NEW YORK, June 18 Verizon Communications
is halving the price of its fastest Internet speed as it
introduces a service that has double the speed, amping up
competition with its cable arch rivals such as Comcast Corp
, Time Warner Cable and Cablevision Systems
Verizon said it has cut the price of its 150
megabits-per-second service to $99.99 a month from $209.99,
bringing it in line with pricing for its rivals' fastest speeds.
Verizon also said on Monday it will charge $209.99 a month
for a new 300 megabits per second (mbps) service, or $204.99 for
users with a two-year contract, starting today.
This compares with No. 1 rival Comcast's fastest service,
which costs $200 a month for speeds of 105 mbps and rival
Cablevision's speediest offering which is $104.95 for 101 mbps.
Arturo Picicci, Verizon's director of product management
said consumers are craving more and more bandwidth as they
connect more devices such as tablets and smartphones on top of
traditional computers inside their homes.
As a result the company wanted to make its second-fastest
speed more affordable.
"We're bringing 150 mbps more to the mainstream," Picicci
told Reuters. "Cable cannot touch us here."
The telephone company competes with cable operators for
television and telephone customers as well as Internet users
with bundled offering all those services together.
The increasing popularity of services such as video
streaming and video games will also help demand, the executive
said. "We're expecting that 80 percent of customers will want
more than 15 megabits per second," said Picicci referring to
Verizon's slowest FiOS service speed.
According to Verizon, it would take 2.2 minutes to download
a two-hour high-definition video file over a 300 mbps connection
compared with a download time of 44.4 minutes for a 15 mbps
Verizon had 5 million FiOS Internet customers at the end of
the first quarter and 4.4 million FiOS TV customers, making it
the seventh-biggest U.S. pay TV service.