Verizon "Goes Gig" for 8 Million Locations
Verizon has launched “Fios Gigabit Connection,” said to be “the nation’s largest deployment of gigabit Internet connection service.” to eight million U.S. homes. Comcast has pledged to upgrade all of its customers on all its networks, to gigabit levels of service in the near future, but Verizon is the only operator that now has done so across its entire footprint of fiber-to-home connections, and has done so using a symmetrical bandwidth approach.
AT&T has been adding gigabit access across its footprint of metro areas, but on a neighborhood-by-neighborhood basis.
Fios Gigabit Connection provides downloads as fast as 940 Mbps and uploads as fast as 880 Mbps.
Priced at $69.99 a month standalone and starting at $79.99 a month for a triple play bundle when ordered online, Fios Gigabit Connection for the first time in some years allows Verizon to argue that “no cable provider comes close to offering the speeds and power of Fios Gigabit connection on this kind of scale.” In addition to scale, Verizon is offering symmetrical bandwidth, something Comcast will not be able to do.
The upgrade is important as it puts FiOS in the lead, as far as fixed network internet access provided at scale, a lead Verizon had lost as cable operators such as Comcast pushed speeds to match Verizon’s FiOS service, in the downstream direction.
Verizon had upgraded speeds 750 Mbps symmetrical service for about seven million homes in early 2017. Standalone internet access at such speeds were priced at $150 a month.
The gigabit service is priced at $70 a month on a standalone basis, showing continued improvement not only in speed but also in price, for a leading U.S. internet service provider.
The larger point is that, despite some skepticism, U.S internet access speeds are not somehow lagging world averages, though that might once have been the case. Rather, speeds are growing--at least for some major suppliers-- at rates nearly what one would expect if Moore’s Law applied.