Hyperoptic, a new ISP from the founders of Be Broadband, has launched with an offer of one-gigabit-per-second fibre-to-the-premises connectivity for some properties in London.
No other ISP offers residential customers 1Gbps connectivity, and the fastest available speed currently is Virgin Media's up-to-100Mbps cable service. However, at the moment individuals cannot sign up for Hyperoptic's service. Only communal installations in multi-dwelling buildings are possible, with individual tenants or flat-owners then becoming able to subscribe on a per-home basis
The 1Gbps service, announced at Hyperoptic's launch on Wednesday, will cost £50 per month, with 100Mbps connectivity coming in at £25 per month and 20Mbps at £12.50 per month. Virgin's 100Mbps service is priced at £35 per month, while BT's up-to-40Mbps Infinity services come in at £28 per month including line rental.
"There is a preconception that fibre optic is expensive and therefore cannot be made available to consumers," Hyperoptic's managing director Dana Tobak said in a statement. "At the same time, the UK is effectively lagging in our rate of fibre broadband adoption, holding us back in so many ways — from an economic and social perspective. Our pricing shows that the power of tomorrow can be delivered at a competitive and affordable rate."
According to Hyperoptic, 1Gbps will let users download a 5.25GB high-definition movie in 42 seconds, whereas the same file would take one hour and 38 minutes to download at 6.8Mbps, the UK's average broadband speed, according to Ofcom.
Within a multi-dwelling unit, property managers have to do the signing up, and individuals can only register their interest and try to persuade their neighbours to agree to a building-wide deployment, a Hyperoptic spokeswoman told ZDNet UK.
The company did not give specific installation costs, but said the amount will vary from building to building and is expected to be absorbed into the building maintenance costs.
Hyperoptic's network largely involves the reselling of connectivity from suppliers such as BT, Virgin, Geo and Vtesse, but the spokeswoman said the new ISP is also laying its own fibre in certain London 'not-spots', where there is no fibre network available yet.
The company has not yet said whether it will wholesale connectivity from those new deployments to its rivals. Its spokeswoman said there is no reason at the moment to resell connectivity to the likes of BT, when BT has avoided investing in such spots.
Tobak and Boris Ivanovic, who is Hyperoptic's president, announced the new venture in May. Both were co-founders of Be Broadband, which was sold to Telefonica in 2006.
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