Verizon has leapfrogged cable with a new broadband tier offering 150 Mbps download rates (35 Mbps on the upstream).

Over the last year, as more cable companies have installed DOCSIS 3.0, they've been proudly pushing their top broadband tiers to 100 Mbps (Shaw, Cablevision, Comcast, etc.) and beyond; Videotron recently unveiled a 120 Mbps service.

Like most cable tiers in excess of 100 Mbps, Verizon's is priced well in excess of $100 a month: $194.99 a month (with a one-year service agreement and bundled with wireline voice).

Those prices makes all of these new service tiers more about marketing and bragging rights (for both the companies and the few customers who opt for them) than about actual service.

The new 150 Mbps tier will be available to residential customers first, and will be rolled out to business customers before the end of the year.

Verizon said it will continue to offer the slate of tiers already in place, including its standalone 50/20 Mbps, 25/25, and 15/5 tiers, and three other tiers available with bundles: 35/35 Mbps, 25/25 Mbps, and 15/5.  

Eric Bruno, Verizon vice president of product management, said, "Our new 150/35 Mbps offer will also support burgeoning bandwidth-intensive applications such as Internet video to TV and PC, 3D TV and movie downloads, high-definition and real-time video conferencing, and online data backup," said Bruno.

This is hardly the end of the one-upmanship; with its GPON technology Verizon could conceivably provide gigabit rates if there were any call for such a service, while KDG and Cisco last week reported they'd achieved a test result of 1.17 Gbps.) 

Verizon didn't mention it, but it apparently allowed supplier Actiontec Electronics to announce that the service would use a gateway created by the vendor. Actiontec has been supplying CPE for FiOS since 2006.

The router can provide in-home networking speeds up to 1 Gbps wired via a Gigabit Ethernet interface, and 300 Mbps wireless connections. Actiontec alluded to how the gateway will act like an in-home hub, but few technical details were offered.