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Hyperoptic Bring 1Gbps Home FTTB Broadband to Cardiff, Bristol and Reading

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014 (12:01 am) - Score 2,178

Urban-focused ISP Hyperoptic has today announced that its “hyper-sonic” 1000Mbps (Megabits per second) capable home and business Fibre-To-The-Building (FTTB) network will finally be expanding beyond London, with the first of their new “hypercities” to include locations in Cardiff (Wales), Bristol and Reading (England).

At the last count Hyperoptic had managed to pass 20,000 homes in London (March 2013), which predominantly consisted of large urban apartment blocks (MDUs). Since then the ISP has begun to expand its focus towards businesses and recently secured £50 million in fresh investment from Quantum Strategic Partners (here).

Last year the ISP confirmed that this new investment would be used to help their network expand into 10 new UK cities (around 80,000 premises) by the end of 2014, while their longer-term goal is to pass 500,000 by 2018. But today’s update reveals that their network will shortly pass more than 35,000 homes, spanning 150 major property developments in the capital.

Dana Tobak, MD and co-Founder of Hyperoptic, said:

We are delighted to bring Hyperoptic to residential and commercial developments in Bristol, Cardiff and Reading. Our ground-breaking broadband speeds have been available to schemes in London since 2011, and there is clearly robust demand for speed, reliability and connectivity across the UK. This is no more true than in these three cities, which we are pleased to name as our first ‘hypercities’ outside the capital.”

The cities were apparently selected based on several key factors, including consumer demand and overall density of the population. A number of additional cities are expected to be announced over “the months ahead” and meanwhile the ISP will also continue their “rapid expansion” across London.

A spokesperson for Hyperoptic also confirmed to ISPreview.co.uk that they intended to target blocks of flats/developments within a 15km – 20km radius of Reading, Bristol and Cardiff city centre. The first buildings going live will be in Bristol, which includes the residential Airpoint development (255 homes) and the seven floor Robinson Building.

Hyperoptic are also in negotiations with a number of “big property developments” in each of the new cities and they’re encouraging consumers to register their interest because they’ll “prioritise provision where there is biggest demand“.

A Pay TV service has also been on the cards for a while, especially after last year’s recruitment of BTVision’s (IPTV) former Head of Propositions, Darren Shenkin. But we’ve yet to see much happening on this front and Hyperoptic’s primary focus remains, for now at least, tightly fixed upon their on-going FTTB roll-out.

Prices for the ISPs service start at just £12.50 inc. VAT a month for their unlimited 20Mbps package (£40 setup fee on a 12 month contract), which rises to £25 for a 100Mbps service and then £50 for 1000Mbps (Megabits per second). If you absolutely must also have a fixed phone line then that will set you back from another £12.50 per month.

The pace of Hyperoptic’s development is extremely impressive and the fact they’re boldly taking on big name rivals, such as BT and Virgin Media, in some of the same areas is perhaps a testament to the strength of what they’re offering. But it’s a long and expensive road to roll-out fibre and that’s why Hyperoptic are being careful to establish demand first.

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Mark Jackson
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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10 Responses
  1. Avatar Phil

    Bring it to Telford, Shropshire please

  2. Avatar DTMark

    I firmly applaud Hyperoptic’s efforts. Together with B4RN they seem to have the only real future-proof, modern networks.

    To date my impression, rightly or wrongly, is that the rollout targets are only buildings of multiple occupancy e.g. high rises and only when they’re new developments.

    Perfectly pragmatic, but, in terms of “homes passed”, and also in terms of extending those pockets of connectivity – and perhaps which is where the venture capital comes in: how does this translate to offering service even to say 3 Acacia Avenue on the same street as said high rise development?

    • Right now it doesn’t translate because taking fibre into a single house is a tricky/expensive process, as others like BT have discovered. So Hyperoptic’s deployment in urban areas has focused on the multi-occupancy building market.

      Perhaps in the distant future they might come back to look at other options but right now that’s where their focus is. I dare say it’s just about the only way that a smaller ISP could do fibre in a city and survive. All without tax payers money, so we can be envious but not complain :).

    • Avatar FibreFred

      It is great news DTMark but as you say you can’t just buy this for a single property , so you’ve got to ask yourself why. I assume they are using their own ducting so no reliance on BT so if they can do it for MDU’s they can technically do it for single properties.

      Its no doubt cost so… the cost of delivering FTTP isn’t soley a BT problem

    • Avatar Ignitionnet

      This is FTTB, they lease fibre into the building, none of their own ducts, and from there use the existing internal risers, etc, in the building to deliver the service over copper.

      Not possible to translate this to single properties.

    • Avatar FibreFred

      Who do they lease from ignition?

    • Avatar Ignitionnet

      I would imagine whomever meets their requirements for a particular site, which in cities generally means options.

    • Avatar DTMark

      Not complaining 😉 Residents of such buildings often seem to get ignored by Virgin Media who (I suppose understandably) can’t be bothered to climb up the outside of the building to tack the coax to the wall if it didn’t get put in at build time so this would be very welcome for them.

  3. Avatar Unknown101

    Do they have their own facilities ducts, joint boxes etc going to these new developements? Will these MDU also have provisions for the BT Wholesale network or developers just using Hyperoptic?

  4. Avatar zemadeiran

    I would have personally gone with passive optical for MDU’s.

    This would negate the need for powered switches and the downtime that can result along with all that thick Ethernet cabling with limited range.

    Even vdsl MDU switches would have been a better option aka in building FTTC. No Ethernet cabling required with much faster roll out and buildings would be connected via a rooftop wireless mesh to negate the need for a fat pipe to each building along with providing redundant back haul paths.

    All pretty straight forward really…

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