Verizon to crank up fiber-optic speeds

— 2:14 PM on July 28, 2006

Verizon has commissioned Alcatel, Motorola, and Tellabs to provide equipment to upgrade its fiber-optic network to the latest Gigabit Passive Optical Network (GPON) standard. Current fiber-optic networks rely chiefly on the Broadband Passive Optical Network (BPON) standard, which is used to share 622Mbps of downstream and 155Mbps of upstream bandwidth between 32 subscribers. With capacity distributed evenly, BPON allows respective download and upload speeds of up to 19.44Mbps and 4.84Mbps for each subscriber.

The GPON standard Verizon seeks to implement can split 2.4Gbps downstream and a 1.2Gbps upstream between the same 32 subscribers, securing 75Mbps and 37.5Mbps for each one. Verizon says the standard should allow it to eventually offer home connections with 100Mbps download speeds—two to three times faster than its current services that top out at 30Mbps and 50Mbps in some areas. The company expects to offer fiber-optic coverage to six million users by the end of 2006.

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