Telstra’s 100 Mbps broadband still 400 times slower than Sweden’s best

By Martin Vedris

SYDNEY: Telstra might be impressed with its new "hybrid fibre coaxial cable broadband network", but it’s nothing compared to 75-year old Swede Sigbritt Löthberg’s home internet connection, which is 400 times faster at 40 Gbps.

If they can do it in Sweden, they should be able to do it here in Australia, but Telstra is settling for 100 Mbps as it rolls out its hybrid fibre coaxial cable broadband network, starting with Melbourne.

Telstra proudly declared that its new network will more than triple the current peak speed when it becomes available by Christmas this year. Wow. But Sigbritt Löthberg had her 40 Gbps connection four years ago according to Swedish news website, The Local.

"It will enable households to do the things that they want to do, but can’t do at today’s broadband speeds,” said the outgoing Telstra CEO, Sol Trujillo.

"Families will be able to choose a high-definition movie from an online catalogue and download it in a little over a minute to watch on the family’s big-screen TV.”

Over a minute! Sigbritt Löthberg couldn’t wait that long, she can reportedly download an entire full high definition DVD in two seconds.

Trujillo continues, “At the same time, they could watch their favourite sport on FOXTEL in high-definition, with instant match statistics at their fingertips and … Simultaneously, they could share a video file in a high-resolution video conference with friends and family…"

Sorry Sol but Sigbritt Löthberg could watch 1,500 high definition HDTV channels simultaneously if she wanted to.

If Trujillo says that Telstra’s new 100 Mbps network “will turn the cable network into a two-way, fully interactive platform paving the way to an array of existing and next generation services for customers”, imagine what we could do with 40 Gbps!

In fairness to Telstra, Sweden’s 75-year old Sigbritt Löthberg is a bit of an exceptional case. She is the proud Mother of Peter Löthberg, one of the original developers of the Internet in Sweden. He hooked his Mum up with the world’s fastest home internet connection.

However, it shows what can be done, or what could already be done years ago.

According to a web report on The Local, Peter Löthberg has developed a method to transfer data directly between two routers up to 2,000 kilometres apart, with no intermediary transponders.

He is also quoted as saying, “I want to show that there are other methods than the old fashioned ways such as copper wires and radio, which lack the possibilities that fibre has.”

Why are we settling for 100 Mbps if they can already do 40 Gbps in Sweden?

The Rudd government is proposing to spend $4.7 billion of taxpayers’ money on its National Broadband Network (NBN).

Has the Australian Government spoken with Peter Löthberg yet though? Maybe they should at least drop him an email to find out what’s possible before spending any more money.

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