Verizon Finally Offers Gigabit FiOS Speeds –

This is sort of an odd way to roll out a new service. Apparently, new customers are offered a lower price for gigabit service than existing customers.

After years of ignoring the gigabit speeds of other providers, Verizon has finally buckled and begun offering gigabit connections. Users in our Verizon FiOS forum point out that the launch isn’t technically new; Verizon has quietly and simply renamed the company’s 750 Mbps “Instant Internet” tier — launched last January.

That service provided symmetrical 750 Mbps broadband speeds for $150 per month for standalone service, or $170 per month when bundled with TV and phone service, and had seen staggered deployment throughout Verizon’s FiOS footprint.

Users say while the original Instant Internet tier promised symmetrical 750 Mbps, but customer hardware was technically already over-provisioned to provide these users symmetrical gigabit speeds (though Ethernet restricts users to 940 Mbps down and 880 Mbps upstream).

As a result, that tier has now been renamed “FiOS Gigabit Connection,” according to the Verizon website.

The catch: Verizon appears to only be offering the best pricing for the new ultra-fast option to new customers (valuing customer loyalty isn’t always a consistent telecom industry trait). According to Verizon, this new service will be sold to new customers under a $70 promotional rate if you order online. Existing customers in our forums say they can still get the new tier, but they’ll wind up paying double that price point — or more, depending on where they live and the level of regional competition.

As with the older, 750 Mbps tier, a “soft” 10 terabyte usage cap is affixed to the service. Users need to cross this threshold three times before Verizon begins bothering you about “excessive” usage.

Update: Verizon has issued a press release with more pricing and availability detail on the company’s “new” gigabit service.

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