While it may not help speed up your Netflix streaming, Verizon is boosting uploads on its Fios Network to match download speeds.
Verizon is taking advantage of its all-fiber-optic network to offer symmetrical download and upload speeds for its Internet subscribers. The cheapest plan starts at 25 Mbps up and down for $29.99 per month with a two-year contract or $39.99 without one.
The symmetrical speeds are available immediately for new customers and will be rolling out to existing subscribers through the fall. Eager subscribers can try to jump to the front of the line by signing up for the free MyRewards+ program (if you're not already enrolled).
To get a sense of where Fios stands today, we tested a current Verizon Fios 50/25 Mbps subscription with Speedtest.net. We saw an average of 37.5 Mbps for uploads. That's higher than the listed speed, but it's fairly common to see Fios deliver faster-than-advertised speeds throughput.
Over time, this could be a big win for Verizon customers, as the United States continues to fall behind many other nations in Internet speed. A big part of that is anemic upload speeds.
According to Ookla (the company that operates Speedtest.net), the U.S. trails global upload speeds with a rate of 7.8 Mbps versus the world average of 8.3 Mbps. The country's position looks even worse when you look at developed nations. Countries like Sweden (26.2 Mbps), South Korea (45.6 Mbps) and Russia (21.9 Mbps) all enjoy vastly higher upload rates than America.
In terms of value, Verizon still leads the way compared to Comcast and Time Warner. Comcast's $39.99 per month plan offers 25 Mbps down but only 5 Mbps up, just 20 percent of what is offered by Verizon Fios. Time Warner is even further behind, with 20 Mbps down and only 2 Mbps up for $44.99.
Verizon's speeds may be especially tantalizing for users who upload a lot of video to Youtube or Vimeo. The increased upload performance should also provide the ability to live stream on sites like Twitch.tv and Ustream, where 2 Mbps is often the bare minimum needed to stream 720p content.
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