dramatically increase the practical speeds of its Internet access. Called XG-PON, the test service has been shown running through a test FiOS home at up to 10Gbps downstream, or about four times faster than the existing 2.5Gbps infrastructure. Uploads are about twice as fast at 2.4Gbps versus 1.24Gbps on today's hardware.
The Waltham, Massachusetts test also showed that the two networks could coincide with each other in the same home and could theoretically provide as much as 12.5Gbps, or the literal combination of their two speeds.
Verizon cautions that the technology standard isn't due to be finalized until mid-2010 and that it will take time to deploy on the actual FiOS network. Also, such speeds are usually only seen at the local central office and will be limited once it's shared by a neighborhood. However, a direct translation of the speed increase to customers would lead to 200Mbps service and could enable greater-than-HD or 3D video streaming as well as much more headroom for content creation by the users themselves.