We report a Ga0.47In0.53As photoconductive detector with a receiver sensitivity better than that of a Ga0.47In0.53As pin photodiode. This is the first time that a 1.3‐μm, 1‐Gbit/s receiver sensitivity for a photoconductive detector as high as -34.4 dBm was achieved at a bit error rate of 10-9. This result represents a 2.9‐dB improvement over the Ga0.47In0.53As pin photodiode used in our measurements. Furthermore, this detector can operate with bias voltage less than 2 V, representing a circuit simplicity over certain detectors. Our study concludes that photoconductive detectors are attractive devices for high data‐rate lightwave communication applications.