Verizon Tees Up 300-Meg FiOS Tier
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) will try to put cable's current generation of Docsis 3.0 technology to shame by cranking up its FiOS Internet speeds and unleashing a new high-end tier that tops out at 300Mbit/s downsteam and 65Mbit/s upstream.
Verizon's new FiOS Internet downstream speeds will more than double in some cases. Verizon will also retain its current low-end product, which offers 15Mbit/s down by 5Mbit/s up. Verizon said it will announce pricing on the new tiers when they take effect sometime next month. Here's how the changes stack up.
Verizon noted that only customers connected to a GPON terminal can get the 150-Meg and 300-Meg tiers; anyone on a BPON terminal who qualifies for the GPON services will require a new terminal. Verizon said the "majority" if FiOS customers can order the two top FiOS speed tiers, but wasn't more specific.
Why this matters
Verizon highlighted the over-the-top video angle, noting that it expects video to make up half of its Web traffic by year-end, and "growing to 90 percent in just a few years." Still, the coming speed boost will give Verizon and FiOS continued bragging rights against U.S. cable operators, which have been countering fiber-to-the-home deployments with Docsis 3.0 tiers that can produce speed bursts of 100Mbit/s or more. Among recent deployments, Videotron Ltd. of Canada recently set the speed bar among North American cable operators with the launch of a 200-Meg Docsis 3.0 tier. Verizon's FiOS upgrades will also deflect some attention away from its lagging DSL platform. (See Verizon Downplays DSL in FiOS Markets .)
The FiOS upgrades, first reported by DSL Reports earlier this month, also come into play a week after Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC) introduced its next-generation Docsis 3.0 chipsets, including a "media gateway" configuration that can bond 24 downstream channels -- enough to produce maximum downstream speeds approaching 1Gbit/s. Modems and gateways based on Intel's Puma6 platform are expected to be ready by the fourth quarter. Some top cable gear vendors are also proposing a refresh to Docsis that could push cable plant capacities to 10Gbit/s downstream and 2Gbit/s upstream.
- Does Docsis Have a 10-Gig Future?
- Intel's New Docsis 3.0 Chip Guns for 1-Gig
- The Docsis Addendum
- The Cable Show 2012: To Docsis 3.0 & Beyond!
- Verizon 150-Meg Tier Usurps Cable's Speed Crown
— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable