Verizon tests new fiber system that hits 10Gbps speeds

Verizon has announced that it has successfully completed field tests of its new super-fast fiber optic technology, dubbed the next-generation passive optical network (NG-PON2). It could offer users connectivity speeds anywhere from 10Gbps to 80Gbps some point "in the future", according to a Verizon press release. The new system utilizes an optical line terminal (OLT) capable of generating four wavelengths of light, each of which is able to transmit at an eye-watering 10Gbps down and 2.5Gbps up.

Interestingly, the network can actually transmit both the current GPON (Gigabit-capable Passive Optical Network) signal as well as this new NG-PON2 simultaneously. What's more, should one of the wavelengths fail (due to, say, equipment failure), the system can reportedly switch over to one of the other three wavelengths to quickly restore the 10Gbps connection, a redundancy that should help improve the FIOS network's reliability.

The company sees its implementation as a necessary step for the upcoming shift to 4K video streaming. As such, Verizon will begin issuing "requests for proposals" for the hardware and software needed to upgrade its FIOS service later this year. There's no word yet on when the service will actually come online but it will likely only be available to businesses at first. And even then, potentially only on the East Coast. By comparison, Comcast offers 2Gbps for $300 a month, and Google offers 1Gbps service for $70, both of which are already deployed throughout the country and available to personal and commercial users alike.

[Image Credit: Associated Press]