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Updated: Verizon preps 100 Mb/s FiOS for 2009

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Verizon Communications is preparing to enable 100-Mb/s broadband services next year for its fiber-to-the-premises network, according to Vincent O’Byrne, Verizon’s technology director.

After trialing 100-Mb/s services to a small number of users for at least a year, O’Byrne said at an event today held by Lightwave magazine, “That will be coming next year.”

However, a Verizon spokesperson contacted Telephony Friday to clarify that O'Byrne was not saying the company would necessarily roll out 100-Mb/s services next year. "Verizon expects to have its delivery processes for speeds like that locked down in 2009 so that service with speeds approaching 100 Mb/s would be enabled in the very near future," the spokesperson said. "We have no product ready to announce for deployment in 2009."

The move toward greater speed is justified by new services that will greatly increase residential bandwidth consumption, he said. “A lot of these different TVs will have inordinate demand on the bandwidth that’s required on the network in order to support them. In some cases, the requirements will be much greater than 100 Mb/s to the customer. In parallel to that, a number of TVs, a number of DVRs and network storage devices in the home will increase individual demand from customers on the network.”

For that reason, Verizon is already investigating possible successors to the GPON technology it began rolling out last year and ramped significantly this year. But O’Byrne reiterated today that GPON will serve Verizon’s needs for the foreseeable future and that post-GPON technologies aren’t likely to be standardized for a few years. Verizon’s first-generation FiOS technology, BPON, can support 100 Mb/s service, O’Byrne said, and GPON can support much more.

This summer, Verizon unveiled a new set of home gateways for FiOS aimed at boosting up in-home networking speeds from 75 Mb/s to 175 Mb/s.

At another industry event two years ago, Terry Denson, vice president of FiOS TV content strategy and acquisition for Verizon, said “very few” customers were asking for 100 Mb/s. But it raises the ante on the competitive landscape, so that customers believe that 100 Mb/s is what they need to have,” he said in 2007. “A hundred meg ends up being a threshold because it's sexy. I don't think customer behavior is going to get there for several years. Some outliers will demand that and maybe more. But what really drives it isn't so much consumer demand. It's competitive marketing tactics.”

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© 2014 Penton Media Inc.

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