London will soon be catching up to the better connected capitals such as Stockholm and Seoul with fibre connections to the home offering speeds of up to 1Gbps thanks Hyperoptic – a new ISP from the founders of BE Broadband. The service will only be available to certain multiple dwelling premises at first, but expansion is planned and this will give Virgin and BT some much needed competition for their 100Mbps and “Up to 40Mbps” services currently being offered to the public.
Boris Ivanovic and Dana Tobak along with a number of others, who started up Be Broadband which shook up the UK’s broadband business by providing a reliable fast connection for a reasonable price before selling to O2, will be behind this new venture. They have a good track record, and are coming back to the market with a product that could help London solidify its place as a centre of the connected world, with pricing that will cause their competitors to rethink their strategies – 1Gbps for £50/month, 100Mbps for £25/month (competing with Virgin’s 100Mbps for £35/month and BT’s Up-to-40Mbs for £28/month), and 20Mbps for £12.50 (competing with the up-to-20Mps from a variety of ISPs). According to Ofcom, the UK average broadband speed is 6.8Mbps – this should shake that up.
Interestingly, although the company will be laying the fibre to the home and a good deal of the other cabling in currently “unfibred” areas, they have also made it clear that they will also make use of fibre from BT, Virgin, Colt, or Geo when available in certain areas. The only downside to this is that users cannot sign up their apartment blocks to the service directly – instead having to rely on registering their interest and persuading their neighbours to do the same to get your building priority.
This can’t come quickly enough if you ask me!
[photograph by fakeparadigm]