Responding to consumer demand for ultra-high-speed home broadband service, Verizon next month will more than double the speeds of several of its FiOS Internet tiers - and introduce two new tiers with even faster speeds.
The new FiOS Internet portfolio will feature download/upload speed tiers of 50/25 and 150/65 megabits per second (Mbps), as well as two new tiers of 75/35 and 300/65 Mbps. The latter speed is double that of FiOS Internet's current top speed of 150/35 Mbps, the nation's fastest, mass scale residential Internet speed.
In addition, Verizon will continue to offer its entry-level speed of 15/5 Mbps. The other speeds in the company's current industry-leading FiOS Internet portfolio are 25/25, 35/35 50/20 and 150/35 Mbps. (A FiOS Internet speed grid with more details about the current and future FiOS speeds is available by clicking here.) Pricing for the new portfolio will be announced next month.
The new speeds, to be offered in stand-alone and bundled packages, are designed to address the burgeoning growth of bandwidth-intensive applications and the increase in the number of Internet-connected devices being used simultaneously in the same household. The speeds will also support consumers who are watching more over-the-top video programming on TVs and portable devices, and accommodate the rise in Internet-enabled applications like video and audio streaming, home monitoring devices, video chat, multiplayer gaming and online backup services, all of which can simultaneously sap the strength of many home broadband connections.
Bob Mudge, president of Verizon's consumer and mass market business unit, characterized the broadband speed increases as a "societal and technological necessity," as secure network applications enable consumers to enjoy a "borderless lifestyle" in which they can connect to the content they care about, anytime and anywhere.
"The ways we used the Internet and watched TV over the past 10 to 15 years have dramatically shifted," said Mudge. "With the emergence of smartphones, smart TVs, Blu-ray players, tablets and gaming consoles that also serve as over-the-top devices, consumers need more bandwidth to receive the highest-quality experience."
The higher downstream and upstream FiOS tiers that Verizon will deliver will provide customers with sustained speed and reliability of service, in contrast to intermittent speed boosts offered by cable-company competitors whose networks, unlike Verizon's, are not all-fiber optic.
How FiOS Internet Speeds Meet Individual Needs of Consumers
Consumers will be able to choose from the new range of FiOS speed options to maximize their broadband or video experience. For example, the 15/5 Mbps tier is best used for basic tasks such as email and Web browsing in a household of one or two Internet-connected users with several devices. In contrast, the 50/25 Mbps tier can best serve a multiple-device household with three or more users who frequently telecommute, enjoy downloading music and photos, and viewing videos on PCs or wireless devices.
The new 75/35 Mbps tier best serves a household that streams HD movies to the TV, downloads or uploads video files, participates in multiplayer gaming, and has three or more Internet-connected users on multiple devices.
The most powerful 150/65 and 300/65 Mbps speed tiers are designed for households of five or more Internet-connected users who want to receive the best standard- and high-definition video streaming experience on a variety of devices.
Why Video Web Traffic Is Fueling the Need for Faster Bandwidth
"Our top FiOS speed will be twice as fast as anything America has ever seen," said Mike Ritter, chief marketing officer for Verizon's consumer and mass market business unit. "High-speed Internet no longer is just for techies, as more than half of our residential consumers already use at least a 20 Mbps Internet connection. Streaming online video on an all-fiber-optic connection providing faster speeds is better and more reliable during peak Internet usage hours.
"As recently as 2005, video was less than 10 percent of Web traffic," said Ritter. "By the end of this year, we expect it to be 50 percent, growing to 90 percent in just a few years."
Today, the average home has seven Internet-connected devices. With the continuing increase of devices in the home using a wired or Wi-Fi Internet connection, the average home by 2015 will have between nine and 15 Internet-connected devices, said Ritter.
The majority of Verizon customers will be able to order the two fastest-speed options of 150 and 300 Mbps, which require customers to be connected via a GPON (gigabit passive optical network) terminal. For existing customers who have a BPON (broadband passive optical network) terminal and qualify for the GPON service, the installation of a new GPON terminal will be required.
With a 300 Mbps speed, consumers can download a two-hour, standard-definition movie (1.5 gigabytes) in less than 40 seconds; and a two-hour, high-definition movie (5 GB) in 2.2 minutes. On a 150 Mbps connection, the same two-hour, SD movie can be downloaded in less than 80 seconds, and the two-hour, HD movie in less than four-and-a-half minutes.
Downloading 20 high-resolution photographs (100 megabytes) would take 2.8 seconds with a 300/65 Mbps connection and 5.4 seconds using the 150/65 Mbps service. With the 65 Mbps upstream speed, consumers can upload 200 high-resolution photos or five minutes of HD video in 31 seconds, and in 58 seconds with the 35 Mbps upstream service.
More than 13.7 million customers in parts of nine Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states plus parts of Florida, Texas, California and the District of Columbia can order FiOS Internet. The total will grow to 18 million as Verizon continues to deploy its all-fiber-optic network to serve more consumers and small businesses.
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE, Nasdaq: VZ), headquartered in New York, is a global leader in delivering broadband and other wireless and wireline communications services to consumer, business, government and wholesale customers. Verizon Wireless operates America's most reliable wireless network, with 93 million retail customers nationwide. Verizon also provides converged communications, information and entertainment services over America's most advanced fiber-optic network, and delivers integrated business solutions to customers in more than 150 countries, including all of the Fortune 500. A Dow 30 company with $111 billion in 2011 revenues, Verizon employs a diverse workforce of nearly 192,000. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.