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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

spc_markl 12/5/2012 | 4:17:34 PM
re: Verizon 150-Meg Tier Usurps Cable's Speed Crown

seven,


No question about that.  I seem to remember a house being burned down.  Apartment buildings can be not exactly fun, either, with the demands of the landlords.  The only thing with FiOS is that the bulk of the construction work has been done.  And there are plenty of networking people and engineers that are far out on the learning curve by now.


Mark

paolo.franzoi 12/5/2012 | 4:17:36 PM
re: Verizon 150-Meg Tier Usurps Cable's Speed Crown

Mark,


 


Access is very different than anything else.  Let me give you this little anecdote.  We sent a guy from Tellabs out to watch FiOS ONT installs and service via a ride along.  Beyond the lady that knocked the ONT off the house with a sledgehammer because she did not like the color, I asked the following question..."Meet anybody naked?"  Answer...."Ummmm....yes...."


Access is an odd thing.  Very odd compare to the rest of the network.


seven


 

spc_markl 12/5/2012 | 4:17:36 PM
re: Verizon 150-Meg Tier Usurps Cable's Speed Crown

Several comments in response:


1) Cablevision, which has some experience with FTTH, could potentially run the network.  Google could also readily hire people with experience in running FiOS.  Although Google has never run an access networks, it is not exactly a babe in the woods when it comes to running a fiber optic network.


2) If I am not mistaken, Verizon owns at least close to half of Frontier (if not more).  So, Verizon is just about selling to itself, which results in fewer problems now and into the future.  If you are not hearing anything out of the West Virginia PUC, you know everything is probably going pretty well.  That is also why there is a good chance that Frontier will get all of Verizon's copper eventually.


3) TIRKS would have been used only for mapping purposes, so Google could back out easily without any issues at all -- on any other OSS matters, there could be some potential problems.


4) Would not Google would just take ownership of the headends?


Mark


 

spc_markl 12/5/2012 | 4:17:36 PM
re: Verizon 150-Meg Tier Usurps Cable's Speed Crown

Several comments in response:


1) Cablevision, which has some experience with FTTH, could potentially run the network.  Google could also readily hire people with experience in running FiOS.  Although Google has never run an access networks, it is not exactly a babe in the woods when it comes to running a fiber optic network.


2) If I am not mistaken, Verizon owns at least close to half of Frontier (if not more).  So, Verizon is just about selling to itself, which results in fewer problems now and into the future.  If you are not hearing anything out of the West Virginia PUC, you know everything is probably going pretty well.  That is also why there is a good chance that Frontier will get all of Verizon's copper eventually.


3) TIRKS would have been used only for mapping purposes, so Google could back out easily without any issues at all -- on any other OSS matters, there could be some potential problems


4) Would not Google would just take ownership of the headends?


Mark


 

paolo.franzoi 12/5/2012 | 4:17:37 PM
re: Verizon 150-Meg Tier Usurps Cable's Speed Crown

 


You mean like partner with Verizon that has lots of experience running FiOS?



I do want to tell you that there is stuff here that is so complex to take over for the average service provider that this just blows my mind.  First off to sell FiOS that would have to include massive leases of the ROADM infrastructures and the head ends.  The COs that have a mix of equipment so there would have to be a leasing arrangement there (with a mix of Technicians showing up to service different equipment in the CO).  The OSS environment is completely custom.  If I remember, they used TIRKS but everything else is developed by Tampa.  The amount of folks that understand their deployment models is small.


One of the problems Fairpoint got into trouble with is that the people that they hired were trained to be Verizon employees and Fairpoint worked differently.  I think the future is not yet written on how Frontier will deal with it.  Frontier is more structured than Fairpoint, but they are not big in the Telcordia market (lots of the old Verizon property stuff) or Broadband AIS (the old GTE OSS environment).  Having sold to both, I can tell you that these companies work very differently.  Let me give you a single example that might be illustrative.


When we shipped product to Frontier, they took our MOPs straight from us out to the field.  In Verizon, they rewrite these documents to represent only Verizon procedures which might include other products or omit possible deployment scenarios that Verizon did not want to use.  The employees from the two companies were comfortable working in these different environments.  I am just not sure that this stuff mashes together as well as you all might think.


seven


 

opticalwatcher 12/5/2012 | 4:17:38 PM
re: Verizon 150-Meg Tier Usurps Cable's Speed Crown

Google once tried to set up a free WiFi network throughout San Francisco, and it completely flopped. They were not prepared when SF's insane politics turned on them.


But maybe they could financed a deal with some company that has experience running this type of network. Then they could supply services to this network like they do to Android phones.

spc_markl 12/5/2012 | 4:17:39 PM
re: Verizon 150-Meg Tier Usurps Cable's Speed Crown

My first reaction was similar.  Google does not want to run a network.  But FiOS would be a special case that could push Google TV so far forward that it may be irresistible. 


Who says Google itself has to actually run the network? 


Mark

paolo.franzoi 12/5/2012 | 4:17:40 PM
re: Verizon 150-Meg Tier Usurps Cable's Speed Crown

 


I know that Google may be even actually thinking about this but the idea of running a local access network like FiOS is so completely orthogonal to what they do at any scale that I think it would either kill them or die.


 


seven


 

spc_markl 12/5/2012 | 4:17:41 PM
re: Verizon 150-Meg Tier Usurps Cable's Speed Crown

My assumption is that it will retain enough fiber capacity to deal with connecting to this traffic.  All of the fiber would not go away including for backhaul, long-distance, and directly to the enterprises.  I have to also assume that a certain amount of metro infrastructure will be retained. 


There is apparently a high level of confidence at Verizon that all of these separations -- copper for voice/DSL that would most likely go to Frontier, data and video services over fiber (that could go to Google), fiber to the business (which would likely be spun off), etc., can all be separated fairly neatly.  Maybe the biggest concern anticipated is in transitioning the customers to getting two bills, instead of one. 


It is hardly out of the question that if Verizon went ahead with such a plan, it could turn out to be a big mistake.


Mark

shygye75 12/5/2012 | 4:17:41 PM
re: Verizon 150-Meg Tier Usurps Cable's Speed Crown

Given the reality of mobile networks -- that access points will become increasingly distributed via technologies like wifi, mifi, and femtos, all of which will require high-end broadband wireline connectivity, to keep up with crushing traffic loads -- wouldn't the sell-off option be a dreadful mistake? I mean, even assuming there would be buyers?

spc_markl 12/5/2012 | 4:17:41 PM
re: Verizon 150-Meg Tier Usurps Cable's Speed Crown

Thank you.  We understand that this Verizon game plan is being actively discussed at the company.  Of course, everything is always subject to change.


Mark

shygye75 12/5/2012 | 4:17:41 PM
re: Verizon 150-Meg Tier Usurps Cable's Speed Crown

Mark -- Please keep posting. That's the way to be heard, and we like having you here. I do think the Verizon theory is more than a bit thin. But it did make for some interesting exchanges.

spc_markl 12/5/2012 | 4:17:42 PM
re: Verizon 150-Meg Tier Usurps Cable's Speed Crown

Dennis,


Please see my most recent post that I meant to send directly to you.


Mark

spc_markl 12/5/2012 | 4:17:42 PM
re: Verizon 150-Meg Tier Usurps Cable's Speed Crown

Dear Dennis,


I sincerely apologize.  Forgive me, but I was ignorant of your actual identity.  I appreciate the opportunity to express my views.  I tried not to post unless I really had something to say.  But I guess I had a lot of bottled-up stuff over several years.  I also thought I was being of some service in getting some threads going. 


My deep respect for Light Reading goes back to your early days.  Thank you for letting me be a part of it for a little while.


Best regards,


Mark

spc_markl 12/5/2012 | 4:17:42 PM
re: Verizon 150-Meg Tier Usurps Cable's Speed Crown

Scott,


It is great to hear from you.  I figured it out.  I am going to take an extensive, if not permanent break.


Mark

Scott Raynovich 12/5/2012 | 4:17:43 PM
re: Verizon 150-Meg Tier Usurps Cable's Speed Crown

Mark,


Are you saying you think "mendyk" is anonymous?


Hmmm. Interesting. As an analyst, it's pretty easy to figure out.


--Scott

spc_markl 12/5/2012 | 4:17:43 PM
re: Verizon 150-Meg Tier Usurps Cable's Speed Crown

Why don't you make an argument instead of a personal attack?


Why don't you put together a petition?  I am getting a little tired of suffering anonymous fools anyway. 


 

shygye75 12/5/2012 | 4:17:43 PM
re: Verizon 150-Meg Tier Usurps Cable's Speed Crown

"Crazy" is not the word that comes to mind regarding a growing number of your growing number of posts.

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

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

 


A cable company might work.  There is a huge issue for IOCs in the urban areas.  The USF funding is based around having lots of high cost loop support which is based around having lots of long loops in a LATA.  Once you start sucking in large urban properties, you lose these subsidiaries.


seven


 

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?

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

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.

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

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

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