Next-Generation Home Gateways Will Leverage Verizon FiOS Capacities, Enable Dynamic Networked Services Inside the Home

NEW YORK - In a move that will make the FiOS experience even better and more exciting for residential customers, Verizon is upgrading the capabilities of its in-home network equipment to provide more capacity, higher speeds and many other benefits.

The company announced that new broadband routers, designed to Verizon's specifications by Actiontec and Westell, will boost in-home speeds over coaxial cable to up to 175 megabits per second (Mbps) from 75 Mbps and allow operation of multiple simultaneous Wi-Fi networks.  For example, customers will be able to modify security settings on each network, allowing a Wi-Fi network for guests and visitors, one with parental controls for young users, one for computers holding secure documents, or one for teleworking only.  The new routers will be ready for deployment in the third quarter.   

"Verizon is already well into the second generation of technology for our fiber-to-the-home access network, and it's time to upgrade the home network technology as well, with broadband home routers that pack an unmatched degree of speed and service punch," said Brian Whitton, executive director, access network design and integration.

"These routers will be the perfect complement to the access network. They go well beyond just allowing more speed or bandwidth -- they upgrade every key aspect of the FiOS experience," he said. 

Tushar Saxena, director, home networking technologies, said: "All of these capabilities, coupled with the ability to modularly expand and deliver new applications for the entire home right from the router with simplified setup, will take our FiOS services far beyond anything in the marketplace right now and propel our FiOS customer base toward the kind of home that networking futurists once promised but we can now deliver."  

The new equipment includes the MI424-WR by Actiontec and the UltraLine (r) Series 3 model 9100 by Westell, both custom-built for FiOS to Verizon specifications.  Both vendors have supported other Verizon broadband services with modems, gateways and routers designed for Verizon.

Among the design features and benefits of the new routers are:

  • Higher bandwidth, offering 175 Mbps total data flow in the home.

  • Support for up to four Wi-Fi networks, enabling more than one Wi-Fi network to operate simultaneously within the home.

  • Quality of service controls to give traffic preference to critical services like voice or security devices.

  • Remote management of Verizon devices and services beyond the router by Verizon technicians, improving the service and support experience for customers.

  • Integrated dual-core processor to allow simultaneous networked data services,  possibly including home security, home monitoring, network security and other applications. 

  • Support for media sharing between home devices, such as between TVs and PCs, media servers, and other consumer electronics, using DLNA and Universal Plug and Play standards now being adopted by hardware manufacturers to support connectivity and service integration.

The new routers will also enable modular expansion using a USB interface, so that shared storage servers, printers, peripherals and other devices can be added when desired.

In addition, Verizon required the vendors to shield the devices from electric power surges and make them energy efficient.

The new routers will use an enhanced in-home networking technology called MoCA 1.1 that not only increases the speed of signals over coaxial cable in the home but in many case obviates the need to place Ethernet links to additional PCs, because an even broader, faster signal can be provided over coax already in place.  This simplifies installation for both the Verizon technician and the customer. 

In addition, the MoCA 1.1 distribution technology increases to 15 from seven the number of set-top boxes or other devices that can operate simultaneously on the coax portion of the FiOS home network.

[For further details, see separate news releases issued by Westell and Actiontec.]

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), headquartered in New York, is a leader in delivering broadband and other wireline and wireless communication innovations to mass market, business, government and wholesale customers.  Verizon Wireless operates America's most reliable wireless network, serving more than 67 million customers nationwide.  Verizon's Wireline operations include Verizon Business, which delivers innovative and seamless business solutions to customers around the world, and Verizon Telecom, which brings customers the benefits of converged communications, information and entertainment services over the nation's most advanced fiber-optic network.  A Dow 30 company, Verizon employed a diverse workforce of approximately 232,000 as of the end of the first quarter 2008 and last year generated consolidated operating revenues of $93.5 billion.  For more information, visit www.verizon.com.