1-Gig Can Wait: Fios Dials Up 750-Meg Tier

Verizon is putting multi-Gigabit broadband in its sights with NG-PON2, but, for now, the telco is content to go with a top-shelf offering that flirts with 1-Gig.

1-Gig broadband is the new benchmark for many ISPs, but this next step up the broadband speed ladder by Verizon is a 750 Megabits-per-second service called Fios Instant Internet that became available to about 7 million homes and businesses starting last Saturday (Jan. 14). The new offering, which takes over for a 500 Mbps offering that has been serving as the telco’s high-end tier since mid-2013, is debuting in New York City-Northern New Jersey, Philadelphia and Richmond, Va., with more markets to follow later in the year. Fios Instant Internet will launch in Boston and Norfolk, Va., later in Q1, the telco said.

Verizon’s new tier sells for $149.99 a month as a standalone, and heavily discounted when customers take it with a bundle with TV and voice service that costs $169.99 per month for all three services..

Verizon has so far avoided taking the plunge on a 1-Gig service that pairs up with the kind of speeds being advertised by providers such as Google Fiber, or from cable competitors, such as Comcast and RCN, that have begun to roll out DOCSIS 3.1-based services that deliver bursts of up to 1 Gbps in the downstream direction.

Altice USA, which competes with Fios in its Optimum territory (the former Cablevision Systems markets), recently launched a 300-Mbps DOCSIS-based tier there, and is pushing ahead with an ambitious FTTP upgrade plan that gets underway this year.

Indicating a strategy to overdeliver on its advertised speeds, the new 750-Mbps offering “frequently performs well into the 900-Mbps range,” a Verizon spokesman said.