For the longest time, Verizon’s FIOS service was considered the fastest in the land and everyone oogled over living in an area that offered Verizon FIOS. It also had some of the best upload speeds available at the time, which would make anyone looking to upload their own content an incredibly happy camper. However, Verizon’s FIOS service was an assymetrical fiber optic service which meant that users were getting services like 50 Mbps download and 25 Mbps upload, and 100 Mbps download and 50 Mbps upload. However, in some other countries their fiber services are symmetrical, meaning that 100 Mbps download also has a 100 Mbps upload and this was illustrated by when Google launched Google Fiber and offered 1 Gbps up and 1 Gbps down.
Yes, Google’s own Google Fiber did take away some of the luster away from Verizon’s highly held FIOS service, but the real reason for Verizon’s move today has more to do with Comcast and Time Warner Cable and a bit AT&T. The fact is that in many areas Comcast and Time Warner Cable are offering speeds upwards of 100 Mbps with Time Warner Cable and AT&T delivering 300 Mbps to some customers in the Austin, TX area. Because these companies are finally starting to offer download speeds that actually compete with what Verizon has to offer, Verizon has decided that Verizon FIOS needs to set itself apart and the easiest way to do that is to have an upload speed that’s in some cases 10 to 20 times faster than their competitors’.
A good example is Time Warner Cable’s 100 Mbps down and 5 Mbps up service, which would be 20 times slower upload than what Verizon would offer their customers, making Time Warner Cable’s offering look much worse and to make Verizon’s marketing for Verizion FIOS incredible easy. Having more upload will ultimately not really cost Verizon much more money in terms of network capacity since most consumers barely use upload on a daily basis and the most network intensive thing they’ll do is upload photos to Facebook. However, there will be users that upload large images to their Flickr accounts or videos to Vimeo and YouTube. What will be interesting is to see how the increase in upload speeds will encourage users to start using online backup services and cloud storage more often now that it will take virtually no time to back things up anymore.