Australia will become a Gigabit Nation before the end of the year when NBN Co releases a broadband product that delivers wholesale upload and download speeds that far exceed those available to households today.
NBN Co's wholesale customers - internet service providers - will be able to order the new product from December.
ISPs will develop retail plans based on the 1 Gigabit - or 1000 Mbps - product. These plans will be available to families and businesses nationwide with access to the fibre network.*
Consumers will not need any additional NBN equipment in order to receive the new product.
Plans for the 1 Gigabit service and two additional speed tiers were contained in NBN Co's 2010 Corporate Plan. Progress with the rollout coupled with ongoing developments in IT mean the company now has the capacity to make the new products available:
Wholesale access price (per month)+
NBN Co's Head of Product & Sales, John Simon, said the fibre network was built with 1 Gigabit speeds in mind and is capable of supporting even higher speeds.
"We are confident there will be a healthy market for higher speed tiers. Global broadband leaders such as South Korea, Hong Kong, Japan and the United States already offer 1 Gigabit connections to homes and businesses," Mr. Simon said.
"In Australia, around a third of homes in the fibre footprint have signed up to the NBN in neighbourhoods where it's been up and running for 12 months. And once people have the NBN they're discovering the power of greater speeds.
"A third of fibre users already subscribe to the fastest speeds available. They're also downloading around 50 per cent more data than the average Australian broadband connection each month and uploading an average of 14GB per month.^
"Australians clearly have an appetite for more and better broadband."
The launch of the new products will coincide with the introduction of a series of enhancements to the fibre optic network designed to enable medium-sized businesses to make the most of high speed broadband.
It also follows NBN Co's commitment to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission to keep any price rises pegged below the rate of inflation.
^ NBN download and upload usage based on sample analysis of actual daily network throughput representing the majority of NBN's end-users for the month of March 2013. Australian average download usage based on ABS average fixed broadband downloads/subscriber/month for the December 2012 quarter
+ Plus connectivity charges
When we talk about speeds delivered over the National Broadband Network, we are referring to the wholesale speed to telephone and internet service providers. The speed you can achieve, and services you can use, on your individual connection will depend on many factors including the services you subscribe to, the software and communication protocols you use, quality of your equipment and connection to your home/business, the broadband plans offered by your telephone or internet provider and how it designs its network to cater for multiple users.