2Gbps fibre is a gimmick


Singapore is the 2nd fastest country in the world in terms of fibre broadband speeds. However in my opinion, beyond a certain sweet spot of around 300mbps, any additional bandwidth brings about negligible benefit.

1) The server is the bottleneck. Let me use an analogy, you can widen the road in front of your house to accommodate more vehicles so you can get onto the expressway faster, however, if the road between the exit of the expressway and your office is too narrow, it will still jam up and you will not get to your office any faster. Most servers are connected to the internet via a gigabit or a 10G connection. Assuming it is a 10G connection, 5 2Gbps subscribers will saturate the entire bandwidth. You can bet that more than 5 people will be accessing a popular download or website at any time, thus the speeds you get will usually be capped much lower.

2) Your Local Area Network (LAN) is unlikely to be able to support 2Gbps. Most ethernet cards today out there are gigabit cards which top out at 1Gbps. 802.11ac has a maximum speed of about 1.3Gbps under optimal conditions. Optimal meaning stars aligning and rainbows forming, from my experience, wired is still the most reliable alternative. Either way, you won't be able to make full use of the 2Gbps connection. 2Gbps is so ridiculously high that in some cases the bottleneck might even reside with your SSD/HDD write speeds.

3) The media we consume today does not require that much bandwidth. Assume you are downloading an 8.5GB DVD. Without any bottlenecks, a 2 Gbps connection will allow you to finish the download in 34 seconds. A 300Mbps connection will finish it in 226 seconds, a mere 192 seconds difference which is just enough for a toilet break and to grab a drink from the fridge. While watching the movie for the next 5400 seconds, the internet connection will be idle. If the media supports streaming, you won't even notice a difference.

ISPs can easily provide such connections on existing infrastructure because of the reasons above. A few households will subscribe to it but cannot achieve the speeds because their hardware does not support it. For those that can achieve such speeds, they are using the connection in such short bursts that the same connection can be shared with many other subscribers. E.g. It takes 34 seconds to download a DVD, chances are that not everyone is going to download it at the exact same time. As long as it is staggered, the infrastructure will be able to support it.

However, such fast connections can be very dangerous, especially since consumer grade routers have such poor security built in. Your "military grade" Asus router refers to performance and does not extend to security. A single 2 Gbps connection can DOS many existing sites out there. Put a few of these connections together and you can take down larger sites. The world's largest DDOS attack reached 400 Gbps, which can be achieved by only 200 subscribers. Given the fact that ISPs use the same firmware for all customers, once a vulnerability is found, it is trivial to scan the ISP's entire IP range to gather a larger army to perform the attack.

The average consumer today has no use for this type of bandwidth. Enthusiasts can probably use it to perform full disk imaging or replication across the internet, transferring 500GB over such a connection would takes minutes instead of the entire night. Perhaps when 4K or 3D streaming starts becoming mainstream, we can reconsider. Until then, I see no point in having bandwidth of this magnitude.

Update: I have done a real world test trying to saturate 1gbps. Results here.