Verizon Communications is now offering a top speed of 300 Megabit per second broadband in many FiOS areas -- introducing "FiOS Quantum" as the new brand for its super-fast Internet offerings -- while it also is increasing pricing and connection speeds for most existing customers.
Most FiOS bundle customers will pay $10 to $15 more per month and will see double or triple their Internet speed, according to Verizon. However, subscribers may be able to adjust their FiOS TV tiers to pay roughly the same monthly total that they pay now, the company said.
Verizon boasts that the 300 Mbps service is the fastest wide-scale residential Internet service available in the U.S. by a wide margin, nearly three times faster than the 105 Mbps top speed offered by cable competitors, such as Comcast and Cablevision Systems.
It's also among the most expensive: Verizon is offering the 300 Mbps downstream / 65 Mbps upstream Internet service only as a standalone service for $209.99 per month on a month-to-month basis and $204.99 with a two-year contract.
The new FiOS Quantum tiers feature upload/download speeds of 50/25, 75/35, 150/65 and 300/65 Mbps. Three of those tiers -- 75/35, 150/65 and 300/65 -- are twice as fast as those previously offered. In addition, Verizon will continue to offer its entry-level speed of 15/5 Mbps.
Verizon announced plans for the new faster tiers last month. The FiOS Quantum tiers are not available in all areas. According to Verizon, customers may be charged a network upgrade fee for 150 and 300 Mbps service.
"This is about meeting the bandwidth needs we see in the future," Mike Ritter, chief marketing officer for Verizon's consumer and mass market business unit, said. "And it's the not-too-distant future -- it's in the next few years."
Verizon expects most customers will take middle-tier speeds: "We think the sweet spot will be 50 to 75 Mbps," Ritter said, adding that the 150 and 300 Mbps tiers will become more important as Internet video usage continues to increase.
With certain network upgrades, Verizon could deliver 1 Gigabit per second to FiOS customers, according to Ritter.
"We could certainly get to that speed... but there are no applications on the consumer side that can take advantage of that," he said. "We're not going to put out something we don't think we benefits the customer."
A year ago, Verizon introduced a new bundling offer for customers to mix and match elements of different TV, phone and Internet services. That capability extends to the new FiOS Quantum Internet tiers. "We think the customer who needs the most bandwidth may not be the one who's watching all the linear programming," Ritter said.
FiOS subscribers are four times as likely to upgrade to faster Internet tiers than downgrade to a lower-speed tier, according to Ritter.
Verizon's pricing is as follows:
15/5 Mbps: Triple-play bundles including FiOS TV and FiOS Digital Voice unlimited will range from $99.99 to $144.99 per month, depending on TV package; double-play bundles with Internet and TV range from $84.99 to $129.99 per month; standalone 15/5 Mbps service costs $69.99 per month on a month-to-month basis and $64.99 per month with a two-year contract.
50/25 Mbps: Triple-play bundles range from $109.99 to $149.99 per month for new customers. Double-play bundles with FiOS TV range from $94.99 to $134.99 per month. The standalone version costs $79.99 per month on a month-to-month basis, and $74.99 with a two-year contract.
75/35 Mbps: Triple-play bundles range from $114.99 to $154.99 per month for new subscribers. Double-play bundles with FiOS TV range from $99.99 to $139.99 per month. The standalone costs $89.99 per month on a month-to-month basis, and $84.99 with a two-year contract.
150/65 Mbps: Triple-play bundles range from $169.99 to $174.99 per month for new FiOS customers. Double-play bundles with FiOS TV range from $154.99 to $159.99 per month. The standalone costs $99.99 per month on a month-to-month basis, and $94.99 with a two-year contract.