Competition can be a good thing. No better case in point is Verizon's aggressive strategy with its FiOS fiber-optic network and pay TV service, which have given cable companies something to worry about besides satellite TV rivals. This week has seen a few intriguing developments that should hasten similar upgrades on its competitors' part.
Gaining the most headlines is the company's official word that it will deliver live TV to the iPads of its subscribers, along with providing on-demand content via other mobile devices. According to Bloomberg, the technical part of the live streaming is ready, but Verizon has to wrangle with networks about what content can be shown and whether you'll only be able to watch it in your home and not on the go (as Cablevision has already announced). While in-home streaming may not cost extra, there may be an additional fee to watch live TV on the iPad outside of your dwelling. The mobile on-demand experience for subscribers will be available in the fourth quarter of 2010.
That isn't the only news Verizon has been making. In order to help stream TV around the house, the FiOS network is undergoing testing that will provide a 1Gbps connection -- equivalent to the bandwidth of Gigabit Ethernet. It successfully demonstrated that speed on an existing network in Massachusetts in June. Its network can theoretically handle up to 2.4Gbps downstream, though Verizon hasn't yet even offered 100Mbps speeds to its FiOS customers.
More practical upgrades are coming to the FiOS set-top boxes, according to Engadget. A new and improved interface will debut in the fourth quarter, along with some notable upgrades to its multi-room DVR service. These include the ability to attach up to 1TB of external storage to each unit and to restore a deleted recording with a single button push, as well as having all of your recordings on various DVRs compiled into a single list for your choosing pleasure.
What will you pay for some of these goodies? That's apparently the one thing Verizon hasn't talked about this week when it comes to FiOS.