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New UK ISP Swish Fibre Speed Tests Network to Nearly 8Gbps

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2020 (11:06 am) - Score 3,288

Broadband ISP Swish Fibre, which is currently building a new Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) broadband network to cover 250,000 premises across the Home Counties of England, has moved to match B4RN’s example (here) by conducting a real-world speed test of their XGSPON based platform – hitting 7.68Gbps download.

However, unlike B4RN’s live customer test, Swish Fibre doesn’t currently offer a 10Gbps tier to residential customers (their top package is a 900Mbps+ tier for £75 per month), but such speeds are still possible on the XGSPON network they’re deploying and the test – conducted using Ookla’s Speedtest.net service – was meant to “show off the capabilities … for individual customer services.”

NOTE: The term “Home Counties” refers to the counties that surround London, including Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Kent, Surrey and Sussex.

This is from a bog standard Dell XPS15 Laptop with a Thunderbolt 3 / USB-C 10G NIC plugged into one of our 10G ONTs fed from one of our cabinets in Marlow (so the same as what could be delivered to a customer),” said the provider’s CTO, Chris Cope. “This particular test is bouncing off our failover DC and through CGNAT, so some further gains to be made (certainly dropping another 1ms or so off the latency).”

Overall, the ISP returned a download rate of 7680.60Mbps, an upload of 8333.49Mbps and a latency time of just 3ms (milliseconds).


As we said with B4RN’s example, at this sort of speed the capabilities of the end-user hardware itself, as well as the web-based testing servers, are being stretched to such an extreme that it will often be difficult to gain a truly accurate result from any 10Gbps connection. The line itself might actually be able to deliver more than this, were it not for such limitations. Meanwhile their network is so new that congestion won’t yet be an issue.

Swish has already begun connecting their first customers in Marlow (Buckinghamshire) and many more locations are planned to follow over the next few years (here). The operator is being supported by an investment of £250m from Fern Trading (they also own Jurassic Fibre in the South West of England).

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By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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7 Responses
  1. John says:

    Shouldn’t even have mentioned B4RN.
    It just confuses 2 completely different networks.
    No mention of the completely different deployment methods.
    It suggests Swish are capable of similar speeds, they aren’t.

    This is a shared PON.
    B4RN is point to point fibre.

    B4RN can sell 10Gb/s to reach and every customer.

    “Swish Fibre doesn’t currently offer a 10Gbps tier.”

    Swish share 10Gb/s between up to 32 customers. How can they sell that to a single customer?

    How many articles have you written that OpenReach have no plans to sell 2.4Gb/s over their GPON?
    Doing so would be ridiculous.

    This is much more comparable to Virgins ridiculous showcase test a couple years ago.

    1. Mark Jackson says:

      I haven’t seen any diagrams or real detail of Swish Fibre’s network architecture, so if you have then please do share in order to help support your comments.

    2. A_Builder says:

      Or more to the point it is a way of the Alt Nets saying – if there is demand it can be provisioned. Another firecracker to OR’s butt.

      XGSGPON is not 1st GEN GPON so it can support more than 1G per user?

      This then goes back full circle to the comments made the CEO of WightFibre about the small costs differences between PtP and GPON.

    3. John says:

      It’s xgs-PON… It’s in the name?

      The 10Gb/s is shared.
      I could be being generous by quoting a 1:32 split.

      Most XGS-PON networks use 1:64 or 1:128

      At best they are doing 1:16 but unlike OpenReach they don’t have joint boxes and telegraph poles dotted all over the place to put the splitters.

      It’s much more likely to be a higher split than what i suggested above. I was being generous.

      Either way you can’t sell your entire PON bandwidth to a single customer.

      The article is worded in such a way it suggests this network and this speed test is comparable to B4RN.
      You compared it directly to B4RN.

      B4RN can (and do) offer 10Gb to every customer.

      Swish don’t (and couldn’t without the risk of considerable contention) offer 10Gb.

      Every OpenReach ONT is capable of 2.4Gb/s (even if the optical to Ethernet switch inside isn’t).
      Every CityFibre ONT is capable of 2.4Gb/s.

      I’ve never seen them bragging about 2.4Gb/s speed tests or you suggesting such a product is possible on their network.

      What’s so different about Swish com?

  2. Naughty Jim says:

    P2P on that would be fun.

    1. Pete says:

      John’s got a point, just marketing hype.

  3. M says:

    Apples, Oranges and Fish.

    B4RN may sell 10Gbps to each customer 1:1. Swish may sell 10Gbps to each customer on a contention basis.

    I can’t imagine either of them have the Internet connectivity to supply each customer uncontended, so regardless of the ‘last/mid’ mile it all has to be contended somewhere.

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