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Competition Breather: Verizon FiOS Rate Hikes Ease Pressure on Cablevision, TWC

Verizon customers can expect to pay more for the company’s fiber to the home service, FiOS, even as promised higher speeds arrive.

Most customers off contract can expect to pay $10-15 more a month under the new pricing regime, or cut back on selected television channels to keep their price the same. Verizon customers currently on a promotional offer will not see any price changes until their promotion expires.

Wall Street analysts call Verizon’s rate hikes a return to “pricing rationality.” The phone company has engaged in years of aggressive pricing, promotions, and rebate offers, especially in the northeast. At one point, Verizon was offering New York-area customers up to $500 in rebates when signing up for a triple play Verizon FiOS package. As Verizon pulls back from aggressive promotions, some analysts predict cable competitors Time Warner Cable and Cablevision will be able to resume more typical rate increases common before Verizon FiOS launched. Cablevision previously announced it would not increase rates during 2012, mostly in response to Verizon’s aggressive pricing.

Verizon has significantly boosted speeds on most of its broadband offerings, with the exception of its standard entry-level 15/5Mbps package, which remains unchanged. Verizon is hoping customers will find that entry level package less and less attractive and be amenable to upgrading to faster speed service at a higher price.

“We’re expecting that 80 percent of customers will want more than 15 megabits per second,” Arturo Picicci, Verizon’s director of product management told Reuters.

Under Verizon’s new pricing, triple play customers with unlimited calling, 15/5Mbps broadband, and 290 television channels pay $109.99. The next step up, for $15 more a month, would upgrade broadband to 50/25Mbps service.

Verizon is also shaming New York area cable operators with speed increases that Time Warner and Cablevision currently cannot match.

The company’s 150/65Mbps service is now priced at $99.99 a month, down from $209.99. Customers in some areas can also sign up for 300/65Mbps service for as low as $204.99 with a two-year contract.

In contrast, Comcast charges $200 a month for 105Mbps, Cablevision prices its 101Mbps service at $104.95 a month.

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  • Ernesto Honez: Was that a confirmed and signed "contract"? Was it verbal? Was it sent out in a letter as bulk mailing, or with a first class stamp? Was it's delivery...
  • Matt: I just got off the phone with AT&T. I called saying that I found a promotion through Time Warner for $34.99 for 15 mbps and I am trying to cut dow...
  • Phillip Dampier: It first went to a handful of test markets in upstate New York (not Rochester) and then has been redesignated as a feature enhancement in Maxx markets...
  • Steve Rea: Any idea when the new DVR is coming to Rochester? I remember a story you posed over 2 years ago from the CEO of TWC at the time! saying it was comi...
  • AustinTX: James, my suggestion would be to switch to TWC rental modems, and fry 2-3 of them over the course of several weeks by running 24v AC into the coax con...
  • Dragos: For 1Gbps in Romania we pay around 12 EUR (VAT included - 24%). http://www.rcs-rds.ro/internet-digi-net/fiberlink?t=internet-fix&pachet=digi_ne...
  • James R Curry: Hey, Phillip - While not related to Comcast directly -- I rent my modem from TWC, and while I'd rather buy one outright, there's one big factor ...
  • Sean: I believe that there are issues intermixing DOSCIS 2/3 modems on a node. It's been about 5 years since I've worked with a CMTS so I am by no means an...
  • AustinTX: Yep, this isn't about "your old modem isn't capable of the wonderful new speeds we're providing to your service tier", it's about "we know your custom...
  • MJ Lee: This is strange. I did get a letter from Time Warner saying my apartment was qualified for Time Warner Cable Maxx, but when I applied for it, I got an...
  • Tim: You know this is overstating the case ... unlimited data adsl2 plans are available from $60 in Australia. Average price is about $90...
  • Phillip Dampier: I think 10/Gbps is available in the USA as well, on an obscenely expensive metro Ethernet or commercial fiber link provisioned by a telecom company. ...

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