Verizon FiOS gives customers a boost on upload speeds

fios
Verizon will upgrade its fiber-to-the-home service to symmetrical broadband connections at no extra charge for customers. That means customers get the same speeds when uploading data as they do downloading data (So my colleague Kevin Tofel’s speeds up above should soon match up.) Verizon says this is because people are creating a lot more content, but it’s also smart marketing. Fiber doesn’t face the same constraints as copper or cable, so symmetrical speeds are a relatively cheap way of offering customers more value, especially customers irked about the ISP’s Netflix fight. The upgrades will be phased out in the coming months.

Time Warner Cable starts offering 300 Mbps in Austin in June

Austin

Austin, the home of three future gigabit networks from Google (residents can’t sign up for it yet); AT&T (currently limited in the deployment area and limited to 300 Mbps speeds) and Grande Communications (gigabit offered in limited areas) is getting a speed boost from its incumbent cable provider, Time Warner Cable. Residents will see their speeds hit up to 300 Mbps starting June 3. Everyone gets a boost, with 15 Mbps subscribers hitting 50 Mbps and those on the 100 Mbps plan getting a 300 Mbps upgrade at no extra charge. The upgrades represent a $60 million investment by TWC in Austin.

Cox wants to deliver a gig, so how does cable take on fiber?

Yesterday Cox president Pat Esser, told Bloomberg the cable operator would deliver a gigabit network in some residential markets this year. The interview was cagey on how, but an Ars Technica story notes that Cox has spread doubts about FTTH tech on its web site. Last year, I covered how next-generation DOCSIS technologies can deliver gigabit service and last year Comcast even showed off a 3 Gbps connection. But as cable providers use more of their network capacity and for IP delivery, they will also run up against a tough business problem — namely how to keep subscribers from dumping pay TV packages in favor of web-based alternative.

Google joins Verizon in researching 10 Gbps fiber connections

The fiber is barely in the ground and already Google is thinking about next generation gigabit networks, with the advertising company researching ways to get to 10Gbps on its Google Fiber networks. Its CFO Patrick Pichette spoke at an investor conference this week and noted the efforts while telling people to stay tuned about future network expansions. google’s need for speed isn’t exclusive to it. Verizon has been testing 10 Gbps using XG PON technology since 2010.

The National Science Foundation gets behind gigabit innovation with a new fund

Mozilla and the National Science Foundation have created a $300,000 Gigabit Community Fund, to help support people in Kansas City, Kan. and Chattanooga Tenn. create apps that will showcase novel uses for gigabit networks. The open source software developed under the program will take advantage of the advanced networks in both cities, and hopefully offer up some great use cases for people who ask, why does anyone need a gig. Last summer Mozilla provided some funding for 22 ideas that competed as part of a U.S. Ignite event to showcase gigabit apps. Check ’em out.