Verizon Juices Up FiOS Internet Gateways

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Verizon this quarter will introduce two gateways for its FiOS Internet service that use coaxial cable in customers’ homes to transmit data at up to 175 megabits per second.

The routers, Actiontec Electronics’ MI424-WR (pictured) and Westell Technologies’ UltraLine Series 3 model 9100, were each custom-built for FiOS to Verizon’s specifications. The current generation of FiOS Internet home routers delivers data over coax at up to 75 Mbps.

FiOS uses a fiber-optic network to deliver data to and from a customer’s premises, but Verizon uses coaxial cable or wireless networks to distribute services inside a home.

While 175 Mbps is more than three times the theoretical maximum of the highest-tier FiOS Internet offering of 50 Mbps, Verizon said the units provide other features that take advantage of the bandwidth boost.

For example, the routers support media sharing among home devices—such as between TVs and PCs, media servers and other consumer electronics—using Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) and Universal Plug and Play standards.

In addition, the routers will allow operation of up to four simultaneous Wi-Fi networks. That way customers can specify different security settings on each network, such as establishing an unsecured Wi-Fi network for guests or one with parental controls.

The Actiontec and Westell routers use the Multimedia over Coax Alliance (MoCA) version 1.1 home-networking specification, which provides simultaneous connections of up to 15 set-top boxes or other devices on an in-home coax network.

Both units also provide hardware-level quality-of-service controls and integrated dual-core processors to allow the concurrent operation of several network services.

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