updated 06:20 pm EDT, Mon August 16, 2010
Verizon tests FiOS network at 1Gbps speeds
Verizon said on Monday that it has successfully tested its current gigabit passive optical network (GPON) to send data at near 1 gigabit-per-second speeds. At the bandwidth, which runs 200 times the 50Mbps it normally offers today, the bandwidth exists to support 3D TV, near-perfect desktop virtualization and remote storage, the carrier said. Verizon's platform can theoretically support even faster 2.4Gbps downstream and 1.2Gbps upstream speeds.
The test was conducted in Taunton in June, with an existing GPON system sending data to a second optical network terminal. Both an optimized route and across the public Internet to a regional speed test server over 400 miles away were part of the test. The local throughput test was close to theoretical speeds and returned 925Mbps speeds, while it still reached over 800Mbps for the regional test. Current FiOS phone and TV services work without any noticeable effect on the quality.
No timetable currently exists for the rollout. Verizon has lately switched from expanding into new areas and into filling out coverage in existing locations. Most of its network nodes wouldn't yet be fast enough to handle the full speeds for every user on a local node and would need to be upgraded. However, 1Gbps may be considered a weapon against upgrade plans by cable providers such as CableVision and Comcast that are already promising over 100Mbps at the very high end of their services.