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London UK ISP Community Fibre Refresh FTTH Broadband Prices

Monday, November 4th, 2019 (11:40 am) - Score 1,061

Not that they were ever poorly priced before but the London-focused “full fibre” broadband ISP Community Fibre has today announced a big refresh of their package line-up, which among other things introduces several new plans and at prices that beat most of their competitors.

At present the provider is working to roll-out their own 1000Mbps+ capable Fibre-to-the-Home (FTTH) network to cover 100,000 premises in London – mostly large apartment blocks (predominantly social housing) – by the end of this year, before aiming to reach more than 500,000 premises by the end of 2022.

Until now Community Fibre only had a selection of three packages (£20 per month for 40Mbps symmetric, £35 for 200Mbps and £50 for 1000Mbps), which all offered unlimited usage and an included wireless router. After the refresh they now have a choice of four packages and broadly you get more speed for less money on the new ones.

Community Fibre’s New Broadband Plans

• Superfast – 50 Mbps at £20 per month

• Ultrafast – 150 Mbps for £25 per month

• Hyperfast – 400 Mbps for £35 per month

• Gigafast – 1 Gbps for £50 per month

Apparently these packages will also be “secured with a fixed price for the entire duration of their contract and will never incur hidden rental costs.” A “FREE” standard installation and activation worth £250 also accompanies the packages, although that was the case with their old ones too.

Graeme Oxby, CEO of Community Fibre, said:

“With more services going online each day, it is clear broadband has become an essential utility and should be at the forefront of efforts to promote social progress and decent quality housing. For far too long, Londoners have endured below par broadband at prices that are poor value for money.

We are breaking the mould with these packages, to ensure that everyone in the city can achieve the speeds and reliable connections needed to underpin the technology of the future, at a truly affordable price.

Individuals and businesses alike are tired of the confusing – and often misleading – broadband deals currently on the market. It’s about time broadband providers deliver on their promises, in terms of pricing and speed. This is why our contracts are always straightforward, consistent and don’t contain any hidden surprises.

These new packages are testament to Community Fibre’s ongoing commitment to customers, to offer the fairest prices for its broadband, with absolutely no compromise on quality.”

Community Fibre makes the point that they’re not only cheaper than the biggest players, but also many of the other commercial alternative network providers too. For example, they note how their 150Mbps package is £25 per month and that compares with Hyperoptic’s £27 on a 12 month discount (£38 thereafter).

On the other hand Vodafone’s rival Gigafast (Cityfibre) service can currently do 500Mbps for £28. Personally we’d be happy if any of those were available to us but most of the UK is still out of reach for alternative networks and that tends to be the biggest issue, availability. Networks are growing fast to tackle this but the technology is inherently slow to deploy.

Leave a Comment
5 Responses
  1. Avatar A_Builder

    That is a group of very lucky consumers to get full fibre at those prices.

    Indicative of how low the break even point is for these type of roll outs.

    Puts Gfast and the like in the shade and is going to give OR and BT Central the need for a few antacid tablets.

    The repost will be “not national”, “not regulated”, “no USO” but still that is a substantial difference in cost (cost base).

    Thing is you can just say “it is just CF” as there are plenty of other FTTP->MDU providers at similar price points.

    • Avatar Jonny

      I don’t think you can just dismiss the cost differences of MDU vs. digging to each address, but I’m still at a loss at to why Openreach didn’t blitz apartments with G.fast pods in frame rooms as opposed to leaving them served via FTTC cabinets or exchange-only lines.

    • Avatar A_Builder

      @Jonny

      Sorry I cannot type on my phone: well done for understanding what I meant!

      I totally agree that the MDU / SDU costs are totally different.

      As to why OR did nothing about MDU’s for five years while CF/Hyper et al were busy is beyond reason and can only be explained using Dodo logic.

      I’m not a big Gfast fan but I could easily see the logic behind putting Gfast into basement frame rooms where landlords (LA’s) would cooperate on power provision from the landlords supply. Far batter than slapped on the sides of PCP’s.

    • Avatar hv

      This is of course a guess only but OR seem to have been doing a lot of work in areas where there is a financial incentive. BDUK areas have seen a lot of action as have devolved administration areas with their own budgets. Cities with MDUs have generally mot attracted any additional funding and from resourcing point of view they have also been extremely busy. It is not like they have a battalion of engineers just waiting there and doing nothing.

      When USO plans were announced, I predicted a lot of city centre EO areas will see no progress whatsoever until they can tap into the additional funding. This is exactly what seems to have happened. Why do anything now for free if you will be paid to do it a couple of years later?

      As long as there is gap funding available, OR investment has been following the money.

      There hasn’t been much of a business case either – until very recently – to do the fibre upgrade. FTTC speed is still fine for the vast majority of consumers. If an altnet or Virgin appeared and offered a faster connection for £35/month or so, many would still not switch as there always used to be the £22/month for two years deal from a FTTC operator. Why pay extra if you don’t need the speed? It is a bit different now as altnet prices have come down and as stated in this article, have started introducing categories between “slower than FTTC” and “more speed than you need”. When I joined Hyperoptic I had the option of either 20/1 (too slow albeit ten times faster than my EO line) or 150/150 (much more than I need for anything).

      I don’t think they have done anything wrong from their commercial point of view. They are just doing what is expected from them by setting financial incentives to focus on rural/devolved areas.

    • Avatar A_Builder

      @hv

      That is a very interesting point of view.

      To my mind as a BT shareholder OR have been too pliable to OFCOM, mostly to ward off breakup, and not focussed enough on the commercials such as MDU FTTP even when others had demonstrated the business case for it.

      I welcome rural investment in FTTP but the financial ship must float for BT and that means mass market.

      On your point on teams it would be perfectly viable to have trained hot teams just doing MDU FTTP as efficiently as possible. It is a different skill set to SDU.

      And ok a lot of that is mixed up between management orthodoxy (copper is good – FTTP too expensive) which is thankfully challenged now and pure blinkered thinking.

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