Why are ultra-fast internet plans becoming so popular?

Dec 8, 2021
Why are ultra-fast internet plans becoming so popular?

Our Increasingly Digital and Connected Lives

In less than a decade we have seen the emergence and dominance of connected devices in our lives. From smart phones to tablets to our home appliances, our world is increasingly digital and connected.

This means we need to be able to work, play, stream and communicate anytime and anywhere.

Sadly, many of us are still living with internet in Australia that wasn’t designed to deliver the type of consistently ultra-fast speeds to handle this ever-increasing connectivity.

Keep reading or download our eBook on the "Top Ten Reasons Why you Need Ultra-fast Internet".

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The Move to Ultra-Fast, Gigabit Speed Internet

While Australia’s internet speed is still only ranked 54th in the world – behind many Asian, Eastern European countries and even our Kiwi neighbours – over the last two years there’s been a dramatic increase in the number of Australian households seeking and switching to speed tiers of 200Mbps up to a Gigabit (1000Mbps) where available.

In fact, one of the highest volume internet related search terms during this period has been internet speed test, with people becoming more curious about the actual NBN plan speed they are paying for and what they are actually receiving.

So just how many people are moving to super-fast internet speeds? Between 2019 and the end of 2021, over 450,000 households have taken up an internet service of over 200Mbps and one in five of those have opted for ultra-fast Gigabit plans.

These ultra-high speed plans have grown from one percent to five percent of the total market, and with good reason: these connections offer the best possible internet experience and bring tremendous benefits to users.

However, this growth in super-fast plan take-up isn’t fully representative of overall demand, with people across the country seeking these faster speeds but unable to access them due to the type of technology available at their address.

Do I Really Need Super-Fast Internet Speeds at Home?

A high-speed internet connection is like many things in life – it’s hard to fully appreciate until you actually experience it. In fact, some people who don’t have these speeds question why you’d actually need it in a home environment.

There are however, a whole heap of reasons for considering a faster internet connection – and it’s not just bragging rights for having the fastest internet in the street. An ultra-fast home internet connection delivers a range of benefits that once experienced, will have you wondering how you coped with anything less.

Here are our top 10 reasons to consider upgrading to a Gigabit connection for your home.

  1. Working more productively from home
  2. Enjoying the latest home entertainment tech
  3. Streaming without buffering and drop-outs
  4. Content creation, curation and sharing
  5. Staying in touch with friends and family
  6. Easy access to online services
  7. Multiple screens, multiple uses - without the trade-offs
  8. Superior gaming experiences 
  9. Protecting our memories and managing our digital records
  10. Smarter homes for better living

Working More Productively from Home

The move to tele-commuting and more flexible working arrangements accelerated during the COVID pandemic, and has become an entrenched way of managing a work/life balance for many Australians. In order to be productive and remain connected with colleagues, managers, partners and customers, it’s critical for workers to be seamlessly connected.

They also need to be able to access and share files to the cloud in seconds, not minutes, and to constantly be connected via communication and workflow tools like Microsoft Teams, Trello or Slack.

In the current business environment, many small business owners are running e-commerce businesses from home, managing social platforms, updating websites, processing payments, and tracking inventory. One of the most frustrating and time wasting problems for business owners is downtime from slow or unreliable internet access. Time is money, and a fast, reliable and responsive connection can make the difference between business growth and missed opportunities.

Home Entertainment Systems

With services like Amazon Prime, Disney+, Netflix, Apple TV+, and most Australian commercial channels offering high-resolution streaming services, high definition 4K TVs are increasingly popular. From watching movies to enjoying our favourite sports, there’s been a growth in households investing in smarter tech to deliver a richer and more realistic experience. However, the experience of cutting-edge TV and other entertainment technology (think augmented or mixed reality) is reliant on a strong internet connection.

For example, a single 4K stream demands around 30Mbps of bandwidth. So if someone in the house is watching a high-quality stream while another is downloading files, working remotely or gaming, it can place a heavy load on the connection. This leads to drop-outs, freezes or – in the case of TV viewing – a throttled connection with lower-quality images that defeats the point of having a 4K TV in the first place.

Streaming, Streaming and More Streaming

One of the most significant shifts in media consumption over the past decade has been the explosion in streaming. It has all-but killed the DVD rental business as content is merely a few clicks away. Platforms like YouTube and Twitch have made it easy to share and access content.  

This huge growth in streaming and on-demand entertainment has also led to a shift in the expectations of consumers, who have grown accustomed to being able to access any content at any time - quickly, painlessly and from the comfort of their own home. A fast, high-performing and reliable internet connection provides the confidence that you'll be able to download and view what you want to watch, when you want to watch it and not be affected by slowdowns or dropouts at peak viewing times.

Content is King

The explosion in popularity of smartphones has brought a significant societal shift: we’ve all become content creators.

Be it via YouTube, Facebook, Twitch, Instagram or TikTok – we are all creating, collating, curating, and sharing. From capturing and sharing moments with friends and family, to DIY, game play videos and makeup tutorials we're increasingly creating our own content and posting it to a range of platforms.

And platforms like Australian developed Canva (recently valued at a staggering AUD$55b) are helping us to create everything from social posts to cards and invitations. Being able to use large graphic files and create and upload this content quickly and easily means you can spend more time creating and less time waiting for a piece of content to land on the server from where you’ll share it with the wider world.

It’s also one of the reasons people are looking for internet plans with not just super-fast download speeds but also faster upload speeds, so  they can both receive and send content quickly and easily.

Staying in Touch

If there’s something the past two years of living through a pandemic has highlighted, it’s the importance of staying in touch with family and friends. Humans are social animals, and being in contact is critical to our mental and even physical health. As we move into 2022, it’s clear that maintaining connection has never been more important. This includes being able to share family moments and milestones when you can’t be physically present.

It could be a moment in time like a wedding or a birth, but it could also be a weekly Skype or Zoom call with loved ones in another country, town or state.

4K Ultra HD webcams are growing in popularity as they deliver photo-quality video so you feel as if you’re in the same room as people you care about. But they are much more demanding on bandwidth.

A high speed internet connection can mean less dropouts and better quality connection, so you don't miss a moment, whether it's a video call for two, a major life event or a  family or friends get together.

Online Services

The world has largely been upended over the past two years, with a shift towards home-schooling (e-learning) and many working and conducting their day-to-day routines from home. The global pandemic has also prompted many people to shift how they interact with a range of services like medical appointments, where video based tele-health consultations have become a convenient solution for people who can’t be there in person.

This is particularly true of the chronically ill, who may need to have regular contact with a specialist that is some distance away. Being able to have a safe, secure consultation via high-resolution video link saves time travelling and sitting in waiting rooms. Medical outcomes and consultations are not compromised, and the convenience is undeniable.

And it’s not just schooling, work and health services that have pivoted to relying on online delivery during this period. Gym classes, martial arts lessons, virtual design services, and webinars on virtually any topic are being conducted online. A fast and reliable internet connection ensures any online service can be delivered seamlessly.

Simultaneous Screen Use

With the huge demand on network connectivity in an average household, it’s highly likely that during peak times of the day – early morning, before and after dinner – there will be a significant load placed on the internet connection from a range of multiple devices. Family members may be simultaneously streaming TV, playing online games, chatting with friends, downloading study packs, or browsing video recipe ideas. A high-performance, connection offers ample bandwidth to avoid juggling or trading off who is doing what, on what screen, at any given time of the day. The benefit: fewer arguments, less disruption and everyone gets what they need.

Gaming

It’s no secret that online gaming has well and truly hit the mainstream.

Over the past 15 years, the gaming industry has exploded from USD8b in 2006 to a mammoth USD160b in 2020. Few – if any – industries have seen a 20-fold increase in value over 15 years. In a relatively short period, it has eclipsed all other entertainment industries and now grosses more than Hollywood.

Latest reports show that online gaming, in all its forms is now being enjoyed by over 17 million Australian’s across all age groups. One of the most significant drivers of the uptake in gaming, and associated industries including hardware and internet connectivity, has been multiplayer online games, and streaming services.

In competitive games, fast upload speeds and low ping rates can make the difference between a win and a loss.

A high-performance connection can be the secret weapon that helps you get the leg-up on your competitors.

Plus, talk to any gamer and one of the most frustrating experiences is waiting hours, or overnight for game patches to download. Super fast speeds mean your patch can be downloaded in minutes not hours. 

Sharing is Caring

With the advent of digital cameras and smartphones that are evolving to record better and better images, it’s important to be able to take, curate, store and share these images quickly and easily. Seamlessly being able to synchronise photos, videos, work and all other personal digital files to a cloud-based service gives the ability to back up and share important files without concern about losing anything of value.

An ultra-fast internet connection and cloud-based service like iCloud, Dropbox or OneDrive takes the hassle out of potentially losing valuable information as critical files are synchronised in near real-time. Being able to save and share critical content to a cloud-based environment offers peace of mind that’s invaluable.

Connected Homes

Increasingly, appliance manufacturers are building in smart sensor-based technology to help guide us through maintenance cycles, provide security, and help run our lives without sweating the small stuff. The Internet of Things (IoT) has ushered in a new wave of automation to make life easier and free up more time to spend on the things we actually care about. IoT covers a broad range of devices, from health trackers syncing fitness data, to a smartphone, to printers automatically ordering new toner cartridges when they run low.

Smart speakers like Google Home and Amazon Echo have revolutionised the lounge room and are even able to synchronise with home security systems to ensure peace of mind – even if you’re away on holiday.

For all these technologies to function effectively, they rely on a robust and reliable internet connection. Likewise, the more IoT devices that are running simultaneously and communicating with the outside world, the more bandwidth they are likely to consume. We live simultaneously across a range of devices, and many own a desktop, laptop, mobile and tablet.

In fact, according to Statista.com, the average number of internet-connected devices per household in Australia in 2019 was 18.1. This figure is expected to grow to 35.6 by 2024, which will see a significant jump in bandwidth.

How Easy is it to Make the Switch to a High Speed Internet Service?

While many people are living with the downsides of slower than needed speed – with annoying dropouts or buffering, they tend to stick with their existing provider or simply believe they don’t have any real choice. For some people they’ve looked in upgrading to faster speeds, but have been advised it isn’t available in their area.

At GigaComm we believe in the need for much faster internet speeds so you can do all the things you need to do online – easily and quickly.

That’s why we’ve designed, built and run a network that is completely independent from the NBN and uses the latest technology to support people who want to enjoy all the benefits that higher speeds can bring.

GigaComm offers a network with consistently ultra-fast downloads up to 1000Mbps (Gigabit), fast uploads (up to 100Mbps), and low ping time of 2-4ms to provide an unbelievably better internet experience.

On our ultra-fast network downloading files or content drops from minutes to mere seconds, and you can work, learn, play or stream regardless of the time of day or number of devices being used. 

Come and join the Gigabit Community

Making the move over to our non-NBN network is easy. We currently offer services to apartment residents and businesses in areas of Sydney and Melbourne. Simply check your address to see if our network is available in your area. We can prepare an obligation free quote or you can contact us to discuss your needs. Our team is 100% locally based, helpful, and best of all, easy to reach.

Visit our website, chat with us online, or give us a call on 1300 004 442 from 8.30am-6.00pm Monday to Friday (AEST).

P.S. Not sure what internet speed you’re getting from your current internet service provider? You can check using our Speed Test.