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So Where Else in the World Can You Get 1 Gbps to the Home?

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Updated: Google yesterday announced Google Fiber, an experimental network that would connect between 50,000 and 500,000 people, or as many as 200,000 homes, to the Internet at speeds reaching 1 gigabits per second — a truly jaw-dropping and envy-inspiring rate. Being big fans of broadband, we’ve been following the race to 1 Gbps and have come up with a list of places around the world where you can get 1 Gbps connections to your home.

* Hong Kong: The Hong Kong broadband network currently offers a FTTH/FTTB 1 Gbps service for $215 a month and is available to nearly 800,000 households.

* South Korea: The Korean government has a plan to spend $25 billion that over the next five years to bring fiber-based 1 Gbps connections to each home in South Korea.

* Cologne, Germany: Netcologne, a German city carrier, is looking to launch a service that will allow consumers to buy 1 Gbps connections in the city of Cologne sometime this year. Nearly 70,000 homes in Cologne currently buy broadband from the service provider.

* Canberra, Australia: TransACT, an Australian service provider, is trailing a network with speeds of up to 1 Gbps for residential customers.

* Portugal: Portugese cable operator Zon Multimedia has announced the availability of a 1 Gbps service for home users. It costs about 250 euros ($342) a month. (via)

* Amsterdam: GlasvezelNet Amsterdam (GNA), BBNed and InterNLnet have conducted a pilot of 1Gbps symmetric fibre-optic connections. The trial was carried out in the Amsterdam districts of Osdorp, Zeeburg and Oost/Watergraafsmeer. This Open FTTH effort has been rolled out in Amsterdam and is available to about 100,000 households. Reggefiber, another Dutch carrier is going to upgrade all its networks to 1 Gbps in 2010. Reggefiber is active in > 40 cities, half a million homes passed with 320,000 homes connected, thus making it one of the largest 1 Gbps deployments anywhere.

* In the US, Rural Telephone of Lenora, KS is s currently serving approx 8,000 homes with 1Gbps to the home.  Pineland Telephone of Metter, GA is in the process of replacing all of their old copper wire with fiber and currently have 4,000 homes connected to 1Gbps service. Lastly, 3 Rivers Telephone, Fairfield MT has 3,000 homes receiving 1Gbps. These three networks use gear from Occam Networks, a company I have often written about.< * In Japan, both NTT and KDDI are offering 1 Gbps services to residential buildings.

* Thanks to our great readers, we have learned that Sweden has a 1 Gbps network which has been in place since 2007. There are several other such offerings in Scandinavia. Singapore is also building a 1 Gbps network that will be ready by 2012.

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33 Responses to “So Where Else in the World Can You Get 1 Gbps to the Home?”

    • No; someone relies on his auto-spellchecker more than his eyes or his copy editor. (one of the great unthanked jobs in traditional publishing that has not yet been replicated online; the Mark MIX spell-checker is no match for the Mark I eyeball.)

  1. Tim Pozar

    I am working with the City of San Francisco in deploying dark and lit 1 Gb/s drops into housing projects. Many of the drops into the apartments can do 1Gb/s symmetrical. Some will do 100Mb/s symmetrical.

  2. I was offered 1GPS FTTH in Hong Kong. Instead I signed up for the lowest bandwidth plan at around 100MPS. I figure this will still blow away the wimpy 3MPS ADSL I get from the US. My actual experience is rather underwhelming. The problem is there is such big bottlenet in the transpacific connection. I think for someone looking for video streaming from a server in Hong Kong they might be quite happy. For me, 95% of my traffic connects to places outside of Hong Kong. The effective bandwidth leaves much to be desired. I won’t even say it is better than my 3MPS DSL connection.

  3. In order for Google to fulfill its goal to offer true network neutrality and network speeds up to 1 Gbps, it is critical that they carefully consider their technology choice. Selecting a technology that is fully standardized will enable them to offer a true neutral open system. Telco Systems has helped many municipalities over the past 10 years succeed in offering its residents this type of network using Active Ethernet.

    There are important advantages for municipalities to deploy a high-speed FTTH network. Municipalities like Grant and Mason counties in Washington decided to use Active Ethernet when they built their network several years ago. As a result they have seen an increase in the number of small businesses and home-based businesses, larger businesses establishing facilities in the area (Microsoft, Ask Jeeves, Intuit, Sims, trucking companies and online engineering firms), as well as an improvement in the efficiency of local city administration. These deployments have been well documented by the FTTH Council and are proving to be not only profitable but also beneficial to the community.

    I hope that the Google activity will in fact serve as lobbying activity in the 14 states which have limited or banned this activity by city government. Incumbent telephone companies are reluctant to invest in upgrading their networks, so it is only through competition that we can hope to achieve open access and improve the lives of every citizen.

    Irit Gillath, of Telco Systems

  4. I did the test shown on the Youtube video. All what was needed is an upgrade of the port and the CPE.
    The current prices of 1 GBps ports and CPE’s for active ethernet (not to be mistaken for the passive layer = 1 fiber point to point, as opposed to shared fibers like cable = PON) have dropped so fast all deployments in NL will switch over to 1 GBps ports instead of 100 Mbps ports. The actual delivered speed is a network setting and a commercial decision. The current product is 200/200 Mbps.

    The main advantage of high access speed links is low latency for all users at home simultaneously. Incredibly fast responses when working through a VPN or Citrix, while doing two way videoconferencing, sending a batch of hires photo’s, doing online backups, watching HD IPTV, having several surveillance camera’s online. At 1 GBps you exceed the transfer speeds of most laptop drives, giving headroom for new types of computing.
    Don’t think in average throughput (a truck with DVD’s is better at that), think latency.
    At under 1 ms latency you can sync datastorages online.

    • Most deaktop drives aren’t even capable of 1Gbs. People need to wakeup. The only thing capable of handling higher speeds is RAM, IE why mainframes are used for research facilities and corporations that have access to 1-9Gbs.

  5. 1Gbps isn’t as great as it sounds, simply because of the fact virtually all the of net is substantially slower than you. I have a 25Mbit fiber connection and I don’t even get half that speed when downloading files. Websites are used by dozens, hundreds or thousands of users and bandwidth pipes cost money, so sites usually cap connections to about 5mbit or less to prevent any single person hogging up the speed.

    Don’t think P2P is any better, but the real limit there is that most people have cable or DSL which has horrible upload. If everybody was on fiber then P2P would be shockingly fast.

    • EXACTLY. None of you people are doing research or know it seems what you’re talking about or have seen firsthand the limitations. Just because you “can” doesn’t mean you WILL get 1Gb. There are numerous bottlenecks in the real world, unlike Internet2. I don’t think ANYONE who has 1Gb service has actually gotten the full speed unless it’s a commercial company transferring to their branch office. Not to mention, your PC hard drive CANNOT even handle 1Gbs.

      At most, hard drives, even solid state disks only go up to 80-100MBs.

      And most of the internet business world is still stuck on copper 45Mb T3 lines. And you expect 1000Mb from them? HAHA. Equipment costs money people. Dot com went bust for a reason. Overbuilind and no demand/current hardware that can handle it outside of expensive mainframes.

  6. Can’t quite see the usefulness in it, other than that it’s cool. I have a bidirectional 1.5mbps pipe and I can watch video on demand on my Roku through Netflix and it looks just fine to me.
    Maybe as much as 10mbps would be useful to me right now. Unless I wanted to do live server migrations :).

  7. You forgot to mention any East European countries. I think T-Com in Croatia offers 1Gbps connections to the house. There is also similar in Slovenia and Latvia. I’m not 100% sure but I would be surprised if this is also not offered in Lithuania and Estonia as well.

    And I’m surprised no one has mentioned Japan. NTT offers 1Gbps to the home there.

  8. From time to time, I hear about these places overseas with inexpensive >= 100Mbps residential broadband. Not having tried these services, I wonder what the practical reality is for users. If anyone has first-hand experience, I’d love to hear about it.

    Specifically: 1. Do these speeds reflect actual routable unicast IP service? (I.e., doesn’t include bits from proprietary data channels from the provider such as VoD or IPTV video multicast services.) 2. Would I see a decent percentage of this throughput in TCP/IP connections to my neighbors? …other people in my city? …hosts in adjacent countries? 3. Is there any traffic shaping or usage limit? 4. Have applications emerged to use this bandwidth (24/7 1080p surround-sound telepresence, anyone?), or is this analogous to U.S. broadband ten years ago, when people were thrilled to get email really fast?

  9. Jouni Osmala

    Actually 1gps internet is usefull, even with limited after isp bandwith.

    A) you get high bandwith to local services run by other customers of the isp.
    B) If you have friends who have the same isp, there is high bandwith/low latency between your friends and you.
    C) You get lower latency to long distance by avoiding the latency caused by adsl.
    D) You could get high burst rate to distant location.
    E) If your isp has some akamai servers there, you get very high bandwith to many sites with akamai support.
    F) Mirrors of open source repositories runnning on servers inside the isp.

    From my point of view C and D makes normal web surfing more pleasurable especially C. Normal web surfing doesn’t really eat bandwith, but can use lower latency. And D also delivers lower latency. F is also something I use all the time. Also I use university computers remotely from home.

    The big difference isn’t between 100mps & 1Gps its between ADSL and ethernet. I use 100mps and it feels so fast, that there is no practical reasons to upgrade from it, but for any new roll out I’d rather go 1Gps or more. The last mile is something you don’t want to upgrade all the time, so it would either be 1Gps or 10Gps. With latter limited to running in lower speeds, but cabling should be capable of it.
    Upgrading the last mile the most expensive thing is work required to do it not equipment.

    • Amen to that. My pet peeve is that almost none of the countless articles you read about internet service “speed” say anything about latency. For your average web site or other online service, the incremental difference between X and Y Mbps is less important than the latency of your connection. Especially if you’re an online gamer :)

      It’s the latency, stupid.

  10. If I understand correctly, Australia ISPs have low bandwidth caps. And they blame this on the limited capacity to/from Australia.

    Taking this one step further, 1GB to the home isn’t meaningful if (1) there are stiff limits on the bandwidth, (2) the connections beyond the ISP are slow, and (3) the uplink speed is much slower. In other words, 1GB is a gimmick unless you can get great speed to servers beyond the reach of the ISP.

      • Fiber to every premise in Singapore. Driven and funded by the Singapore Govt. They went through two RFP processes. One for fibre builder (won by a Singtel consortium) and one for a neutral wholesale operator (won by a sub of Starhub). Any retail service provider can set up equipment in PoP’s and access wholesale fiber based Ethernet access pipes over the network to end customers. End customers only deal with retail service providers.

        Very similar to the model in Alberta, Canada. Though that one was more of a mid-mile solution. The intent is to stimulate retail competition over one low cost access network. Single capital base with competition at the retail and end service level.

      • Anonymous

        Actually, the comment about Singapore is not entirely correct. It’s been available since August 2009 or so. They are rolling out in a phased manner and expect to have 95% of the island wired up by mid 2012. See

        According to their website, my postal code is due for installation between March and May. Given the fact that I saw them run most of the fibre around my neighbourhood several months ago, I have every reason to believe that they will be able to hit those dates.

  11. What I see from the examples noted here is early-adopter pricing that doesn’t make me look unkindly on the 100 Mbps down/10 Mbps up plan offered by one of the providers here in Singapore (for ~US$88/month). I notice that the Google announcement doesn’t make any mention of uplink speeds. For collaborative or cooperative applications, or even for telework/videoconferencing, uplink speeds limited to 10% or so of downlink speeds really aren’t going to cut it — uplink is rapidly becoming the true limit to what we can accomplish online. If the Internet is about disintermediation, about the democratization of ideas and of communication, then that mission fails with a high degree of correlation to the mean asymmetricity of each user’s connection. Addressing THAT should be part of any national broadband plan.

  12. I want 1Gbps here in the US! Or at least, at my home. Maybe we should urge Congress to pass a new law:

    For every $1 spent, year after year after year, on roads, the Fed spends 25cents on high-speed broadband to the home (or free mobile broadband, dare we dream?).