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First Hint of Open Infra’s UK 8Gb FTTP Broadband Rollout Plan

Monday, May 16th, 2022 (8:32 am) - Score 9,480
network cables and fiber optic closeup with keyboard background

Earlier this year we reported that a new operator called Open Infra was gearing up to start rolling out a new 8Gbps capable Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) based broadband ISP network in the UK (here). Members of our community have now helped us to spot some of their first build sites and packages, in Norfolk and London.

The Birmingham-based operator – headed up by Tobias Bengt Robin Uller – is a fairly new company, at least in the UK. The operator is originally a Swedish provider that runs fibre optic networks in Sweden, Germany and the USA. Until today, we only knew that they intended to deploy their network at “selected locations” across the country and would adopt an open access wholesale model (i.e. giving rival ISPs access to sell packages over their network).

However, several of ISPreview.co.uk’s readers (here) have recently received leaflets from Open Infra, which appear to confirm the operator’s plan to build in a number of areas. The first area is within the NW7 postcode near Edgware, Barnet (London borough), while the second reflects around 500 premises in North Walsham (NR28), Norfolk. Both leaflets talk about the build beginning during this year’s summer and autumn period.

As per usual these days, Open Infra won’t be the only gigabit-capable operator playing in some of these areas. For example, North Walsham is also an area of active deployment by Openreach’s FTTP network. Naturally, Open Infra will be able to benefit from some of that work by running their own fibre cables through existing ducts and poles via the Physical Infrastructure Access (PIA) solution.

Councillor Tom FitzPatrick, Norfolk County Council, said:

“I’m delighted that Open Infra are planning to build a gigabit speed fibre broadband network in North Walsham, ensuring residents and businesses can get access to gigabit speeds, something which is becoming ever more essential to meet both current and future requirements.”

The leaflets also point towards the company’s first UK retail ISP, which is named as the previously unknown Optyx Broadband – this was setup in London by another Swedish national called Jonathan Vage Karn (here). The provider offers packages on a simple 30-day term and with prices starting from £17.90 per month for 250Mbps (100Mbps upload), which rises up to £38.90 for their 1Gbps (100Mbps upload) plan.

Interestingly, the packages being promoted on Open Infra’s leaflets differ slightly from those on Optyx’s website. For example, the leaflet’s associated engagement letter in Norfolk mentions a contract term of 12-24 months, although a free router and free setup / installation is mentioned on both.

The operator appears to use the same 100Mbps upload speed for almost all of their packages, except the very top tier – this costs £128.90 per month and offers download speeds of 8Gbps (1Gbps upload) – one of the fastest domestic tiers in the country!

Only a very few providers (e.g. B4RN) actually have live packages in the 8-10Gbps territory, so this is still pretty special and that price tag is comparatively cheap, at least by UK standards. Not that you’d be able to harness such speeds in real-world tasks, yet.

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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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25 Responses
  1. Aled says:

    8gbps??

    I cannot even begin to calculate the multiples of advances since the days of my 1990s AOL dialup internet. I totally could, but I wouldn’t want to cause an overflow condition.

    1. Ricky says:

      Wish i could get 20Mb, I think they should force BT(or others) to upgrade everyone left behind, before letting anymore advancement.

    2. John says:

      “I think they should force BT(or others) to upgrade everyone left behind, before letting anymore advancement.”

      Who’s paying for it though? BT (Openreach to be accurate) are a private company with shareholders. Although regulated due to their size they cannot (and should not) be forced to upgrade everyone without being paid for that work.

      You also suggest everyone is upgraded. Do you literally mean everyone?

      The last properties to be upgraded will be the most expensive. There will be many 10,000’s of properties that will cost over £10k each to upgrade.
      There will be hundreds (possibly thousands) of properties that will cost £100,000+ EACH to upgrade.
      Then finally there will a few dozen (possibly a few hundred) properties that will cost approaching or over £1M per property to upgrade.

      Who do you suggest pays for this?

      The government intends on spending £5Billion on subsidising the likes of Openreach to upgrade the final 20% of properties that will be missed by commercial rollouts.
      Even with that there will be extremely remote/rural properties that will never be upgraded. The cost is just too high to bring fibre 50 miles in to the middle of nowhere to cover 1 house at the top of a mountain.

      It will be cheaper to subsidize satellite broadband for these residents for the next few decades than it would to upgrade their fixed line broadband, if they have a fixed line at all.

  2. Anuraj says:

    Happy with 80 upload and 20 download speed via FTTC. Maybe 500mbps fiber is more than enough for average house users. Too expensive

    1. Alex A says:

      Optyx/OpenInfras other packages (250mbps for £17.90, 500mbps for £28.90 and 900mbps for £38.90) will be more for you.

      This is more an enthusiast package and is priced accordingly.

    2. Aled says:

      Yeah, 80/20 is my current config and TBH it is perfectly useable.

      I can think of 2/3 occasions (PS5 downloads) where I wanted more.

      Even with that, I suspect I would *like* to reach the 200-500 meg range next year. I’m an electronics dork with a PS5, 4KUHD and plenty of data projects.

    3. NE555 says:

      The price differences between 80/20, 160/30 and 300/50 are pretty small these days. Higher speeds are not really of much use to most households, which are limited by wifi speeds and the performance of the end devices doing the downloads. You certainly won’t notice the difference in general web browsing.

      TBH, an office of 50 people would be quite happy on a 300/50 line, as long as they’re not doing video production!

    4. Andrew W says:

      80/20!! I get 16/1.3 – and it is a real problem sharing large files when wfh. I have no alternative, except move!

      Its quite common for an ultrafast roll out to leave properties behind, and I hate to guess when anyone will be back to sort out the infrastructure where I live

  3. Martin says:

    Some altnets are offering a 10gb/s connection with their business plans that you can order for your home, if you can afford £350+ a month. I read an article the other day where someone in Germany had a 25gb/s for his home (talk about overkill). The kit needed for a 10gb/s network in your house properly is expensive, now imagine how expensive the kit will be that is needed to run a 25gb/s connection properly.

    1. Walnut Cake says:

      In Switzerland you can also get 25 Gbp/s from Init7 on Fibre7 https://www.init7.net/en/internet/fiber7/

  4. Sam Perry says:

    How anyone can be happy with 80/20 so slow its 2022. Gigabit lines should be standard…

    1. Sam says:

      Some people enjoy waiting for downloads.

      That’s fine, they can waste their life away waiting for paint to dry also.

      It’s also a coping mechanism for them if they can’t afford gigabit or it just not being available.

    2. Anuraj says:

      Giga bit not available in our area. Download speed depending on website.

      Agree we need good upload speed also depending on your budget too

    3. Walnut Cake says:

      When you never download large files and stream everything it is pretty much a non-issue. Updates are the thing that take the longest but that’s mostly down to the installation itself as Ubuntu does the downloading in the background. It simply asks if I want them installed.

      Whenever I have downloaded a large file, I have wished it would be quicker but the last time was probably six months back.

      Obviously, your millage will vary depending on how you use technology. I know games in particular are getting quite big & multiple users simultaneously can cause annoying problems but – for me – I wouldn’t jump at getting gigabit (it is coming from Opeanreach and maybe Cityfibre) because 99.99% of the time I know that I wouldn’t go anywhere close to using gigabit, or 550 Mb, or 330 Mb, or even 100 Mb.

    4. An Engineer says:

      To everyone their own, and their decision as to how they prioritise their resources.

      80/20 isn’t ‘slow’ in 2022. It’s perfectly acceptable for pretty much every application. A few folks need faster, some want and can afford faster.

      Even as an engineer and total nerd I can understand why most people given the option aren’t interested in gigabit. It’s really strange to suggest it should be the default unless you are a household of 30 who all watch 4k video simultaneously.

  5. Jonathan says:

    My area for other providers can only get 16 meg unless your with virgin due to ongoing issues with them I hope competition comes soon enough.

  6. Chris says:

    Will be happy taking FTTP 250/100 for £17.90 rather than expensive FTTC 80/20 £20 with BT Home Essentials

    1. An Engineer says:

      I think these guys deploying where you are is about as likely as you sticking to a single name on here.

      Yes, you really do stick out that much, Phil.

  7. An Engineer says:

    Isn’t it best for people to have a wide range of options from the lower, cheaper end to more expensive and higher bandwidth?

    I don’t get why anyone would complain about there being an 8 Gbps service available or feel the need to pipe up to say they won’t order it. If it costs too much don’t buy it – no-one’s forcing you to.

    Don’t see anyone complain that a Ferrari, Jaguar, Bentley or Porsche is too expensive so they’ll stick with their Ford, Renault or Volvo.

    It’s a really, really good thing to have good value products at lower prices and considerably more expensive products for those who want and can afford the high end even though they don’t need it.

    1. A_Builder says:

      Very true.

      Let people vote with their feet and wallets.

      FTTP is the future. How fast or slow a connection people will decide based on costs in a lot of cases?

      But choice is vital both for consumers and businesses.

      I don’t even wish to recall how hard it was in 2005, 2010 & 2015 to get decent connections for our offices for sensible money.

  8. Jim says:

    Good to see the government leveling/project gigabit up is woefully short of the mark. We get 4mbps and am told will have to wait until at least 2025 before any chance of an improvement. USO does apply because apparently we can get 4G, most of the day it hovers around 2mbs, sometimes below 1mps – middle of the night 30mbps.

    1. Mike says:

      Try another 4g provider

  9. Matthew says:

    I am personally a big advocate of Open Infra. Barnet Council confirmed recently on a residence association meeting town hall along with OI that Openreach are NOT investing in FTTP in Barnet until at least 2026. The reality is there there is no competition but more importantly just because some people get 60/20 I get 16/1. The idea of being able to get FTTP is game changing.

    1. Sunil Sood says:

      @Matthew

      I would be shocked if Barnet doesn’t have Openreach FTTP within the next couple of years.

      Openreach just haven’t announced all their rollout plans yet.

  10. Dylan says:

    It sure would be nice to even get half a gigabit. Still stuck with the lousy FTTC option which isn’t suitable for a family home in 2022.

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