July 29, 2008
| by Gordon Jones
Today’s article comparing the various Internet/Phone/TV bundles highlights the obvious - that is, ISPs like Charter, Comcast, AT&T and Verizon are fighting hard for your business. Indeed, barely a week passes without an announcement from one of the players touting a new pricing tier or freebie promotion.
A recent announcement from Verizon however is somewhat different. While it falls into my favorite category - faster speeds - it has nothing to do with Verizon’s servers or much-envied fiber optic lines. Instead, the FiOS giant is releasing two new routers, the MI424-WR from Actiontec and the UltraLine Series 3 model 9100 by Westell, that increase the speed of YOUR network by boosting the throughput of the coax cables to your TV. The gain is said to push speeds from from 75 MBps to 175 MBps and play to the content sharing capabilities of the high-def DVRs.
Unfortunately, wireless and Ethernet speeds will be unaffected by the new hardware, though the new routers are capable of running four wireless networks simultaneously (a shot at the small business crowd).
The new routers will also feature a live USB port allowing users to attach network-attached storage (NAS) and other peripheral devices, assuming the port is activated by Verizon (tba). Other improvements include better QOS (Quality of Service) functions for prioritized network traffic, remote management for tech support, and media sharing between DLNA and UPnP-enabled devices.
The big disappointment in this story is that the new routers are only available to new customers some time in late 2008. Time enough for something horrible to happen to your existing hardware I guess ;)