NBN Co teases two gigabit download speeds could be here by year end

light speed sydney
(Image credit: Getty Images)

NBN Co has commenced talks with Australia’s internet service providers that would see residential and business customers being able to achieve up to two gigabit download speeds. When implemented, two gigabit plans will be known as “hyper-fast” to go alongside the current “superfast” and “ultrafast” 250Mbps and 1,000Mbps NBN plans respectively. 

2Gbps plans have always been on the cards for the NBN, but talks regarding their availability were scheduled for the second half of this year. But, following feedback and enthusiasm from NBN providers, those talks were fast-tracked to earlier this week. 

The new hyper-fast plans will be available in three distinct offerings: two residential and one business. The residential plans will both offer up to 2,000Mbps download speeds, but upload speeds will vary depending on what NBN technology the customer is on. For example, customers with fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) technology will be able to achieve up to 200Mbps upload speeds, while customers with Hybrid Fibre Coaxial (HFC) will be limited to up to 100Mbps upload speeds. Business customers will be able to go faster, with up to 500Mbps uploads earmarked. 

While the fibre infrastructure already laid by NBN Co is more than up to the task of supporting these faster speeds – 100 gigabit speeds have already been demoed thanks to Nokia – the equipment at the premises will need to be upgraded. NBN Co has said “new, slimline, single-port network termination devices (NTDs)” will be required, and that they’ll be able to support future speed increases up to a maximum of 2.5Gbps. Four-port models of the same slimline NTDs will be made available to businesses, and these will have the capacity to support up to 10Gbps download speeds. 

Current high-speed plans continue to get a boost

While multi-gigabit plans are now firmly on the radar, the current crop of high-speed services are improving on an almost monthly basis. In fact, some NBN providers are starting to advertise typical evening speed figures that come awfully close to the theoretical 1,000Mbps capable on the ultrafast NBN 1000 tier. 

NBN 100 plans would be increased to 500Mbps, NBN 250 would go to 750Mbps and NBN 1,000 plan would see a minimum speed increase to 750Mbps (up from 500Mbps currently). 

At the time the two gigabit plans were proposed, NBN Co also said it would be “feasible to double the upload speed on the NBN 1000 tier”, meaning it would be able to achieve upload speeds of 100Mbps. 

If rolled out, it would make the current gigabit plans even greater value in our opinion, as we already consider some plans to offer relative affordability, considering the service they provide. 

You can check out our round up of the best NBN 1000 plans for the latest deals, but our two top picks if you were considering upgrading your home internet service – you will need to make sure you have the fibre infrastructure to support it, which you can claim via a free upgrade if you haven’t already – come from Swoop and Superloop. 

Superloop | NBN 1000 | 750Mbps | No lock-in contract | AU$99p/m(for 6 months, then AU$109p/m)

Superloop | NBN 1000 | 750Mbps | No lock-in contract | AU$99p/m (for 6 months, then AU$109p/m)

The best NBN 1000 plan just got even better thanks to an increase in the typical evening speeds you can expect to achieve up to a staggering 811Mbps. For a time, Telstra was the clear leader in this tier, but Superloop’s plan now blows it out of the water, and costs AU$61p/m less following introductory pricing. 

If you want to go even faster, check out the Swoop plan below. 

Total minimum cost: AU$99 | Total cost for first year: AU$1,248 | Yearly cost after discount: AU$1,308

SwoopNBN 1000Unlimited dataNo lock-in contractAU$99p/m (first 6 months, then AU$139p/m)

Swoop | NBN 1000 | Unlimited data | No lock-in contract | AU$99p/m (first 6 months, then AU$139p/m)

We'd love to say it was only a matter of time until Superloop was dethroned, but we honestly didn't see the kind of download speeds Swoop is advertising arrive so soon. Out of nowhere, Swoop now quotes 975Mbps speeds during the typically busy evening hours of 7pm to 11pm, which really does live up to the 'ultrafast' naming NBN Co has bestowed upon this tier. 

What is also impressive is the introductory cost of Swoop's plan, which comes in at a Superloop-matching AU$99p/m. The regular price does increase to AU$139p/m (AU$30 more than Superloop) but that is still cheaper than Telstra...by some margin. So in some respects, it could actually be seen as great value. 

Either way, if you want Australia's fastest NBN right now, Swoop is the way to go. 

Total minimum cost: AU$99 | Total cost for first year: AU$1,428 | Yearly cost after discount: AU$1,668

You might also like...

Max Langridge
Staff Writer

Max is a senior staff writer for TechRadar who covers home entertainment and audio first, NBN second and virtually anything else that falls under the consumer electronics umbrella third. He's also a bit of an ecommerce fiend, particularly when it comes to finding the latest coupon codes for a variety of retailers. Hailing from the United Kingdom, Max spent a combined five years writing for What Hi-Fi? and Pocket-lint, before moving to Australia in 2018. After a brief stint writing for men’s lifestyle publications, Max is back to working on his first passion of technology.