Super-fast home surfing if computer is high-end

Home users can now surf at speeds of up to 10Gbps if they have a high-end computer, as fibre broadband service providers roll out premium plans.
Home users can now surf at speeds of up to 10Gbps if they have a high-end computer, as fibre broadband service providers roll out premium plans.PHOTO: ST FILE

More telcos offering 10Gbps plans for home users but only pricey PCs can support speed

Home users can now surf at speeds of up to 10Gbps if they have a high-end computer, as fibre broadband service providers roll out premium plans to attract avid Internet users.

For instance, Singtel has a new 10Gbps plan - five times faster than the fastest 2Gbps plan that rival ViewQwest offers - for $189 a month.

But only high-end computers that cost about $4,000 each can support such speeds.

Singtel has thrown in, for free, a new optical network router (ONR) with one port that can deliver surfing speeds of up to 10Gbps to an individual computer.

Existing fibre broadband users need to upgrade to the ONR to enjoy the higher speed, which allows a high-definition movie to be downloaded in minutes instead of hours.

Such speeds are typically used by businesses, but they are now being offered to consumers as more homes are using multiple devices such as computers, smartphones and tablets.

The higher speeds will address the issue of a surfing slowdown, which happens when multiple devices share the same household connection. The lag is most noticeable in video streaming and online gaming. "We recognise that residential customers are requiring faster speeds for their online activities," said Mr Goh Seow Eng, Singtel's managing director of home, consumer Singapore.

Meanwhile, fibre broadband provider SuperInternet has also launched a 10Gbps plan for home users at $199 a month. It promises "no throttling", or slowing down of services - unlike most broadband plans.

SuperInternet - which together with ViewQwest and MyRepublic pioneered the concept of no throttling - also guarantees an upload speed of 10Gbps - which is important to gamers - in addition to 10Gbps of download speed.

"We feel this distinction in our service is important to our target audience. Most 10Gbps services will only give 1Gbps of upload speed," said SuperInternet managing director Benjamin Tan.

M1, which rolled out a 1Gbps plan for business users in August last year, also plans to offer the 10Gbps service to homes soon.

StarHub said it will continue to monitor industry developments and customer preferences to ensure its broadband plans remain competitive and relevant.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 04, 2016, with the headline 'Super-fast home surfing if computer is high-end'. Print Edition | Subscribe