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ISP Spectrum Internet Launch 1Gbps Openreach FTTP for Homes

Thursday, June 14th, 2018 (6:08 pm) - Score 3,573
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UK ISP Spectrum Internet, which tends to focus on catering for Wales and some bits of South West England, appears to have become one of the first broadband providers to launch products for home users based off Openreach’s premium 500Mbps and 1000Mbps FTTP tiers. But you’ll need deep pockets.

Officially Openreach launched their Gigabit “full fibre” tier, as well as a 500Mbps option, all the way back in 2016 (here). At the time the network access provider said that their Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) tiers up to 330Mbps were aimed at residential connectivity, while the new / faster tiers were positioned more as premium business connections.

Nevertheless it took wholesale suppliers over a year before they were ready to actually offer the new tiers to ISPs, which finally happened last month (here). The good news, as spotted by Thinkbroadband, is that Spectrum Internet has now become the first provider to offer related packages and surprisingly they’ve even created an option for residential customers, but it’s not cheap.

The activation fee (one-off) for the two new tiers is an eye watering £599, which covers a standard installation and you also receive a Zyxel VMG3925-B10B router. The packages also appear to offer unlimited usage and come attached to a 12 month contract term. However if you’d rather go with one of their 330Mbps or slower packages then the activation is just £119.

Full Fibre Broadband 500Mbps (Down) / 165Mbps (Upload)
PRICE: £69 a month for the first 6 months (£99 thereafter)

Full Fibre Broadband 1000Mbps (Down) / 220Mbps (Upload)
PRICE: £99 a month for the first 6 months (£159 thereafter)

The faster FTTP tiers use XGPON technology and so won’t yet be available across Openreach’s entire estate (only their recent and future deployments). On top of that Spectrum Internet has in the past preferred to only deal with orders for the regions where they operate and so you may need to call them directly in order to confirm whether they can serve you (assuming you’re in an Openreach FTTP area).

As it stands the FTTP service is currently only available to a tiny proportion of UK premises and so the vast majority of consumers are not yet covered.

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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.
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22 Responses
  1. Mark

    “can server you”? I’ve always wanted to be put in a server..

  2. un4h731x0rp3r0m

    “The activation fee (one-off) for the two new tiers is an eye watering £599…”

    Yikes what exactly do you get for a £600 activation? I assume it is Openreach who do the activation and any install? Even more so as every gigaclear news item seems to have someone yelping on about £120+ install charges.

    “you also receive a Zyxel VMG3925-B10B router…”

    Strange choice, is that not a xDSL modem/router in one device? I wonder why they picked that?

    “Full Fibre Broadband 1000Mbps (Down) / 220Mbps (Upload)
    PRICE: £99 a month for the first 6 months (£159 thereafter)”

    I may have considered it (if i even had that much cash to spare just on the internet and if my area even had FTTP) but the the speeds for that price would need to be symmetrical or even if the upload was half the down rate at 500Mb…. Only 220Mb upload though 🙁

    • The vast majority of people are unlikely to maximise 220Mbps of upload anytime soon, so you probably have some pretty specific needs. As for the router, the DSL modem is kind of irrelevant where FTTP is concerned, what matters more is the WiFi (I think it’s 1300Mbps peak) and LAN speed (Gigabit ports).

    • un4h731x0rp3r0m

      OH no im not saying i would need more than 220Mb upload im saying for the price of this particular product i would expect it to come with a higher upload speed.

      The xDSL part of the modem is indeed irrelevant, which was my point. I wonder why they choose a device with a xDSL modem built in when that is not needed for FTTP…

      Unless im not up to date and their is some new FTTP product which does in some manner use that function on the device.

    • Meadmodj

      Probably volume, cost and availability. As FTTP matures then a return to WAN routers without modem may become popular again. Going forward I prefer the concept of the OTN on a communications comms cupboard and the router placed appropriately depending on the property. WI-FI coverage or cabling config.

    • un4h731x0rp3r0m

      I thought a typical WAN router was normally (and only normally it obviously depends on spec and other features) cheaper than devices with a xDSL modem built in?

      Im sure they have chose the device they have for a reason and no doubt like many Zyxel devices its a good device but it seems a strange choice still.

      As far as cost for the install/activation part i do not see how it is justified, be it a service which for now is small scale or if it were larger scale. Is there anyone else out even an Altnet with a very minor small scale deployment of FTTP charging anything near to £600 for standard “activation/install”?

      As to the service itself i suspect that is actually fine, in fact probably better than fine and actually superb. Worth the cost though or likely to see many residentials taking it at that pricing level… I doubt it.

    • Alex Bristol

      For an FTTP supplier all their upload speeds are pretty mean, when compared to their competitors like Hyperoptic and CityFibre, and that put me off pursuing any further, plus I spoke with their sales and support teams a couple of months ago and they told me I couldn’t have their service unless I used their Zyxel router, and I would have to connect my router in the back of their Zyxel.

    • Meadmodj

      The cost of the router to them is negligeable in comparison to install. This not the VM self install spiral of five across the lawn. FTTP charges are in their infancy and all providers are using different charge models. There choice of router is to ensure they can clearly determine any service issues. Call centre costs are born by us all and most broadband issues are in the house even on copper products. My view is that FTTP should be without a full router and instead an OTU with self testing diagnosis. Just like an electricity meter. The consumer unit and beyond is the customer’s responsibility.

    • un4h731x0rp3r0m

      Just to clarify is that a “NO” to the query of.

      Is there anyone else even an Altnet with a very minor small scale deployment of FTTP charging anything near to £600 for standard “activation/install”?

  3. John

    Spectrum may market themselves as serving Wales, but a quick call to their Sales Dept reveals that only S Wales is actually covered. This despite the fact that many rural communities in the North now have FFTP up and running.

    • Meadmodj

      They all over hype. Long way to go yet.

    • un4h731x0rp3r0m

      To be fair availability and where the product in the news is available is nothing to do with Spectrum Internet its down to Openreach where they roll out their FTTP.

    • Scaramanga

      @un4
      Actually Spectrum only offer Openreach based FTTP in areas where they have LLU’d exchanges and obviously where Openreach FTTP is available. Which is just a few areas in South wales and South West England.

    • Jason

      Not S Wales – only bits of it!

      I was told today I live in the WRONG part of my town – and their exchange presence is only there to cover the posher bits of the city (didn’t know there WERE any, apart from the church which is burning down as I type this)

      They even snubbed their nose up at my offer to take a leased line – I guess they don’t want to make any money – luckily BT were happy to engage with me, so Spectrum must just be that speedtest server in a toilet cupboard somewhere.

      They ain;t no ISP – that is for certain.

    • simon

      I was told I live in the wrong part of my town to get services – and their Exchange POP was there for a specific area. I was told to get a leased line – but when I said I was interseted nothing happened either.

      BT were happy to talk to me about FTTPoD or a lease line – I guess Spectrum is just a speedtest server in a toiler cupboard somewhere -because they don’t seem to do anything else (or want to do anything else)

      Spectrum by e-mail “BT Openrach say your address is not servicable for FTTP on demand or a leased line”

      BT Business “You can get both, which would you like?”

      Muppets. Their database is about as up to date as UNO’s is – hmm maybe they are the same?

    • simon

      @Scaramanga

      And you have to live the right side of the exchange to get it – as I explained above

    • Clifford

      FTTP and FTTPoD are different products so thats the reason for your differing availability results.

  4. Simon

    They don’t cover anywhere – they don’t even serve towns they have their kit in.

  5. Rahul

    I discovered Spectrum’s 1Gbps package 2 months ago as I posted in one of the comment sections in another article here. This is of-course not new news.

    And I too mentioned that £599 activation fee is basically fraud if I am being honest. Why would I pay that? I’d rather pay that for a GTX 1080/Ti graphics card instead!

    When you actually consider the fact that the upload is only 220Mbps and it’s not symmetrical 1Gbps, that is just asking too much. It is insolent to want that kind of money considering also that the monthly package is £99 first 6 months and then £159.99 when other Altnet providers offer cheaper packages. Sure I’ve been told this argument before that they buy off Openreach. But still that is not an excuse because even the BT Openreach packages are similarly expensive and much more than Altnet packages.

    This arrogance is not going to help them prosper. Companies including ISP’s that charge too much will eventually enter administration. They will lose out on customers. Only unless of-course the other smaller packages are more reasonable then they will survive. It’s better to charge reasonably but have maximum number of customers than charge hugely for only a niche number of subscribers.

    Btw, even if 220Mbps is more than enough I want to get the value for what I pay for. We don’t pay the price for a Big Mac meal and then get a Happy Meal instead.

    • Scaramanga

      1. The £599 one-off charge is not “fraud”. Its a connection fee (£500+vat) which Openreach charges ALL ISPs for the 500 and 1000 Mbps services. Unless you feel the ISP should absorb this cost? I believe the connection charge covers new/upgraded hardware needed at the exchange for the faster services.

      2. The 220 Mbps upload is set by Openreach, NOT Spectrum. If you need truly symmetrical 1000/1000 Mbps speeds then nothing stopping you taking out a leased line from BT/Openreach which is available NATIONWIDE, unlike Spectrum’s or Hyperoptic’s offerings.

      3. If you want internet at bargain basement prices stick with PlusNet or TalkTalk @ £9.99 pm. Compared to Openreach based services, Hyperoptic operate in very,very few places (mostly MDUs), ie where they can get the most sign-ups. So as a result they can afford to charge punters less.

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