News Column

United States : The Innovative Tide that Raises All Boats

August 7, 2014

Verizon has once again shown its leadership in consumer broadband with its recent decision to increase FiOS Internet upload speeds to match the download speeds. With this move, Verizon ups the ante, yet again, for cable company competitors that have been playing catch-up to FiOS Internet with their DOCSIS 3.0 broadband services.

For nearly a decade, the FiOS fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) infrastructure has set the standard for download speeds, and I have no doubt that competing Internet providers will also find it necessary to follow Verizon s lead for faster upload speeds. Video streaming and downloads are clearly driving demand for downstream capacity, but video uploads are also becoming more common as users capture and share their own video content pushing the need for faster uploads. The broader adoption of consumer video communications, and especially high-definition video sessions will continue to grow and drive further need for upstream speed. Teleworkers also need faster upload speeds as these home-office workers use video conferencing, file sharing, unified communications and collaboration (UC&C), and cloud-based remote storage for their business.

Mobile devices, gaming consoles, home security cameras, digital video recorders and future smart home appliances all drive the need for faster connections in the home. Tablet and smartphone users manage their mobile data usage by offloading traffic onto a wired connection via their in-home Wi-Fi. Gaming consoles with multi-player, high-definition graphics generate increased demand for the kind of symmetrical broadband speeds now available with FiOS Internet. Home security cameras and digital video recorders (DVRs) that use Sling-like technology for remote viewing also drive upstream demand as the content from these devices is sent to the cloud for storage and distribution.

Longer term, the Internet of Things with devices such as smart refrigerators, connected light bulbs, and other connected home appliances will also require upstream connectivity.

Admittedly, demand for downstream capacity is now and will continue to be greater than upstream capacity. However, when FiOS was introduced in 2004 with a 30 Mbps download tier, skeptics suggested that users didn t need that much speed. Today, every major broadband provider reports that the majority of Internet customers are trending toward faster Internet connection speeds, and Verizon reported that 55% of FiOS Internet customers subscribed to downstream speeds ranging from 50 to 500 Mbps at the end of Q2 2014. FTTH and DOCSIS technologies have made faster speeds available and affordable, and users have flocked to the available capacity.

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Source: TendersInfo (India)

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