SINGAPORE - Home users can now get up to 10Gbps of surfing speed on a single computer, albeit a high-end one, as fibre broadband service providers blaze ahead with high-end plans to attract avid Internet users.
Singtel, for one, has launched a new 10Gbps plan - five times faster than the fastest 2Gbps plan that rival ViewQwest offers to homes - for $189 a month. But only high-end computers that cost about $4,000 apiece can support such high speeds.
Singtel has thrown in for free a new Optical Network Router (ONR) that has one port that can deliver surfing speeds of up to 10Gbps to a single computer. Existing fibre broadband users need to upgrade to this ONR to enjoy the speed.
Such speeds are typically used by businesses, but they are now also being offered to consumers, as more homes are using more Web-connected devices like computers, smartphones and tablets. The speed allows users to download a high-definition movie in minutes instead of hours.
But surfing slowdown - most noticeably in applications such as video streaming and online gaming - happens when multiple devices share the same household connection.
"We recognise that residential customers are using greater bandwidth and requiring faster speeds for their online activities," said Mr Goh Seow Eng, Singtel's managing director of home, consumer Singapore.
At the same time, SuperInternet has also launched its 10Gbps plan targeted at home users for $199 a month. It promises "no throttling" or slowing down of services, allowing files to zip across in seconds rather than minutes.
SuperInternet - which together with ViewQwest and MyRepublic pioneered the concept of no throttling - also guarantees an upload speed of 10Gbps. Uploading a file typically takes longer than downloading a file on most broadband plans.
"Most 10Gbps services will only give 1Gbps of upload speed. We feel this distinction in our service is important to our target audience," said Mr Benjamin Tan, managing director of SuperInternet.
In August last year, M1 rolled out its 10Gbps fibre broadband service for business users. The telco plans to roll out the same service to home users soon.
StarHub's head of entertainment & SmartLife Lin Shu Fen said: "We will continue to monitor industry developments and customer preferences to ensure our broadband plans remain competitive and relevant."