Verizon has kicked off a new top-tier gigabit internet service available to around eight million US households and costing $70 a month and up.
The new service, dubbed Fios Gigabit Connection, far outdoes the 25Mbps connections that most households are on, but actually delivers “downloads as fast as 940Mbps and uploads as fast as 880Mbps”, according to Verizon.
The service is available for $70 a month as a standalone product and $80 a month as a bundle with phone and TV.
Residents in parts of New York; New Jersey; Philadelphia; Richmond, Virginia; Hampton Roads, Virginia; Boston; Providence; and Washington, DC will have access to the high-speed service. Verizon says eight million homes are now covered, up from seven million in January.
Verizon began rolling out its Fios fiber-to-the-home network in 2003, and only in January launched the Fios Instant Internet service with top speeds of 750Mbps for double the price of the new gigabit connections.
The new gigabit service supersedes Instant Internet. Customers who took up that service will be moved to the Fios Gigabit Connection and “will see their bills lowered”, according to Verizon.
The company will now offer only two tiers of standalone internet, consisting of the gigabit offering and a 50Mbps tier, priced at $40 a month.
The bundled Gigabit service will be available for $80 in the first year, rising to $85 in year two under a two-year agreement.
While the new speeds may be welcomed by households that are covered, the City of New York in March sued Verizon for failing to deliver on a promise to cover the entire city with Fios services by 2014.
Rival broadband provider AT&T in October announced plans to expand its AT&T Fiber Gigabit service to 11 new metro areas, bringing its total count to 29 metro areas.
It claimed to cover 2.5 million households and 500,000 apartments. Google meanwhile has reportedly scaled back its gigabit fiber rollout plans, as it explores wireless technologies.