Archive for December, 2006

Broadband speed hits a new high

On a day that Internet connection in Asia slowed to a crawl because of damaged undersea cables, StarHub launched Singapore’s fastest wired broadband Internet service.

It offers subscribers a 100 megabits per second (Mbps) connection — three times faster than current services.

Mr Mike Reynolds, StarHub’s head of integrated products and marketing, said: “Singapore will become the first country in the world to have a 100Mbps broadband service commercially available nationwide.”

The only catch is that subscribers need to purchase a 100Mbps-ready cable modem at $525 and subscribe to its $121.80 per month MaxOnline Ultimate plan to reach the advertised speeds.

Asked about this, Mr Thomas Ee, StarHub’s senior vice-president for IP services, said it wanted to differentiate this premium service from other packages, in which modems are usually bundled free.

As the second largest telco, StarHub has 308,000 customers for its broadband services.

Currently, all its subscribers can access local content and services at speeds of up to 32Mbps, regardless of their service plan or modem. But under the new plan and modem, they’ll be able to access local and international websites at 100Mbps.

Its competitor, SingTel, offers a 10Mbps service that comes bundled with a modem if subscribers sign up for a contract.

It had already started a trial in July on a wired broadband service that utilises a fibre-optic based technology currently capable of reaching speeds of up to 80Mbps. The technology can theoretically scale up to 1000Mbps.

A SingTel spokesperson said that it plans to launch the fibre-optic based broadband service next year, along with other high-speed broadband services.

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YouTube generation needs more broadband speed

Technology industry experts meeting in Silicon Valley recently said broadband Internet access in the U.S. needs to improve for the “YouTube generation” to really flourish. An improved broadband network will better serve users of sites such as, at which millions of videos from the general public are shared online.

Although the U.S. broadband penetration rate topped 75 percent of households in September and is expected to reach 80 percent by the end of 2006, according to, China is expected to surpass the U.S. as its broadband base grows rapidly. But more importantly, says Mossberg, U.S. broadband networks are generally slower than those in other countries. Faster connections will be needed to deliver full-motion video to portable devices. Services that deliver as little as 768 kilobits per second (Kbps) are considered broadband in the U.S., while services in Europe and elsewhere are much faster. “I was in a pub in Dublin, Ireland, and I was getting 30 megabits per second (Mbps), wireless. And it was free,” said Greg Harper, a strategic adviser for Trans World Entertainment Inc., which operates retail music and video entertainment stores in malls and online.

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