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Verizon laying claim to fastest broadband speeds; cable counters with 3.0

Wed, 06/18/2008 - 8:30am
Mike Robuck

Today, Verizon President and COO Denny Strigl is using the NXTcomm conference in Las Vegas to announce increased speeds for Verizon’s broadband service.

Starting next week, Verizon will make available to more than 10 million homes and businesses “the nation’s fastest broadband connections,” with download speeds of up to 50 Mbps and upload speeds of up to 20 Mbps on its fiber-optic FiOS network.

Verizon said it’s expanding its connections of 50/20, 20/20, 20/5 and 10/2 Mbps services across parts of the 16 states that are in the company’s footprint. Verizon also said that it will reach more than 18 million subscribers by 2010.

Verizon has deployed its 50 Mbps downstream and 20 Mbps upstream service in six markets to date. The cost of Verizon’s 50 Mbps service is $89.95 in New York and $139.95 in Massachusetts, New Jersey, Florida, Rhode Island and Connecticut.

The company is now expanding those offerings to new Verizon FiOS customers in parts of California, Delaware, Indiana, Maryland, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia and Washington State, replacing existing offerings of 30/15 Mbps and 15/15 Mbps services, respectively.

The mid-tier connection speed in those markets for new customers is being increased from 15/2 Mbps to 20/5 Mbps, and the basic service tier is being increased from 5/2 Mbps to 10/2 Mbps.  Existing FiOS Internet customers who are interested in the new speed options can call Verizon for information about the new plans.

"The appetite for bandwidth shows no signs of slowing down. Neither will we,” Strigl said at NXTcomm. “We've already had successful trials of the 100-megabit home, which will be a reality faster than anybody thinks."

Verizon appears to be laying claim to the fastest broadband speeds based on its higher upstream speeds. Cable operators in North America, Europe and Japan have already deployed pre-DOCSIS 3.0 wideband offerings, with downstream speeds of 50 Mbps and upstream speeds of around 5 Mbps.

Comcast in particular has been bullish about the increased speeds of DOCSIS 3.0, which was further bolstered by the recent CableLabs certification for 3.0 cable modems.

With a four-channel 3.0 cable modem, cable operators will be able to reach speeds of up to 160 Mbps by bonding 6 MHz channels together; but as 3.0 cable modem technology continues to evolve, the ability to support more bonded channels will be the end result. DOCSIS 3.0 upstream channel bonding can provide up to 120 Mbps of shared throughput for cable operators.

Comcast, which has said it expects to have elements of 3.0 in 20 percent of its network by year’s end, is expected to start increasing its upstream speeds this year by using 3.0, so Verizon’s claim of having the fastest broadband service may be short-lived.

Additionally, cable operators are already planning for 100 Mbps downstream speeds on their networks.

More Broadband Direct:

• Cox Business joins SIP Forum

• Verizon laying claim to fastest broadband speeds; cable counters with 3.0

• Motorola releases MPEG-4 encoder solutions

• Microsoft buys Navic Networks

• Korea's Hanaro Telecom bulks up bandwidth with Harmonic's EdgeQAM

• RGB's products chosen by Crosslake for digital upgrade

• TandbergTV releases MediaModeler system for telcos

• Broadband Briefs for 6/18/08

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