Verizon Tests Near-Gigabit Speeds in Massachusetts


Verizon Communication (s vz) delivered broadband speeds of almost 1 gigabit per second to a customer in Taunton, Mass. in June as part of tests of its FiOS fiber to the home network. The test customer achieved throughputs of 925 Mbps down and 800 Mbps up. Today, there’s not much one needs such speeds for — unless you’re sending terabytes of data round the web for scientific research or your computer is a massive torrent hub — but Verizon has its eyes on the future.

The company has been testing speeds of up to 10 Gbps in its labs, thinking that services such as 3DTV, desktop virtualization, remote storage, as well as wireless backhaul for the next generation of wireless technologies, will all require fatter pipes. Verizon’s 1 Gbps test was conducted using Motorola (s mot) gear and required a change inside Verizon’s network, but not at the customer premise (which would result in more expensive deployments). The tests also shouldn’t be confused with Verizon’s efforts to bring even faster 10 Gbps speeds to the home, which uses a newer technology called XG PON rather than the GPON used here. The current GPON tech delivers 2.5 Gbps downstream and 1.2 Gbps upstream. Still, it’s a shame that Verizon has stopped its FiOS expansion while it seeks to improve the adoption in markets where it has built out fiber to the home already.

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VZ has been touting the “right around the corner” availability of 100Mbps FiOS for a few years now. Running a 1Gig trial seems like just a PR stunt. (A cruel one at that.)

I don’t know about your ONT, by mine only has a FE port on it. I assume they’ll have to fork lift the ONT for each customer who upgrades to 1G (perhaps in the year 2025, optimistically).

Regarding video, seems like they’re hurting on their HFC system. They just dropped HD channels to reclaim capacity for other uses. I hope they go to head-end switching. I think that is more deployable in the near term than IP video. (Especially given the crummy moto STBs).

I would love to see 4k (or Super Hi-Vision!) deployment. The demos at CES are REALLY IMPRESSIVE. However, it seems today that many of the networks are only operating at very low video data rates (macroblocking is easily visible on high motion scenes, sometimes even on simple scene change edits). We customers pay thousands for fancy HD tv sets, but HBO et al are too cheap to buy enough satellite bandwidth to deliver a quality primary feed to FiOS…

(And what would happen to FiOS if all the suppliers suddenly woke up and started to deliver genuine 40Mbps primary feeds to them??? They’d need to dedicate a QAM to each HD channel. There are only 130 or so RF slots for QAM available with their existing ONT and STB, I believe. If Verizon maintains their commitment to deliver the full fidelity of the primary feed they receive, then they’ll need to resort to head-end switching or do a big fork lift. )

FiOS is very stable and robust (no active devices in the outside plant, no outside coax, no lightning susceptibility, and so on). But, as far as present day video is concerned, its just (more or less) an HFC cable-tv system, with a node-size of ONE. They need to move on and are likely weighing the options. I hope they chose a path that supports maximum video performance!


A single customer? Sounds like PR trolling by Verizon. Not newsworthty, and kind of lame of GigaOm to buy in.

Wes Felter

If anything, this may backfire. Why tell customers that the equipment is capable of 1 Gbps but you’re only giving them 50 Mbps?

Jared Stenquist

This upsets me. I have an office in the middle of downtown Boston and I had to sign up for TWO Verizon dsl lines to get close to a single Comcast broadband line.

Any to think they’re spending their days testing 100Gbps service to a random house in Taunton. I am disappointed.


This will mainstream 4K.

YouTube, Sony, RED, JVC, Intel, Apple,& Google are advancing the emerging 4K format. They just need the broadband speeds of almost 1 gigabit per second. Verizon’s accomplishment accelerates 4K delivery into the home.

Wes Felter

If 1080p requires up to 40 Mbps, 4K shouldn’t need more than 160 Mbps. IMO bandwidth is the smallest barrier in delivering 4K to the home; deployment of 4K TVs and workable business models are likely to be much more difficult.

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