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Hyperoptic Still Expect to Make FTTB Available in 10 UK Cities Before 2014

Monday, September 9th, 2013 (3:44 pm) - Score 849

London-based ISP Hyperoptic has confirmed that they still expect to start deployment of a “hyper-sonic” 1000Mbps capable fibre optic broadband (FTTH/B) service as many as 10 new UK cities by the end of 2013  2014 when they hope to reach 80,000 homes.

Readers might recall that the innovative Internet provider has already managed to cover 20,000 homes in London (mostly high-rise buildings and apartment blocks) and it recently secured new investment worth £50 million from Quantum Strategic Partners Ltd. (here), which should help them to reach 500,000 homes by 2018.

The provider has traditionally been careful with the details of its future deployments, which is wise given how BT are also targeting their slower 330Mbps FTTP/B solution towards big apartment blocks and high rise buildings in the same sort of areas (here). The downside of a muted approach is that it can result in speculation over whether or not Hyperoptic’s targets will be met.

Now a new case study, which was conducted with the ISP by the FTTH Council Europe, has confirmed that Hyperoptic still appear to be on-target. But, as before, anybody expecting them to go down the rural broadband path, at least within the next 5 years, will continue to be disappointed.

Dana Tobak, MD of Hyperoptic, said:

[In five years time] we’ll still be urban based. Right now we focus on blocks of 80 and above. That’ll come down over time, so then we can go into the more suburban areas.

We’re not aiming to be a company that focuses on rural broadband, I think it’s a great cause and I’m happy people are taking that up, but that’s not what we’re trying to do. We’re trying to focus on the cities, on the places where we can bring a real fibre broadband product at a great price to our end customers.”

Otherwise the case study doesn’t reveal anything particularly new, although it does offer some information about how their deployment actually works. Apparently the fibre is, much as you’d expect with FTTB, laid directly to the building and then the broadband is distributed into residences or offices by using Category 5e (Cat5e) Ethernet cable or more optical cable inside the building (Cat5e should be fine with Gigabit speeds for distances of up to 100 metres).

Apparently Hyperoptic prefers to use Cat5e cabling inside buildings because it makes the installation easier and shrinks the services footprint down to the basics (i.e. customers only need an Ethernet face place installed inside their flats). Sadly the case study makes no mention of their long-planned but officially unconfirmed TV (IPTV) product.

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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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