Verizon fiber network hits 8Gbps speeds

A trial of NGPON2 with Calix has seen Verizon's fiber network in Tampa, Florida, deliver symmetrical 8Gbps speeds.

Verizon's FiOS fiber-optic network has reached speeds of 8Gbps in a trial of NGPON2 technology across its live network in partnership with cloud and software platform company Calix.

The trial of NGPON2 -- Next-Generation Passive Optical Network 2 -- in Tampa, Florida, made use of Calix's Axos Routing Protocol module for Layer 3, the Axos Subscriber Management module, and the E9-2 Intelligent Edge System, and "achieved consistent, symmetrical customer usable throughputs of 8 Gigabits per second", Verizon said.

NGPON2, which upgrades the optical line terminal hardware and software, provides higher speeds, lower latency, and greater network automation.

"The speed and latency gains provided by integrating NGPON2 standards into our fiber network are only some of the benefits this cutting-edge technology will provide," Verizon Technology Development and Planning VP Lee Hicks said.

"This new technology will also provide a greater degree of automation in our fiber network, which will help us speed deployment of services to our customers and will introduce a greater level of interoperability among network components, which will lead to greater efficiencies."

When announcing its Q3 results last week, Verizon revealed that it has been deploying more fiber throughout the quarter to position itself for more 5G services.

"At Verizon, we believe that true 5G requires an ultra-wideband solution utilizing millimetre-wave spectrum to address the full array of use cases that 5G enables. Our network preparation for nationwide 5G deployment requires deep fiber resources, a vast array of small cells, critical spectrum holdings, and mobile edge computing capabilities, all of which we have been assembling for years," CFO Matt Ellis said.

FiOS revenue for the third quarter was $3 billion, up 1.6 percent year on year, with FiOS Internet connections increasing by 54,000 net adds in the third quarter.

Verizon had last year acquired more fiber assets after spending $225 million to purchase a Chicago network from Colorado company WideOpenWest.

Under the deal, Verizon gained fiber to more than 500 macro cell wireless sites and 500 small cell wireless sites.

The purchase followed Verizon striking a deal to buy optical fiber from Corning for around $1.05 billion in April last year, with the company also announcing a deal to purchase XO Communications' fiber-optic network business for $1.8 billion in February 2017.

In China, meanwhile, Shanghai Telecom this week announced that it now provides 10Gbps fibre across the city of Shanghai.

"Shanghai has become the first city across the globe providing a citywide gigabit connection, demonstrating the success of its implementation of a strategy to boost China's economic development via the provision of leading networking capabilities," Shanghai Telecom general manager Ma Yimin said.

In Singapore, however, both Singtel and M1 have been offering 10Gbps fibre broadband services since early 2016.

The 10Gbps fibre network being built out in Adelaide, South Australia, is also providing broadband services to businesses in the city, with even the National Broadband Network (NBN) having trialled 10Gbps-capable NGPON2 technology over a year ago.

Estonia is similarly building out a 10Gbps network with Nokia.

Chattanooga, Tennessee, announced 10Gbps speeds back in 2015, while the South Korean government earlier this year said it would provide 940 million won in financial support for providers to deploy a 10Gbps service.

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