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Hyperoptic Prep 1Gbps Home Broadband for Manchester, Liverpool and Leeds

Wednesday, May 28th, 2014 (12:01 am) - Score 2,418
fibre optic from hyperoptic broadband

Urban-focused ISP Hyperoptic has revealed that its “hyper-sonic” 1000Mbps (Megabits per second) capable home and business Fibre-To-The-Building/Home (FTTB/H) network will soon be expanded to include large buildings and office blocks in the “hyper-cities” of Manchester, Liverpool and Leeds (England).

The announcement, which forms part of Hyperoptic’s goal to extend its fibre optic network into a total of 10 cities across the United Kingdom by the end of 2014 (around 80,000 premises), follows confirmation in February 2014 (here) that the ISP would initially grow its network beyond London and into Cardiff (Wales), Bristol and Reading (England).

At the last count Hyperoptic’s network has reached (premises passed) around 35,000 homes, spanning 150 major property developments in the capital, and they intend to hit a long-term goal of 500,000 by 2018. A large part of this increasingly rapid growth is being funded by an investment of £50 million from Quantum Strategic Partners (here).

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

We are committed to providing UK consumers, left lagging in the slow-lane, with a real broadband alternative that is the best in the market today in both terms of speed and online experience. You get what you pay for. Anytime. All the time. Full stop.”

We are building the consumers-choice broadband company, a trusted utility that our customers can and do depend upon.”

It’s likely that the ISP will continue to focus most of their efforts within a 15km – 20km radius of the city centres and negotiations with a number of big property developments are already thought to be underway, with those that register their interest likely to be given priority (if strong demand can be established).

Meanwhile the press release also takes a poke at the slower hybrid-fibre (FTTC) solutions being offered by rival operators like BT. “Whereas the majority of ‘fibre’ providers claim broadband speeds ‘up to’ 76Mbps, the fibre actually stops at the cabinet, leaving residents to guess what bandwidth they might actually receive and when. The connection into the house is still delivered over outdated telephone copper cables, which is why customers experience undependable performance, peak-time slowdowns and barriers to fully utilising their connections,” said the PR blurb. By comparison Hyperoptic take that fibre optic cable all the way to your building.

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. A TV package has also been mooted but we’re still waiting for it to emerge.

After today’s announcement Hyperoptic only has 3 more cities to reveal, meanwhile they’ll be focusing upon the time-consuming and expensive task of rolling the service out to where demand is strongest. The old guard at BT and Virgin Media might not worry yet but their smaller rivals are clearly gathering pace, lest we not also forgot Sky Broadband and TalkTalk’s growing FTTH/P ambitions.

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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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21 Responses
  1. Avatar Phil

    Hyperoptic will soon put pressure on BT, Sky, & Virgin. Hyperoptic is future proof!

    • Avatar FibreFred

      How? they only cater for apartments/high rise etc, what about the rest of us, i.e. “the majority”

    • Avatar GNewton

      BT doesn’t care for the majority either. E.g. in the vast majority of areas it does not offer fibre broadband in the UK.

      In fact, we had recent call from the BT Business department, and they confirmed it, they also said that our small town has no normal office telecom services available from BT.

      So yes, Hyperoptic maybe cherry picking, but at least where they do, it’s a future-proof technology, no fraudulent up-to wannebe fibre service over twisted copper pair wires. You yourself pay for a 80mbps VDSL service but only get a 55mbps service from I remembered you said in the past on this forum.

    • Avatar FibreFred

      What is the figure now two thirds of the country have access to fttc ?

      Does 2 out of 3 not count as a majority these days?

      And no I pay for up to 78Mbps estimated at 35 got 55 so happy 🙂

    • Avatar GNewton

      I was talking about fibre broadband, not VDSL services. As far as I know fibre broadband (e.g. Hyperoptic, Gigaclear, BT Infinity Option 3 or 4) is only being used or available by a tiny percentage, certainly not the majority. In fact, we talked to BT Business recently, and they certainly confirmed this fact. And don’t come with FoD, this is a dead product.

    • Avatar No Clue

      Fred must be confusing BTs half baked half fibre half copper with real fibre services. BT are good at that. BT abandoned their real FTTP rollout.

  2. Avatar Chris Conder

    Excellent work! Competition is King, and if more of these altnets got government support we could have a truly digital britain and stop pratting about with old phone lines.

    • Avatar FibreFred

      Again… why is it “Excellent work” its just BAU for Hyper, they have a strict sign up clause, they won’t engage until people are on-board, they won’t put fibre into the ground until they have sign ups

      Well done for delivering something to customers that have signed up to wanting it?

      Plus I would not want government funds to be spent on a niche area like high rise/apartment block deliveries , what about the rest of us – the majority?

    • Avatar No Clue

      “Plus I would not want government funds to be spent on a niche area like high rise/apartment block deliveries , what about the rest of us – the majority?”

      Agreed entirely BT should not be given any BDUK cash to do those niche rural folks.

    • Avatar GNewton

      “Plus I would not want government funds to be spent on a niche area like high rise/apartment block deliveries , what about the rest of us – the majority?”

      Isn’t this statement a bit hypocritical? You don’t seem to have any objections when more than £1 Billion taxpayer’s money is given to a private company who has no need for it. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if my taxes have financed your VDSL service whereas there is no such service in our town. Anyway, the vast majority in the UK doesn’t even use VDSL, and certainly not fibre broadband!

  3. Avatar John Bullivent

    It’s all well and good an ISP promoting 1000Mbps, but if the fibre infrastructure isn’t in place, it’s wasting its time.
    Have Hyperoptic any plans to stimulate the deployment of fibre in Leeds city centre and surrounding inner city suburbs?

    • As someone who builds networks its all well and good to say “what about the fibre” but without customers no-one builds the fibre and you end up in a vicious cycle.

      We can deploy fibre anywhere and provide 1gbps to end users (if they want), the problem comes from getting back from the edge of the deployment to one of our national network of POPs and the costs that this then adds to our solution.

      A lack of vision within councils to build that basic infrastructure that draws the competition into an area is one thing where something could have been done as part of the Urban Broadband Programme, but BDUK didn’t want to argue with Europe about it.

      We’ve deployed into York because they’ve worked with an infrastructure provider to create an open access network that allows us to get to our customers locations at high speeds and relatively lower unit costs.

      Our network in Edinburgh is slowly spreading because we’re deploying 55km of fibre to serve customers in the city and we’ll continue to expand that based on demand.

      Building networks in London is easier because there is a lot of fibre already in the ground and just small extensions are needed to get to customer sites.

      We’ll be deploying into more locations when we get demand, it would just be so much easier if more locations had the fibre available for us to use.

    • Sometimes even having the customers there doesn’t guarantee fibre, speaking from my previously unviable and now 90% full with another cabinet on its way area.

      Leeds is the largest city in the UK to have absolutely zero native FTTP. London, Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool, Glasgow, Edinburgh, you get the picture.

      FTTPoD only appeared in the area when the Super-Connected Cities voucher scheme went live, and Wakefield and Leeds City exchanges didn’t even go live for FTTC until this year which I’m sure is in no way related to said Super-Connected Cities scheme.

      Leeds CC should be pretty upset. Virgin Media coverage remains somewhat patchy and Openreach have spent the bare minimum in their commercial programme. Their investment in Leeds over the past 4 years in terms of spend per home passed is about 4 years worth of upgrade spend at current pace for Virgin Media. Not building new network, just what they spend upgrading the existing one.

      I’m talking obviously here about the actual costs rather than the random 100k per cabinet and 1mln per exchange that BT mentioned. Would’ve been extremely impressive to have deployed 45,000 cabinets across 2,200 exchanges at a total spend of considerably less than 2bln, even with the FTTP percentage dropped from a mooted 20% to about 0.1%.

      Frankly having a new entrant to disrupt things a little, even on the relatively minor scale that Hyperoptic will initially, is well overdue. Relative to its urban peers Leeds is at best dwelling in decidedly mid-table obscurity. Comparing Leeds of next year when Superfast West Yorkshire is complete to York is beyond comedy. Both will have a fair amount of FTTC and Virgin Media cable, York already have the York CityFibre ring with hundreds of businesses already served, and on that ring will have a 20,000 premises FTTP network starting to deliver to homes, not to mention BT deploying FTTP with their own money.

      Could be a worse, but IMHO the businesses and citizens of Leeds deserve better than ‘could be worse’ and any private sector investment in genuinely next generation technology should be applauded.

  4. Avatar Dexter

    From the information I was given by a London developer who has the system installed allegedly the delivery is over gigabit Ethernet and uses standard copper and they have switches thought out the building and catv

    Very misleading !!! But gives the 1 gig headline and that’s the case over several of their site and no fibre used

    • Avatar No Clue

      Obviously what you have been told or want to spread is wrong…..

      https://www.hyperoptic.com/web/guest/faq
      Q: How is Hyperoptic able to offer such a leap forward in speed?
      A: Hyperoptic is building a new full fibre optic network to your building. By installing our fibre cables directly into your premises, not just to the cabinet on the street outside, you can at last overthrow those ancient copper wires that were designed just for voice or television.

    • When you say “standard copper” do you meant the same copper used for phone lines or cat6/5e that can deliver 1G quite happily over short runs?

      We deploy cat6/5e cables where it makes sense (i.e. lots of short runs back to convenient locations with power but will also run either GPON or active ethernet over fibre in bigger building or estates. The key is get the biggest bang for the buck 🙂

    • Hyperoptic is FTTB, fibre to the building. FTTB has always been considered fibre to the premises, the building being the premises.

      The wording is rather clever, it refers to installing fibre to the building and cables directly into the premises which is absolutely accurate in the case of apartments.

    • Avatar No Clue

      Yep Ignitionnet, again they explain that in their faq, although sometimes the last couple or so metres is not plain cables either but can also be fibre…
      Q: What kind of fibre network do you use?
      A: We install a Fibre-To-The-Building (FTTB) network. This means we run fibre optics all the way to the basement of your property, instead of a cabinet at the end of your street. Within the building we use Ethernet cabling or fibre depending on its characteristics, both offer the same throughput at this usage. In your premise you will be presented with a single Ethernet port.

      It certainly is not a “copper” based service as suggested.

    • Where the journey between switch in the basement and apartment has to be over 100m they would use point to point fibre or GPON, depending which is the most economical solution and how many apartments need fibre to them.

      Nothing wrong with any of this and it’s a huge step up from fibre to a cabinet and VDSL. No issues with sync rate due to distance on Hyperoptic.

  5. Avatar zemadeiran

    Was BT not going to do fttb for mdu’s?

    What is holding back Openreach from providing a couple of fibers to a building from an existing fttc cabinet?

    Would Openreach consider placing a small vdsl switch in an mdu basement?

    MDU’s provide such a flexible approach that the mind boggles!

  6. Avatar zemadeiran

    This is quite interesting 🙂

    What would happen if openreach released a specific mdu solution for isp’s?

    At the end of the day it is the services that you can offer to building owners and tenants. Sweeten the deal with cctv/alarms/intercoms you name it, octuple play!

    You know I am right…

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