Japan Offers 10Gbps Internet While Australians Weep

Japan Offers 10Gbps Internet While Australians Weep
Image: Blizzard Entertainment

Since the NBN project was introduced to Australia, the country’s speed rankings, when compared to the rest of the world, have been woeful. Rubbing salt into the wounds, some of Japan’s telcos have just announced they’re offering 10Gbps monthly plans.

Japanese telco providers, Nippon Telegraph And Telephone (NTT East and NTT West), have released new plans offering speeds of 10Gbps internet for just $US55 ($83) per month for 23 wards in Tokyo, according to Tweak Town. Having even a single gigabit of speed would be an impressive feat for many Australians but as Tweak Town points out, it’s likely you’d need the right hardware to keep up with it.

Either way, it serves as a reminder how far the rest of globe is excelling with internet speeds while Australia catches up to where it was nearly a decade ago.

Back in 2017, NBN’s then-CEO Bill Morrow said Australians wouldn’t use 1Gbps plans even if they were offered free of charge.

“Even if we offered it for free, we see the evidence around the world that they wouldn’t use it anyway… we know there are things on the horizon that are going to increase the need for further demand,” Morrow said, as reported by the Courier Mail.

As of February 2020, Australia comes in at 64th on Ookla’s Speedtest Global Index with an average download speed of 42.20Mbps and upload speed of 19.07Mbps. To give a bit of perspective, the top 26 countries all have download speeds of 100Mbps or greater.


  • They installed NBN into out building last week, but we can’t actually get it because they need to lay down a new cable from the NBN box to the street and, according to the guy installing the box, that could take either a week or a year, so that’s neat.

    They’ll take my Telstra cable when they pry it from my cold, dead hands.

    • Recently changed from TPG to super loop. Took less than an 45 minutes to change and went from 5-6 mbps on a 50mbps plan to 75-80 mpbs on a 100mbps plan for an extra 10$ a month… TPG is shockingly bad. Regular outages, insanely bad off peak and peak speeds and not to mention the customer service…..

      • And yet, I’ve never had a problem with TPG, go figure. I regularly get 90+ Mbps, and have from day one. Right now I’m showing 95/37 Mbps.

        And because its always been good, I’ve never had to deal with the customer service, so cant say I’ve had a bad experience there either…

      • I’ve always had minimum 40+ mbps on a 50 mbps plan. TPG usually comes in around #2 on ACCC rankings so I think you just got really unlucky with your connection.

      • I’m on TPG at the moment, on their 100mbps 80-somethign dollar a month plan. I pretty regularly get download speeds of 12 megabytes a second. This is being ethernet wired into the router, mind. On wifi I’m lucky to get 3, but the point remains. It only sucks for SOME people, some like myself get lucky and have way faster speeds than the average.

    • Once your premises is connected to NBN any competing services must be disconnected within 18 months. In practice, Optus cable is currently disconnecting cable customers within six months and Telstra is likely to do something similar once the number of customers in your area drops below a number that Telstra considers financially viable. One way or another your only alternative to NBN within 18 months of connection is going to be wireless.

      • How do they define “connection”? Right now we have an NBN box but the cabling between the building and the street needs to be replaced so the box isn’t actually in use until that happens.

        So is “connected” when the box got installed and connected to the bad cables, or when they put the replacement cables in?

        • They have to be physically able to provide you with the service, in theory, so you have a while yet. Still, there have been instances where people have been disconnected before getting the connection and have had virtually no recourse. For what it’s worth, I am in almost exactly the same situation as you. I’m hoping that NBN doesn’t get around to sorting everything out any time soon.

          • I’ve got old contacts in the Teles space in government who ROUTINELY (as in they had to establish a fucking process and form to) deal with re-establishing internet service to offices and residences which have had their PSTN services disconnected and removed before NBN was made available. Because it happens so absurdly often.

            The left hand not only doesn’t know what the right hand is doing, it outright refuses to ask or be told. The roll-out is being run by incompetents who do not give even a fraction of a shit. And no-one is going to be held accountable for that.

  • Back in 2017, NBN’s then-CEO Bill Morrow said Australians wouldn’t use 1Gbps plans even if they were offered free of charge.

    What in the living bullshit is this? Give us 1Gbps and see how much it’ll be used.

    I think i read somewhere that they are upgrading the fttp part of the nbn to 1Gbps sometime this year.

    • The source which Turnball has quoted was studies of South Korea fibre plans where average users were buying the cheapest plan.

      The context however it was woefully outdated study by the time NBN broke ground. The study at the time that 1080p youtube was the most demanding service, video streaming like Netflix was in it’s infancy, Twitch wasn’t a thing, and 4k wasn’t thing.

      When NBN broke ground Netflix was already hitting 4K, the streaming wars had started, Twitch streaming was a career option, and Sony was showing off 8K displays at CES.

    • FttP has been capable of 1 Gbps for years now. A couple of ISP’s offered it for a while, but the CVC costs made it too expensive. MyRepublic offered it here in Wollongong in 2017, but stopped in 2018.

      It should be capable of 10 Gbps already, its only tech in the exchanges that would be holding it back if it isnt. Maybe its being upgraded to that.

      But its still going to be the wholesale pricing that stops the ISP’s from offering it, and hence stopping us from getting it. There’s blame on both sides here – the ISP’s for not offering it, and NBN for making it too expensive for the ISP’s to justify it.

      • Part of that is the sheer scale of the infrastructure they are responsible for maintenance on. Japan has 5% of our landmass whilst having 500% of our population. That means their income to overhead ratio is a hell of a lot lower than NBNCo.

        Please don’t mistake this for me justifying the NBN’s shortcomings. The maintenance required on the FTTN portion of the network is about 3x higher than it would be if it were FTTP whilst providing less than 1% of the maximum capacity. Their management structure is a joke. The economy of scale makes providing the wholesale supply for the highest bandwidth plans financially inefficient, meaning the small portion of the population on FTTP won’t be able to take full advantage of it for over a decade when the FTTN eventually gets upgraded which will require even more of a financial investment from the government. The NBN is indeed a complete mess. But the supply cost and investment per person is invariably going to be higher when we have 1% of the population density of the comparative market

        • I’m not convinced of that. Our cities have been connected by fibre since around 1980, and its never been a high maintenance cost. The 121 POI’s the NBN is based around are all interconnected with those fibre trunk lines. And they have never been a high maintenance cost. The “sheer scale” of infrastructure really isnt as big as you think – Gina Reinhart owns 10 million hectares, none of which are ever going to need telecommunications. So take it out of the debate.

          We live on roughly 5% of Australia’s landmass, and almost all of Telecom/Telstra’s maintenance costs were within that 5%. The other 95% is desert or pastureland and isnt relevant to the discussion. Its a phantom argument to include it. For all intents we live on an area about 380,000 sq kms. Which is pretty much the same as all of Japan. They inhabit about 90% which makes it close enough to compare.

          We still have a much lower population density, but its essentially not 1%. 20% is more accurate, and because we effectively live in a similar sized area the infrastructure broadly covers the same area. If the infrastructure is to the front door, it doesnt matter if the front door handles 1 property or 100, the infrastructure cost should be the same. BTW, I argue this better face to face 🙂 You dont happen to live in Wollongong, do you?

          Your argument is still fair, dont get me wrong, but its not the home run people think it is. You CAN compare Japan to Australia when you take out the areas we really dont live in, and recognise that the areas between population centres are connected by fibre thats been there a long time, and doesnt cost much to maintain.

          Sumamry: We live on about 380,000 sq kms of this country, roughly the same as Japan. The areas between those inhabited areas have fibre trunk connections that are low maintenance, bringing the comparison back to where we actually live. The area we do live on, being comparable to Japans size, means we can consider the amount of infrastructure needed within that space versus Japan, and make a comparison.

          End of that, the comparison still isnt nice, and shows how we’ve royally screwed up, even allowing for the “but we’re bigger” excuse. The core infrastructure we needed to put in was over the same land area as Japan, and we’re still relatively happy to get 25 Mbps while they have 10 Gbps. There is zero positives to how the LNP has handled the NBN.

          As I’ve said in other similar threads, I have immediate family who are experts in this field (side note: they started in the industry working on the Telstra fibre networks and PABX exchanges in the 80’s). And its never a fun discussion when looking at how the Liberals specifically have screwed our telecommunications so badly.

          Whether it was Howard not separating Telecom into wholesale and retail, or Abbot butchering the NBN, there is nothing positive to be said on how they’ve handled the field.

          And now we get to reap the results of those screw ups coming back to bite us. I didnt want this response to be this long 🙁

    • Anyone who believes this quote clearly has no imagination or understanding of the possibilities. It is not all about download speed as for many like myself uploading is more important in a digital world. I work from home as a photographer and streamer and every extra mbps allows for less time wasting waiting for an upload and or allows for higher quality.

  • Given how much one would use the internet these days just for watching TV, using the internet in general and of course online gaming (access/buying/playing gaming in general), the NBN while better then what we had to deal with is definately not up to what we require to be a good access point.

    • The advantages of Gbps internet would have on our Health system should have been enough to it worth it.

      Imagine being able to talk to your oncologist (or other specialist) from the comfort (and immune system safe) of your own home?

      • As a Specialist providing actual physical services in rural and remote north Queensland we do this every day on Skype or Facetime.

    • As someone who’s had Telstra Cable since the year 2000, the NBN in its current form is 100% not an upgrade for me.

      I hate that I’m going to be forced onto it at some point.

      • I had Telstra cable for years and it was stable and consistently above 110Mbps. I switched to NBN and now pay more and am lucky to get over 75Mbps on a good day. It frequently drops out, I had 5 days with no service just before Christmas (with no compensation – apparently I have to ask for it and magically my usage data from that period is not available). The difference this has made to Alexa, Spotify, streaming, gaming and simply web browsing is noticeable. Never ever giver up your cable. NBN is without doubt the worst product/service I have ever paid for but due to personal circumstances and architecture issues I am unable to move to an alternative.

      • And that is perfectly fair… but also anecdotal. I was on crap dial up and capped adsl after that because of Telstra not upgrading the exchange. I’m over the moon to finally have had fttp a few years back and am on 100/40 and never looked back since. But my story would be also anecdotal.

        The issue here is had we not had the whole Mixed Network thing not been forced upon us the discussion would have long since moved on from why my area cant get x speed or why should i settle for obviously worse speeds to how can we improve our speeds or make x tier more affordable for everyone.. instead of fixing ever piecemeal section to be on par with the parts that do work (you know kinda like what happened with exchanges and stuff under Telstra)

    • It never was. Our internet needs have broadly doubled every 2 years, going back to the mid 90’s when it all more or less kicked off. From 14.4k to 28.8k and 56k dialup, through ADSL and ADSL2 its been a very consistent growth rate.

      With that in mind I have been saying since day 1 of the NBN that come 2020 to 2022 our needs would be growing beyond the 100 Mbps cap it was being built to. That was just from following the trend of doubling so regularly. One plan made allowances for that, one didnt.

      • Correction both plans have allowances for that.

        One had a more robust defined and cheaper long term plan.

        The other had a half-arsed we can just patch what needs patching leading to constant spending and fixing

        • Funny thing to me is that we’ve constantly been told the more robust defined and cheaper long term plan was figured out on the back of a napkin, while the half-arsed one had years to be worked out…

          • Yup… I prefer to look at it this way

            the napkin one – was eventually given a 200+ page study to senate deiling every costing, build, etc.
            Half arsed one – 10 page this is our plan with barely any actual plans besides sayin its cheaper coz reosons.

            Yeah…. at least the napkin plan was eventually got expanded with the data and costings. The other one metaphorically never even left the napkin phase

  • I’d settle for anything at the moment…. been without net for 2 weeks while optus and nbn go back and forth blaming each other….. wish i was still able to get cable.,.. this whole NBN thing sux

  • Thanks Tony Abbott.

    Next time spend less time eating onions and blaming labor and more time making sensible decisions like the one making vaccines mandatory.

  • I got fibre to the home in my outer Tokyo apartment for like $50 a month in 2007.

    13 years later, I still can’t get it in my Sydney apartment. When I eventually get it, it will be more expensive and far slower than my 2007 connection.

  • I’ve got Optus 5g in my area, not the strongest connection due to the lay of the land, but still manage to pull 200Mbps in peak time with 40Mbps upload, i’ve tested their 4g+ and manage 80Mbps pretty consistently. Not bad for unlimited data and $70ish AUD

  • Having a 1Gbps system would probably reduce network overhead because people would be spending less time waiting for their video or content to download which means less demand on the network.

    The only time when that isn’t true is if someone is a download horde and is basically downloading the entire internet, they exist. These people should be forced onto a business plan!

    • Also probably not true unfortunately. If they gave us 1G the backhaul capacity doesn’t seem to be there either – which is probably why the rest of the network wasn’t worth investing in. (Thing is, the Gov did plan to invest in FTTP, but mismanaged it to such an extent that we paid 60B+for the Ferrari, wound up with a horse & cart).
      I thought 5G might come to the rescue – but even that looks unlikely. The support infrastructure is just not there (Yes Optus – I am talking about your lack of backhaul to 5G sites – even though they claim to have them enabled), and the penetration of true 5G into building is proven to be unachievable.
      Question is – why have we as a community let successive governments off so lightly on this? It’s one thing if your Netflix buffers, but the poor performance of these services cripples manufacturing and healthcare.

  • Ah haha oh MAN we suck! This is what happens when a bunch of old farts, that never bothered to understand technology beyond burning coal, try to set up the most budget broadband infrastructure they can. And still blow out that budget!

Show more comments

Log in to comment on this story!