Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ), the second-largest U.S. telephone company, is boosting its FiOS Internet speeds to 500 megabits a second, faster than Comcast Corp. (CMCSA)’s speediest service and half that of Google Inc.’s.
Verizon aims to attract consumers and small businesses to its FiOS Quantum fiber-optic services, became available yesterday in parts of every FiOS market. Customers that combine Internet with TV or telephone service will pay $309.99 a month, or $329.99 for a package of all three services.
The phone company, based in New York, is promoting speed as a competitive advantage for people willing to pay top dollar. Comcast, the largest broadband provider, exceeded Verizon last year with a service promising 305 megabits-a-second speed for $299.95. Last quarter, Verizon added 161,000 FiOS Internet customers for a total of 5.8 million.
The new service is for people in offices who share connections and for families who do a lot of movie downloads, said Fowler Abercrombie, a manager of the FiOS development team in Irving, Texas.
Google (GOOG) debuted a 1-gigabit Internet service called Google Fiber in the Kansas City, Missouri, area last year starting at $70 a month. Earlier this year Google announced Austin, Texas, and Provo, Utah, as the next two communities to get the high-speed service. Verizon doesn’t provide service in those cities.
“We can support up to 10-gigabit on our network,” said Abercrombie. “We’re watching the market to see where it goes next.”
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