Home broadband speeds typically vary from around 35Mbps to 100Mbps, with a few broadband packages reaching up into the ultrafast 200+Mbps territory. Mbps (Megabits per second) refers to how much information a broadband connection can download in a second, and a connection in the 35-100Mbps range is often more than enough to stream movies, download music, and scroll through social media.
In contrast, 10Gbps broadband (that’s 10 with a G, not an M), is the holy grail of high-speed internet in which download speeds would be on average 100 times faster than on a 100Mbps, meaning enormous data files could be downloaded in the blink of an eye.
Internet service providers (ISPs) have been teasing the release of 10Gbps broadband for months now, and incremental advances have taken place in some locations, often led by outcries of support from within the community. So slowly but surely the infrastructure for 10Gbps broadband is going into place, but will we actually get to see 10Gbps this year?
The answer is a resounding... sort of.
Truespeed, a full-fibre broadband business based in the South West, has announced that it will start offering this colossal internet service before the end of 2019. The company has pledged to offer an Active Ethernet network that delivers a “dedicated” 10Gbps link to every individual customer, but that’s not to say that every single Truespeed customer will have 10Gbps broadband deals by Christmas.
Josef Karthauser, CTO of Truespeed, said to TechCrunch: “Our full fibre network was built to be future-proof by design with all customers connected to a 10Gbps-capable port in every cabinet as standard. Offering a 10Gbps box for residential customers was always part of the plan and is a natural next step.
“The 10G NTE pilot went perfectly and we are now looking forward to offering residential customers speeds of up to 10Gbps before the end of the year, giving them the ultimate in high-performance, highly reliable full fibre connectivity that will satisfy their bandwidth needs for decades.”
It’s worth pointing out that Truespeed’s network is already capable of 10Gbps speeds, however, in order for them to take advantage of the top-end download speeds, users would need a device with at least one 10Gbps port.
This can be a fairly costly technical requirement, at least at the beginning of the roll out, making 10Gbps mainly aimed at business broadband rather than residential.
At the time of posting, 10Gbps is only available through one other provider, Black Fibre, who is supplying 10Gbps broadband speeds to the swanky Manhattan Loft Gardens apartment building in Stratford, London for the staggering sum of £199 per month.
The main challenge with 10Gbps broadband is being able to make full use of its impressive speeds. Many internet servers, and even hardware and Wi-Fi routers, will struggle to fully utilise it. Add to that the rather dramatic price tag, this begs the question, will there be a 10Gbps broadband deal that’s worth the price tag?
For example, households with multiple users streaming 4K video will still only really need roughly 100Mbps. That’s about 9, 900Mbps worth of very expensive broadband that is not being used.
It’s also worth noting that many computers and routers still only ship with 1Gbps LAN ports, meaning there will be a significant cost to upgrade your tech before you could even begin to log on.