Once upon a time, the world was ecstatic to get 56Kbps dial-up Internet access. In real years that wasn’t that long ago—less than 15 years ago, but in “technology years” it may as well be prehistoric. Now Verizon is introducing 300Mbps broadband service, but it will cost you.
Verizon has moved beyond regular FiOS with new FiOS Quantum services that promise to blow the doors off the Internet. Verizon is offering FiOS Quantum packages: up to 300Mbps downloads with 65Mbps upload speeds.
According to Verizon, at 300MBps you can download 10 songs (approximately 50MB) in only 1.4 seconds, or download a 5GB HD movie in just over two minutes. Compare that against the “slow” 15Mbps entry-level plan, which takes an estimated 26.7 seconds to download the same songs, or a painstaking 45 minutes to download the movie.
The upload aspect is becoming more and more important as well, though. In years gone by, the Internet was more or less a one-way street of data flowing from servers on the Internet to endpoint systems. There was little need for data to flow the other direction. However, social networking, and cloud-based data, music and photo services have changed that.
The 15Mbps FiOS plan has an upload speed of 5Mbps. Verizon claims that uploading 200 photos (an estimated 250MB) at that speed will take almost seven minutes. Using the 300Mbps FiOS Quantum with 65Mbps upload speed cuts that down to about 30 seconds.
Verizon FiOS, and the new FiOS Quantum plans are primarily residential. Most individuals can probably “make do” just fine with 15Mbps, or spend a little extra cash for the 50Mbps tier. Small and medium businesses (SMBs)might benefit from the blazing 300Mbps speeds, though—the more PCs or devices trying to share the connection, the more the additional bandwidth is necessary. SMBs will also appreciate the ability to upload large files and data for clients in a fraction of the time.
There are two downsides to the 300Mbps FiOS Quantum. The first is that Verizon FiOS isn’t available in all areas, so you may not be able to get FiOS at all. The second is that the 300Mbps FiOS Quantum package is $210 per month ($205 if you agree to a two-year contract).
The 150Mbps FiOS Quantum service (with the same 65Mbps upload speed) may be more sensible in many cases. At $100 a month (or $95 on a two-year contract), it costs less than half of the top of the line service while still delivering more than adequate broadband speeds.