Verizon FiOS Internet customers in five states can now enjoy online connection speeds of up to 50 Mbps downstream and 5 Mbps upstream, as the company continues to raise the speed of its all-fiber Internet service.

Massachusetts and Rhode Island recently joined New York, Connecticut and New Jersey as states where Verizon has increased the maximum connection speed of both its mid-tier and top-tier FiOS Internet services.

The mid-tier maximum connection speed in those markets was increased from 15 Mbps downstream and 2 Mbps upstream to 20/5 Mbps, and the top-tier service was increased from 30/5 Mbps to 50/5 Mbps. The company plans similar FiOS Internet speed increases this year in some of the 11 other states where the service is available.

“Our ability to deliver increasingly higher broadband connection speeds to customers illustrates the real benefits of deploying fiber optics all the way into customers’ homes,” said Brian Whitton, executive director of access network design and integration for Verizon Telecom.

More than 6 million homes and businesses in parts of 16 states are now passed by Verizon’s all-fiber network, and the company expects its new network to pass about 18 million premises by the end of 2010. Verizon had 522,000 FiOS Internet customers across 16 states at the end of the third quarter of 2006. The company also delivers its all-digital FiOS TV service over the network in parts of 10 states.

To learn about how Verizon is staffing installations of FiOS, see page 30.     EC