By Andy Tarnoff Publisher Published Aug 29, 2016 at 12:19 PM

I’m not entirely proud to admit it, but I’m addicted to my Verizon service on my iPhone and iPad. Not just because I worked for the company, permitting cell towers, in the late ‘90s when it was PrimeCo, but because it’s the fastest, most consistent network out there. I know because I’ve used others.

How addicted am I to fast data? Well, I blew through about 10 GB of it on my recent family road trip to Colorado. LTE was a life-saver with Netflix in the car. I posted photos from atop a mountain. It didn't work everywhere in Rocky Mountain National Park, but in plenty of places, it did. It was certainly more reliable than the hotel Wi-Fi in any of our stops. And it was fast.

Today, fast data speeds got faster.

Verizon just rolled out its LTE Advanced technology to bring 50% faster peak wireless data speeds to more than 288 million people in 461 cities, including Milwaukee.

In a nutshell, the company describes it like a turbocharger on an engine. Your speeds won’t be faster until you do something data-intensive, like downloading a movie. And it just works automatically on 39 LTE Advanced-capable phones and tablets already on its network. Those include Samsung Galaxy S6 and S7 smartphones, Moto Droids and iPhones. As new devices from Apple, Samsung, LG and other manufacturers are introduced, they will be LTE Advanced-capable right out of the box.

How fast are the speeds they're claiming?

Typical LTE download speeds are 5-12 Mbps, but two-channel carrier aggregation has shown peak download speeds of up to 225 Mbps, they say. While the speeds of two channel carrier aggregation provide a leap forward, three-channel carrier aggregation provides even greater efficiency. Verizon engineers deploying three-channel carrier aggregation have experienced speeds greater than 300 Mbps.

That’s pretty fast. Much faster than the internet connection at home (mine peaks at 25 Mpbs with U-Verse). And it doesn’t cost more to use it.

This reluctantly heavy data user is pretty happy right now. Time to buy a bigger data plan.

Andy is the president, publisher and founder of OnMilwaukee. He returned to Milwaukee in 1996 after living on the East Coast for nine years, where he wrote for The Dallas Morning News Washington Bureau and worked in the White House Office of Communications. He was also Associate Editor of The GW Hatchet, his college newspaper at The George Washington University.

Before launching in 1998 at age 23, he worked in public relations for two Milwaukee firms, most of the time daydreaming about starting his own publication.

Hobbies include running when he finds the time, fixing the rust on his '75 MGB, mowing the lawn at his cottage in the Northwoods, and making an annual pilgrimage to Phoenix for Brewers Spring Training.