It was something that Verizon had said it could do at any time to respond to the cable ISPs – turn the volume up on the FiOS, and achieve another boost in speed.

The speed is formidable, but then so is the pricing. As in hot cars, speed costs money, how fast do you want to go?

150 Mb/s down and 35 Mb/s up – that is some speed. It was not that long ago that you had to be an actual ISP to get that kind of speed. The problem for many is that it is not available at any price, because FiOS is only available in 12 of the 50 states – not a very good showing for such a large conglomerate, or for such a large nation.

[ComputerWorld]

Verizon is adding a new tier of service to its FiOS fiber broadband service, offering 150Mbit/sec downstream and 35Mbit/sec upstream for $194.99 per month.

The carrier has begun to roll out the service to consumers in the 12 U.S. states, plus the District of Columbia, where FiOS is available. Small businesses will be able to get it by the end of the year, Verizon said on Monday. The fastest service offered so far on FiOS has been 50Mbit/sec downstream and 20Mbit/sec upstream.

The service will be available to a majority of households that are eligible for FiOS. It will be available as a stand-alone service at the $194.99-per-month price when purchased with a one-year service agreement and Verizon wireline voice service.

So though there is a high price of admission, that kind of service being available is one of the things that brings the speed far up for the national average.

FiOS runs on an all-fiber-optic network that has allowed Verizon to offer higher speeds than AT&T, the other major U.S. telecommunications carrier, which operates in different territories and is building a network where fiber goes only part of the way to most homes. The fastest wired consumer service from AT&T offers 24Mbit/sec downstream and 3Mbit/sec upstream. Earlier this year, Verizon demonstrated an Internet connection of 1G bps both upstream and downstream on the most advanced equipment now in use on the FiOS network, though it has not predicted when that speed might be offered for sale.

Then there is Google, that has promised service for a city somewhere in the United States that will astound. Topeka, Kansas went so far as to change the town name to Google for a month-long interval, and yet there is still no word on that decision. Google seems to have put that move on the back burner.

We are clearly underserved as a nation when it comes to penetration, and speed, which casts a long shadow on the nation that developed the internet.

However, FiOS is only available to about 12.5 million U.S. households. Verizon earlier this year announced plans to add just 1 million new households to its FiOS footprint. The carrier’s goal is to reach 18 million households, though that doesn’t mean it won’t go beyond that, company spokesman Cliff Lee said.

With the new service, consumers will be able to download a two-hour standard-definition movie in about 90 seconds and upload 20 high-resolution vacation photos in about 20 seconds, according to a video introducing the service that Verizon posted to YouTube on Monday.

Verizon will continue to offer all its other service levels, which have downstream speeds from 15Mbit/sec to 50Mbit/sec. An existing symmetric service offers 35Mbit/sec both upstream and downstream. Existing customers who want the faster service will need a new in-home router, which will be free. In some areas, Verizon will also have to replace a gateway device on the outside of the house, also free of charge, Lee said.

As I have not been able to get service where I currently am, I have not kept up with the speed notches offered by Verizon. When I had FiOS previously, the first increment was 5/2 Mb/s, so the fact that the lowest rung is 15/5 Mb/s shows that progress toward a higher average is being made for those that have service. Another million households sounds wonderful, until we see how many millions are unable to get the service, and many of those millions are in Verizon service areas.

In the third quarter, Verizon added 226,000 FiOS broadband users, reaching a total of 3.9 million. There are 3.3 million users of the related FiOS TV service.

Consumers in some other countries have had home broadband services above 100Mbit/sec for the past few years. The U.S. Federal Communications Commission’s National Broadband Plan, released earlier this year, calls for “affordable” 100Mbit/sec broadband for 100 million U.S. households by 2020.

Those are lofty, if not completely achievable, goals. We can hope that much more of that wondrous fiber gets strung across a much wider area, as that is the prohibiting factor. Verizon has already shown that its hardware has the muscle to move the data, all that is needed is the linking of all those designated A to the others designated B.