Will Verizon FiOS ever come to Tucson AZ

Tucson AZ is screaming for the highest speed internet one can get. The best internet connection looks like to be Verizon's new FiOS service. but the question is will Tucson ever get it? FiOS is sending a shudder down the spines of current cable companies becuase of the blazing speeds that Fios is able to deliver for a fraction of the cost.

But the real question is will Tucson AZ ever get Verizon FiOS service? It's doubtful that Tucson will ever see Verizon FiOS. Mainly because Verizon is not the incumbent local exchange carrier (ILEC), Qwest is. FiOS currently only appears to be availiable where Verzion has significantly built out it's fiber network and is the ILEC. And since it would be an illegal monopoly for Verizon to attempt to purchase Qwest to become the ILEC here in Arizona it is doubtful that we will ever see Verizon FiOS service. But don't fear the CLECs such as Comcast and Cox communications are already increasing speeds just to be competitive in the slight event that Verizon finds some loop hole or some other unanticipated opportunity to build out it's fiber network here in Tucson and bring in FiOS. Comcast is increasing the speed of its broadband service in what looks like an attempt to keep pace with Verizon Communications' Fios service.

On Tuesday, the nation's largest cable operator confirmed it has doubled download speeds of its fastest broadband service in four cities: Reston, Va.; Sarasota, Fla.; Fort Wayne, Ind.; and Howard County, Md.

Comcast is automatically upgrading customers of its premiere broadband service to 16mbps (megabits per second) for downloads and 1mbps for uploads at a cost of $52.95 per month. Previously, Comcast had offered customers in these cities speeds of 8mbps downstream and 768kbps (kilobits per second) upstream for $52.95 per month. The cities selected for the initial upgrade also happen to be those where Verizon Communications is offering its fiber to the home service, called Fios. Verizon representatives said that Comcast's move to increase speeds is an attempt to match the Fios service.

"It's a reaction to Fios," said Bobbi Henson, a spokeswoman for Verizon. "Comcast sees the success we have been having, and they are trying to catch up." Verizon's lowest tier of Fios service offers download speeds of up to 5mbps, with upload speeds of 2mbps for $39.95. For $49.

95, consumers can get download speeds up to 15mbps with uploads of 2mbps, and for $199.96, Business clients can get a dedicated 10Mbps symmetical for a fraction of the cost of legacy copper wire solutions. Comcast denies that it is raising speeds to compete with Verizon's Fios service. Instead, the company said it increased download speeds to test new applications it plans to offer its broadband customers. "We chose to test this new high-speed service in markets that are competitive and where we know we have a high level of broadband penetration," said Jeanne Russo, a company spokeswoman.

"Reston, Va., was one of the first places where we offered broadband service, and we have 70 percent market penetration there." Last year, other cable companies introduced higher-speed services in Fios territory. Cox Communications boosted speeds in its Northern Virginia territory to 15mbps, and Adelphia Communications announced that it is raising speeds to 16mbps to residents in Leesburg, Va. It might become an all out price war in markets where FiOS is availiable.

Not only is Verizon able to offer very high-speed broadband, but it can offer a package that also includes TV service.

Keith is a consultant and trusted advisor to the Tucson business community helping them chooose the proper Voice and Data service for their needs. Keith can be reached at or 520-867-7600

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