Friday, 1 July 2022 | 4 min read
Gigabit speeds for all Australians – is this a fantasy?
Written by Heidi Kraak, Marketing Copywriter
Nationwide gigabit speeds may sound like a fanciful dream – particularly in a country as vast as Australia. However, that reality may be closer than you think.
Faster internet speeds are becoming increasingly accessible for businesses and residential users across the country thanks to a range of developments from wholesaler nbn®️ and the gradual rollout of the 5G network.
It’s true – speed isn’t the only factor that makes up a good internet service. Reliability, cost, and scalability are also important. However, access to fast internet opens up a host of opportunities for Australians and Australian businesses in terms of reaching new markets, utilising the latest technologies and connecting communities.
Gamers aren’t the only ones who should be getting excited about the prospect of gigabit speeds.
What is gigabit internet?
Before we look at the benefits of gigabit speeds and its rollout across Australia, it’s important to understand what they are.
Gigabit internet allows users to download data at a rate of 1,000 megabits – or one gigabit – per second. Large files, such as game updates, could be downloaded in seconds. Alternatively, symmetrical (1000/1000Mbps) gigabit speeds may be highly useful to businesses and enterprises that regularly upload large files.
There are a range of ways to achieve close to gigabit internet. While dedicated fibre-optic infrastructure cannot guarantee gigabit speeds, it’s the most likely to deliver consistently high speeds.
Additionally, proponents of the 5G network are confident it will achieve gigabit speeds with ease when it reaches its peak, however, it’s still early days for the network.
How can Australians access gigabit speeds?
Broadband wholesaler NBN has a number of programs that form some solid stepping stones towards the goal of close to gigabit speeds for all Australians.
NBN's 1000 – or Ultrafast – plans are becoming increasingly accessible as the wholesaler’s $4.5 billion network investment program works towards the goal of making the highest wholesale speed tiers available to 75% of homes and businesses on the fixed line network.
NBN has already started the fibre upgrade rollout for tens of thousands of Fibre to the Node and Fibre to the Curb addresses. In fact, by 2023, the broadband wholesaler expects to have a total of 8 million addresses eligible to access wholesale download speeds of 500 Mbps to close to 1 Gbps.
Additionally, as part of another NBN's fibre rollout program, 9 out of 10 businesses across the country are eligible for a $0 fibre upgrade* when signing up to a 36-month NBN Enterprise Ethernet plan. This is a major step forward considering the high cost of installation had previously barred many businesses from accessing the superior infrastructure, which is capable of conducting close to gigabit speeds.
While fibre cannot guarantee gigabit speeds at all times – there are other factors at play – accessing gigabit speeds is simply impossible on older copper connections. This is why the fibre rollout package is a big deal.
For homes and businesses across the country, a fibre connection, paired with a service provider that consistently monitors network usage and doesn’t over-purchase bandwidth, is your best bet in achieving close to gigabit speeds.
Will the 5G network reach gigabit speeds?
The gradual expansion of the 5G network across the nation will also go some way in bringing the country up to gigabit speeds. In lab testing, 5G has reached peak download speeds of 4.2 gigabits/second. While users aren’t likely to experience those kinds of speeds in day-to-day use in the short term, it’s still early days for the network.
It’s worth noting, however, that there are possibilities for 5G technology and fixed-line infrastructure to work together to improve speed outcomes for rural and regional Australian communities. Earlier this year, NBN achieved a world record for long-range 5G transmission. The successful trial was exploring how 5G technology could optimise the existing NBN network in remote and regional communities.
It may take some time until the capabilities of 5G technology are fully realised, however, it’s encouraging to see some early success.
Which industries benefit from gigabit internet?
Just about every industry can benefit from gigabit speeds.
Many emerging business trends are dependent on fast and reliable connectivity. AI, for example, is rapidly transforming the way businesses manage everything from customer service and marketing to manufacturing. Similarly, the Internet of Things promises to transform business operations across all industries, and a fast and stable connection is at its foundation.
Gigabit speeds – or close to it – can facilitate these emerging trends and help Australian businesses stay ahead of the curve.
Perhaps less obviously, the healthcare industry is also more dependent on bandwidth and ultrafast speeds than ever. New technologies, such as patient IoT devices, digital imaging and EMR equipment, and even the uptick in telehealth services means the industry will increasingly depend on fast connections.
In fact, Australian healthcare is becoming so reliant on connectivity that NBN has committed to establishing at least 14 new business fibre zones to support existing health precincts. These precincts include major hospitals and education/research facilities.
The future of gigabit speeds for Australia
While nationwide gigabit speeds may not be on the cards for the immediate future, we’re definitely seeing positive steps forward. NBN’s Fibre Connect and Enterprise Ethernet fibre expansion packages as well as the rollout of 5G is a good start. Who knows – gigabit speeds for all Australians may not be too far away, after all!
Looking for ultra fast speeds to power your business?
Find out if you’re eligible for $0 fibre upgrade built out to your premises with our free address checker. To learn more, call our friendly Australian-based team of experts on 1300 161 625.
Share this post with your mates!
Articles like this
Are 13 numbers a good investment for businesses?
Chances are, there's a 13 number stuck in your head. Maybe from a catchy ad jingle, or just because it's easy to remember. They're simple. They're me...
4 August 2023 | 7 min read
How to check your internet speed and improve it
Picture this: you’ve had a long day and all you want to do is kick back, relax, and watch Kath & Kim for the 15 th time. You get all set up on your ...
18 August 2023 | 6 min read