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COVID-19 – ISP Zzoomm in Free Upgrade to 900Mbps Broadband

Wednesday, April 1st, 2020 (8:53 am) - Score 2,038

UK ISP Zzoomm has announced that, in response to the crisis caused by COVID-19 (Coronavirus), customers of their new Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) broadband network will all be given a free upgrade to their 900Mbps (average speed) package, which normally costs £89 per month.

The free boost to 900Mbps is set to remain through April, May and June 2020. One other interesting aspect of this give-away is that the package comes with a symmetric upload speed, which is different from the normal 900Mbps package that only gives an average upload of 90Mbps. We should point out that Zzoomm’s top package is a 2Gbps tier, albeit at the eye watering price of £189 per month (leased line territory).

The obvious catch here is that at present the provider’s network is only available to premises in the Oxfordshire town of Henley-on-Thames (assuming the original plan still holds, then we expect to see 6,800 premises covered by the second half of 2020), although they have an ambition to cover 1 million UK homes by the end of 2025 (here).

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10 Responses
  1. Avatar Jason Coombes

    This seems irresponsible and even borders on taking advantage of some free publicity during these extreme times. There are already concerns over the potential strain on the internet, albeit unfounded, and here we have an ISP allowing even faster connections. An uplift to a 300mbps service would have been more than adequate for households to use multiple 4K streams and reduce strain on their connections.

    Appreciate that this is a small ISP so overall the impact is low but this is my initial reaction to this story. I also understand that as someone with a GigaClear 900mbps connection that making use of that bandwidth is extremely difficult so again the extra speed is unlikely to have an impact.

    That just makes an uplift to 300mbps a far more reasonable offer in the circumstances.

    • Calling it “irresponsible” is probably a bit of a stretch. In reality, as a young ISP, Zzoomm can do this because they most likely have plenty of spare capacity (the network won’t be oversubscribed) to tackle future take-up. As a result giving out 900Mbps to all for a short period probably isn’t a big deal to them.

      Likewise there’s a certain reality to how we use broadband, which means that the actual difference in data consumed by users on say.. 300Mbps vs 900Mbps is negligible. Most internet services and home WiFi etc. still can’t take full advantage of gigabit speeds (i.e. limits elsewhere in the chain of internet connectivity can remove many of the advantages that Gigabit is perceived to bring).

    • Avatar Andrew Campling

      @Jason
      “There are already concerns over the potential strain on the internet, albeit unfounded…”

      The important bit here is that these claims are indeed unfounded, daytime traffic levels in the UK are broadly in line with a “snow day” and are below evening peaks. It doesn’t stop journalists publishing stories with lurid headlines but the reality is rather different.

      MarkJ has covered this several times and I’ve recently written a blog post on the topic published by the IoD and Tech London Advocates – see https://www.iod.com/events-community/regions/east-of-england/news/details/Is-the-Internet-About-to-Collapse-Because-of-Covid-19-

    • Avatar Bill Gates

      Also if their whole network is running faster. There is less congestion on their network. As everyone is not stuck in the queue. Congestion and Capacity is more of a problem with everyone on different speeds. Of course there is some other variables but we won’t get into that.

    • Avatar you are boring

      “This seems irresponsible…”

      So is talking about things you do not understand but it did not stop you.

    • Avatar Ferrocene Cloud

      Jason, how exactly is anyone able to judge if this is irresponsible other than Zzoomm’s engineers and capacity management team?

      It’s only irresponsible if their network can’t handle the strain, and the chances are they’re not going to degrade their network for a brief shot at some headlines. Now if they were renowned for overly congested links then your comment might have some truth to it.

      Increasing speeds also doesn’t stress the network as much as you might think, because if I increase your bandwidth from 100Mbps to 1Gbps you probably won’t download 10x as much, and it means when you do download it’ll complete faster to the line will be idle more. Where this becomes more of a factor is services like leased lines which are uncontended and must perform to the specification, compare to an “up to” residential contended service.

  2. Avatar Phil

    I guess these ISPs offering these updates are hoping that most will then want to continue the higher speeds after realising how useful it can be in these sort of situations and be happy paying a higher premium later. It’s sort of a try before you buy provided at the exact moment most households are going to see an improvement, whereas otherwise they probably wouldn’t have noticed too much if offered a free trial.

  3. Avatar Lodge

    Great move, brilliant opportunity to experience the 900 Mb package. I’m inclined to agree that most people don’t need this bandwidth; however they will notice the difference when they go back to a basic package in the future, I was expecting more ISPs to make this type of offer….

  4. Avatar Moss

    Virgin Media would never ever do this, I think hey would rather charge the fattest premium charge at their disposal before anyone in their base (customers loyal/ new customers) can get anywhere close to that.

    • Avatar you are boring

      No, they have removed down/up limits (for the few that still had an over half decade old package) on home broadband, given mobile customers several Gigabytes data boost for free, given the kids several Children’s TV channels for free and more during the period.

      I guess for serial VM ranter on here though even if they gave you a free broadband at top speed, a free ventilator (just in case) and a free Enema to save your precious collection on bog roll in this time of crisis it still would not be enough for the likes the entitled whinge mob.

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