Verizon FiOS customers tend to be the envy of the rest of us non-FiOS, broadband users. Well, that envy quotient is about to go up another notch, as Verizon announced that as of next week, its 50/20 and 20/20 Mbps services will be available "across all of Verizon's FiOS Internet service footprint in 16 states."
"Verizon had already offered the 50/20 Mbps and 20/20 Mbps services in its FiOS markets in Connecticut, Florida, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and Rhode Island. The company is now expanding those offerings to new Verizon FiOS customers in parts of California, Delaware, Indiana, Maryland, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia and Washington, replacing existing offerings of 30/15 Mbps and 15/15 Mbps services, respectively.
The mid-tier connection speed in those markets for new customers is being increased from 15/2 Mbps to 20/5 Mbps, and the basic service tier is being increased from 5/2 Mbps to 10/2 Mbps. Existing FiOS Internet customers who are interested in the new speed options can call Verizon for information about the new plans."
Keep in mind that these speeds are actually theoretical or maximum-sustainable speeds, and that actual real-world speeds will be at least somewhat lower. Regardless, these are not only the fastest download speeds available to broadband consumers, but the fastest upload speeds as well. Upstream communications has long been where broadband providers have skimped, as the vast majority of Web traffic has historically been downstream data. With VoIP, video conferencing, video and photo uploading, and telecommuting tasks all becoming increasingly ubiquitous, increasing the upstream bandwidth is now a necessity.
Maximum upstream speeds of 2Mbps are common from cable providers, while maximum DSL upstream speeds tend to top out at 768Kbps. That said, Verizon FiOS customers often have to pay more than their cable or DSL counterparts to get these faster speeds.
"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 customers who bundle their FiOS serive with other Verizon services are eligible for discounts. The same usually goes for cable and DSL customers who bundle their services together. As a point of comparison for the cost of unbundled services, here is a sample of some of the different services and their costs for a particular region of New Jersey:
|Verizon FiOS || Comcast High-Speed Internet (Cable)|| Verizon DSL|
| $64.99/month|| $52.95/month|| $29.99/month|
| 20Mbps upstream|| 16Mbps upstream|| 3Mbps upstream|
| 20Mbps downstream|| 2Mbps downstream|| 768Kbps downstream|
We can be envious of our FiOS-enabled friends until the cows come home, but at least we can crow that we're paying less our broadband connections. Of course, some might call that sour grapes.