A Verizon (a vz) executive doesn’t foresee a need for broadband caps on the companies’ FiOS networks at the current time. Joseph Ambeault, director of media and entertainment services for Verizon, said today in an interview, “Our network is always engineered for big amounts of data and right now there are no plans [to implement caps], but of course you never want to say never because things could change.”
However, in the same conversation he talked about how the FiOS service has gone from offering a maximum of 622 Mbps shared among 24 homes in the beginning to tests of 10-gigabit-per-second connections in individual homes that Ambeault mentioned. For now, Verizon is testing 10-gigabit-per-second-shared connections and offering up to 150 Mbps home connections. This kind of relish for massive bandwidth is not evident in conversations with folks at AT&T or even those cable firms deploying DOCSIS 3.0. Which is why when Ambeault added, “We don’t want to take the gleam off of FiOS,” as his final say on caps, I tend to believe that Verizon may be the last holdout as other ISPs such as AT&T, Charter and Comcast implement caps.
However, if the industry at large implements them, Verizon may find itself in trouble. The adoption of faster broadband tends to be driven by both devices and applications, and many of those applications also depend on our friends having similar levels of service. The gigabit web apps may be less fun and less attractive to investors or entrepreneurs because there is a smaller audience capable of using them, and because the smaller audience means those people might not have anyone else to communicate with. It’s like getting offered tickets to Disneyland, but being told you can’t take your friends or family.
As a whole caps are bad for innovation, bad for consumers and bad for startups and big businesses trying to capitalize on the connected opportunity available today. Let’s hope that eventually, the Verizon excitement over big bandwidth prevails, and caps fall by the wayside. We should probably also hope that Verizon doesn’t try to implementing metered broadband.