Through the end of 2010, Verizon spent $23 billion on building out its FiOS network.
When it comes to national-scale broadband services, the 300Mbps service won’t have any competition on the speed front. The large U.S. cable operators don’t offer any services faster than about 100Mbps, and rival carrier AT&T, which doesn’t build fiber all the way to homes with its competing U-Verse service, tops out at 24Mbps.
However, even the faster FiOS won’t bring the U.S. to the forefront of global broadband. A survey of fiber service providers released last September by the Organization for Economic Development (OECD) showed operators offering 1Gbps speeds in Slovenia, Japan, Turkey and Sweden, and one in Norway advertising 400Mbps service.
Localized projects in the U.S. also are hitting the 1Gbps mark, or will when they go live. The most closely watched example is Google’s fiber buildout in the twin cities of Kansas City, Missouri, and Kansas City, Kansas. The company said last month that it had laid 100 miles of fiber there, though it hasn’t given a firm commercial launch date or pricing for its service. Google’s experimental fiber network in a residential area at Stanford University is already live with 1Gbps service.
FiOS is available to more than 13.7 million Verizon customers in parts of nine Northeast and mid-Atlantic states, as well as the District of Columbia and parts of Florida, Texas and California, according to Verizon. The service has more than 5 million customers, most of whom buy a bundled plan, Verizon spokesman Bob Elek said. A majority of FiOS customers will be able to sign up for the 300Mbps service starting in June
FiOS currently is priced starting at $54.99, Internet only, for the 15Mbps/5Mbps service, with a one-year commitment.
One of the key reasons Verizon wants to up the rates is to get a better handle on content costs. Among the new charges that consumers will see in their monthly bill are higher set top box and digital converter box rental fees.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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