Verizon used the NXTComm conference to announce the expansion of their 50 Mbps broadband service for their entire FiOS footprint. Verizon says the ultra fast broadband service, which also includes a 20 Mbps upload speed, will be available to 10 million homes. The increases in speed also include 20/20, 20/5, and 10/2 Mbps FiOS plans as well. “The Verizon network is delivering broadband speeds that are unmatched by any competitor,” Verizon COO Denny Strigl said during an address at NXTComm. Verizon had offered these speeds in limited markets previously. Strigl added, “We’ve already had successful trials of the 100-megabit home, which will be a reality faster than anybody thinks.” FiOS Internet 50/20 Mbps service is available in New York and Virginia for $89.95 and elsewhere for $139.95 a month with an annual service plan. The 20/20 Mbps FiOS Internet service is available in all FiOS markets for $64.99 a month with an annual service plan.
Verizon is gaining the “king of broadband speeds” moniker for these upgrades. But for how long? Their cable competitors, namely Comcast, have committed to DOCSIS 3.0 deployments that will offer comparable broadband speeds. All of these ultra fast broadband plans are more for public relations battles than significant broadband market share gains – at least for the time being. The pricing associated with these service plans are out of reach for most consumers. For now these moves grab the attention and imagination of the industry, but will do little in terms of impact on earnings and market share. In time that will change. Perhaps, it ‘s a leading indicator of the future where 20 Mbps+ speeds become the norm for residential broadband.