India gets its first 1Gbps broadband service

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At a press event today, Indian broadband provider ACT announced that it’s launching 1Gbps connections for users in the country – making it the first local ISP there to do so.

The company, which claims to be the third largest broadband provider in India, is rolling out its gigabit internet service in Hyderabad, the capital of the southern state of Telangana and a major hub for IT businesses in the country. That’s the same speed offered by Google Fiber in select US cities, and 10x the speed offered to consumers by most rival Indian ISPs.

It’ll come with a monthly subscription fee of Rs. 6,900 ($105, inclusive of taxes), along with a bandwidth cap of 1TB for uploads and 1 TB for downloads.

For reference, the company’s 100Mbps plans start at Rs. 2,000 ($30) per month with a cap of 250GB, while annual subscriptions to streaming video services Netflix and Hotstar start at Rs. 6,000 ($92) and Rs. 1,200 ($18) respectively.

With that, ACT has beaten megacorporation Reliance to the punch at bringing gigabit internet to India; when the multi-vertical giant launched its 4G network in the country with the promise of free voice calls last September, it also noted that it planned to roll out 1Gbps broadband services in 100 major cities. As of last December, India placed 105th in the global ranking for broadband speeds, with an average of 4.1Mbps across the country.

Do you really need a 1Gbps connection though? Well, it depends. If you’ve got several family members streaming high-res video and playing games simultaneously, it might make sense to look into getting one.

However, as The Verge notes, a lone user will likely not even notice a difference in speed and reliability between a 100Mbps and a 1Gbps connection – except when it comes to uploading files to cloud storage services. Additionally, you’ll need a Wi-Fi router that’s capable of delivering gigabit speeds in order to get the best performance; TechRadar has some good recommendations.

You can find out more on this page, and call ACT at +91 40 66272727 to request a connection.

Errata: We were informed by ACT’s customer support that the new 1Gbps plan cost Rs. 6,900 per month exclusive of taxes, when the company’s site lists it as Rs. 6,000 before tax. We’ve amended the post to reflect the correction.

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