Verizon takes on Google with 1 Gbps offering

Exec: Speed is only one part of equation
Tools

Verizon (NYSE: VZ) has yet to offer a 1 Gbps Fiber to the Home (FTTH) connection, but it says it's ready to deliver such a service when its customers start demanding these speeds.

The telco's claim comes on the heels of Google's (Nasdaq: GOOG) initial FTTH rollouts in Kansas City and the FCC's "Gigabit City Challenge," which has set a goal to provide "at least one gigabit community in all 50 states by 2015."

Link Hoewing, assistant vice president of Internet and Technology Issues for Verizon, wrote in the telco's public policy blog that while it is capable of delivering higher speeds, speed is only one part of the overall broadband experience.

To date, the service provider has done a few experimental demonstrations of how to deliver Gbps speeds on a FTTH network.

In 2009, Verizon conducted a field trial of a XG PON system from Huawei in Southern Massachusetts that it said could transmit data at 10 Gbps downstream and 2.4 Gbps upstream. In 2010 it held two more trials of 1 Gbps capabilities with a residential customer and business customer in Taunton, Mass. In June 2010, the telco also demonstrated how it could deliver 10/2.5 Gbps with a Motorola XG-PON system where it equipped the customer's home with an Optical Network Terminal (ONT). Then in August 2010, the telco demonstrated that GPON could deliver approximately 1 Gbps of bandwidth to an existing FiOS business customer.

"We've already demonstrated we can deliver 1 Gbps and even 10 Gbps speeds over the same fiber to a home," Hoewing wrote. "As consumer demands and needs grow, we can increase our speeds."

He added that "offering a high speed connection to the home does not tell the full story when it comes to delivering the best possible and most capable broadband service. A high number of bits-per-second-connection alone isn't sufficient, because other factors aside from speed affect the quality and capability of a connection."

However, as pointed out by Broadband DSL Reports, Verizon's 1 Gbps ambitions provide two glaring realities. One is that Verizon has begun migrating existing "chronic" DSL customers to fiber and its wireless unit has struck a special relationship with the cable operators. What's more, the service provider has halted the expansion of FiOS into new markets other than some areas in the Northeast such as Medford, Mass., where it must fulfill existing franchise agreements, and is focusing on expanding the network in existing markets.

For more:
- here's the Verizon blog post
Broadband DSL Reports has this article

Related articles:
Verizon FiOS lifts wireline consumer revenues to $14 billion in 2012
Verizon challenges Comcast with Medford, Mass. FiOS debut
Verizon GPON proves it can kick out the GigE
Verizon takes another next-gen PON test drive