Previously, FiOS service tiers offered upload speeds of anywhere from one-half to one-fifth of the advertised download speed. The new scheme will see those equalized -- so entry-level consumers with 15Mbps download connections will get 15Mbps upload speeds as well, as opposed to the 5Mbps they currently receive.
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Verizon said in an official statement that there will be no price changes as a result of the upgrade, and that the new, balanced speeds will be offered to new customers as standard.
The rollout process will take some months, however, with Verizon saying that some upgrades will still be in progress "throughout the fall." FiOS small-business customers will receive a similar upgrade later in the year, according to the company.
In addition, a small number of existing Verizon customers -- the company estimates the total at around 5% of FiOS users -- will need an equipment upgrade before they can take advantage of the new upload speeds. A Verizon spokesperson said that this has to do with legacy features from earlier incarnations of FiOS and that "those who may need additional equipment upgrades will be addressed on a case-by-case basis."
Verizon cited research from IDC as saying that about a fifth of U.S. home Internet customers are power users, who upload roughly as much content as they download -- and that that proportion is likely to grow by as much as 60% by 2017.