1Gbps demand years away, says Thodey


Telstra chief executive David Thodey said today demand in the average home for the 1Gbps speeds now planned under Labor’s National Broadband Network policy was “a good few years away”, although he welcomed NBN Co’s commitment to providing the upgraded speeds.

This morning Communications Minister Stephen Conroy — on advice from NBN Co chief Mike Quigley – revealed the NBN would support speeds of up to 1Gbps — ten times the 100Mbps speeds initially planned.

Speaking at Telstra’s annual financial results briefing this morning, Thodey said demand for gigabit broadband was “a good few years away”, although he admitted it was hard to predict. “For the average home, for the foreseeable future, it’s probably a bit of a way away,” he said. “But it’s great to know that NBN are doing it.”

Telstra doesn’t currently offer gigabit broadband to the home, but it does offer it to business customers, and Thodey said there were a number of users who were using it for video production, for example.

Telstra does have a trial of 100Mbps HFC cable in Melborne, and while adoption has been reported to be slow, Thodey said the company was seeing “a little bit more momentum there”. “But gigabit’s a lot of information,” he said.

Since the announcement this morning, online debate has raged about whether 1Gbps broadband is overkill – whether the capacity of the service will be used, and at what point in the future it would be needed. For example, a thread on broadband forum Whirlpool on the subject has already hit 25 pages long, and the subject is also being debated on Twitter.

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has already dismissed the upgraded speeds as an election ploy — a claim NBN Co chief Mike Quigley has denied.


  1. Personally I can’t see the demand for home user customers to go beyond a 10Mb/800k (about an average for ADSL2+) for quite a while. While I agree it would be good to get the higher speeds most people won’t feel the need to upgrade when their current connection does everything they want it to do.

    Personally I’m on 1500/256, the only issues I have is when I’m doing video streaming. But later this year I’ll upgrade to 8000/384 (way below the NBN speeds) and it will do absolutely everything I need it to do, including telecommuting to work when required.

    • now compare 8Mbps plan prices with what is available with ISPs on Tas NBN or with ISPs on Opticomm FTTH network (internode , iinet , iprimus , exetel)

  2. The thing is, we just don’t know what applications people will come up with to make use of (affordable) gigabit home connections. So while the demand is indeed probably a good while off, if the service can be provided the demand will likely appear.

    Gods, I can’t imagine being stuck back on 1500/256, and eight years ago I thought that was awesome sauce.

    • Ironically I only live on the Central Coast, about an 80km drive to work in Sydney. Even though it’s as dense a population as most Sydney suburbs it’s written off by ISPs as not being worth the cost of installing a DSLAM.

      Strange thing is my mobile has an app that can scan for wireless networks, just driving down the street I can see about 40% of homes have a wireless network, and that of course is ignoring all those who just have fixed wired network in the house, so is the area unviable? I don’t think so.

      Telstra will be making a killing in these sorts of areas because you’re either with them or on a wholesale off them.

  3. no wonder adoption of Telstra’s 100Mbps HFC has been slow , until recently it was grossly over priced and one could only get it as a Foxtel bundle

Comments are closed.