Verizon increases top FiOS speed to 300 Mbps- now has edge over MSOs & AT&T U-Verse

Verizon Communications said today that it will increase the fastest speed for its FiOS broadband service, doubling the download rate to 300 megabits per second and increasing the upload maximum to 65 Mbps for that service package. Verizon will also add a new tier at 75 Mbps downstream/ 35 Mbps upstream. The zippiest speeds are designed for larger households — generally those with at least five members — who are streaming content throughout their home on various devices.  Higher performance routers that support Gigabit WiFi will enable in-home networks to support the faster speeds.

Verizon clearly understands the impact of the “connected home.”  Broadband Internet enables people to consume more of their entertainment and do most of their communications at home.  It also understands the impact of more devices in the home. For example, it recommends its new 75/35 Mbps for 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 higher 150/65 and 300/65 Mbps speed tiers are aimed at larger families with 5 or more people doing streaming, gaming, etc. things on a variety of devices.  And that makes many, new, unknown applications possible.  In particular, fast, low-latency fiber-to-the-home connections (e.g. FiOS) offer the possibility of medical care in the home, video presence in HD, or maybe even your own personal holodeck. As efforts to build gigabit networks expand around the country, we’re going to see new applications. Verizon at least is letting its customers get a taste of what those might be. With faster speeds and without a data cap to keep them in check.

Telecom-Pro Comment:  The upgraded FiOS speeds from Verizon will give it a distinct advantage over both cable cos (MSOs) as well as AT&Ts U-Verse, which relies on telephone twisted pair for the “last mile” access (currently via VDSL2).   That makes FiOS virtually future proof in its support of new applications.  

We know that AT&T is supporting fiber to the premises for new U-Verse (greeenfield) buildouts, but not for existing installations that are served by copper phone wires.  No way can twisted pair support the upstream/downstream rates that fiber to the home can. That limits the new high bandwidth/ low latency applications that U-Verse can support.