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Verizon ups DSL speeds to 10 to 15 Mbps

Broadband users in a hurry now have a faster option from Verizon -- an upgraded version of its digital-subscriber-line service that comes a lot closer to the speed of its Fios access. The company announced this morning that it is selling a faster DSL tier, with download speeds of 10 to 15 million bits per second (Mbps) and upload speeds of 1 Mbps.


Verizon's older DSL plans topped out at 4 to 7 Mbps downloads, with uploads limited to 768 thousand bits per second (Kbps); Fios access starts with 15 Mbps downloads and 5 Mbps uploads.

(Please note the asterisked disclaimer at the bottom of today's news release: "Actual download and upload speeds will vary.")

Pricing for the new service is fairly competitive: $49.99 a month, the same as the entry-level Fios plan, for residential customers who already get voice phone service from Verizon. Standalone DSL at those speeds costs $59.99, or you can buy DSL as part of Verizon's "Freedom Essentials" bundle -- which duplicates features that come free on wireless calling plans -- for $69.99 a month, taxes included.

The chance to order DSL with near-Fios download speeds must come as a relief to customers shut out by Verizon's decision to stop expanding Fios to jurisdictions that haven't already negotiated TV-franchise agreements -- a decision that shut out Alexandria -- and those waiting on Fios buildouts in cities such as the District.

But not all Verizon DSL customers can get this new service. The New York telecommunications conglomerate's news release says that "more than 4 million households and small businesses" can subscribe to it, while spokesman Kevin Laverty wrote in an e-mail that 120,000 households and small-business locations in the District are eligible for the service. In a follow-up e-mail, Laverty explained that for the new service, you can't have more than 7,000 feet of copper cable between your home and the nearest Verizon "central office," while Verizon can provide slower DSL over as much as 18,000 feet of copper.

(8/31, 9:57 a.m.: For more technical background, see Dave Burstein's post at DSLPrime and Carol Wilson's story at Light Reading.)

That limit may be more stringent than you'd think. I tested the addresses of 13 friends and co-workers across the District and Alexandria at Verizon's site, and none came up as eligible for its fastest DSL.

Six -- in Woodley Park and Logan Circle in Northwest D.C., in Lamond Riggs in upper Northeast, near Arena Stage in Southwest, in Benning Ridge in Southeast, and in the north end of Old Town Alexandria -- could get only the second-slowest tier of DSL, with downloads of 1.5 to 3 Mbps. Another six -- in Georgetown, in Michigan Park and Kingman Park in Northeast, near the Marine Barracks in Capitol Hill, at the southern end of Old Town and in Del Ray -- qualified for Verizon's 4- to 7-Mbps DSL.

Only one address could get anything faster: a home in Anacostia eligible for Fios, courtesy of Verizon beginning its District-wide Fios deployment there last year. (It will take a few years for the company to wire up most of the rest of the city.)

Let's continue this research: Try checking your own address at Verizon's site and tell me in the comments which DSL tiers Verizon will sell there.

By Rob Pegoraro  |  August 30, 2010; 1:42 PM ET
Categories:  Telecom  
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On the line between Fairfax County and Fairfax City (Mantua). 1.5 to 3 Mbps. We kept getting door hangers: "FiOS is coming!!!" They even had "Miss Utility" mark out buried cables and such. (at least I think it was them) They never came. :-/

Posted by: nighthawk700 | August 30, 2010 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Well, the link didn't work for me. It crunched and crunched and finally said I'd have to call, which I did.

They say I can have 7 Mbps starting at $29 a month for 6 months, going to $39 after. I said OK. Now, I have 3 Mbps at $29 a month.

I guess they meant 4-7 Mbps, but they said 7.

Capitol Hill - Stanton Park

Posted by: Bob_Dobbs | August 30, 2010 3:18 PM | Report abuse

North Bethesda- 1.5 -3 MBps. & Fios has not arrived.
So the Comcast oligpoly has it at "up to" 20/4 MBps.

Posted by: Hattrik | August 30, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Here in Falls Church, we're too far from the CO for our Verizon DSL connection to remain stable at speeds above 768/128. The DSL modem can't process all the signal degradation at higher speeds (we tried).

FiOS is available but it's still a bit expensive and we are afraid (with good reason, based upon what we've seen and heard) that the installation will be a disaster even though the service is great when it's up and running.

Posted by: bokamba | August 30, 2010 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Here on the Rock Creek side of Georgetown:
"We're sorry!
1-Year Fastest Plan
4 to 7 Mbps
is not available for your account."

I wonder if this is true though. The last time I had a repair guy here, he tested the line and said that 3mbps is all that they're giving me, intimating that higher speeds were available.

BTW does anyone know if I upgraded my combined DSL wireless modem/router from the g band/wavelength to n if my computer would be faster even at 3mbps?

I'm fairly satisified with the 3mbps as things stand right now, but am curious as to what else is out there.

Posted by: Georgetwoner | August 30, 2010 6:56 PM | Report abuse

I have the 768-1M DSL now. I could upgrade to 4-7M, but to be honest, I don't see the need to. Downloading live music via BitTorrent is plenty fast already. The only gamechanger would be if I were to watch live TV over the Internet, but for now I'm still satisfied with my DirecTV.

Posted by: slar | August 30, 2010 8:23 PM | Report abuse

oh, and no FIOS for me for the foreseeable future.

Posted by: slar | August 30, 2010 8:28 PM | Report abuse

Currently have the cheapest plan (Leonardtown, MD). Nearest neighbor, closer to the CO, cannot get DSL because his house is wired from a different 'feed'. We are almost finished building a new house 500 ft from the current one; probably will not be able to get DSL. May put the current interface box on a post and run the cable to the new house.

Posted by: dongrahamwp | August 30, 2010 9:01 PM | Report abuse

To Georgetwoner, your throughput will not improve with 3 Mbps DSL if you change from 802.11g to 802.11n. The effective throughput of 802.11g is about 19 Mbps (from a raw data rate of 54 Mbps) so that is not the bottleneck.

I assume you have a good 802.11g signal. If it is weak or you are getting a lot of interference in the 2.4 GHz band, using 802.11n, which can operate in the 5 GHz band, and has a more advanced antenna scheme for a stronger signal, would probably help. But, it is unlikely you are in that situation.

Posted by: Bob_Dobbs | August 30, 2010 10:24 PM | Report abuse

Remember biotech? Read this strange story about a biotech company based in St. Louis and the kind of work it is into now:

Posted by: freighter | August 30, 2010 11:43 PM | Report abuse

oh my, color me..................not impressed, by verizon DSL or Fios. down here in fredericksburg, i get 30/5mbps, with cox cable, and have been for a couple of years now. the cost is comparable to DSL and Fios (which i can't get anyway), and clearly much faster.

heck, verizon didn't even see fit to lay fiber optic lines, in the new, very chi chi subdivision behind mine. very forward thinking of their management.

Posted by: cpinva | August 31, 2010 2:41 AM | Report abuse

Once again, Americans have no idea how much the telecom companies in the U.S. are ripping them off. Not to mention how slow and incompetent their service (in all aspects of that word) are. I regularly get speeds of anywhere from 70-900 mbps, both download and upload. I'm a U.S. citizen who lives in a very connected country in Asia (definitely not China). One day, perhaps, America will catch up to the rest of the wired world.

Posted by: bibleburner | August 31, 2010 6:01 AM | Report abuse

I know I can't get anything faster, since I'm right on the edge of Verizon's radius for the 3Mbps service. The newer speeds are a joke.

Posted by: joe_s | August 31, 2010 7:30 AM | Report abuse

In South Arlington near Crystal City it claims I can get the middle tier. I currently have the 768K DSL, which becomes unstable and drops out if there is the least amount of lightning around, so I am on the outer fringe of their service. Even though it's Arlington, we are on the Alexandria central office a few miles south on Mt. Vernon Ave. I doubt moving to the faster tier would get me much more actual speed. At least the price is right for the 768K service I do have - locked in at $14.99/mo and guaranteed to never go up. No Fios available, but I wouldn't pay the additional $$ anyway.

Posted by: alrob8 | August 31, 2010 8:07 AM | Report abuse

I'm in Spring Valley, and apparently we're some of the lucky few who qualify for Fios...but we have Comcast instead because it was $20/month cheaper for 12mbps vs the 15mbps with fios.

Posted by: waterwarior84 | August 31, 2010 9:10 AM | Report abuse

At Military and Connecticut, NW 1.5-3mbps. Annoying, especially when watching streaming video.

Posted by: lavd46 | August 31, 2010 9:25 AM | Report abuse

Before I moved from South Arlington (Columbia Pike/George Mason Drive area) last month I was using DSL provided by DSL Extreme on a Verizon phone line. I was averaging about 5.25 Mbps for less than $40/month. A better deal than Verizon is offering. Now I'm in Falls Church City and am happy with a Cox cable connection that is giving me 32 Mbps downloads and 6.5 Mbps uploads for $49/month.

Posted by: kettke1 | August 31, 2010 9:36 AM | Report abuse

. I currently have Verizon's lowest-speed DSL, but I suspect I'm too far from the "central office" for the new DSL. My understanding is that I'm on the edge of the service area even now. But just for the sake of the exercise, I went to Verizon, entered my phone number, and waited about five minutes while it cycled through numerous repetitions of "Please wait ... retrieving your account information" and "Please wait ... retrieving your existing services information" and "Please wait ... retrieving services available at your address" and "Please wait ... loading products & services list". Finally, it timed out.

So I tried again, using my neighbors' address in the "new customer" fields. Apparently, my neighbors--across the street, one slightly closer to the central office as the wire runs, one slightly farther away--are not eligible for Verizon Internet service at all, evidently including the service I have. I don't get it.

I have had the lowest-speed DSL for about three years, and it does me fine and costs only $15/month. On the few occasions when I watch something on Hulu, I might have to pause sometimes to let the buffer fill, but since that's pretty much how I watch videos anyway, it's not a serious hardship.

At some point a few years ago, there was all this fanfare about how all of Anne Arundel County was to be wired for FiOS over the next couple of years. I guess that's not happening anymore. I thought they had a contract, but whatever.

Posted by: moxilator | August 31, 2010 10:09 AM | Report abuse

July 3, 2010: Verizon DSL and phone stops working at home.

July 15, 2010: Verizon fixes the problem.

July 16, 2010: Switched to Cox cable internet and phone. Much faster, and lower cost than DSL.

Why should I continue sending Verizon $80+ a month for simple phone and internet service? The prior poster is correct, all Americans are being ripped off by these providers. At least Cox has a store near my house that is open every day, and they answer the phone when you have a problem.

Verizon, thanks for sending me snail mail each and every day telling me about FIOS, and about how Cox's cable wire is so old-fashioned. I'm sure the mailman and paper recycling plant appreciate your contribution to society. Really, two weeks to get a service call???

Posted by: usblues1 | August 31, 2010 10:26 AM | Report abuse

Got FiOS and love it. I have the 25mbps plan. After about a year, I checked it again. I am getting 30mbps.

bibleburner in asia is getting 70-900mbps. IMHO, this is overkill for a residence. Most webservers can't pump out that much data to each user.

Posted by: david08054 | August 31, 2010 11:03 AM | Report abuse

The dirty little secret with DSL in general is that the further you are from the central office, the lower your speeds are going to be -- no matter what service tier you are paying for.

Posted by: eboyhan | August 31, 2010 11:40 AM | Report abuse

I used DSL for over 5 years. When I moved 3 months ago I decided to try Comcast. For the same price my Comcast Wifi (I use a laptop) is twice as fast as DSL was with ethernet. For most things I would never have noticed it, email, web browsing, but watching hulu etc I noticed there were not the constant streaming delays. Even my iPod Touch is fast enough to stream TV and movies with my Comcast Wifi.

Posted by: kkrimmer | August 31, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

I currently have the 7Mbps DSL from Verizon. I'm less than 600 Feet from the central office in DC (according to Google maps). When I put in my phone number, I can go no higher in speed than what I have. Must take time for the marketing to catch up with the announcements.

Posted by: Dirk6 | August 31, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Bob Dobbs, thank you very much!

FWIW I run speedtest on my speed every so often and I average out around 2.9, just slightly below the 3.0 max. So even though I must be on the outer boundary from the CO, they are giving me what they promised.

I've also got DirecTV bundled with my Verizon plan, which makes the overall price bearable, particularly with NFL Sunday Ticket discounts figured in.

Posted by: Georgetwoner | August 31, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Paddington Square Apartments in Silver Spring, a few hundred yards from the Maryland-District line. Verizon site says I qualify only for the 4-7 Mbps service -- which is actually a lie; I tried to have that installed last year, and it was only after about two weeks of investigating that they determined that my loop was too long.

Posted by: psknight | August 31, 2010 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Hi Rob & Friends: Stop Paying Excessive amounts, Line Discounter, White Fence can save plenty & sells Verizon, Comcast & RCN,& others, like COX. Each offer is same as direct from company, except price & thats 1 year No Contract Price, renegotiable every year.

won't get FREE first Month,as adv., & tech gets $50 install, too. However, saving of$20 month is common. RCN do 20 Mb/s for 39.95 + modem rental or get your own. 10 Mb/s is 29.95. All low cost plans, telephone, intenet & cableTV are offerred, so lot of plans on website & bit hard to get thru, might have to call, yet seems genuine same service lower cost outfit.

For 20 Mb/s might have to do two step, from 10 Mb/s, get Surfboard DocSIS modem & install, talk to tech, Offers 20 Mb/s special as surfboard is so fast & got to know your Dat needs or demand. Frankly don't trust all surfboards, some have trouble with 790 chipset, DocSIS 2 or Fully DocSis 3 compliant, OK. Docsis 3 can pull 480 Mb/s thru sluice on instant burst, which RCN Likes, on business line, about 180 Mb/s on home.2011 Going to be HOT Upgrade year, Look for Sandy Gridge & Bulldozer, first samples to Mainboard Mafg ARE 4X more powerful than todays 890/X57 Chipset.So Speeed & Stability are finally here, Do put in half dozen partitions at time, as None last 90 days, still to this day.Collaspe, Go to next partition & after while software glitches that collasped older, will be solved & updateable, REmember BAD O/S Install, Even -=7=- Is Bad Stack & only another partition Install fix that.

for verizon, if let dry line on for same price ,maybe line just out of use recently in past year, as often people switch to try other services annos,to try, well I Declare, more lines be in use in home that sit dead right now.


Posted by: thomasxstewart1 | August 31, 2010 2:41 PM | Report abuse

To follow up, they turned it on and I'm getting about 6.5 Mbps compared to their claimed 7. Close enough.

I know where the Central Office is -- about 4 blocks, or 3000 feet away. Seems the speed should be at the upper tier of their new offering. Oh well.

My neighborhood is at the end of the FIOS build-out schedule -- it will be years. I am impressed by the Comcast speeds people are reporting.

Posted by: Bob_Dobbs | August 31, 2010 10:04 PM | Report abuse

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