It's been one of those thoughts I've often had. "Surely fibre should be able to deliver better speeds than copper?" Of course it can, but until now it just hasn't. And now Bigpond has flicked the switch on 30Mbps downstream (1Mbps up) for Cable Extreme users to customers in "selected areas" of Sydney and Melbourne, which they put at over 1.8 million homes. Other Extreme users will still be getting 17Mbps / 256Kbps rates.
A few more provisos after the jump. But if you're in the right spot, dreamy download speeds await. I'll live with my 16Mbps line sync on ADSL for now, but I'll certainly envy those with fibre to their door.
[UPDATE: Modem upgrade prices (discussed below) confirmed from $119.] Telstra has flagged that Motorola SB4100/SB4200 modems are not compatible with the higher speeds on BigPond Cable Extreme. You'll need to buy a new modem if you have one of these. We haven't been able to confirm the price on upgrading to a compatible modem, depsite our best efforts to follow the links provided on the Bigpond site. We've requested the info and will update when it arrives.
Also, this is available from $39.95 for 200MB of data. That's pretty funny stuff - you could pull that 200MB down in just 54 seconds, should you get full throttle. Bigpond does do a lot of good content in their own unmetered zone, but I'd be thinking most of you keen on the Extreme should be going for the $69.95 12GB option or upward from there.