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Verizon Soups Up FTTP Network

Verizon Communications tapped Alcatel, Motorola and Tellabs to help it soup up its fiber-to-the-premises network and give it an even bigger broadband speed weapon to battle cable and rival telco competitors.

The upgrade project, set to start later this year, will overlay gigabit-passive-optical-network (G-PON) technology onto Verizon’s expanding FiOS all-fiber-optic network under construction in 16 of the 28 states it serves. GPON can boost throughput fourfold compared to its older broadband-passive-optical-networking (BPON) scheme, supporting in theory as much as 2.5 gigabits per second throughput to a home compared with BPON’s 622 megabits per second.

Because GPON systems also are more efficient, it should drop operational expenses for Verizon by about 25%, according to the company.

The GPON upgrade work will start with the Alcatel equipment to be installed in Verizon’s central switching office and in new installation of fiber lines leading into customer homes. That will be followed by gear from Motorola and Tellabs.

"In addition to the ability to boost our broadband Internet speeds on fiber, this new technology will enhance the video-on-demand capabilities of our existing FiOS TV product on fiber and sets the stage for an all-IPTV offering in the future,” said Paul Lacouture, Verizon's executive vice president for network and technology.

So far, Verizon is offering its FiOS TV service in 58 communities across seven states. Its FiOS network is on track to pass 6 million homes by the end of the year, and plans are to add about 3 million homes passed yearly for the next several years.