Though 1-Gig represents the speed bar for an increasing number of ISPs, Verizon's next step up the broadband speed ladder will be 750 Mbps as the telco introduces a new symmetrical tier, called Fios Instant Internet, to about 7 million homes and businesses starting Saturday (Jan. 14).
Verizon Fios, which has been offering a high-end offering that tops out at 500 Mbps up and down, said it will initially debut the new 750-meg tier in New York City/Northern New Jersey, Philadelphia, and Richmond, with more markets to follow later in the year. Fios Instant Internet will be launched in Boston and Norfolk later in Q1, the telco said.
Per the announcement, Verizon will sell the new tier for $149.99 a month as a standalone, and $169.99 a month as part of a triple-play bundle with TV and home phone service. Notably, the standalone pricing undercuts Verizon’s current pricing on a 300 Mbps service ($170) and the telco’s 500-Meg offering (about $270), Ars Technica notes, though Verizon told the publication that it plans to adjust pricing on those tiers.
Verizon has so far avoided taking the plunge on a 1-Gig service that pairs up with the kind of speeds being advertised by providers such as Google Fiber, or from cable competitors, such as Comcast and RCN, that have begun to roll out DOCSIS 3.1-based services that deliver burst up to 1-Gig in the downstream direction (a “Full Duplex” extension of D3.1 that's in the works is targeting symmetrical multi-gig speeds). Altice USA, which tangles with Fios in the former Cablevision Systems markets, recently launched a 300 Mbps DOCSIS-based tier in its Optimum footprint, and is pushing ahead with an ambitious FTTP upgrade plan.
A Verizon spokesperson noted that the new 750-meg Fios Instant Internet service “frequently performs well into the 900 Mbps range.”
Verizon has not announced when it might deploy a 1-Gig service for Fios, but the company is certainly thinking about a faster future for its fiber networks. On Wednesday, the company announced a successful interop lab trial for NG-PON2, an emerging FTTP technology that supports multi-gigabit speeds.
“No Internet service provider has come close to offering upload and download speeds like these at such a massive scale as Fios Instant Internet," Ken Dixon, president of Verizon's consumer landline business, said in a statement. "Ever since we decided to build the nation's largest 100 percent fiber-to-the-home network 14 years ago, we've been saying that it is a future-proof technology. The future is now here with Fios Instant Internet."