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ISP Lightning Fibre UK Launch 2.5Gbps FTTP Home Broadband

Monday, Nov 27th, 2023 (11:04 am) - Score 4,320

Eastbourne-based broadband ISP Lightning Fibre, which is rolling out a new Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) network across parts of Sussex and Kent in England, appears to have responded to CityFibre’s recent move to launch faster tiers by adding a new 2.5Gbps (symmetric) product tier for residential customers on its network too.

The operator, which is backed by private equity firm Foresight (here), first began their rollout in 2019 and initially aimed to reach 140,000 premises (they last claimed to have covered 60,000 by Sept 2022). Some of their locations include Eastbourne, Hastings, Hailsham, St Leonard’s, Heathfield and the Broad Oak areas of East Sussex and Kent (here).

Until now, customers of Lightning Fibre have typically been paying from £24 per month on a 24-month term for a 150Mbps (symmetric) speed package (plus a £48 one-off setup fee), which rises to £39 per month for their top 900Mbps plan with free setup. On top of that, they also offer a £15 per month social tariff for those on state benefits.

However, the big change today is that they’ve just added a new 2.5Gbps package (average speeds of 2Gbps) for £99 per month, albeit with a more expensive setup charge of £100.

Paul Thornton, CTO at Lightning Fibre, said:

“We have changed our ONTs [Optical Network Terminals] to The Adtran SDX 631 XGS-PON ONT to provide a smaller footprint device which is more power efficient. We have also rolled out new Routers, the Zyxel EX5601, which is 2.5Gbps ready to satisfy subscribers’ bandwidth-intensive needs with optimized bandwidth utilization. Beamforming technologies deliver optimal WiFi experiences and addresses issues with dead zones.”

The move follows shortly after ISPs on CityFibre’s rival network gained access to a similar tier, while Openreach are preparing a 1.8Gbps tier (EE has technically already launch this, even though it’s still in pilot form) and Virgin Media are widely expected to introduce a 2Gbps package in the near future. Various other providers have already launched multi-gigabit tiers (Multi-Gigabit ISP List).

On top of this, Lightning Fibre are also planning to launch a Virtual Landline (VoIP) service in January, with a Pay As You Go package for £6 per month plus 10p per minute, or an inclusive package (UK Landlines and mobiles) for £14 per month.

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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 X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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12 Responses
  1. Avatar photo Big Dave says:

    Can’t help feeling that FTTP is still looking for its killer app to speed up mass adoption. ADSL started around the same time as fire sharing was getting big and undoubtedly was a driver behind its take up (not to mention that it left the phone line free). FTTC came about about the same time video streaming (eg Netflix)and smart TV’s was getting going and that was good enough for streaming up to 4K and is still adequate for most people.

    1. Avatar photo XGS says:

      Believe FTTP take up continues to outpace FTTC’s take up at a similar point in the rollout, Dave.

    2. Mark-Jackson Mark Jackson says:

      Ultimately, the real movement maker here will be the gradual ending of copper-line based services, so take-up as a gauge for FTTP the technology is more relevant on an individual operator than overall market level.

  2. Avatar photo x_term says:

    Oh great to see ISPs pushing some boundaries, also the Zyxel equipment is rock solid and I tried and tested multiple units. Also I believe they are on XGS PON right? That’s why they could come out before Openreach and their trial of 1.2/1.8Gb on GPON.

    1. Avatar photo Ixel says:

      Yes, they use XGS-PON on their network.

  3. Avatar photo DaveZ says:

    No way the average domestic installation needs these sort of speeds. You’re actually being conned into paying for something industry needs.

    1. Avatar photo RightSaidFred says:

      They aren’t trying to sell you the 2.5Gbps service right from day dot. The point is that they’re installing easily scalable technology. If our usage demands go up as they are expected to, there will come a point in 5-7 years where you’ll be wanting that 2.5Gbps service.

      Assuming a symmetric service, and given that content creation appears to be the fastest growing employment sector right now, there are plenty of people that could do with 2.5Gbps up already.

    2. Avatar photo Carlos says:

      Yeah, being conned into paying for a service you can choose from.

    3. Avatar photo Cognizant says:

      LOL, nobody is forcing you to buy it.

      And we need this forward push on speeds, we’ve been stuck on <80Mbps for way too long.

  4. Avatar photo Andrew says:

    That’s positive, but I’d like to see an increase in their rollout to Bexhill on sea, that was announced in May 2022.

    1. Avatar photo FibreBubble says:

      Lightning appears to have fallen out with their founder and CEO last year leaving some rollouts abandoned. In my area all that is left is a multitude of flyposting on streetlights and the rollout appears to have been given to their sister company Hey Broadband.

  5. Avatar photo Speed-Reliable-Value says:

    Im the second customer to go live on the 2.5Gb/s, i have been a customer on the 1Gb/s service for 2 years. Its a really solid fully symmetrical service. The 2.5Gb/s is blistering, with my 10G switch and 1G ports with multiple PC downloading i get 2.34Gb/s.

    Pretty amazing to be honest, and well worth the money. If you work from home, have a few teenagers with consoles/PC and smart phones, use Netflix’s, Music services, use cloud services and backup data and CCTV into the cloud etc, this service is a great value, and very reliable.

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