Verizon FiOS goes 50 Mbps across U.S.: Should I upgrade?

Summary:Verizon on Tuesday said it will roll out 50 megabits per second (Mbps) broadband service with upload speeds of up to 20 Mbps.Needless, to say this national rollout--the 50 Mbps down 20 Mbps up (50/20) service was tested in select areas--got my attention.

Verizon on Tuesday said it will roll out 50 megabits per second (Mbps) broadband service with upload speeds of up to 20 Mbps.

Needless, to say this national rollout--the 50 Mbps down 20 Mbps up (50/20) service was tested in select areas--got my attention. I'm a Verizon FiOS customer and have no complaints about the speed or uptime. The big question: What will I do with 50 Mbps? Once the "whoo hoo this thing is fast" goes away I have to get down to the details. My rough calculus:

  • I'm not a huge downloader.
  • I don't watch a lot of video online.
  • Aside from bragging rights among we geeks I'm not feeling the ROI.

Enter the costs:

  • I currently have 15 Mbps down and 2 Mbps up at $43.99 (there's a $6 a month promotional credit).
  • The 50/20 plan would run me $139.95 a month (if you live in New York and Virginia it's $89.95).
  • The 20/20 plan is $64.99.

Most likely I'd go for the 20/20 plan, but then the equation comes down to how much I upload. Are photo storage, online backup and file sharing on a VPN worth the extra $

20.

It gets complicated pretty quickly.

Also see: The Verizon FiOS installation: The key points

Meanwhile, Verizon says:

Verizon had already offered the 50/20 Mbps and 20/20 Mbps services in its FiOS markets in Connecticut, Florida, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and Rhode Island.  The company is now expanding those offerings to new Verizon FiOS customers in parts of California, Delaware, Indiana, Maryland, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia and Washington, replacing existing offerings of 30/15 Mbps and 15/15 Mbps services, respectively.

The mid-tier connection speed in those markets for new customers is being increased from 15/2 Mbps to 20/5 Mbps, and the basic service tier is being increased from 5/2 Mbps to 10/2 Mbps.  Existing FiOS Internet customers who are interested in the new speed options can call Verizon for information about the new plans.

So in a nutshell, I could wind up with an upgrade to 20/5 Mbps if the price is right--or the same. As long as I call Verizon.

My plan as of now is to go with the 20/5 and see if it alters my behavior enough to justify a 50/20 plan. It's easy to be seduced by the 50/20 plan but we all have our own ROIs to consider.

Topics: Verizon, Fiber

About

Larry Dignan is Editor in Chief of ZDNet and SmartPlanet as well as Editorial Director of ZDNet's sister site TechRepublic. He was most recently Executive Editor of News and Blogs at ZDNet. Prior to that he was executive news editor at eWeek and news editor at Baseline. He also served as the East Coast news editor and finance editor at CN... Full Bio

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