DGtek's Unlimited Broadband Plan Delivers Speeds Up To Ten Times Faster Than The NBN

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Following the lead of Google in the US, Melbourne telco DGtek is launching a 1 Gbps suburban GPON fibre service this month to serve homes and businesses hungry for bandwidth. That's ten times faster than what the NBN currently offers (if you can get it in your area at all.) Here's what you need to know.

The service will begin connecting customers at the end of August, starting in the beachside suburb of Elwood and extending across Melbourne's densely-populated inner south-eastern suburbs. DGtek is also evaluating plans to extend to Adelaide and Sydney, along with regional Victoria starting with Geelong.

The first stage of the rollout will extend from the DGtek offices in Brighton Road, Elwood – stretching along the bay from Alma Street, St Kilda down to Elsternwick Park, reaching as far inland as Ripponlea train station.

Similar to the HFC cable broadband rollouts of the 1990s, the fibre rollout will rely on overhead cables strung below power lines. Whereas the HFC cable rollouts bypassed some homes and streets, DGtek is aiming for 100 per cent availability within its coverage footprint.

Rather than relying on fibre-to-the-basement, the rollout will run fibre connections directly to each dwelling in apartment blocks with fewer than 100 dwellings. Connection fees range from $275 to $500, with monthly no-contract plans starting at $80 per month for 250 GB of data at 100/100 Mbps speeds and going up to $150 per month for unlimited data at 1000/1000 Mbps.

As for the NBN, Elwood is still classified as "not currently available" on the rollout maps. The area has some HFC coverage but there is no indication as to when the nationwide network will reach the suburb and which technologies it will use.

DGtek's rollout will rely on Gigabit Passive Optical Networks (GPON) to deliver 1 Gbps upload and download speeds, similar to the Google Fiber rollouts in several cities across the US, says DGtek founder David Klizhov.

Klizhov has been previously involved in Gigabit GPON fibre rollouts in Russia and moved to Australia 10 years ago to found DGtek. Initially an IT services company, it has been planning its Melbourne fibre rollout for the past two years.

"The NBN won't be in the Elwood area for another several years and it's only promising speeds of up to 100 Mbps," Klizhov says. "You have to build networks looking to the future and I think in the next few years all the applications we use will demand more bandwidth."

"If we build a 100/100 Mbps network today it will be old in a few years and it won't meet all of people's requirements. We're going to start with 1 gigabit speeds using GPON, but XGPON supports 10 gigabits over the same piece of fibre – so we'll be able to upgrade our speeds in the future."

GPON is also used by the fibre-to-the-premises sections of the NBN, although currently it only delivers 100 Mbps download speeds and 40 Mbps uploads. The NBN aims to introduce 1 Gbps download speeds on HFC cable sections of the NBN in 2017. Plans to offer 1 Gbps fibre NBN connections were announced in 2013 but were shelved after the change of federal government. A trial saw a handful of premises access 1 Gbps NBN fibre, but consumers can't sign up for 1 Gbps fibre plans.

Another key difference between the NBN and DGtek GPON rollouts is that DGtek is building its own exchange centres rather than relying on Telstra's telephone exchanges as central points. This makes it easier for DGtek to manage and maintain the network from end premises all the way back to the network backbone.

DGtek joins a growing number of entrepreneurial Australian services, such as Lightning Broadband, which are looking to get a jump on the NBN by deploying high-speed broadband in bandwidth-starved suburbs.

DGtek has obtained both retail and wholesale Australian broadband carrier licenses – so while it will sign up its own broadband customers it will also allow other internet service providers to sign up customers via its fibre network.

This month the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission ruled that high-speed fixed-line broadband networks can no longer be monopolies and must offer wholesale access to other internet service providers.

"We welcome other retail internet providers but we have some rules which they must follow," says DGtek chief operating officer Eli Bekker. "For example they must offer a fair and auditable billing system as well as proper tech support for customers if they want to use our fibre network."

"We believe fibre is the best technology for the job and we're happy to share that network as long as the end customer still gets a fair deal."


This article originally appeared in Digital Life, The Sydney Morning Herald's home for everything technology. Follow Digital Life on Facebook and Twitter.


Comments

    I love how all these small companies keep popping up who aim to deliver services Australians actually want. If this keeps up, the NBN won't be feasible and they will need to reassess their roll out in order to compete.

    "The NBN aims to introduce 1 Gbps download speeds on HFC cable sections of the NBN in 2017"

    Good luck to them. Telstra's HFC offering often struggled to get to the advertised 100Mbps. I know DOSCIS 3.1 is capable of 1Gbps , but the reality on HFC as it was at NBN handover doesn't stack up. It's not necessarily that decent speeds weren't possible, it's just the latency and noise on the network meant it didn't really deliver. So unless they've upgraded a lot of the cables and other infrastructure, 1Gbps sounds very optimistic.

    "Plans to offer 1 Gbps fibre NBN connections were announced in 2013 but were shelved"

    This really pissed me off. Especially since we're lucky to be in one of the original FTTP roll-out areas. There are 400Mbps commercial contracts available, but at a horrendous price. I hope the likes of the these guys and others can resell through NBN fibre. That would create competition and ideally result in 1Gbps becoming the standard offering.

    Don't get me wrong innovation is great but...

    Why does a whois lookup on dgtek.net return a privacy shielded domain?
    Why is the site running on a low end VPS solition?
    Why is there no SSL cert on the website?

    20c says they're gone in 3 months.

    this is amazing news. SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY!

    this is what im talking about, im surprised its taken so long for this sort of business to present itself here in Aus.

    im in SA, but i would take these guys over NBN anyday - so im willing to wait (mainly because i dont have a choice and have no access to NBN either atm, haha)

    Signed up..... will keep you posted

    Misleading headline - unless it really means that this company is offering 10gbps services - since 1gbps services are available on NBN fibre today.

      Can you link to an ISP page with a residential plan for 1gbps on the NBN? I'd be pretty interested in that

        No, but there are three wholesale speed tiers above 100/40 - 250/100, 500/200 and 1000/400. I believe Telstra offers all tiers except the slowest 12/1.

    1,000Mbps to the DGtek offices in Brighton Road, Elwood, VIC.

    Then from there, at 4Mbps to the rest of the Internet....

    How wonderful!

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