Verizon Widens the Data Pipe

It will sell 20 megabits per second over fiber at $50 a month.
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A speed war is heating up as cable companies push their triple-play service packages on telco turf.

Verizon

(VZ) - Get Report

says it is now bumping up the speed of its fiber optic, or Fios, connections in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut at no additional cost.

New and existing customers will get 10 megabits a second service for $40 a month and 20 megabits a second speeds for $50 a month. The previous speeds were 5 Mbps for $40 and 10 Mbps for $50.

The news comes as

Comcast

(CMCSA) - Get Report

reports strong sales of its bundle of phone, Net and TV services last week.

Instead of dropping prices, the broadband service providers have been battling on speeds to lure customers.

Last fall, feeling the pressure of Verizon's fiber upgrade in its cable communities, No. 6 cable company

Cablevision

(CVC)

said it was boosting the speed of its service to 15 Mbps at no extra charge to existing customers. That move was intended to match the speed of Verizon's $50 fiber connection.

Cablevision also introduced two premium-tier offerings. One is a 30 Mbps service for an extra $15 a month, and the second is 50 Mbps speed at an undisclosed price.

Verizon is spending billions on a fiber-optic expansion in order to deliver TV to customers in its region. The spending effort has drawn fire from cranky investors.

Verizon closed down 24 cents at $32.79 Monday.