Verizon FIOS Quantum Speeds and 300 mbps

It was over two years ago that Comcast introduced 105 Mbps Internet speeds, and I told you you’d never see that speed. Today, Verizon is introducing Verizon FIOS Quantum with speeds of 300 mbps, because the Internet has come so far that you can now download illegal movies even faster.

Umm, no, you (still) can’t.

Here’s the good news: Verizon FIOS Quantum 300 mbps service theoretically offers three times what Comcast offered for downloads and six times the speeds for uploads, at the same price. So the “price of fast Internet” is coming down.

The bad news? Similar to what I told you in the 105 mbps article, you’ll never get FIOS Quantum’s 300 mbps speed in the way Verizon is saying you will.

At the top of this article you’ll see a screen grab from the Verizon FIOS Quantum website. I’m a subscriber to the entry-level tier of Verizon FIOS, and that impressive 12 mbps speed I got when I ran Verizon’s test this morning is about right—and I’m wireless, which is one bottleneck preventing me from getting the 15 mbps I’m supposed to get.

This is a story about bottlenecks that will stop virtually 100% of users from ever getting the amazing speed Verizon is claiming for FIOS Quantum.

See that comparison chart at the bottom of the Verizon FIOS Quantum screen capture? According to Verizon, my existing connection will let me “download a 5 GB movie” in about 57 minutes, while upgrading to the top speed tier of FIOS Quantum will reduce my download time to just over two minutes.

No, it won’t.

That 11.7 mbps that I’m getting in the test is a controlled laboratory scenario. It measures my connection through my fast wireless adapter to my fast FIOS router over the fast FIOS fiber optic network to the Verizon FIOS central office access point directly to a server specifically designed to show connection speeds over what I’m sure is an optimized connection from Verizon FIOS to that server.

In the real world, over this same Verizon FIOS connection, I’ve never, ever seen a download from another server that went higher than 1.6 mbps.

And that’s just the beginning of the problem with Verizon’s claim of amazing speed for FIOS Quantum.

Aside from the many places that speed bottlenecks pop up in Internet connections, the very point that Verizon is making about FIOS Quantum is flawed. Know why? Because

  • 2-hour HD Movies are way larger than 5 GB
  • Unless you download them from illegal sources, which Verizon can’t be advocating as the primary use of FIOS Quantum—right?
  • Unless you stream movies from legitimate sources like Verizon FIOS itself, whereby the information you download is way smaller than 5 GB

That’s right; nothing about the FIOS Quantum speed comparison is real. Nothing.

Is Verizon responsible for being honest in their marketing material? Well, no, of course not; statistics lie, and perception is reality, right? But by making up information, they’ve crossed the line, and this speed comparison for Verizon FIOS Quantum, when mixed with the specific movie download data, is very much made up.

Bandwidth is a complicated issue, and more, while better, isn’t always what you think it is—and can cost you, big-time. Or as I said here, if you watch movies on-line, get ready to pay up.

Verizon FIOS Quantum does have some real applications; if you have a lot of computers, iPads, and SmartPhones sharing your connection and all using it at the same time, each of them will get a boost from FIOS Quantum.

But you’ll never get what Verizon is selling you, and the price just doesn’t make sense.

Need help understanding your bandwidth needs? Contact Me Here.


UPDATE 2 July 2012, in response to this comment :

I’ve gone back and done a little test. Richard, and you were absolutely correct; I got my mbps and MBPS confused. The 1.6 mBps is in fact 12.8 mbps and puts my connection in line with the 15 mbps connection Verizon is supposed to be giving me on regular FIOS. Here’s the measurement I just did on a 708 MB file:

Measuring FIOS Quantum Speed Claims

At that speed, Verizon’s speed comparison saying I’d take 57 minutes to download a 5GB file is close enough to be at least mathematically accurate; I’d get 4368 MB in 57 minutes.

I’m not sure this invalidates the spirit of the point I was making, though; there are a lot of things that need to be working just right in order for big speeds to work, and as you can see from the comments others are leaving, it isn’t happening for early adopters of FIOS Quantum. And honestly, probably never will.

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