Verizon Boosts Upload Speeds For FiOS Customers, Matching Download Bandwidth

  @lukeydukeyl.villapaz@ibtimes.com on July 21 2014 11:06 AM
Verizon
A sign of Verizon Wireless is seen at its store in Westminster, Colorado, April 26, 2009. Reuters/Rick Wilking

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) is boosting the upload speeds of its FiOS fiber optic Internet service to match current download speeds.

The New York-based fiber optic Internet service provider said Monday that it's rolling out faster upload speeds for new and existing residential subscribers in the United States. This speed boost will enable Verizon FiOS users to upload video, use video chat and upload large files faster, the company claims. The upload speed upgrade should also help with other services that use a heavy portion of a user’s upload bandwidth such as Sony Corp.’s (NYSE:SNE) PlayStation 4 Remote Play feature.

The service upgrade is expected to be rolled out over the coming months for Verizon FiOS customers. FiOS subscribers don’t have to do anything to receive the free Verizon upgrade. They can expedite the upgrade by signing up for the program through the Verizon My Rewards+ page.

“Faster upload speeds means better sharing experiences,” Mike Ritter, Verizon’s chief marketing officer for consumer and mass business, said. “All Internet sharing -- whether videos, large photo files or gaming -- starts with uploading. FiOS all-fiber-optic technology offers a unique opportunity to enhance our customers’ Internet experience on a mass scale by increasing our upload speeds to equal to our industry-leading download speeds. As the Internet of Things becomes a reality, equal download and upload speeds will become essential.”

Are there any limitations to how much you can upload with the new speed upgrade?

“Practically speaking, no,” Bob Elek, Verizon's media relations manager, told International Business Times.

Customers are still expected to use their FiOS Internet connection according to the terms of service agreed upon when first signing up.

Elek elaborated on the possible limitations:

“Late last year we discovered a small number of residential customers consuming many terabytes of data each month with their home connections -- far exceeding usage levels ever intended for Verizon’s home broadband service. To put this in context and just for example, these are customers who would have to watch over 4,000 hours, or 166 days-worth of non-stop HD movie viewing over a month’s time to equal their usage levels.

So any customer using their home Internet service at these volumes needs to move to business grade service and will be directed to do so.  But again, this is a rare…the vast majority of our residential customers never come close to this level of consumption.”

While the upgrade will benefit the number of FiOS customers that upload tons of content to Internet and cloud services, it’s unlikely that the upload bandwidth increase will remedy streaming download issues with services such as Netflix Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX).

The ISP and the streaming video provider have continued to trade accusations in recent months over the cause of Netflix streaming slowdowns on the FiOS network. Verizon posted a blog entry on July 10, accusing Netflix of not optimally routing its traffic to FiOS Customers. Internet back-bone provider, Level 3 Communications Inc. (NYSE:LVLT) responded to the blog entry with its own comments on July 17 about the slowdown, accusing Verizon of dragging its feet on adding bandwidth capacity to its network.

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