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FiOS Takes Big Step Toward IPTV

As it ramps up its FiOS video system, already available in seven states, Verizon has just taken a "Very big" step toward going all IPTV, all the time.

Currently its video system is a hybrid of traditional video delivery via cable for its linear programming and IPTV for its video on demand offerings and electronic program guide. the goal is to put it all on the 'net.

The "very big" was from Verizon spokesman Mark Marchand, who says the company expects to delivery FiOS via IPTV within the next several years. "Eventually, this sets the stage for going all-IPTV when we feel the technology is more mature and scalable," he said.

The "step" is quadrupling broadband download speeds-and octupling upload speeds--through equipment deals with equipment from Motorola, Tellabs and Alcatel.

The rollout of what it is calling a Gigabit Passive Optical Network (G-PON) will come by the end of the year, and will have immediate impact on the speed and flexibility of VOD.

Currently, Verizon starts with 633 megabits per second, but that is divided among as many as 32 customers by the time it gets to the home. The new network will start out at 2.4 gigabits per second.

Why eight times upload speed but only four time for download? "We're trying to do more with upstream given that the Internet is more interactive," says Marchand.