What’s the point of having a fiber optic connection if it doesn’t boast blazing-fast speeds? There isn’t one, which is way Verizon is phasing out its lowest-tier 25Mbps service, according to Ars Technica.
The announcement comes from a recent earnings call, where CFO Fran Shammo shared that “at the end of the quarter, more than 70 percent of our consumer FiOS Internet customers subscribed to data speeds of 50Mbps or higher and we have shifted our introductory offer to 50 megabits.” In that way, the decision is simply common sense — gotta give the people what they want.
Despite its dipping popularity, the 25Mbps option will remain available to those still on that plan. It’s also still available as a downgrade for existing 50Mbps or higher users. Why you’d short change yourself on a fiber optic plan is a bit beyond me, but even at 25Mbps, speeds are well above the U.S. average.
Speeds are on the rise, with the global average download speed reaching 5Mbps late last year, and the U.S. average rising to 12.6Mbps. Akamai, one of the largest CDNs in the world, defines broadband as 25Mbps or faster, and near the end of last year only 5.2 percent of connecting IP addresses boasted speeds that fast.
Verizon has been as vocal as any ISP about users needs, and plans for broadband at large. The speeds needed for the effective Internet use are up for debate, and Verizon is surely looking to take advantage of growing disdain for Comcast’s service and customer support. According to an end-of-year report from the FCC, the governing body received 11,812 complaints about Comcast, and only 1,588 about Verizon.
Whether the quarter of FiOS customers who remain on the 25Mbps plan or upgrade remains to be seen, but the value is there, and the option won’t be around for long.