1Gbit/sec broadband lands in London

A start-up ISP has claimed a UK first with a 1Gbit/sec broadband launch.

1Gbit/sec broadband lands in London

Hyperoptic’s service was announced back in September, but the company says the first customers should go live today, offering speeds that are ten times faster than Virgin Media’s flagship 100Mbits/sec service.

“We are basing our platform on bringing fibre direct to the customer,” said founder and chairman Boris Ivanovic.

“There’s been a lot of different marketing speak going on in the UK talking about what real fibre is and everyone is taking credit for doing fibre.

It is ‘up to’ but with a 1Gbit/sec link you download a HD movie in 40 seconds

“But BT Infinity and Virgin – what they are doing is only partial fibre, and what we are doing here is bringing fibre into the buildings and directly to customers and that allows us to deliver 1Gbit/sec.”

BT’s fibre services currently use copper from the local cabinet, while Virgin uses co-axial cable, but Hyperoptic provides fibre directly to the building. However, the service is only available in select locations where the company cherry picks closely-packed and often new-build dwellings.

“We’re launching our first customer – in a building in Battersea,” Ivanovic said. “There are 133 flats and it’s the first of a series of buildings to be launched over the coming months, and each flat has a fibre faceplate.”

The company is offering three tiers of service, with 20Mbits/sec costing £12.50, 100Mbits/sec weighing in at £25 and £50 securing a 1Gbit/sec connection. Pricing depends on accepting a £12.50 line rental, and is subject to a £40 installation charge.

Contention issues

Although Ivanovic admitted that the service would see contention, he said the fast download speeds means there is less chance of actually trying to download content at the same time as other users.

“The bandwidth is split and every network has a built in contention, on a DSL line you might typically have about 2,000 customers sharing a 1Gbit/sec link – in our case it’s probably 50-100 customers sharing that link. It is ‘up to’ but with a 1Gbit/sec link you download a HD movie in 40 seconds.

“The more speed you have, the less time you actually use that speed.”

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