updated 11:25 am EST, Tue November 20, 2007
Verizon FIOS Speed Boost
Verizon on Tuesday escalated its fight against cable by introducing a major increase to upload speeds for regular users of its FIOS fiber optic Internet access. While the provider has already offered special symmetric access plans since late October, 16 of the US states that carry FIOS will now see much improved asymmetric speeds. States which currently offer 30Mbps download speeds will see their uploads increase from 5Mbps to 15Mbps; Connecticut, Florida, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island all see their 50Mbps connection plans gain an increase in upstream bandwidth from the original 5Mbps to an even higher 20Mbps. The major increase can provide a tremendous improvement to multiplayer gaming, video chats, and other software which depends heavily on uploads to reduce lag, Verizon says.
The plans are considered top-tier and range in price between $90 and $140 per month with a one year plan depending on the speed and the area. Symmetric access still exists and costs about $65 per month at either 15Mbps or 20Mbps in both directions depending on the area.
Verizon's continual upgrades and different speed levels in different areas are widely accepted to be direct responses to increased speeds by cable providers in the affected areas, with faster speeds going to areas where one or more cable providers are in direct competition with FIOS. The company has also been upgrading its local nodes with technology that should allow far faster connections in the future, though this is not anticipated to have a significant effect on Verizon's service until most or all of its customers can access the speed increase.