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Hey!Broadband in High Wycombe

kirbyan

Member
Hey!BB have been building out their fiber network in High Wycombe. They've finally reached my part of town and I've been watching them with interest. A lot of the work seems to be installing boxes at the top of existing BT poles and pulling fibers under the pavement. There's been next to no digging that I can see. So it's quite exciting seeing this going on but Hey!BB have been very quiet and respond with "not available in your area" if you ask anything.

I have some questions and wonder if anyone has experience of Hey!BB to be able to answer them:

While the visible build seems to be focused on Poles, a number of properties, like mine, are served by underground cables. We can't see what they're doing underground, but where Hey!BB have previously deployed, do they only connect via poles, or underground too?

So if Hey!BB are putting their boxes on BT's poles, will other operators be able to use the network to provide service or is it only for Hey!BB. If other operators do the same thing they will quickly run out of space on the poles.

Does the arrival of Hey!BB mean that we'll go bottom of the list for openreach to deploy fibre?

So far the effect of Hey!BB arriving i the area seems to have been that the previously badly overloaded Virgin Media cable internet has really settled down and is humming along nicely with no peaks in latency or slowdown at peak times. Not sure if Virgin fixed anything, but they did tell me that due to Covid they we're not planning on upgrading any infrastructure in the next 12 months, which was what was needed.
 

ADW

Casual Member
I have HB's symmetrical gigabit service. Mine is fed from a Pole so it was just a matter of running some Fibre to my home and presenting it into the room I asked for. AFAIK, if your phone line comes in underground, they will feed their fibre in the same way. If the duct is blocked or otherwise inaccessible, they ask Openreach to come out and address that. If your garden / driveway needs digging up, they can ask you to pick up some/all of the costs of that too.

HB's network is run over Fibre & Wireless' infrastructure. They are an AltNet who AFAIK do not resell to anyone else at this time. Looking them up on Companies House, they look like the same company to me.

OR had no plans to deploy in my area at all according to their website. Then HB and Swish Fibre turned up and started actively deploying. Then all of a sudden OpenReach's vans were all over my area and their service is now live. You decide whether that was coincidence or not.
 

RobWiFiScotland

Casual Member
So as you mention, you are only seeing the visible portion of the build with the equipment being mounted on the poles. HB's build won't just be using the poles but will be available to anyone fed underground as well.

In terms of other providers, although HB are using Openreach's ducts and poles HB have no requirement to allow other providers to access their own fibre so the chances are that they will be the only option until another provider also builds out. And as you spotted, the more providers that build in a pole-covered area, the more likely that they will encounter congestion issues at the pole-top. This is something that is constantly in discussion between OR and PIA companies but there are brackets, etc that can be mounted to allow better use of the pole-top space.

And as ADW has found, it's not uncommon for Openreach to suddenly arrive and start building fibre in areas where Altnets are building. In theory the main part of OR are not supposed to know what plans have been submitted by PIA companies, but we all have our own theories on that...
 

W2APS

Member
I've just pre-ordered the HB 100Mbps service In High Wycombe also (Booker Common) as they've been doing a lot of the poles around here and on New Road A4010. Hoping they don't take too long in getting a connection to me as Plusnet just binned their IPTV Youview service and that was the only reason I was hanging on to their VDSL service which is now struggling @ under 20Mbps.
It does make me laugh seeing Swish and HB (plus BT OR) fighting for the much more affluent customer base immediately around High Wycombe itself (thinking Beaconsfield mainly). It's a lovely metaphor for the local area. :)
 

ADW

Casual Member
It was about 5 months from the fibre nodes being deployed on my Street's poles before the service went live.....but I think that was an anomaly as I know F&W had challenges with OpenReach cutting their Fibre to their hub site by mistake which delayed the go-live in my area.
 
Last edited:

W2APS

Member
Thanks. I'm eagerly awaiting the appearance of the fibre nodes on the poles on my road now!
 
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