Verizon said yesterday that work is gearing up on adding gigabit passive optical network (G-PON) equipment to the company’s FiOS fiber service in order to boost bandwidth.

G-PON can increase the line-rate bandwidth on Verizon’s fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) network by four times for downstream to the customer and eight times for upstream back to the network. While Verizon didn’t specifically say what new services the additional bandwidth capacity will enable, it could allow the company to offer more HD channels and more HD VOD offerings to its customers.

The cable industry has also looked at G-PON deployments, but most cable operators are focusing their efforts on DOCSIS 3.0, which can achieve higher rates on both upstream and downstream through channel bonding.

Mark Wegleitner, Verizon Telecom's SVP of technology, said that Verizon has already started to deploy G-PON broadly across the company's FiOS system. The new G-PON equipment is being used in communities where Verizon is building FTTP for the first time.

A Verizon spokesperson said that Alcatel Lucent’s equipment will be in the live network installations in most of the nearly 40 areas, with Motorola in first-office plays and Tellabs in the final testing prior to deployment.

The states where Verizon began initial deployment of G-PON were California, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Texas.

Yesterday’s announcement followed initial field deployments of G-PON in Kirklyn, Pa.; Lewisville, Texas; and Hingham, Mass. Thus far, Verizon has been deploying broadband passive optical network (B-PON) technology to provide market-leading Internet access performance.

"Both B-PON and now G-PON give us all the headroom we need to continue evolving our products to meet growing customer demand for more bandwidth, both downstream and upstream," Wegleitner said. "However, moving to technologies like G-PON helps ensure that we stay ahead of the competition."

And Verizon announced today that subscribers in 400 communities can now use the company’s faster DSL service. The new Verizon broadband service offers qualified customers a downstream connection speed of up to 7 Mbps for as low as $39.99 per month when ordered with an annual service plan. The company plans to expand the offering into more communities throughout the year.

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