On Friday, Verizon announced that it has begun taking steps to increase its domestic network capabilities to offer 100Gbps (gigabit-per-second).
Already installed for intercontinental communication, these high-volume, low-latency pipes can process a stock trade in 14.5 milliseconds, according to Verizon.
Now, the carrier wants to bring that speed to businesses, currently limited to 40Gbps, allowing them to tap into as little or as much of that data stream as possible.
The potential for all FiOS Internet customers is a world of downloading difference.
Although it's yet to be announced, a network widening for business-class services is likely a stepping stone to faster data streams for home users as well.
No pipe dream
If that pipe dream becomes a reality, consumers could download full retail-release games and movies in minutes. And faster broadband speeds means more social and online integration in games and home computer applications.
The expansion of services also comes with a remodeling of the network's architecture, said Glen Wellbrock, Verizon's Director of Optical Transport Network Architecture and Design.
Now, individual connections are only backed up by one or two alternate routes, meaning that outages spread further and cause more down-time.
A "meshed" architecture will allow the company to re-route data traffic to a wider array of pipes, theoretically keeping more consumers reliably connected.
These plans, said Wellbrock, are preliminary and forward-looking. Verizon will offer 100G connections to enterprise level customers, but predicts that most customers will only need a portion of that speed, which the company will also offer.
Potentially life-saving connectivity
As fast as the carrier hopes these connections will be, the process for getting there won't be instantaneous.
A gradual implementation of the new architecture, cabling, and re-mapped routes will take time, and the change will be gradual.
Where these measures have already been in effect, said Wellbrock, they've "gotten [Verizon] out of a lot of jams."
For example, after the earthquakes and tsunami in Japan just last year, Verizon was able to stay connected by re-routing traffic in its meshed trans-Pacific network.
The company expects that this architecture will provide the same kind of disaster insurance for the U.S. market when in place.
In terms of speed, the carrier will be bringing the same level of connectivity to all its customers that it just started to offer financial firms last month.
The 6500-Packet Optical Platfrom from Ciena has been supporting Wall Street since April 18th with its newest low-latency optical data connections.
The timing for the network upgrades has yet to be announced, so for now businesses will have to settle for a smaller bite of the pipe.