Latvia’s Tet starts offering 10Gbps home internet in the Riga area
Internet speeds are a tricky thing, generally they are measured and ranked by average speed using various speed test applications. There was a time, several years ago, when Latvia could boast having some of the fastest internet in the world — it was among the top 10, at least in Europe. Now, its speed rank has slipped into the mid-30s, with places like Singapore, Lichtenstein and even the United Kingdom affiliated island of Jersey taking top place, depending on who is doing the ranking. Also, with the top average speed being in the high 200s (megabits per second or Mbps), the very top ranked differ only by some tens of Mbps from each other.
Now Latvia, or rather it’s part-state, part-Swedish Telia-owned telco and entertainment provider Tet announced what amounts to a jump to warp from the ranks of the world’s fastest internet providers. It started, on a limited basis, to provide fixed optical internet speeds of up to 10 gigabits per second (Gbps), a tenfold leap from its fastest current commercial offering of 1 Gbps.
Bedroom suburbs get it first
The 10 Gbps service will first be available in the relatively new suburb of the capital, Riga, called Saliena. The next step will be to expand 10Gbps lines to the inhabitants of Imanta, another “bedroom” district of the city with a mix of private homes and Soviet-era multi-story. At first glance, it is not at all clear what the average (or, in Saliena, upper middle class) Latvian household will do with 10 Gbps. It is sort of like a car dealer sawing the wings off of F-16 fighter jets, adding racing tires and selling then as somewhat sportier family cars (the kind with afterburners). In an e-mail to this writer Tet, however, claimed that the service was aimed at multi-device using households and “the demanding internet user.”
“For example, already on average, four devices requiring an internet connection are already used in the average Latvian household, and this indicator is growing every year. Families are increasingly using a variety of internet-connected equipment, such as game consoles, phones and smart home devices. The amount of video consumed is also increasing and the quality demands will increase, which also raises the total of all data used. For example, an 8K video stream on one…