Verizon preps super-fast 10Gbps broadband

Verizon engineers have finished testing a new fiber optic network capable of 10Gbps, or 10 times the speed of Google Fiber and some other rival networks.

Verizon engineers have finished lab and field tests of a new fiber optic network capable of 10Gbps, or 10 times the speed of Google Fiber and some other currently-available networks.

A popular Verizon FIOS service now offering 75Mbps speeds can transfer a two-hour HD movie in 17 minutes; the new 10Gbps network can transfer the same movie in just 8 seconds, according to Shweta Jain, a FIOS engineer at Verizon. She spoke in a Verizon video to announce the successful testing.

Verizon hasn't said where the service will first be offered and at what cost. The company will seek proposals for equipment and software later this year to support commercial development.

Both residential and business customers will benefit. Businesses gain the advantage of greater reliability since data will move over multiple channels in a single fiber optic cable, Verizon said. The technology has the capability of growing to as much as 80Gbps by simply adding new colors of light onto the existing fiber, each color augmenting the capacity by 10Gbps.

Fiber optic transmissions are limited only by the equipment on either end of a connection. In the recent tests, Verizon used equipment from Cisco and PT Invacao.

The field test was recently completed from Verizon's central office in Framingham, Mass. to a FIOS customer's home three miles away, as well as to a nearby business location. Lab testing was done in Waltham, Mass.

Verizon officials said the new technology, known as NG-PON2 (next generation passive optical network) could become an industry standard.

While Verizon FIOS faces competition from Google, AT&T and others, a spokesman said Verizon's research is designed to prepare for the adoption of 4K video content and the expansion of the Internet of Things, with 25 billion Internet-connected devices expected in five years. "Our mission is to future-proof the network," said spokesman Philip Santoro in an interview.

In March, Verizon said it was modernizing undisclosed portions of its so-called 100G metro optical network using gear from Cisco and Ciena. That equipment is not directly related to fiber connections to the premises of homes or businesses, as is the NG-PON2 network.

NG-PON2 enables faster speeds to end-users because it will operate between a Verizon central office and a business or residential customer. In the March announcement, Verizon said it was modernizing the 100G network that operates between central offices.

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