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Networking The Internet

Verizon Speeds Up FiOS To 150Mbps 314

wiredmikey writes with a snippet from MacWorld offering some welcome news for Americans sick of 20th-century broadband speeds "Verizon is adding a new tier of service to its FiOS fiber broadband service, offering 150Mbps (megabits per second) downstream and 35Mbps upstream for $195 per month. The carrier has begun to roll out the service to consumers in the 12 US states, plus the District of Columbia, where FiOS is available. Small businesses will be able to get it by the end of the year, Verizon said on Monday. The fastest service offered so far on FiOS has been 50Mbps downstream and 20Mbps upstream."
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Verizon Speeds Up FiOS To 150Mbps

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  • I'll probably be waiting a long time. It's only been three years since they upgraded my phone lines to handle DSL. It'll probably be a long time 'til they upgrade them to fiber.

    I think Congress could help too. Simple mandate, through the FCC, that phone companies MUST provide DSL (or cable or fiber) to any customer that requests DSL. And then give them a one-year-limit to do the upgrade. No person should have to be stuck on 50k internet.

    • Because that's not realistic. They have been dragging their feet, but giving them only a year to upgrade that much line and not just in urban areas is asking a bit much. A better solution would be to require telecoms to invest in their infrastructure and not raise their rates unless they can demonstrate that they're needing the extra money to pay for actually expenses. That's worked in other industries which were essentially utilities.
      • by Hatta ( 162192 ) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @02:23PM (#34334764) Journal

        The telecoms promised us fiber optic networks nationwide in 1993. They charged us for it, and never built it. They've had 17 years to do it, giving them one more year is more than generous enough. The heads of the various ISPs involved should be sitting in jail on fraud charges. They've stolen more than Bernie Madoff ever did.

    • by zach_the_lizard ( 1317619 ) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @12:07PM (#34332532)
      If I choose to live in the middle of nowhere, Alaska, does it apply to me? Why should they pay for my choice to live in the boonies? It's just promoting more sprawl.
      • by rjstanford ( 69735 ) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @12:29PM (#34332918) Homepage Journal

        Yes, but they've been charging government mandated fees (totaling in the billions, literally) to deliver on that promise. We've already paid them for it, as an involuntary tax on services provided. So they should indeed deliver to you. They work around it be defining "broadband" as some tiny number like anything over 33kbps (don't recall exactly, anyone can google for the details).

      • In one thread people talk about congested spots for terrorist attacks, and in another... a petition to prevent people from spreading out.

      • by sean.peters ( 568334 ) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @12:57PM (#34333448) Homepage
        If we followed this argument earlier in the 20th century, much of the US would still not even have electricity service. In the 21st century, not having low-cost, reliable, quality internet service is just as big a handicap - it seriously affects our national competitiveness. While I'm not sure that the GP post is the right solution, at the very least the government should be encouraging the development of internet cooperatives in underserved areas... not, as now, shutting down such organizations at the behest of Verizon, et al.
        • by careysub ( 976506 ) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @04:21PM (#34336220)

          If we followed this argument earlier in the 20th century, much of the US would still not even have electricity service...

          That is absolutely right. It was government intervention, and government subsidies that created rural electricification (and also brought in telephone service). The Rural Electrification Administration (REA) was abolished in 1994 after having completed its task of extending these two services to all of rural America.

          Ironically it is that same rural America, which is also currently being heavily subsidized by the more industrialized blue states, that is raging against "socialism".

    • It is kind of annoying how these things work.

      I moved into a new place just at the end of August here. I was with Telus for my internet service before - and my room mate works at Shaw, the other big ISP in our city, and he was always going on about how it was so much better and faster and he never had lag playing Halo and what not. So I called them up. Got to the machine, navigated to wanting a new setup, please hold for an agent. On hold for 20 minutes, hang up.

      The next day at work, I decide to try again, e

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by jimbolauski ( 882977 )

      I'll probably be waiting a long time. It's only been three years since they upgraded my phone lines to handle DSL. It'll probably be a long time 'til they upgrade them to fiber.

      I think Congress could help too. Simple mandate, through the FCC, that phone companies MUST provide DSL (or cable or fiber) to any customer that requests DSL. And then give them a one-year-limit to do the upgrade. No person should have to be stuck on 50k internet.

      If you want DSL or fiber how about you pay for the lines to be run I'm sure no company would object to that. The problem with people in the boonies is that the cost to run the line will not be recouped, think initial cost and maintenance, pricing it to cover the cost would be too expensive for most people, the only way everyone could get DSL is if the price were subsidized, I'm overcharged enough with out having to pay for someone else's service.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Blakey Rat ( 99501 )

      In my state, Verizon was bought-out by Frontier. If you live in Western Washington, and you don't already have FIOS-- you're not getting it. Ever.

  • I've had 35/35 for a while, and I could have 50/50 if I wanted to pay another $30/mo for it.

    • by rwa2 ( 4391 ) *

      Hmm, I'm actually afraid to say I'll pass. Been pretty happy with the 25/15 service. My WRT54Gv4 router just barely keeps up with that as it is, and only then because I updated from HyperWRT to Tomato [polarcloud.com]. (HyperWRT couldn't push past 20Mbps on my hardware)

      Would rather spend money on additional mobile bandwidth for the wife, or maybe even the car :-P T-Mobile's HSDPA on an HTC slide runs pretty sweet at 1Mbps with much lower latency than the 3G connections. Still waiting for a decent Android tablet (or ev

  • by chemicaldave ( 1776600 ) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @11:39AM (#34332036)
    Why does 15 Mbps down cost $50? but 150 Mbps only costs $195?

    If speeds don't scale like I think they do, then someone explain it to me please.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Bagels ( 676159 )
      Part of it is fixed costs - it's expensive to roll out fiber to the home, and that expense doesn't change whether you're buying the 15Mbps tier or the 150Mbps tier. The other part is naked greed; Verizon is a telco, after all.
      • I think by "fixed costs" you mean "fixed profits". Even $5 a month would recoup the cost of your equipment/service to Verizon for cable. $10 would make them a tidy profit.

        The only reason they charge $50 is so they can guarantee that the top 1% of employees (read: executives) and their shareholders get that $10 Million bonus they were promised.

        This is the problem with the 'Freedom' we get in America, and the way the government regulates business as a whole. It's criminal, but allowed and acceptable.

    • by devitto ( 230479 ) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @11:52AM (#34332310) Homepage Journal

      Because speeds don't scale like you think they do. If you have lots of little pipes going into a fat one, you can manage contingency and plan easily. If the little pipes are 10x the size, it's harder - especially as the actual point where service is impacted (around 80%) can go from 'ok for next 6 months' to 'upgrade now' due to a single customer changing usage profile.

      It's like the difference between driving trucks, and driving cars - yeah, they are 3 times the length, but they cause 10x the traffic slowdown.

      Service providers work of graphs that measure peaks (and 95%s), and if a single customer can move the peak from 85% full to 100% full, then it's hard to plan a good service - the only way is to have more contingency, which means more equipment/fibre/lambdas.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        By your explanation, price for faster service should scale up, not down.
        • There are fixed costs of operation that will be in place no matter the speeds. For all we know, the lower tier bill could be mostly to cover fixed costs.
      • That is only true if your SLA promises you can saturate that sweet ass gig link you have in your home. A business class account might have that kind of thing, but a residential account does not. If 100 residential people download something at the same time, combined they might saturate the backhaul, but their downloads would each be 1gb/100=10mb. And 10mbit is still better than what most of us shmucks get.

        Basically, they charge $200 because they can. It has nothing to do with the actual cost of service

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Why does 15 Mbps down cost $50? but 150 Mbps only costs $195?

      If speeds don't scale like I think they do, then someone explain it to me please.

      It likely has nothing to do with scale, and all about persuading you of the "value" of spending $200/mo for internet service.

    • by Kjella ( 173770 )

      Fixed cost? Canle maintenance and repairs, rack space, billing, customer support etc. are all pretty constant. Here in Norway I consider it to be quite decent competition but they all pretty much flat out at 40$/month for the really low end, whether DSL or cable. 60$ is normal and 80$ high-end, often giving you 10x the speed for 2x the cost.

      Personally I predict that the usage pattern changes too. My 2 Mbit line was maxed almost 24x7. My 25 Mbit line isn't. A 150 Mbit line would be even better, but my averag

    • by Nevo ( 690791 )
      Price has nothing to do with cost. It's all about supply and demand. Verizon, like any other company, will price their products at what they believe the market will bear.
  • Meanwhile (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    In Japan they pay like $40 for 100 Mbps. As usual the US is so far behind it's not even funny.

    • Re:Meanwhile (Score:5, Informative)

      by MidnightBrewer ( 97195 ) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @11:46AM (#34332204)

      At my apartment in Osaka it's $20 for 1GB, actually.

      • by Nadaka ( 224565 )

        That makes me angry. I am paying $60 for 8mbit/1.5mbit

        • At least that's available. I live in Seattle and the best speed I can get from Qwest is apparently 5 Mbps for $50 a month excluding tax. Speakeasy allows for faster connections but it's well over a hundred for the connection you've got.

          Our best bet is Google coming in and fixing the situation, it's been years since Verizon and Qwest have supposedly been upgrading their equipment, but they've yet to actually get here. And Comcrap was such a joke when we had them years ago that whatever they're offering we
        • by geekoid ( 135745 )

          Whyd oes that make you angry.

          Would you want a 5% federal tax on all goods to get that service? And this is in addition to current rates, not instead of.

          Frankly, if it went into education and digital infrastructure I wouldn't mind a 5% fed tax on goods.

          OTOH, I would much rather there was a .006% tax on all financial trades, buying and selling. thats 6 cents for every 1000 dollars. we would have plenty of money to pay down are debt and get a first class world education for all children, and real government h

        • I don't get angry, I make my carrier give me a better deal, or I start switching around. I'm in central California and pay about $30/month for 6Mb, which is outrageous, but cheaper than the current alternative. I first had Comcrap, and they had to come out and install a brand new coax line into my house, at CONSIDERABLE expense to them, and I own it so there's no "next customer" at this node. After their deals ran out, I switched to the local carrier SureWest, and when their deals ran out and they wanted

          • Re:Meanwhile (Score:4, Interesting)

            by Mr. Freeman ( 933986 ) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @01:06PM (#34333594)
            Yeah, the free market works really damn well... WHEN THERE'S A MARKET.

            You're lucky enough to live in one of the few areas in which there are several broadband providers. In most areas this isn't the case and you don't have anything to bargain with. You can't threaten to switch to another provider because there aren't any. Where I live there's only two. Comcrap and Quest. Both suck and have almost identical prices.

            Cell phones, same thing. There's really only 3-4 carriers in the US. Add to this the fact that they're allowed to lock you into 2-year contracts and we start to see why all phone service sucks.
      • And at my house in rural Virginia: $95 for 768k/512k with a FAP of 600 MB/day. Within a year I'll have fiber passed within 1000ft of my yard and I will likely still not have anything better than I have right now...

    • Meanwhile, Japan is very densely populated, making the roll out of fiber very fast as compared to, say, the US or EU (though the EU, at least the western half, beats the US IIRC).
    • It's not about being far behind it about being spread out, Japan has a population density of 336 people per km^2 while the US has a density of 31 people per km^2. It's much cheaper to connect people when their that close together.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by yabos ( 719499 )
      True, but don't they pay like $2000 USD/month for a 300 sq. foot apartment? Which is better?
  • Now if only I could get 19$/month gigabit ethernet into my house like my boss's mother in South Korea. I know the country is a fraction of our size, but honestly our lackidasical approach to increasing bandwidth is infuriating.
  • with FIOS. jsut saying

  • Good news for some small sect of the US. Wake me when I can finally get more than 3mbit in the middle of Seattle up on Capitol Hill.

    Qwest has been promising "OMG mega-fast Internet" for years now and they have yet to deliver. What gives?

    Course I remember it being the same way when DSL was the new kid on the block. Took years before that was deployed everywhere. Remember trying to work out your distance to your central office to see if you would ever qualify?

    • I'm in a similar situation, it can only be incompetence that explains why you can't get more than 3mbit from them. I'm in North Seattle and we get up to 5mbps and you're significantly closer to the CO.

      But the reason why it's taking them so long is that they're run by a bunch of incompetent assholes. They sold their wireless unit off about a decade or so ago, and that's where most of the other companies have been getting the pocket change to upgrade their network. The price for life thing isn't doing them
  • I have 1.5/384 because I don't want to pay a bunch for internet. $30/month is pretty much my price limit.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by daid303 ( 843777 )

      Damn, internet is pricy for the US people. I'm paying 15 euros for 20mbit/1mbit.

      • Yes. Because investing in your nations infrastructure is a form if socialism. Well, at least according to enough tea party idiots in the US to block any attempt.

        Well, that and the telcos have their hands far up the asses of our government. But doing away with that is messing with the free market, and thus also socialism. Basically, making things better==socialism. The only people who should have it good are corporations, which are also people—anything else is socialism.

        • You're talking like they don't also pay by actual usage.
          • I'll pay actual use if it is reasonable. Better would be to pay the same way Internet providers charge each other—95th percentile billing. Charge something like 50/mo for 1mbit. Give me a gigabit port, and 95% of the time I and most people wont go anywhere near that amount.

            The problem is anybody but people who buy "real" Internet know what 95th percentile billing is—and even if they did they wouldn't understand it (nor should they need to, honestly). That is why most consumer grade Internet i

          • That's a good point. But, I'm guessing that they also aren't expected to pay for the sort of lavish lifestyles that our executives expect. Those telecoms probably also put a larger portion of the money to actually upgrading their networks.
        • Well, that and the telcos have their hands far up the asses of our government.

          Just to beat some American to it:

          "blah blah blah TSA blah blah blad"

      • by Alarash ( 746254 )
        20/1 Mbps sounds like DSL 2. This is fiber which is a more reliable transport medium because it's much less impacted by typical impairments (road work, noise on the line, rusty copper pairs, etc...). A better comparison would be the 50 Mbps/10 Mbps you get in Paris, with Fiber, for 50€.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by apoc.famine ( 621563 )
        Yep. I can concur with the GP. I'm paying $35 for the same connection he has. Like the GP, that's my price limit. I'd love to be paying $20-$25 US for the connection that you have.

        While I'm no fan of the telecos here, I do recognize that my price is subsidizing their expansion into rural areas, where there are only a couple of houses every mile. I lived in one such rural area. Without the regulators making rural broadband a requirement, those houses will never have broadband. And without me subsidizing th
    • Ouch. I'm paying $35/mo for 6mb/768k on AT&T.

  • $195 per month ? That's WAY too much.

    Move to Romania:

    http://www.ilink.ro/rezidential/internet/ [ilink.ro]

    100/100 mbps 70 Lei/month =~ $20/month

    or even cheaper:

    http://www.rcs-rds.ro/internet-digi-net/fiberlink/pachete [rcs-rds.ro]

    100/100 Mbps 39 Lei/Month =~ $12/month

    And there's no transfer cap.

    • by geekoid ( 135745 )

      It's paid through taxes. Just an FYI.

      Not that I'm against that, and quit frankly It's as important as roads. SO Inwoudn't mind paying a bit more in taxes for it. That's a different discussion.

  • Verizon FIOS has nothing on "Fi-Internet" in Chattanooga, TN. 1000 Mbps to your house for $350/month.

    https://epbfi.com/internet/ [epbfi.com]

  • by Lilith's Heart-shape ( 1224784 ) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @11:50AM (#34332284) Homepage
    $195/month is the sort a price that only a monopoly can get away with demanding. Too bad nobody bothers to enforce the Sherman Antitrust Act these days.
    • by smashr ( 307484 ) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @12:07PM (#34332544)

      $195/month is the sort a price that only a monopoly can get away with demanding. Too bad nobody bothers to enforce the Sherman Antitrust Act these days.

      Take a look at the areas where FIOS competes with the cable companies. I live in such an area, and you will find that prices are down and features are up. Both Verizon and the cable companies try to one-up each other with internet speeds, tv packages and discounts.

      While far from perfect competition, FIOS vs Cable really works out in the consumer's favor. In non-FIOS areas, the cable companies have far less of a motivation to compete.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        Verizon vs. Comcast isn't much of a choice. You're still picking between two monopolies, as Verizon holds a monopoly on fibre and POTS, and Comcast holds a monopoly on cable.
    • Yeah! Splitting up telcos into different local monopolies is going to help us. My town just got fiber in some areas, and only after a lengthy fight with the local government telco people over franchise agreements. If you want to help enter the 21st century, kill all of those franchise agreements. It's a start.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        Splitting regional monopolies into local monopolies isn't the answer. The answer is to make the telecom infrastructure publicly owned. Any business that wants to offer net service may do so as long as it contributes to the maintenance and improvement of the network. Ensure through regulation and appropriate penalties that the government does not abuse the public trust by spying on the network without a warrant.

        Yes, I know this sounds like socialism, but I'm tired of caring.

    • Obviously you are not familer with what other companies charge for these speeds. Check around. Many companies charge anywhere from $300 a month up to $1000 a month or more for a business-fiber 100Mbps line (of course, that is 100 up as well). Shoot, T1s cost about that much in some areas. $195 a month for 150down/35 up is going to be a deal for many companies who need a lot of speed.

  • Projected date of availability at my locale: Never
    • Indeed, Qwest has been promising service up to 40mbps for quite a while now, and there's been precisely no improvement in my area. We're still roughly where we were a decade ago, and there's no evidence that Qwest actually cares about the Seattle market. The only reason why they're here at all is that they were allowed to buy US West. If there were any viable competition I think people would leave them, and I suspect they are as cell service is often more useful. Internet wise they're essentially the only g
  • The speeds that FiOS provides for the price is really stunning in comparison to many alternatives, and the increases they are rolling out is amazing. But what about coverage? My neighbors, family living in the same subdivision, and I have been requesting FiOS for a couple years now, and I doubt we'll ever see it any time soon. I guess the reality is that increasing the speed over existing an infrastructure is far cheaper than building out the infrastructure.

  • Small orifices will be able to get it by the end of the year, Verizon said on Monday

    Why do they need quicker access to porn . . .?

  • wet my pants.

  • Ironically, living in the Research Triangle area (Raleigh, Durham, Cary, NC) means some of the slowest choices available for home internet access. There are some places that can get AT&T Uverse here, but otherwise it is all DSL or Cable. I would definitely sign up for this access if I could get it. Then again, Time Warner cable has been buying legislators to pass laws restricting municipal broadband plans like the recent one in Wilson, NC [stopthecap.com].
  • I was an early adopter of FiOS in 2006. Had the 5/2 plan for $29.99. Since then the price has slowly increased. Last year they doubled by download speed and started charging me $49.99 for 10/2. If I had it to do over again, I'd have stuck with DSL. I don't need anything faster than 5/2. Now I'm stuck with a minimum price of $50/month. Lame.
  • Sounds great, when can I get it? I live in a major US city, and it has been unavailable for a long time. Verizon keeps taunting me with FIOS offers in the mail, and then fails to actually deliver.

  • by Mike Van Pelt ( 32582 ) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @04:40PM (#34336402)

    FiOS has always sounded like one of those things I'd love to have. It's not ever going to be available where I currently live.

    A couple of years ago, when it looked like I was going to be moving out of state, I thought that, all other things being somewhere near equal, I'd sure like to move to an area that had FiOS service. So, I tried to find out where in the general area of my possible destination it might be available.

    No one at Verizon was willing to talk. I could randomly stab in the dark with a street address and get a yes/no answer, but no coverage map. "Trade Secret" or something. That was annoying.

The unfacts, did we have them, are too imprecisely few to warrant our certitude.