Verizon quintuples upload speeds for some FiOS customers

Verizon announced Monday a new plan to make upload speeds the same as download speeds for FiOS customers who receive Verizon's bundled Internet access, telephone, and television service that works through a fiber-optic communications network. 

A Verizon store in Florida.

Verizon is making it easier to upload and share that video to YouTube. 

The broadband and telecommunications company announced Monday new plans for faster Internet speeds for its FiOS customers who receive Verizon's bundled Internet access, telephone, and television service that works through a fiber-optic communications network. Those customers "will receive upload speeds that match their download speeds," according to a company release. Verizon says FiOS customers will receive these new upload speeds at no additional charge. 

"Faster upload speeds means better sharing experiences," said Mike Ritter, Verizon’s chief marketing officer for consumer and mass business, in the release. "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." The so-called Internet of Things refers to everyday household objects such as toothbrushes or smoke alarms that are connected to and can be controlled through the Internet. 

Verizon says its roughly 6 million subscribers will have improved service for such activities as uploading videos, video chatting on Skype or FaceTime, sharing files on Facebook and Twitter, sending large files or backing up files by uploading them to the cloud, and "getting a jump on an eBay bid." 

The lowest available FiOS Internet download/upload speed to customers at 15/5 megabits per second (Mbps) will rise to 15 download and 15 upload; the highest plan will rise from 500/100 Mbps to 500/500 Mbps. 

With this move, Verizon is betting that broadband can help it compete with the cable industry, which has had more difficulty in increasing upload speeds. 

"Where we think we can win unequivocally is the data space," Robert Mudge, Verizon's president of consumer and mass business markets and the top FiOS boss, told The Wall Street Journal

Typically, most Internet users do not have upload speeds that can match download speeds. Cable providers typically rely on coaxial cables to deliver Internet to small businesses and homes, which are designed mainly with download speeds in mind, not upload speeds, writes Paresh Dave in the Los Angeles Times. 

Citing research from technology market research firm IDC, the Verizon release notes that more than 20 percent of US broadband users upload nearly as much content as they download. Because this number is expected to rise, users will increasingly require fast upload as well as download speeds, according to IDC. Verizon predicts the level of upload activity on the FiOS network will double by late 2016. 

Verizon says FiOS customers do not need to do anything to receive the upgrade as it will be phased in by the fall, with more than 95 percent of FiOS customers receiving the upgrade. However, customers can also sign up for the program through the My Rewards+ page to receive the upgrade sooner. 

In the first fiscal quarter of 2014, Verizon reported a 15.5 percent year-over-year increase in FiOS revenues, with 98,000 FiOS Internet and 57,000 FiOS Video net additions. Still, the 98,000 broadband customer additions was a decrease from the 188,000 broadband additions the previous year, The Wall Street Journal reported.  

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