Verizon (NYSE: VZ) on Monday launched a plan for existing FiOS customers allowing them to upgrade to its introductory Quantum tier of 50/25 Mbps for an additional $10 per month.
This new promotion follows the introduction of the company's FiOS Quantum speed tiers last July, which in addition to the 50/25 Mbps tier include 75/35, 150/65 and 300/65 Mbps speed tiers.
A key element of the upgrade is ease of use for the customer. Existing FiOS customers who want the 50/25 Mbps tier have three options to get the new speed: go to FiOS TV channel 500 and click "OK" twice, access the FiOS Quantum site or use the MyFiOS app. Within an hour of notifying the telco that they want the higher tier, their speed will be upgraded.
Customers can use their existing home gateways and Optical Network Terminals (ONTs) and don't have to purchase a new bundle or migrate to a new TV service package. What's more, there's no time commitment to subscribe to the new tier.
The 50/25 Mbps upgrade offer comes at time in the consumer segment when Verizon says it is seeing a "steady rise in the number of Internet-connected devices owned by members of a household (seven now, and rising to 12 in a few years), using those devices at the same time (4 now and growing) and streaming video at a record clip."
The move is also a way to stay on competitive footing with cable operators such as Cablevision (NYSE: CVC), which is also increasing its higher speed offerings on its existing HFC-based networks to deliver 50 and even 100 Mbps in certain markets.
In its recent Measuring Broadband America report, the FCC wrote that Cablevision and Verizon "were both able to deliver peak period speeds of 115 percent of advertised rates during peak periods, suggesting that engineering and deployment rules, in addition to technology, are a crucial component of overall service quality." This is the first time the regulator included the telco's 50/25 Mbps and 70/35 Mbps tiers in its report.
While Verizon does not break down the percentage of customers who subscribe to each tier, FiOS continues to be a bright spot in its wireline portfolio. In Q4 2012, Verizon had a total of 5.4 million FiOS Internet and 4.7 million FiOS video connections, up 12.6 percent and 13.3 percent respectively. FiOS customer ARPU was more than $150 in the quarter.
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