Aussie users of the National Broadband Network - or at least those on fibre connections - will soon be able to access the Internet at up to 1 gigabit per second (1000Mbps) by the end of the year, NBN Co has announced.
NBN Co's wholesale customers - ie, Internet service providers - will be able to order the new product from December and develop retail plans based on the 1Gbps product. They will themselves be paying $150 a month wholesale rate for each customer linked to the superfast download speed.
John Simon, NBN Co's head of product and sales, said the fibre network had always been built with one-gigabit speeds in mind and is capable of supporting even higher speeds.
"Once people have the NBN they're discovering the power of greater speeds," Simon said. "A third of fibre users already subscribe to the fastest speeds available. They're also downloading around 50 percent more data than the average Australian broadband connection each month and uploading an average of 14GB per month."
NBN Co CEO Mike Quigley also said he still had plenty in the kitty with $3.6 billion in contingency funding not yet touched. He told a parliamentary committee hearing late last week that NBN Co was confident it could bring the project in within the current timetable and budget.
One-gigabit downloads are already available on a number of network rollouts round the world, including the UK and Turkey. Current speed champ however is Tokyo's So-net Entertainment, a Sony-backed ISP which is offering 2Gbps for the equivalent of $50 a month.