Verizon Communications will introduce new high-speed Internet service tiers and pricing next month, in one case doubling its fastest level of service to 300 Megabits per second.
The new FiOS Internet portfolio will feature download/upload speeds of 50/25 Mbps and 150/65 Mbps and two new tiers of 75/35 Mbps and 300/65 Mbps.
Verizon will continue to offer its entry level speed of 15/5 Mbps as well as 25/25 Mbps, 35/35 Mbps, 50/20 Mbps and 150/35 Mbps.
Pricing for the new portfolio will be announced next month. Current FiOS Internet customers will be able to maintain their existing tiers of service.
The new speeds will be offered in standalone and bundled packages and are designed to address the growth of bandwidth-intensive applications and the increase in the number of Internet-connected devices being used simultaneously in the same household.
In a statement, Verizon said the new speeds will also support consumers who are watching more over-the-top video programming on TVs and portable devices, and accommodate the rise in Internet-enabled applications like video and audio streaming, home monitoring devices, video chat, multiplayer gaming and online backup services.
"The ways we used the Internet and watched TV over the past 10 to 15 years have dramatically shifted," said Verizon's consumer and mass market business unit president Bob Mudge in a statement. "With the emergence of smartphones, smart TVs, Blu-ray players, tablets and gaming consoles that also serve as over-the-top devices, consumers need more bandwidth to receive the highest-quality experience."
In a statement, Verizon said that the 75/35 Mbps service is geared toward households that download HD movies, participate in multiplayer gaming and have three or more interconnected users. The highest tiers (150 and 300 Mbps) are targeted at households with five or more interconnected users who want to download high-quality HD video on multiple devices.
For example, with a 300 Mbps connection, consumers can download a two-hour, standard-definition movie (1.5 Gigabytes) in less than 40 seconds; and a two-hour, high-definition movie (5 GB) in 2.2 minutes. On a 150 Mbps connection, the same two-hour, SD movie can be downloaded in less than 80 seconds, and the two-hour, HD movie in less than 4.5 minutes.
"High-speed Internet no longer is just for techies, as more than half of our residential consumers already use at least a 20 Mbps Internet connection," Verizon's consumer and mass market business unit chief marketing officer Mike Ritter said in a statement. "Streaming online video on an all-fiber-optic connection providing faster speeds is better and more reliable during peak Internet usage hours.
"As recently as 2005, video was less than 10% of Web traffic," said Ritter. "By the end of this year, we expect it to be 50%, growing to 90% in just a few years."
Verizon estimated that today, the average home has seven Internet-connected devices, growing to between 9 and 15 devices by 2015.
The top two tiers require customers to be connected via a GPON (gigabit passive optical network) terminal. For existing customers who have a BPON (broadband passive optical network) terminal and qualify for the GPON service, the installation of a new GPON terminal will be required.