With cable broadband service dominating virtually all broadband growth of late, Verizon is upping the ante with a new 750 Mbps symmetrical service, set to launch January 14th across several Fios markets. While not gigabit speeds, the new 750 Mbps symmetrical service, called Fios Instant Internet, hopes to leverage an advantage over a key cable broadband weakness.
“No Internet service provider has come close to offering upload and download speeds like these at such a massive scale as Fios Instant Internet,” said Ken Dixon, president of Verizon’s consumer landline business in a press release. “Ever since we decided to build the nation’s largest 100 percent fiber-to-the-home network 14 years ago, we’ve been saying that it is a future-proof technology.”
Not Quite Gigabit
The cable industry is making a big push into gigabit, and their download speeds are generally much higher than their telco competitors. But cable companies are unable to provide symmetrical broadband service and a key weakness is much slower upload speeds (although maybe not for long). Verizon is now exceeding most cable broadband speed tiers, at least where cable gigabit service is unavailable, and adding a superior upload experience with this 750 Mbps symmetrical tier.
Fios Instant Internet is scheduled to be available across 7 million homes in Verizon greater New York City / northern New Jersey, Philadelphia and Richmond markets on January 14th. More Fios markets will follow in 2017, according to the company. The 750 Mbps symmetrical service will start at $149.99 as a stand-alone service, or bundled for $169.99 with TV and home phone.
Verizon has been somewhat slow to react to cable’s broadband dominance, especially considering they were first to market with a mass market FTTH service. They have resisted the call to gigabit service, even with a growing gigabit movement in the cable industry.
Truth be told, an average consumer couldn’t tell the difference between a 750 Mbps and a gigabit service, but gigabit has captured the imagination of the industry and has become a premium Internet standard of sorts. That doesn’t seem to matter to Verizon and their initial marketing appears to be pushing the higher upload speeds and the benefit that brings to multiple device households.