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What is Gigabit Internet and Do I Need It?
Internet & Mobile Security Blog | MATE | 14 September 2023
Imagine a world where your internet never lags, where streaming your favourite shows, working from home, or video chatting with loved ones happens without a hitch. No more slow loading times or frustrating buffering videos. Enter gigabit internet, the solution to all your internet woes. Offering the fastest internet speed available today, gigabit internet promises to transform your online experience. But what if you don’t need the absolute fastest? What if you could still achieve lightning-fast speeds without going all the way to gigabit?
In this blog post, we’ll explore the world of gigabit internet, diving into what it is, how it works, and why it might be the perfect fit for your connectivity needs—or why a (slightly) lower-tier plan might be just as effective for you.
Use the table of contents below to jump to each section of this post.
|Gigabit internet speeds explained
|Do you need gigabit internet?
|How much do NBN 1000 plans cost?
|Is gigabit internet worth it?
|Get fast internet with MATE!
Understanding gigabit internet
What is gigabit internet?
Gigabit internet is like the sports car of the internet world. It’s sleek, fast, and designed to provide the ultimate online experience. But what does “gigabit” mean? Simply put, gigabit refers to a speed of 1GB (gigabit) per second. That’s ultra-fast internet, capable of downloading a full-length HD movie in just a few seconds!
Unlike traditional internet speeds, which might range from a few megabits per second (Mbps) to a hundred or so, gigabit speeds are in a league of their own. Imagine having the power to stream multiple 4K videos simultaneously without a hitch or play online games without any lag. That’s the kind of performance gigabit internet offers.
Whether you’re a tech enthusiast or just someone who loves smooth and speedy internet, gigabit internet is a game-changer. It’s not just about speed; it’s about unlocking a whole new level of online possibilities.
How does gigabit internet work?
Understanding gigabit internet requires a closer look at the cutting-edge technologies that make it possible—Hybrid fibre coaxial (HFC) and Fibre to the Premises (FTTP). Let’s break down the components that enable this ultra-fast internet experience.
Understanding Australia’s NBN technology landscape
Australia’s national broadband network (nbn) represents a significant leap in the nation’s digital infrastructure, aiming to connect homes across the continent to high-speed internet. To achieve this ambitious goal, NBN Co has utilised a mix of technologies, both new and repurposed. The nbn network comprises several connection types, with the most common being Fibre to the Premises (FTTP), Hybrid Fibre Coaxial (HFC), and Fibre to the Node (FTTN). The technology available at your residence largely depends on the location and existing infrastructure, with NBN Co determining the most suitable connection type for each area.
With this understanding of the nbn landscape, let’s delve deeper into just how gigabit internet functions.
Hybrid Fibre Coaxial (HFC)
HFC is a sophisticated blend of fiber-optic and coaxial cables. Fiber-optic cables are known for their ability to transmit data at near the speed of light, using light signals to carry information. Coaxial cables, on the other hand, are more traditional and use electrical signals. By combining these two, HFC creates a superhighway for your data, allowing it to travel at incredible speeds. The fiber-optic part of the network extends close to your location, and the coaxial part completes the connection to your home or office.
Fibre to the Premises (FTTP)
FTTP, or Fibre to the Premises, is another technology that can access gigabit internet speeds. It involves a direct fiber-optic connection to your home or office, offering a robust and high-speed connection.
Both HFC and FTTP ensure a seamless internet experience, making activities like streaming, gaming, and downloading a breeze.
Gigabit internet speeds explained
Understanding gigabit internet speeds can be a game-changer for your online experience. Let’s dive into the details and explore what these speeds mean for you.
Speed tiers and fast speeds
Internet speeds are categorised into different tiers, each designed to suit various needs. Gigabit internet—or NBN 1000—stands at the pinnacle of these categories, offering the fastest fixed-line internet currently available in Australia.
- NBN 12 to NBN 50: These are the entry-level and standard options, suitable for basic to moderate internet usage. They offer speeds ranging from 12Mbps to 50Mbps, ideal for browsing, streaming, and gaming.
- NBN 100 and NBN 250: These tiers provide fast to superfast speeds, ranging from 100Mbps to 250Mbps. They are designed for large households or heavy internet users who require seamless multitasking and high-definition streaming.
- NBN 1000 (Gigabit Internet): This ultra-fast tier offers speeds up to 1000 Mbps (1Gbps), designed for hardcore live streamers, gamers, and busy creatives. It represents the fastest internet speed available, providing unparalleled performance.
Comparing these tiers to gigabit speeds, it’s clear that NBN 1000 offers a unique experience, setting a new standard for internet connectivity. Whether you’re a casual browser or require the fastest internet, understanding these tiers helps you make an informed decision that matches your online activities.
Download and upload speeds
When it comes to internet speeds, two terms you’ll often hear are “download speeds” and “upload speeds”. But what do they mean, and how do they compare to slower speeds?
- Download speeds: This refers to how quickly you can pull data from the internet to your device. Whether you’re streaming a movie, downloading a file, or loading a web page, download speeds play a crucial role. Gigabit internet offers download speeds of up to 1GB per second, which is significantly faster than other internet speed tiers available.
- Upload speeds: Upload speeds determine how quickly you can send data from your device to the internet. Whether you’re uploading photos to social media, sending large files via email, or live-streaming video, upload speeds matter. With gigabit internet, you can enjoy ultra-fast upload speeds, making these tasks seamless and efficient.
In comparison to slower speeds, gigabit internet’s download and upload speeds offer a vastly improved experience. You’ll notice the difference in everything you do online, from faster downloads to higher-quality video calls.
Typical evening speeds
Typical evening speeds refer to the average internet speeds users can expect during peak hours, usually between 7 pm and 11 pm. These speeds can differ significantly from the maximum speed advertised by an internet service provider.
For example, gigabit internet—represented by the NBN 1000 speed tier—offers a maximum speed of up to 1000 Mbps. However, the typical evening speeds might be lower due to various factors such as network congestion, the type of connection (e.g., FTTP, HFC), distance from the network exchange, and the quality of equipment used.
Setting your expectations
Internet service providers often provide information on typical evening speeds to give users a more realistic expectation of the internet performance during busy hours. While gigabit internet promises ultra-fast connectivity, understanding the typical evening speeds helps users gauge how the service might perform when most people are online. It’s an essential consideration when choosing the right plan, especially for those who require high-speed internet during peak hours.
Do you need gigabit internet?
The allure of gigabit internet is undeniable with its promise of ultra-fast speeds and seamless online experiences. But is it the right choice for everyone? Let’s explore the benefits and considerations to help you decide if gigabit internet is the right fit for you.
Benefits of gigabit internet
Gigabit internet service offers a range of advantages that cater to various needs, from casual browsing to professional use. Here’s why it might be appealing:
- Enhanced performance for streaming and gaming: With gigabit speeds, you can enjoy buffer-free streaming of high-definition videos and a lag-free gaming experience. It’s perfect for those who demand the highest quality entertainment.
- Professional use: For professionals working from home or managing a business, gigabit internet ensures smooth video conferencing, quick file transfers, and efficient multitasking. It’s a reliable choice for those who can’t afford any delays.
- Multiple users: Gigabit internet can handle multiple devices simultaneously without slowing down. Whether your family is streaming, gaming, or working all at once, everyone can enjoy a smooth online experience.
- Future-proofing: As technology advances, the demand for faster internet will only grow. Investing in gigabit internet service now ensures that you’re ready for future innovations and emerging technologies.
Considerations and costs
While gigabit internet offers impressive benefits, there are several factors to consider before you go and switch providers:
- Realistic speeds: It’s essential to understand that the maximum theoretical speed of gigabit internet might not be what you experience all the time. Typical evening speed can be lower, especially during peak hours when many people are online.
- Availability: Most NBN technology types cannot access gigabit speeds. Only Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) and most Hybrid Fibre Coaxial (HFC) connection types can access these plans. Check with your internet providers to see if it’s an option in your area.
- Everyday internet uses: For many users, gigabit speeds might be more than what’s needed. Activities like browsing, streaming, and social media don’t require such high speeds. NBN 250 plans, for example, are often sufficient for achieving fast speeds and a smooth online experience.
- Cost: Gigabit internet plans are typically more expensive. Assess your budget and actual needs to determine if the additional cost is justified.
- Equipment compatibility: Your existing modem and router might not be compatible with gigabit speeds. Upgrading your equipment could be an additional expense.
>How much do NBN 1000 plans cost?
NBN 1000 plans typically cost well over $120 per month on average, with prices varying across different providers and plan inclusions.
Some providers offer ultrafast NBN 1000 plans with unlimited data starting around $149 per month. Additional charges may apply if you need a new modem.
Other plans under different brand names feature unlimited data at a similar price point, with modems available upfront for a one-time fee. Some providers even offer promotional prices for new applications, with terms and conditions applying.
There are also options for ultrafast plans with data limits, priced similarly. The priciest plans can go up to over $200 per month.
Some internet service provider retailers offer unique pricing structures, such as daily rates that translate to approximately $140 per month or around $1,680 annually. Others start their gigabit-speed unlimited data plans at $155 per month.
The largest internet service providers may offer premium NBN 1000 plans at a higher price point, around $180 per billing period. These plans often include unlimited data and may come with a modem, sometimes available for free with a 24-month lock-in period.
Investing in an NBN 1000 plan may also require subscribers to purchase advanced hardware. A modem/router capable of consistent NBN 1000 speed is essential, with prices for such devices starting at a minimum of $200.
Is gigabit internet worth it?
Gigabit internet offers the promise of ultra-fast internet connection speeds, making it an exciting option for those who demand the fastest internet in Australia. If you’re seeking the pinnacle of internet performance for tasks that require high speeds, such as streaming video or playing online games, then an NBN 1000 plan is definitely worth considering.
However, it’s essential to understand your specific needs, the realistic typical evening speed, and the availability in your area to make an informed decision. If you’re unsure whether NBN 1000 is right for you, speaking with your internet providers will help you see what plans are available. Whether you’re looking for the fastest internet speed or just a reliable connection for everyday use, knowing your options ensures that you choose the right plan from the right internet providers.
Get fast internet with MATE!
In the thrilling world of internet connectivity, gigabit service stands as a beacon of speed and performance. It’s the sports car of the internet, offering unparalleled speeds that can transform your online experience. From seamless streaming and gaming to professional multitasking, gigabit internet is a game-changer.
However, it’s essential to approach this exciting technology with practical considerations in mind. Gigabit internet’s availability, cost, realistic speeds, and specific use cases might not align with everyone’s needs or budget. While it’s an impressive option, it’s not the only path to a smooth and satisfying online experience.
That’s where MATE comes in. With our Fair Dinkum nbn 250/25 plan, you can enjoy lightning-fast 202Mbps speeds during typical peak periods, allowing for all the basics plus concurrent 4K video streaming and massive upload speeds for crystal clear video calls!
A fantastic balance of speed and affordability, Fair Dinkum nbn 250/25 is designed to cater to various online activities without the premium price tag of gigabit service. With MATE, you can enjoy fast speeds, reliable connections, and friendly customer service, all at a cost that makes sense for you.
Frequently asked questions
Is NBN 250 fast enough?
Absolutely! As a popular NBN 250 plan, our Fair Dinkum nbn 250/25 plan offers robust speeds of up to 202Mbps during typical busy periods. This speed is more than sufficient for a household of 6+ users. Whether you’re into emails, browsing, social media, music streaming, or online gaming, NBN 250 has got you covered.
Imagine enjoying three concurrent HD streams or even a single 4K video stream for a crystal-clear entertainment experience. For most households, this speed tier provides a seamless online experience, ensuring that everyone can stay connected without any hitches.
Can I get NBN at my address?
To determine if NBN is available at your address, you can use MATE’s address checker. This tool will provide insights into the NBN technology type available at your residence. It’s always a good idea to consult directly with MATE or your preferred internet provider for the most accurate information.
What if I can’t get gigabit internet at my address?
No worries! If gigabit internet isn’t available at your location, our Fair Dinkum 250/25 is a fantastic alternative. Priced at $110/month, it offers a commendable 202Mbps during typical busy periods. This speed is perfect for larger households, allowing for activities like online gaming and multiple 4K video streams. With such speeds, you can enjoy a smooth online experience, ensuring that all your internet needs are met without breaking the bank.
Is gigabit internet the same as NBN 1000?
Yes, they are one and the same. NBN 1000 and gigabit internet both refer to internet plans that offer maximum download speeds of 1000Mbps. The term “gigabit internet” is just another way of expressing these impressive download speeds.
How does the type of NBN connection impact my internet speed?
The type of NBN connection at your residence plays a pivotal role in determining the maximum internet speeds you can achieve. In Australia, the National Broadband Network is delivered through various connection types, including Fibre to the Curb (FTTC), Fibre to the Node (FTTN), and Fibre to the Premises (FTTP). Among these, FTTP offers the most direct fiber-optic connection, ensuring the highest potential speeds. On the other hand, FTTN and FTTC might have limitations due to the mix of fiber and existing copper lines. It’s essential to understand the type of connection available at your address, as it will influence the speed tiers accessible to you and the overall internet experience you can expect.