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Verizon to Boost Broadband Storage Service

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) is about to get more serious about storage for the sake of its broadband customers -- whether they're flying on FiOS or dawdling along with DSL.

The company first offered its file backup and sharing service in late September from its Verizon Surround portal. Today, it provides 5 Gbytes of storage for $5 a month. (See Verizon Adds FiOS TV 'Widgets'.)

But Verizon spokeswoman Bobbi Henson says the carrier will soon offer up to 50 Gbytes of storage for $31 a month. It will also have 10 Gbytes of online storage available for $7, or 20 Gbytes for $13.

"We're doing further development of the sales site, and other options will be available there in the future, once that work is complete," Henson says.

With 100-gigabyte external hard drives now available at retailers for under $100, carriers have been quick to offer cheap and cheerful storage options as easy add-ons to broadband service bundles.

AT&T launched its consumer and small-business storage service, Online Vault, in late September. It charges $6 for the first 2 Gbytes of storage space, and $2 for each 1-Gbyte chunk after that, not to exceed $17.95 a month. Verizon's cable rival, Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK), gives its broadband customers a nominal 25 Mbytes of online storage space at no charge. (See Facing FiOS, Comcast Boosts Cable Modem Speeds.)

"They're always looking for applications to drive home the differences in the upload and download speeds of FiOS versus cable and DSL," says Buckingham Research analyst Qaisar Hasan. "This would be a great application to make that point."

— Mark Sullivan, Reporter, Light Reading

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