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10 GB/S Broadband Tested by Verizon

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The race to offer the fastest residential broadband speed just got much more interesting. Verizon Wireless announced on August 11 that it had successfully tested a blistering 10 gigabit per second (10 GB/S) broadband service with a residential customer in Massachusetts. This is ten times the speed of Google Fiber, the previous leader with 1 GB/S service in selected markets, which is itself a hundred times as fast as the average residential broadband service. Furthermore, providing the higher speed does not require replacement of Verizon’s existing fiber-optic lines.

Verizon reached the new benchmark with NG-PON2 (next generation passive optical equipment). With NG-PON2, Verizon says it can multiply data speed and capacity simply “by adding new colors of light onto the existing fiber, each augmenting the capacity by up to 10 GB/S.” The system transmitted four wavelengths of light, each one able to carry data at a 10 GB/S download speed and a 2.5 GB/S upload speed. By combining the signals, Verizon could deliver up to a 40 GB/S download speed, and the company says it can probably tune the system to deliver data at up to 80 GB/S within a few years.

At 10 GB/S, you can download a two-hour HD movie in eight seconds. With Verizon’s popular 75 MB/S residential broadband service, you would need seventeen minutes to download it.

Verizon says that the new system is highly reliable. When the company simulated a breakdown in its central office equipment, the customer’s optical network terminal (ONT) independently tuned into another light wavelength. The  10 GB/S service was restored within a few seconds.

For years, Verizon has been testing Fiber To The Home (FTTP) equipment upgrades. The company says it will offer the faster service as soon as the equipment can be installed.

The first customers for 10 GB/S broadband are likely to be businesses. Verizon will offer it to residential customers later.