Verizon is tripling the top speed of its FiOS broadband to 150Mbps. The move makes Verizon FiOS the fastest broadband service available, and opens up new possibilities for small and medium businesses that rely on consumer-grade broadband connections.
"By offering the fastest mass-market Internet service in the nation, we're supporting the immediate and future speed needs of bandwidth-hungry consumers," said Eric Bruno, Verizon vice president of product management. "The new 150/35 Mbps FiOS Internet offer establishes a new benchmark for high-speed Internet in America, and paves the way for a flurry of emerging bandwidth-intensive applications to reach mainstream status."
Verizon's blazing fast FiOS service is more almost eight times faster than the 20Mbps standard being pushed as a goal by the FCC. On the other hand, it is only 15 percent of the gigabit speed that Google is pilot testing in select markets. It seems to sit comfortably in the middle -- demonstrating that the FCC goal may be a little underwhelming, while still showing that there is a great deal of potential left to deliver what Google has envisioned.
While consumers might enjoy the 150Mbps FiOS service, it is priced out of many consumer budgets at nearly $200 a month (when purchased on a one-year contract bundled with Verizon wireline voice service). However, the budget may be more tenable for small and medium businesses that can take advantage of the super fast broadband speed.
Verizon's Bruno agrees, "Our new 150/35 Mbps offer will also support burgeoning bandwidth-intensive applications such as Internet video to TV and PC, 3D TV and movie downloads, high-definition and real-time video conferencing, and online data backup."
Unfortunately for those small and medium business customers, they are going to have to wait a little while. According to Verizon, the new FiOS service is being rolled out consumers now, but will not be available for small business customers until later this year.
To give the higher speed some perspective, a two hour HD movie weighing in at 5Gb can be downloaded in under five minutes. Downloading 20 high-resolution photos of 100Mb each would take less than six seconds.
As small and medium businesses take advantage of cloud-based productivity and video conferencing solutions, the higher broadband bandwidth will be imperative. Collaborating online in real-time, or conducting video meetings will tax most standard broadband offerings, but should run smoothly at 150Mbps.