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Be Broadband founders plan Hyperoptic return

The team that founded Be Broadband seven years ago is preparing to launch another ISP in London and other cities, offering businesses and large residential buildings symmetrical fibre-to-the-premises broadband.Boris Ivanovic and Dana Tobak, along with various other people involved in running Be — sold to O2 in 2006 to give the mobile operator a fixed-line UK business — will set Hyperoptic live around September, although they already have pilot customers in various stages of negotiations.

The team that founded Be Broadband seven years ago is preparing to launch another ISP in London and other cities, offering businesses and large residential buildings symmetrical fibre-to-the-premises broadband.

Boris Ivanovic and Dana Tobak, along with various other people involved in running Be — sold to O2 in 2006 to give the mobile operator a fixed-line UK business — will set Hyperoptic live around September, although they already have pilot customers in various stages of negotiations.

Speaking to ZDNet UK on Wednesday, Ivanovic said "times have moved on" for the team in terms of strategy, with bringing fibre to the customer now the top priority. Pointing out that BT has not yet deployed any fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) — an eventuality the larger telco is planning for the summer, with the intention of a quarter of its overall fibre deployments being FTTH — he said Hyperoptic would initially focus on London and other large metropolitan areas.

"We will not do full UK coverage," Ivanovic said. "The business case for this model relies on high density of the end customers, where one fibre [services] a number of end users. More than 50 flats in one continuing area is where we're focusing."

The ISP will place a gigabit-per-second line into the basement of such a building, Ivanovic explained, then run either a gigabit Ethernet or fibre line to individual premises. He stressed that, while Hyperoptic would probably put some aggregation equipment in BT exchanges, its nascent network was "our own parallel infrastructure, a network together with all components full managed by us".

"Certain sites will not be going through a BT exchange, depending on the local availability of fibre. We might actually use fibre from Virgin, or from Colt, or from Geo in London," he added.

The company is yet to reveal the pricing for its fibre-to-the-premises services.