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Verizon 150-Meg Tier Usurps Cable's Speed Crown

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) is throwing down the bandwidth gauntlet, offering Internet access at 150 Mbit/s downstream and 35 Mbit/s upstream to most of its FiOS footprint of 12.5 million homes.

That speed exceeds the 107Mbit/s (downstream) tier Suddenlink Communications unveiled this year and the 105Mbit/s service Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) has made public in the ongoing battle for bandwidth bragging rights.

Verizon is particularly boastful of the upstream bandwidth, which exceeds anything cable will be able to match until US MSOs start bonding upstream channels. (See Moto CMTS Set to Bond With Cable's Upstream, CableLabs Eyes a Super-Sized Upstream , and Comcast: Upstream Bonding Tests Yield 'Sustained' 75 Mbit/s .)

The service costs $194.99 a month, when purchased with a Verizon wireline voice package and a one-year contract, and is immediately available to the majority of FiOS consumer customers, with small-to-medium-sized businesses targeted at year's end.

Verizon spokesman Cliff Lee says the company is already seeing demand for higher-speed service -- beyond the 50Meg/20Meg offering that is Verizon's fastest today -- and expects to see even more for applications including telework, video conferencing, high-volume file transfer, or multiple applications.

Lee sidestepped questions about upgrades required in metro or feeder networks to support multiple 150Mbit/s services in a given area, except to say that Verizon is always in the process of upgrading its networks. The company earlier this fall showed FiOS's ability to support a two-way 10-gigabit signal.

For more on the US service provider speed chase, check out these stories:

— Carol Wilson, Chief Editor, Events, Light Reading

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spc_markl 12/5/2012 | 4:17:49 PM
re: Verizon 150-Meg Tier Usurps Cable's Speed Crown

How surprising would it be if Verizon got totally out of the local residential wireline business, including FiOS, and it spun off its business division -- entirely out of local landline within five years?


Mark Lutkowitz, Telecom Pragmatics

spc_markl 12/5/2012 | 4:17:48 PM
re: Verizon 150-Meg Tier Usurps Cable's Speed Crown

That is not to say that Verizon would be totally correct in doing so.  The reality is that for better or for worse, the executives running Verizon are mainly wireless-centric -- they believe that all of its services should be provided via cellular -- they firmly think that wireline has run its course as an attractive business -- they want to get out of local wireline as soon as possible.


Mark

OldPOTS 12/5/2012 | 4:17:48 PM
re: Verizon 150-Meg Tier Usurps Cable's Speed Crown

Thoght provoking


While residence need a lot of care and feeding,


the residential customers are needed for revenue to keep the lights on back in the network for wide distribution and hauling.


OP

cnwedit 12/5/2012 | 4:17:47 PM
re: Verizon 150-Meg Tier Usurps Cable's Speed Crown

I find it hard to believe that Verizon would walk away from the multi-billion investment it has made in FiOS. For one thing, a robust wireless network needs a lot of fiber - it's wireless only back to the base station, after all. Yes, the management is very wireless-centric, it's true, but they don't even own all of VZW yet.


Stranger things have happened.

paolo.franzoi 12/5/2012 | 4:17:46 PM
re: Verizon 150-Meg Tier Usurps Cable's Speed Crown

 


I can only think of 1 company capable of offering the "right price" (AT&T). There would be massive integration challenges in integrating the local part of Verizon with AT&T.  Verizon still has some properties to dump (Upstate NY for an example), but there is nobody ready to pick those lines up.


seven


 

spc_markl 12/5/2012 | 4:17:46 PM
re: Verizon 150-Meg Tier Usurps Cable's Speed Crown

They could not walk away from all of their fiber.  It would just be too expensive to get out of long-haul.  As you point out, they would still need backhaul.


Owning all of the VZW is just about in the bag.


They could walk away from the multi-billion investment for the right price.


Mark

spc_markl 12/5/2012 | 4:17:45 PM
re: Verizon 150-Meg Tier Usurps Cable's Speed Crown

You may be right about AT&T perhaps being the only carrier to be able to afford the right price -- but over a five-year period, I would not totally rule out an independent --  or even an MSO.  Frankly, I do not think AT&T would be interested.  We may need to think outside the box on this type of purchase.


In terms of copper, you are correct that there is some immediate dumping of lines needed all over the western portion of Verizon's territory.  That will be the first priority.


We are talking about as long as five years to get rid of all of its copper including in the major metropolitan areas -- in which there should be several service providers, and likely just one, able to buy those assets within that time.  With the copper, it is more about not having to spend money in operating those copper lines than in necessarily getting the best price.  It is also about selecting a carrier that has established a good record in absorbing Verizon's lines.  We have not heard any horror stories coming out of Frontier, yet.


Mark

shygye75 12/5/2012 | 4:17:45 PM
re: Verizon 150-Meg Tier Usurps Cable's Speed Crown

Does this message board have a virtual wedgie button?

spc_markl 12/5/2012 | 4:17:44 PM
re: Verizon 150-Meg Tier Usurps Cable's Speed Crown

Mendyk,


When we first predicted that Verizon was going to sell off huge quantities of lines within its territory, people thought we were crazy then, too.


Mark

spc_markl 12/5/2012 | 4:17:44 PM
re: Verizon 150-Meg Tier Usurps Cable's Speed Crown

It is our understanding that Google is taking a hard look at the FiOS assets.


Mark

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