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Interview – Hyperoptic Talks UK 1000Mbps Broadband Coverage, TV and Uptake

Monday, November 10th, 2014 (2:04 am) - Score 9,301
dana-tobak

It’s been three years since Hyperoptic stepped out from the ashes of BE Broadband to became one of the first ISPs to build an ultrafast (1000Mbps) Fibre-to-the-Building (FTTP) broadband network for homes in London. Some doubted their prospects, but the gamble paid off and now the ISPs boss, Dana Pressman Tobak, has stopped back at ISPreview.co.uk to give us an update.

Hyperoptic was founded by some of BE Broadband’s (aka – BE Unlimited) original management team, which is an ISP that initially became known for helping to pioneer some of the first non-BT / unbundled (LLU) ADSL2+ based broadband lines in the United Kingdom. O2 eventually scooped ‘BE’ up for just £50m in 2006 and took the provider mass-market in 2007, although related customers were last year gobbled by Sky Broadband (BSkyB) for around £180m (here).

But BEs pioneering team didn’t vanish after the 2006 O2 sale and they eventually turned up again with the September 2011 launch of Hyperoptic (check out our original interview), which unlike BE was strictly focused upon delivering an ultrafast pure fibre optic connection to homes in dense urban areas (specifically large Multi-Dwelling Units (MDU) and modest sized apartment blocks).

At first Hyperoptic’s focus was restricted to parts of London where demand was strongest and by early 2013 they’d managed to make the service available to 20,000 premises, complete with a respectable uptake figure of around 20%. Shortly after that the ISP won a major £50m investment from Quantum Strategic Partners (here) and since then their service has started to expand into 11 new cities, with around 75,000 premises now covered and a goal of reaching 500,000 by 2018.

The pace of change is eye watering and ISPreview.co.uk understands that Hyperoptic, which told us that they now employ 170 staff, are also conducting a test in Rotherhithe (South East London) to trial the viability of connecting significantly smaller buildings. If successful this could see Hyperoptic’s model being adapted to reach an even wider proportion of urban slow-spots; at present the smallest building they can serve is China Wharf, which has only 18 homes / units.

Naturally ISPreview.co.uk was keen to get a quick update from Hyperoptic on their current situation, opinions and future plans. Luckily for us the ISPs Managing Director, Dana Pressman Tobak, was kind enough to help jot down a few quick answers to our questions.

The Interview

1. Can you list the apartment / high-rise buildings where Hyperoptic’s FTTB service is currently available?

ANSWER:

In October 2014 we announced that we would soon reach more than 75,000 homes, spanning 480 sites. Hyperoptic is live in London, Cardiff and Bristol; Reading, Manchester, Liverpool and Leeds will follow shortly and work is underway to bring gigabit services to Glasgow, Sheffield, Birmingham, Nottingham and Newcastle.

Please see a non-exclusive list of live hyper-developments below (appendix A).

ISPr Editors NOTE: Appendix A can be found on the very last page of this article.

2. What’s the biggest building you’ve been able to connect so far?

ANSWER:

To date, the biggest development we’ve connected is East Village, the former Athletes’ Village in Stratford, which has nearly 3,000 homes. Given our full fibre approach, there are no limitations as to how large a site can be.

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Mark Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he is also the founder of ISPreview since 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
Leave a Comment
6 Responses
  1. dave

    One of the big questions you didn’t ask her was why do you force people to take out a phone line @ £12.50/month?

  2. dave

    update, you can order without a phone line but you only save £2.50/month.

  3. That is perfectly normal, Dave. Virgin Media do much the same. Going further afield as do, say, Swisscom.

    You pay £11 more for broadband on its own from Virgin. By not taking a landline the saving is only £4.50.

  4. Tom

    f8lure graphs seem to show peak time congestion between AAISP (and probably other locations) and Hyperoptic customers.
    But unlike BE and BT.. where pings would go from 18ms to nearing 100ms…
    Hyperoptic rise from 1ms to the heady hights of 20ms. 😛 Might be affecting speeds though, I can’t test that.

  5. Hyperoptic has been the first ISP in the UK to provide gigabit services to residents. Its wide range bringing a hope to the people of rural areas as well.

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