A new British internet service provider (ISP), Hyperoptic, has launched services with what is claims is the UK’s first residential tariff offering downlink and uplink speeds of up to 1Gbps. With the ultrafast broadband connections initially only available in the capital, and then only to ‘large residential and commercial properties’, Hyperoptic has said that it expects to expand coverage of the service to other cities around the country in 2012. According to ZDNet UK, individuals will not simply be able to request a connection. Instead, would-be customers will need to register their interest and look to persuade neighbours to agree to a building-wide deployment, while property managers will be required to sign up for services for multi-dwelling units. Hyperoptic’s network largely involves the reselling of connectivity from suppliers such as BT, Virgin Media, Geo and Vtesse, but according to a spokeswoman for the ISP cited by ZDNet, it is also reportedly laying its own fibre in certain London ‘not-spots’.
While Hyperoptic has not detailed installation costs for its service – it did note that the charge will vary from building to building and is expected to be absorbed into building maintenance costs – it has revealed end-user prices. For the operator’s top-end 1Gbps service, known as ‘Hyper-sonic’, residential customers will be charged GBP50 (USD79) per month, with that price based on also taking a phone service offering free national evening and weekend calls for a monthly line rental cost of GBP12.50. Hyperoptic’s lowest level service, ‘Hyper-lite’, will meanwhile offer 20Mbps down/up speeds for GBP12.50 a month in addition to the aforementioned line rental charge. The ISP has also noted that its ‘specially designed fibre-rich network will deliver end-user speeds at the actual speed advertised,’ which it claims contrasts with traditional copped-based fixed line broadband services, where speeds diminish depending on how far a customer is from the local exchange.
Commenting on the development, Dana Tobak, managing director of Hyperoptic, said: ‘There is a preconception that fibre-optic is expensive and therefore, cannot be made available to consumers. 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.’