Verizon is poised to throttle up the speed of its fiber-optic service (FiOS) in 10 more states, beginning next week. The super-fast broadband service already has reached maximum velocity in parts of Connecticut, Florida, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island, the company said. Since fiber-optic technology sends data with pulses of light, it is the fastest method available for transferring data.
"The Verizon network is delivering broadband speeds that are unmatched by any competitor," said Verizon President and CEO Denny Strigl. "As our customers shoot and send their own photos and movies, work at home more often, and expand their home networks, they love the faster speeds FiOS delivers."
The Need For Speed
FiOS offers blistering download speeds of up to 50 Mbps and upload speeds of up to 20 Mbps. By contrast, conventional copper-wire networks offer a maximum of seven Mbps. New customers in parts of California, Delaware, Indiana, Maryland, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia and Washington will have access to FiOS at maximum velocity beginning next week.
The need for greater speed is crucial for anyone involved in multimedia-intensive online activities such as video conferencing, social networking, multiplayer gaming, and online work collaboration, Strigl said. "The appetite for bandwidth shows no signs of slowing down," Strigl noted. "Neither will we. We've already had successful trials of the 100-megabit home, which will be a reality faster than anybody thinks."
Having a 50 Mbps broadband connection means a 60-minute Web video could be downloaded in eight seconds. On the upload side, users will be able to relay a photo album containing 400 digital pictures in less than four minutes.
Verizon notes that the nation's transition to HDTV will place additional demands on home broadband systems. With FiOS, users will be able to download a 112-minute, high-definition movie purchased online in about 13.3 minutes, the company said.
Verizon also predicts that video-sharing sites such as YouTube will be embracing high definition. The proliferation of HDTV uploads and downloads will create additional home-bandwidth demand, the network operator predicts.
Rising Bandwidth Demands
Bandwidth throughput is becoming a more important factor as homes add more devices with broadband capabilities. For example, Verizon observed that a decade ago, most homes only had one to three PCs or other broadband devices. These days, however, it is not uncommon to find homes with five to 10 broadband devices, ranging from PCs, TV set-top boxes and game consoles to MP3 hookups, camera links and electronic picture frames.
As the number of devices grows, so does a household's overall bandwidth requirements. Verizon predicts the number of IP devices in homes will range between 25 and 100 and will include pantry and refrigerator scanners, room-specific home information hubs, Internet-connected TVs and stereos, security equipment with video outputs, and home-automation devices of all kinds.
However, the new lightning-fast broadband service comes at a hefty price. Verizon's FiOS Internet 50/20 Mbps service is available now in New York and Virginia for $89.95 a month. However, elsewhere within the network's 16-state footprint, a subscription with service support can run up to $139.95 a month. By contrast, the company's 20/20 Mbps FiOS Internet service is available across Verizon's entire FiOS footprint for $64.99 a month.