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First City of London Corp Social Housing Estates Get 1Gbps Broadband UPDATE

Thursday, July 26th, 2018 (2:47 pm) - Score 923
community fibre engineer and pickaxe

The City of London Corporation have announced that their new deal with UK ISPs Community Fibre, Hyperoptic and Vision Fibre Media has just resulted in two social housing estates (‘Avondale Square’ and ‘Southwark’) being upgraded to deliver a 1Gbps capable FTTH broadband network. Many more will follow.

Overall more than 7,500 residents are predicted to benefit from CoLC’s partnership with the providers by mid-2019. The relevant estates also stretch across six London boroughs including Hackney, Islington, Lambeth, Lewisham, Southwark, Tower Hamlets and the City of London.

The new network is a significant upgrade, not least since CoLC claims that most of their social housing estates are currently only connected via slower and less reliable copper line broadband technologies. CoLC doesn’t clarify what sort of technologies are being used but they do say that the existing infrastructure is “limited to speeds of 10 Megabits per second or less” (doesn’t sound like ADSL2+ at up to c.20Mbps or FTTC up to 80Mbps).

However it is known that central London does still have a fair few patches of poor connectivity and in keeping with that you can also find a good number of nasty Exchange Only Lines (EOL) floating around the area, which are notoriously complex and expensive for Openreach (BT) to upgrade.

Randall Anderson, Chair of the CoLC’s Community and Children Committee, said:

“Our lives have come to rely heavily on technology. The Internet and the speed of it has become a necessity, not a luxury.

Historically, we know that the capital has suffered from poor broadband speeds but, with FTTP City Corporation residents will no longer have to deal with a slow connection.

I hope that those who live on the Avondale Square and Southwark estates will enjoy and make the most of the faster broadband speed.”

All of this flows on from the original announcement in February 2017 (here) and it’s interesting to note that both Community Fibre and Hyperoptic appear to hold the exact same wayleave for the same buildings, they’re even building in the same places at the same time. As a result some residents are finding that they have both ISPs as options.

Communal areas on each estate will also benefit from a 1 Gigabit per second capable WiFi hotspot for residents to use.

UPDATE 4:22pm

Correction to the deployment split above, since we’ve learnt that Hyperoptic and Community Fibre hold the exact same wayleave for the same buildings and are even building in the same places at the same time.

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