Verizon is bringing near-gigabit speeds to some of its customers, at a standalone price point of $69.99 per month, less than half the price of its previous top-tier service.
On Monday, Verizon announced the launch of its Fios Gigabit Connection, which offers 940 Mbps download speeds and 880 Mbps upload speeds to customers in eight US regions. The service will be offered at a standalone price of $69.99 per month, less than half of the $150 charged for Verizon's previously top-speed 750 Mbps service tier.
While the service doesn't technically offer gigabit speeds, it comes very close, and at a more standard price point than what it previously charged for 750 Mbps. In addition to the $69.99 per month offering for standalone service, Verizon will also be offering a $79.99 per month option for a triple play bundle with TV and voice service when service is ordered online, as well as a 50 Mbps tier for $39.99 per month.
No other provider can match the speeds offered by Fios at the scale they're doing it at, said Ken Dixon, Verizon's president of consumer wireline business, in a press release announcing the service. "And we've priced it so that millions can enjoy it," he said in the release.
The press release said that the gigabit service is an updated version of the 750 Mbps service the company launched back in January, "with new firmware and diagnostic tools to increase performance even more." As such, some 8 million homes in certain areas of New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Richmond, VA, Hampton Roads, VA, Boston, Providence, and Washington, DC will have access to the service.
So, what happens if you were one of the customers who was paying $150 a month for the 750 Mbps service? Verizon will automatically upgrade your service to the Fios Gigabit Connection and drop your monthly price to reflect the new options.
The real problem is for Verizon customers who don't live in one of the areas getting the gigabit service. As reported by Ars Technica, customers in other regions will continue to pay for service slower than the gigabit offering, and often at a much higher price. There is also the concern of the areas where Verizon sold some of its FioS network to Frontier Wireless, as the recent deal likely will not be available to those customers.
Like many other providers, Verizon has also been experimenting with 5G wireless as a means of bringing higher speeds to its customers—testing the service in 11 US cities. Google Fiber has also pivoted toward a wireless model in certain markets as well.
The biggest issue for Verizon is its timing. Google Fiber and AT&T have had established gigabit offerings for some time, and if it doesn't market the service well, Verizon could simply be late to the party.
The 3 big takeaways for TechRepublic readers
- Verizon is launching a new Fios Gigabit Connection for $69.99 per month in eight US regions.
- The service offers 940 Mbps download speeds and 880 Mbps upload speeds at a price that is less than half of the $150 per month Verizon previously charged for its fastest service.
- Previous customers of the fastest service, in the proper regions, will automatically have the speed increased and price lowered.
- Google Fiber 2.0 targets the city where it will stage its comeback, as AT&T Fiber prepares to go nuclear (TechRepublic)
- The path to becoming a gigabit city (ZDNet)
- Gigabit internet over the air is coming (TechRepublic)
- Verizon launches Fios Gigabit internet for $70 a month (CNET)
- AT&T launches new Fiber brand, will bring fiber internet to 11 more metro areas (TechRepublic)