What is gig-speed internet?

Everything you need to know about gig internet speeds, including the Northwest’s only 10 Gig plan.


Simply put, “gig-speed internet” means that your internet connection has an upload and download speed of 1 gigabit per second. This translates to 1,000 megabits (Mbps) per second.

So, if you’re exploring internet plans, know that “gig” and “1,000 Mbps” are pretty much the same thing. Typically, residential internet customers are on internet speed plans between 50 Mbps and 1 gig. If you’re on a fiber-optic internet plan, the more likely you are to have higher speeds, and these speeds will be symmetrical on the way up and down.

Both fiber and cable internet providers offer gig speeds, but gig speed plans on fiber networks are more reliable and are what we call “future-proof,” meaning that this is the internet technology that’s leading the way into the future. Unlike cable, which is a legacy copper technology literally as old as the first transatlantic connection, fiber uses light to transmit larger loads of data at much faster speeds and on individualized networks that aren’t subject to network traffic.

What is fiber internet?

While you may be perfectly happy with your current internet plan, upgrading to fiber gig speeds is something to keep in mind as we hurtle into the future of internet technology. If your face has even been frozen in an unflattering expression during a remote work meeting, or if the movie you’re streaming displays a buffering wheel, you may be in the market for a higher speed plan. That’s all the truer if you have multiple household members with multiple devices eating up your bandwidth. Remember, you don’t have to settle for slow, glitchy internet.

Do I need gig-speed internet?

As our lives become more enmeshed with the digital world, particularly through remote work and the explosion of online entertainment options, and as we acquire more devices and use them all at the same time, the need for speed is only going to increase. A basic gig-speed plan through a fiber internet provider is probably the best way for today’s internet user to live and work comfortably.

Also know that once the internet enters your home, speeds start to slow down, unless you’re plugging the line from the router directly into your computer. Even if you have internet speeds upward of 900 Mbps, you can expect to get upload and download speeds lower down in the hundreds. You can easily check this by running a speed test, which should be available on your internet provider’s website.

Now, the more you rely on the internet for your daily needs, and depending on what those needs are, the more speed you’re going to need. If you play a lot of video games or if you’re a content producer uploading large files, you may find that a multi-gig-speed plan is right for you.

Is 10G the same as 10 Gig internet?

You may have seen promotions for 10G internet, but don’t be fooled. The “G” refers to “generation,” a term used in the wireless (mobile phone) industry to indicate an advancement in technology. At this point, internet service providers touting 10G are only alluding to speeds that are still in development, or they’re deliberately misleading the public about what speeds they can offer.

An internet service provider may advertise a 10G network, but if you check out their plans, you’ll quickly discover that they don’t offer much beyond 1 gig. If that internet service provider operates a cable network, it’s even less feasible that they can offer gig speeds, since the copper technology behind cable is fundamentally slower than fiber.

The only way to get 10 gig fiber-to-the-home speed in the Northwest is through Ziply Fiber, which recently launched the region’s first 10 gig fiber-to-the-home network. The 10 Gig network actually operates on a 100 Gig fiber backbone, meaning that the capacity for increasing speeds exists as we move into a digital future and demand changes.

Do I need 10 gig internet?

At the moment, residential 10 Gig internet is brand new, and those who will want to take advantage of its mind-blowing speed will probably be serious content creators. As remote work becomes a more permanent feature of American life, this may be a practical matter for some creative or technical professionals. It will obviously make gaming and other forms of entertainment, like high-definition video streaming, a total blast.

If this sounds like you—or if you’re just a raging technophile—you may want to invest in 10 Gig. Most households will be more than happy with a lower tier gig-speed plan, which allows you to work on multiple devices and use substantial amounts of broadband without experiencing any network congestion or peak-time slowdown. If your needs are minimal or you’ve managed to avoid modern technology in the home (hats off to you!), then a basic plan, like Ziply Fiber’s 50/50 mbps plan, provides a quality fiber connection suitable for checking email, surfing the web and streaming at a very affordable price point.

If you don’t know your speeds, you can check easily by running a speed test located on your internet provider’s website. It’s important to note that there will always be some slowdown, and even if you’re on a gig-speed plan, your speed will probably clock in at a few hundred mbps.

Why is Ziply Fiber rolling out 10 gig fiber internet?

Ziply Fiber is leading the way in fiber-optic internet for its four-state region of Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana. Its mission is to elevate the connected lives of Northwest residents and bring fiber internet to communities traditionally overlooked by more prominent internet service providers. Ziply Fiber leaders know that the future is fiber and that the need for ultra-fast, reliable internet is only going to increase.

Ziply Fiber currently makes 10 gig fiber internet connectivity available to businesses that need to operate at extremely high levels of bandwidth. As the digital climate heats up, we also recognize that the need for very high speeds is likely to become a reality for more individuals, particularly those who work in high-bandwidth capacities from their homes. We want to be in position to match the needs and desires of our customers now and for years to come.

To learn more about Ziply Fiber’s multi-gig fiber internet plans, visit ziplyfiber.com/internet/multigig.