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Gigabit broadband arrives in the UK

Fibre-optics cable

By Hani Megerisi

Posted on 24 Feb 2010 at 14:25

Fibrecity is set to smash the British broadband speed record, with the launch of a network capable of bursting at 1Gbit/sec.

Fibrecity's network will deliver day-to-day speeds of between 25Mbits/sec and 100Mbits/sec, using fibre laid in Bournemouth's sewer network.

However, one of the three ISPs offering connections on the Fibrecity network, Velocity1, will offer customers bursts of 1Gbits/sec for bandwidth-intensive applications such as downloading HD movies. Customers will get ten free gigabit bursts each month, each lasting for an hour.

The 100Mbits/sec Velocity1 package will cost only £10 per month, with an additional £10 per month line rental. Subscribers who opt to not pay by Direct Debit, or take the full 12-month contract, will also be asked to pay a £50 connection charge.

The other ISPs involved, Vispa and Fibrebrand, will be offering the high-speed broadband of 100Mbits/sec for £50 per month, as part of an entertainment bundle involving free off-peak calls and 40 TV channels.

Users who opt for slower speeds of 25Mbits/sec or 50Mbits/sec will be able to get broadband from £20 per month.

The 1Gbit/sec service obliterates the previous maximum speed available in Britain, which was 100Mbits/sec via BT's fibre-to-the-premises lines.

Fibrecity is planning to extend its network to Dundee and Sheffield in the coming months.

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User comments

FTTM?

What is the technology, "Fibre to the Manhole"?
How do they do the "final mile" and how come they don't have to charge thousahnd for the connection?

By milliganp on 24 Feb 2010

Question?

In the article you say Velocity1, Vispa, Fibrebrand provide fast internet, is that in the near future, since i looked at their websites and none provide what you say here in the article now, unless i have missed it, also i think fair usage policy applies to all pakcages, so unlimited become not so unlimited, I think so far Virgins 50 mbps, is the only one which is fast and does not have the fair usage policy on it. using something like Zune, downloading a HD film would be around 10 GB, .....

By mobilegnet on 24 Feb 2010

Vispa and Fibrebrand

Surely Vispa and Fibrebrand have priced themselves instantly out of the market compared to the offering from Velocity1?

Also the 100MBits/sec from BT is NOT via fibre-to-the-cabinet, it's via fibre-to-the-home, to correct the above article.

By skarlock on 24 Feb 2010

Velocity1, Vispa, Fibrebrand - R.I.P.

They'll be bust with in a year.
There's no demand for networks with speeds of this nature - just ask B.T. Therefore, they'll not get anything like enough subscribers to make any money
As the biggest provider, B.T. should know - right?

...

By greemble on 24 Feb 2010

You must be right, after all if there was demand then we'd all be using faster internet services already.

Of course, BT has identified some areas of the country where people have an interest in higher speed cable broadband and so are investing in cable there, but not those areas with zero uptake of cable. Gotta be some logic there.... right?

By skarlock on 24 Feb 2010

Correction

My mistake Skarlock, it is indeed FTTP. Now corrected.

Mobilegnet - We've been sent the announcement and details today - presumably the companies will update their sites shortly.

Barry Collins
Online Editor

By Barry_Collins on 24 Feb 2010

LAN Speed

Funniest thing here is how many of them will have a LAN connection over 100Mbps, or even worse, a wireless connection of probably arouns 20-30Mbps hahah

By danielno8 on 24 Feb 2010

Ok, will check the website later. thanks!

By mobilegnet on 24 Feb 2010

milliganp, If I am correct, the cables are run thorugh the sewer system which heavily decreases the cost of laying the fibre, especially in a city environment.

greemble, I'm not so sure, the line rental is less than BT already and the cost of the broadband is also very good value in comparison to the rest of the market. I suspect that a lot of their income will come from enetertainment bundles on slower speeds though.

By palorx on 24 Feb 2010

Sewer service

@milliganp

"FTTM?

What is the technology, "Fibre to the Manhole"?
How do they do the "final mile""

The drop cable will come straight out of your downstairs loo.

By jazzrobot on 24 Feb 2010

Woo hoo!!!

This may be worth moving back to Sheffield for, especially at that price!

By mviracca on 24 Feb 2010

Synchronous Service Needed

I don't think users want higher and higher download speeds, the next step should be providing decent upload speeds, rather than the 500 or 750 kb/s offered by most providers. After all the web is as much about people contributing to the content as to downloading it. I'd pay for a synchronous 20Mb connection.

By dmw571 on 25 Feb 2010

Not the demand? Come off it. If I had a 100mb connection to my offices at work I could realistically work from home at the same speed I work in the office. An ISO wouldn't take two hours to download but two minutes. Applications would work as if they were local to me, my upload for email, ftp and voip calls would be usable instead of steam driven.

I'm in Southampton, the next city along. If I had such a synchronous connection I would be vastly more effective in my job.

Not everyone just wants to watch iplayer and streaming radio.

By bubbles16 on 25 Feb 2010

Gigabit?

Surely a Gigabit is 1000 MBit, not 100 MBit?

By downview on 25 Feb 2010

Clarification

Lack of sarcasm smiley may lead some to believe I meant my previous post literally

I think Skarlock got the meaning

By greemble on 26 Feb 2010

FTTP - fibre to the premise or FTTH - fibre to the home. Either way fibre to your home rather than squeezing last little bit out of copper.

One of the biggest differences is ability for their network to support 100Mbps both ways - no more low speed upstream. Although I do notice the ISP's are limiting the upload speed to 5Mbps - still pretty good.

A network that can burst up to 1000Mbps right into your home - that is good, although most of us won't be able to use that much bandwidth -or the server you are downloading from or taking to won't be able to transfer as fast. Great for families - no more sharing the bandwidth and stopping the kids hogging bandwidth with downloads.

Someone suggested the ISP's would go bust - far from it - think of all services and applications that have not worked in past because of bottleneck to the home - no bottleneck now. Let's grab this opportunity and do one thing we British do well - innovate and stop doing anotherthing us British do well - doom mongering. My cup is half full and I hope they come to my town.

By Scottie64 on 26 Feb 2010

@Scottie64

Yes we British do innovate - our illustrious government has set an incredibly ambitious target for us all to have 2Mbs by 2012. Really adventurous and innovative that, what! Meanwhile the rest of the world heads towards 100Mbs as the standard offering. Sorry, but for the UK my cup is way below half empty.

By jontym123 on 27 Feb 2010

Fibrecity Bournemouth Rollout

Hi guys, I do have this at my house and am trying my best to educate and cut through the hype. I'm collecting information on the rollout and have the map on my site for Bournemouth which is drawn from confirmed members of the public having the service (as you can see the rollout is not exactly rapid). We'd love anyone that has it to please let us know so we can track the rollout better.
http://www.fibreforum.co.uk

Thanks

By fibreforum on 10 May 2010

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