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Zen Internet UK Launch 1.2Gbps and 1.8Gbps Broadband at Wholesale

Wednesday, Jun 19th, 2024 (11:59 am) - Score 8,000
zen internet uk isp

UK ISP Zen Internet today says they’ve become the first broadband wholesaler to offer the latest 1.2Gbps and 1.8Gbps download speed capable packages (uploads of 120Mbps) over Openreach’s Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) network. But the announcement doesn’t say precisely when Zen’s own retail customers will be able to order it.

Openreach officially launched the two new multi-Gigabit tiers on 1st April 2024 (summary). But so far the lack of support by key wholesale suppliers (here) has meant that only a tiny number of retail broadband ISPs have been able to launch related packages for consumers and businesses (e.g. EE and Freeola). Zen’s latest move may help to change that.

NOTE: Openreach’s FTTP network currently covers almost 14.5 million UK premises.

One of Zen’s Partners (they’re home to over 700), business provider PCQ, recently became the first on their platform to trial the product with an end-user, connecting a golf resort to 1.8Gbps broadband. At present the new products are still limited in their availability by Zen’s own platform, which means that they’re only available to 5.5 million premises, but this should rise.

Andrew Sayle, Zen’s Connectivity Portfolio Manager, said:

“I am thrilled that Zen was the first broadband wholesaler to offer Openreach’s latest speeds. It really solidifies our commitment to providing the best service and value add we can to our partner base.

We are also looking at introducing the multi-gig broadband technology to our consumer base, the details of which we will share when available.”

Sadly, there’s still no word on precisely when Zen’s own consumer packages will introduce the new tiers, but it shouldn’t be too long. Similarly, the provider has yet to introduce 2Gbps services via CityFibre’s network, which they also harness.

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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 Sam P says:

    Damn, I got so exited for a moment.

  2. Avatar photo Cognizant says:

    A number of us are waiting on BT Wholesale to push out the higher speeds, same as Zen for their non-unbundled areas.

    1. Avatar photo Harmeet says:

      Ahh, I hadn’t anticipated this.
      This could possibly be what the delay is. Zen may well be waiting for BT wholesale to offer 1.2/1.8gb, so they can universally advertise a 1.2/1.8gb FTTP offering, regardless of if your serviced by BT wholesale or zens own network.

      This could also be the delay in rolling out cityfibres multigig services for the same reason. Sure, with cityfibre they’d actually be delivering 2.5g, but they might market it as 1.8ish, similar to how their current 900mb service is marketed as ~100mb upload, even thought it’s symmetrical on CF.

    2. Avatar photo Cognizant says:

      Exactly it. I’m with AAISP and as they are fully BT Wholesale, they can’t offer anything above 1Gbps either at present. With Nexfibre and other providers now offering 2Gbps, I can’t see BTw hanging around for too long but who knows – I was told Q4, as this may mean a lot of work to upgrade everything on the BTw side before they can universally offer 1.2/1.8.

      Of course the more interesting question for me is – when will OR move to XGS-PON? 🙂

  3. Avatar photo Neon says:

    A shame the upload contimues to be crippled

  4. Avatar photo Auser says:

    If only on the OR network they would go symmetrical..

  5. Avatar photo Marc says:

    Does upgrade to the 1.8meg packages require a ONT upgrade to support it or is this already available with the current ONTs. I understand it will require a router upgrade but wondering if ONT needs upgrade

    1. Avatar photo Big Dave says:

      The ethernet port on most existing ONT’s is only a gigabit. So yes in most cases it will need upgrading.

  6. Avatar photo greggles says:

    I seem to recall in a recent’ish video Richard the head of Zen claimed Equinox2 hadnt toppled the market, the fact Zen were favouring Cityfibre was proof of that.

    So where is the Cityfibre 2.5gbps and 2gbps products on Zens product list?

    1. Avatar photo Greg says:

      This is a wholesale product and Zen don’t wholesale City Fibre. I understand Zen’s contract with City Fibre is for consumer services at residential properties only.

      When Zen roll out faster services to residential customers in the coming months you’ll see faster City fibres packages.

  7. Avatar photo Dave Trent says:

    so Openreach wholesale to Zen, who wholesale to your isp? that’s a lot of middlemen

    1. Avatar photo Clive says:

      To buy from Openreach you have to rent space power etc in the telephone exchange serving the end customer. So zen buy from Openreach in the exchange, and connect the line to the ISP’s network. The ISP then connects it to the internet and all that involves. So yes lots on links in the chain. It’s one of the reasons the big ISPs can offer lower rates than the smaller providers, they cut out the middle man, rent space in the exchange and buy direct from Openreach.

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