My experience on the M1 100Mbps fibre broadband has been “so far so good”. In the two weeks I’ve been using it, things have generally been fast, going by most of the casual tests I carried out.
Downloads from cached sites are fast. On a weekend, a graphics card driver downloaded from the AMD site (above), which is cached in Singapore by its distribution partner Akamai, gets me speeds of 8.8MB per sec, or 70.4Mbps. Very fast.
What about content hosted in Singapore, like Electronic Arts Singapore’s game site, which offers downloads for Singapore gamers? I got a consistent 3.3MB per sec, or 26.4Mbps, which seems to be close to the 30Mbps offered to non-StarHub customers. Still pretty fast.
And while overseas sites still lag behind, the downloads are not all that slow. A random download from Download.com, for example, gave me 150KB per sec, or 1.2Mbps, which is not bad. Meanwhile, YouTube seems to play well as well – even with high-def 720p music videos – at about 1am, as I write now.
Finally, what about Bit-torrent? I just got over 2MB a sec, or 16Mbps, when downloading a 3.3GB Linux DVD (see below). That means less than half an hour for that DVD to be downloaded to my PC.
No, this is still not at the full 100Mbps, but that’s because bit-torrent speeds also depend on the number of people seeding and sharing the files (there were 52 in my example, but it can go up to 100 or more) and how fast their upload speeds are.
Also note that I was only downloading one file. Because I have excess capacity, I can still download other files in the background without slowing anything down, like surfing the Web at the same time.
I’m happy because this was not possible with the same broadband service I had paid roughly the same for in the past. If I were downloading the same file at the same speed (16Mbps), that would have used up all the bandwidth I had (16Mbps). My surfing would have slowed to a crawl.
Now, I’m glad I’ve got a better deal. To me, that’s progress for many a long-suffering broadband user in Singapore.
And this is just the beginning. As more homes get hooked up, as 2012 comes when everyone is onboard, fibre broadband services will likely get even cheaper. Even if you don’t want these faster services, you’ll still benefit because traditional broadband services will likely be priced lower as telcos start feeling the heat from the competition.
Have you got fibre at home, or are still waiting for things to be hooked up? Share with us your own experiences and what you hope to see in the comments below!