Verizon testing next-gen 10Gbps FiOS

10 Gigs per second?!?! Where do I sign up?




Today, Verizon announced that it had completed a second round of testing of a next-generation optical networking technology, which should eventually become available to its FiOS customers. The tech, called XG-PON, promises performance of up to 10Gbps downstream and 2.5Gbps back up to the Internet, and it operates over existing fiber. As with most network figures, real world performance was substantially lower, but XG-PON still enabled the receiving PCs to reach speeds of over 900Mbps in a performance test.

FiOS, like other services of the sort, relies on passive optical networking technology, or PON. PON hardware takes a single optical signal and uses an unmanaged splitter to send it to a number of downstream targets (typically about 32). Those targets have to sort out what portions of the signal are meant for them and discard the rest. Upping the downstream bandwidth can be as simple as upping the amount of signal sent through the fibers to the local PON hardware. Transmission back to the local service closet is asymmetrical, leading to reduced upload speeds.

Right now, the reigning standard appears to be Gigabit PON, or GPON. XG-PON is simply a 10 Gigabit implementation (Verizon is using hardware from Motorola for its tests). The successful tests seem to support Verizon’s initial rationale for investing in fiber-to-the-home deployment. As optical networking hardware improves, a combination of new hardware at the local exchange and a new modem will let the company take advantage of its fiber by deploying premium service tiers—it’s already charging home users $140 a month for 50Mbps service.

Unfortunately, that price may be a barrier for many users, as the company has dropped hints that it will stop new deployments until more customers in its existing fiber footprint sign up for service. If the prices go even higher for improved service, it’s difficult to imagine there will be a lot of takers. Verizon’s press material on the test, however, suggests they’re hoping that increased user expectations will eventually cause people to sign up—they specifically mention downloading Blu-ray movies and offsite backup as potential high-bandwidth use cases.

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Western Telematic, Inc. (WTI) designs and manufactures remote device management products for IT applications. WTI’s Console Switch products, Remote Reboot products, Switched PDU products and A/B Fallback products are engineered to allow you to securely manage and troubleshoot rack equipment in remote locations.

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