After many happy years with Aussie Broadband, this week I switched internet providers to Superloop. Like many Australians, I enjoy connectivity through Fibre-to-the-Premise (FTTP) which theoretically supports speeds up to 1Gbps. Today, I’m connected to a 1Gbps service and getting around 932 Mbps down and 45Mbps up.
When the National Broadband Network was rolled out to Australia, one of the fundamental shifts was the change in internet infrastructure. No longer was the service you receive, based solely on the provider, instead the infrastructure (in many instances fibre to the premise), and your ISP or rather Retail Service Provider (RSP), was simply a provider of internet plans, with a mix of pricing tiers and options to separate them from each other.
Having previously been on a 100Mbps/20Mbps plan with AussieBB, I was speaking with a friend recently when he explained he was on this 1Gbps plan and it cost just $99pm for the first 6 months, then $109pm afterwards. Compared to the $95pm I was paying for 100Mbps, this sounded like amazing value for money, just $5-10 more per month for 10 times the speed – I had to try it.
Having signed up with Superloop, a quick and easy process that takes just minutes, I ordered an Eero 6+ router for $0 upfront, $20 delivery. If I cancel the plan early, I will have to pay it back, but I doubt that’s going to happen, given I’m getting some very impressive speeds. The Eero 6+ was a great inclusion, as I already had 3x Eero 5 wireless mesh devices. This means these speeds can be shared throughout the house, with the Eero devices being fully backwards compatible.
A few days after the order, the Eeero 6+ arrived, a couple of days after that the service was active and now, we’re running on 1Gbps internet.
While these speeds may seem excessive to most, I have experienced them once before, a number of years ago, when I tested 1Gbps for a month or two. At the time the price of plans for these speeds was excessive, easily $30-$40 more than they are today, thanks to competition and a diverse roster of RSPs, consumers are now benefiting.
Video games and large applications will be the biggest reason for the increased speeds, with many downloads now in the hundreds of GBs, even on 100Mbps they often take hours.
Xbox updates are another give that keeps on giving, every time I had a couple of hours spare to play, it’d be consumed by updates and I’d instead end up watching TV or be back on the computer. Hopefully, the servers at Microsoft’s end can distribute the updates at a rate that can keep up to these speeds.
At the end of the day, 1Gbps is an internet speed best used to multi-task, that is downloads in the office, while simultaneously watching a number of 4K streams (in the lounge room, rumpus and bedroom). For a fraction of much more money, to get more enjoyment from online streaming and games, I think this is now worth it, just choose your provider wisely.
If I find after 6 months I am not able to leverage the speed, I could always drop down to the 250/25Mbps plan and save, with the price of just $99/pm.