A broadband breakthrough

By: Sanjay Udani

Until now, most consumer broadband service has been asymmetric – the downstream speed into your home is much higher than the upstream speed going from your home. Historically this has worked well, since much of what people have done on the Internet has been download-only, such as viewing webpages, buying music or e-books or watching movies. In effect, we were mostly just ...well, consumers, and not creators.

All of that is now changing.  We are very much becoming a culture of creators and sharers. We are increasingly uploading more stuff – everything from online hard drive backups to the cloud, to two-way video communication, to user-created content such as videos and music.  To meet that need, Verizon over its fiber to the premises network, FiOS, is now offering symmetric Internet speeds – blazing fast downloads and uploads.

…existing and new Verizon FiOS residential customers will receive upload speeds that match their download speeds, making it easier and faster to share. This speed upgrade is free to current customers, and comes at a time when people are uploading more and more information to the cloud, sharing videos and photos, and video chatting. 

The FCC’s latest broadband tests show how well FiOS performs, delivering well over 100 percent of advertised speeds, as well as offering the fastest upload speeds of all providers in the survey. Thanks to our $23 billion dollar investment in a future-proof fiber-to-the-home platform, offering consumers the kind of symmetric speeds they were demanding for their emerging needs – upstream or downstream – makes sense. 

And we’re ready should even more data-intensive applications, products and services emerge, we have the network to handle it.  After all, we demonstrated 10 Gigabits to the home using the same fiber several years ago. 

For those who may question why consumers would want or need hundreds of megabits upstream: just look at what increasing downstream speeds did in the mid-2000s: it enabled iTunes, YouTube, Hulu, Netflix, and tons of other online content.  Now we believe that symmetric speeds will jumpstart a new wave of innovation and creativity.

About the author(s): 

Dr. Sanjay Udani is responsible for developing and coordinating Verizon's policy positions on issues impacting emerging services and technologies related to the Internet. He leverages his technical background to educate both public- and private-sector stakeholders on complex technical issues impacting the Internet ecosystem. For over a decade Sanjay led a graduate Telecommunications class as an Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. He has also given numerous presentations as an invited speaker to conferences and trade shows including the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas and has been a guest lecturer for graduate courses at Georgetown University as well as the National Defense University.

Prior to this position he was one of the lead architects for Verizon's fiber to the home deployment (FiOS), leading the architecture for Internet data service, video on demand, home networks and network policy management. He previously designed video processors for Intel Corporation, has nine patents and is a Senior Member of the IEEE. Dr. Udani earned his Ph.D. in Computer Information Science at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.