Updated: Subscribers to Verizon's (NYSE: VZ) FiOS service will soon have another speed option available to them: a 500/100 Mbps speed tier starting at $310 a month for a bundled subscription.
Verizon updated its speed comparison chart. Enlarge
Initially available "in parts of every FiOS market," residential subscribers can get the new tier as part of either a double-play bundle for $309.99, or a triple-play bundle for $329.99 as part of a two-year agreement, according to a Verizon press release.
Business subscribers can access the 500 Mbps tier as a standalone service only, with the option of a dynamic IP address for $369.99 per month, or a static IP address for $389.99 per month, both with a two-year contract. It's also available on a no-contract, month-to-month basis.
A spokesperson for Verizon told FierceTelecom that a standalone, Internet-only service is available to residential subs for $300 a month with a two-year contract.
The 500 Mbps tier's availability "includes parts of Southern California, North Texas, the Tampa/St. Petersburg/Sarasota area of Florida, Virginia, the District of Columbia, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island and Massachusetts. The only state where this particular speed is not offered is in the very small sliver of Connecticut that we serve," the spokesperson added.
The residential pricing, of course, varies depending on the FiOS TV lineup each subscriber chooses.
"Ten years ago, when we began designing the FiOS network, we said it would be futureproof," said Fowler Abercrombie, manager for product development at Verizon, in a video introducing the new speed tier. "Fast forward to today: FiOS is uniquely capable of fulfilling that promise. …We also knew that our homes would become connected homes, and our offices would become digital command centers."
Last summer, Verizon increased its FiOS speeds to a maximum of 300/65 Mbps. Its Quantum speed tiers include 50/25 Mbps, 75/35 Mbps and 150/65 Mbps. However, subscribers opting for the top two tiers had to swap out their existing BPON optical network terminals for GPON ONTs--something that existing customers who want to leap from 50 or 75 Mbps to 500 Mbps will most likely have to do as well.
Despite the insistence of some ISPs that consumers don't need high Internet download speeds, a few major providers capitulated to demand last summer following Verizon's Quantum launch. Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA) quickly announced its own 305 Mbps, Ethernet-based offering via its Xfinity service, and Charter (Nasdaq: CHTR) reportedly was working on a 300 Mbps speed tier.
Verizon is certainly tapping into consumer excitement around faster download speeds. The intense interest in Google Fiber's (Nasdaq: GOOG) 1 Gbps network buildouts in Kansas City, Provo, and Austin has caught the attention of major ISPs like AT&T (NYSE: T), which tried to steal some of Google's thunder in Austin on the day of that launch by announcing it would--someday, probably--offer a 1 Gbps service in the city.
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Updated to add more pricing details and available areas.