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UPDATE2 Spectrum Internet Bring Cheap 1Gbps Broadband to Cardiff Firms

Monday, July 29th, 2013 (3:46 pm) - Score 2,224

Welsh ISP Spectrum Internet claims to have launched the United Kingdom’s “first” affordable 1Gbps Ethernet broadband (1000 Megabits per second) service for small and medium sized enterprises (SME) in Cardiff (Wales), which will be priced from just £50 per month.

The provider claims that ultrafast broadband has previously been “prohibitively expensive for SMEs” (some leased lines can cost hundreds of pounds a month) and its new service, which makes use of the UK government’s £150m Urban Broadband Fund (UBF), is obviously a lot cheaper.

The product itself is expected to be available in time for the Super Connected City scheme in Cardiff on 1st August 2013, which aims to provide eligible businesses with vouchers to fund the ultrafast connection fee up the value of £3,000 (note: this is still somewhat open to change).

Giles Phelps, Managing Director of Spectrum Internet, said:

For too long Small and Medium Enterprises have been held back from having the same opportunities as larger companies. With bandwidth usage increasing by an average of 50% each year, high speed broadband is not only desirable it is an absolute necessity for businesses.

Working with the Super Connected Cardiff scheme to connect businesses to ultrafast broadband, we will be providing small and medium sized Cardiff businesses with the means to not only maximise all of the benefits that ultrafast broadband can bring, but also to future proof their business for when their bandwidth needs increase“.

The ISP currently claims to have a presence in several telephone exchanges across Wales, which allows it to sell their own brand of Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC), Fibre to the Premise (FTTP) and Wireless based broadband internet access solutions.

Unfortunately the press release is somewhat vague on precisely which technology will be used to deliver the service, what guaranteed performance levels are included, what speeds and contention you can expect for just £50 a month and whether there’s an SLA attached. We have requested more details.

Plans to launch the product in other UK cities are also under way.

UPDATE 30th July 2013:

The ISP states that its new service will be mostly delivered via their own fibre optic FTTP service for “last mile” connectivity. But for deployment internally to the building they will be using media
converters with standard Cat5e cabling and terminating with an RJ45 interface to “keep costs down and speed installation“.

A number of the more remote installations might also use their 60Ghz Wireless equipment, which claims to provide full duplex 1Gb Ethernet services.

We’ve also just asked about SLA’s and contention etc. and are awaiting a reply on that.

UPDATE2 30th July 2013

Spectrum has revealed that its 1Gbps connections will be contended, and “more than a typical ADSL broadband service“, but they state that even at contention ratios of 100:1 businesses will still pretty much be guaranteed a minimum 10Mbps service (this is why they call it a “broadband” and not “leased line” service).

A fair usage policy will also be used to keep traffic managed at a balanced level. Upgrades for better guaranteed speeds and prioritisation will be similarly available. On top of that Spectrum notes that its 1Gbps service is symmetric (same download and upload speeds).

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By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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19 Responses
  1. New_Londoner says:

    From the phrasing of the section “ultrafast broadband has previously been prohibitively expensive for SMEs (some leased lines can cost hundreds of pounds a month)” it would suggest they are confused about the different between broadband and leased lines. A bit worrying if they are selling this to SMEs.

    As you say Mark, useful to have some data about contention rates, backhaul etc before it is possible to know whether this is good value or a ploy. Let’s hope this voucher scheme doesn’t lead to a lot of new schemes to help SMEs part with £000s of our tax monies in return for very little.

    1. DTMark says:

      Does the presence of a competitor with whom people might spend the voucher put a dent in your plans for fibre “on demand”?


    2. Mark says:

      LOL cost about the same (probably cheaper per month) as BT’s proposed “on demand” solution and runs 3x quicker….. Oh noes, business better not even consider it LOL

    3. New_Londoner says:

      Sorry to disappoint DTMark but I’m not selling anything in Cardiff, including fibre – on demand or otherwise.

      And Mark, your comment is about as informed as the press release (?) MarkJ is quoting from. Comparing prices is pointless if you don’t know about basics like contention rations, service and any service level guarantees etc. How do you know whether this runs faster or slower than any other service without conducting testing, surely not just by comparing headline speeds I hope? Oh dear. Like I said in my first post, more detail is needed to judge whether this is good value or not.

    4. Mark says:

      “…f you don’t know about basics like contention rations…”

      Is that something like the great potato famine? Oh and you still need to fix your character encoding.

    5. DTMark says:

      I’m sure that businesses who have a choice of fibre from BT or someone else will think back to the reason why they need it, think about the excellent speeds, reasonable prices and outstanding services they have enjoyed from BT for so long and make the appropriate choice.

    6. New_Londoner says:

      So 100:1 contention and guaranteed minimum speeds of 10Mbps – slower than my FTTC line in term of throughput! A real bargain, still you pays your money….

    7. Mark says:

      “So 100:1 contention and guaranteed minimum speeds of 10Mbps – slower than my FTTC line in term of throughput! A real bargain, still you pays your money….”

      Your FTTC has a contention ratio also. Even if it were only 8:1 max (it will be more than that) you still would not get a guaranteed 10Mbps if contention ratio was at it fullest. So your FTTC is worse in that regard.

      Or short version no clue at all, babbling nonsense to support an inferior BT product.

    8. New_Londoner says:

      Suggest you read my post properly before commenting – I said THROUGHPUT not line speed. And IIRC this is guaranteed at 15Mbps for FTTC. In any case it’s rather cheaper then the £50 per month for the service covered in this story, so a new option is launched that is slower and more expensive, marvellous!

      Like I said, you pays your money ….

    9. Mark says:

      Oh dear where to even start with that response…

      1. The minimum 15Mb speed thing WAS FOR SYN NOT THROUGHPUT, if your sync dropped below 15Mb BT would consider it a fault. There was NEVER a guaranteed 15Mb THROUGHPUT. To get that they would have to be offering a residential service with a contention ratio of less than 6:1. (80/15=5.33 recurring).

      2. That fault threshold measurement was back in 2010 when the service was new. They later (towards beginning of 2011) reduced that figure to 5Mb minimum.

      3. In 2013 that was also removed…..

      4. In short once again you are stupid. Contention ratio has nothing to do with fault threshold or sync rates.

    10. Mark says:

      Or straight from BT….


      SEE PAGE 15
      QUOTE “…The minimum predicted downstream speed OF ANY LINE under consideration for FTTC is 2Mb/s.”

      SEE PAGE 16……
      QUOTE”…For ALL services, if the line rate (synch rate) falls below 2 Mbit/s, a fault may be reported to BTW which will be investigated.”

      Page 18 then goes on to detail that basically if you sync at 15Mb or greater than that is what you should get. (ignoring BRAS).


    11. New_Londoner says:

      Fair enough if that’s what is said regarding throughput guarantees, but what about the higher price and fair usage policy? My FTTC link is cheaper and unlimited? Just highlighting its not quite as clear cut as you suggested before details about the service were known?

      (And note no suggestion you’re an idiot, stupid etc – have you read the news over the last few days about trolls? No need to resort to personal insults to make a point)

    12. FibreFred says:


      Agreed the deal doesn’t sound as good as the headline

      I actually did think it would go quiet on here for a bit and Mark/Carpetburn/Keith/ wouldn’t be posting as they had been arrested in the twitter scandal

      I suppose the positives are if we keep the troll on here more he’s less time to fiddle and post on gonetoosoon

    13. DTMark says:

      Is ‘Deduction’ back again?

      While we’re on the subject what is the minimum guaranteed throughput for:

      1. FTTC
      2. FTTP
      3. FTTP ‘on demand’

    14. Mark says:

      Your FTTC is a residential product, it also has a FUP (see bt customer help pages).

      As to it being cheaper i should hope so, an 80Mb product should indeed be cheaper than a 1Gbps product.

      As to your other alias, take your own advice. Oh and believe it or not i do not have a twitter or facebook account, i leave those service to people that feel the need to tell the world what they had for breakfast. And use one of their well known multi IDs to hassle MPs… PHIL

    15. FibreFred says:

      Is ‘Deduction’ back again?

      To use the word back would imply he left. The alias “Deduction” became untenable after the whole FTTPoD, GEA Ethernet, GPON saga. His “reputation” if he ever had such a thing was so tarnished he had to pick a few new untraceable disguises to give the impression he was starting fresh.

    16. Mark says:

      Go to bed you jobless twerp

  2. Love to know the upload speed and how many other people will also share this 1Gbps. I suspect it’ll be a heck of a lot more than 5 to 1. 🙂

    1. Ah. missed the word ‘symmetrical’. Sorry.

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