updated 08:25 am EST, Mon November 22, 2010
Verizon FiOS reaches 150Mbps by end of year
Verizon today added an ultimate 150Mbps tier to its FiOS fiber optic Internet access. The speed is three times the previous 50Mbps peak and also boosts the upload speed from 20Mbps to 35Mbps. At maximum speed, a typical 720p movie could download in about four and a half minutes, and 100MB of photos could upload in under 23 seconds.
The faster speeds will carry a premium and will cost $195 per month, or $55 more than the 50Mbps tier. It should reach the existing 12.5 million subscribers by the end of the year. About 18 million homes will eventually have the option of FiOS, Verizon said, though it didn't say when this would occur.
Verizon's upgrade is partly an attempt to head off competition from cable Internet providers like Comcast or Cablevision that have offered 50Mbps or even 101Mbps access. The move is also a preemptive upgrade for services that have previously been impractical on home Internet access, such as quick cloud backups, high-quality live video chat and 3D support on FiOS TV.
The use of fiber optics has given Verizon a major advantage in bandwidth so far and is mostly limited by the technology used at local nodes. It has already tested 1Gbps and recently 10Gbps access, although neither is expected to arrive for several years without the capacity to handle dozens of simultaneous users at that level of performance.