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1Gbps burst speeds for Bournemouth announced
Wednesday 24 February 2010 08:16:27 by Andrew Ferguson

Today sees the number of people with Fibre to the Home (FTTH) connections in the UK receive a major boost. The thousand or so homes in Bournemouth now know the details of the connectivity that will be available to them and it eclipses what every other provider in the UK has offered to date.

FibreCity has announced three providers that will provide the retail elements for telephone, TV and broadband bundles over the fibre network they are building in Bournemouth. Broadband speeds will range from 25Mbps to 100Mbps, and even offer the chance to boost download speeds to 1Gbps (1000Mbps) for a short period (probably 30 minutes). Prices start from £9.99 for a basic 100Mbps product, and exact pricing will depend on the triple play package people decide to purchase from the portal. Vispa is a name most often associated with ADSL, but has been branching out to offer a 10Mbps symmetric wireless service in the Manchester area. Velocity 1 will be known by some as the firm providing fibre connectivity to people in the Wembley area, including HD and some 120 TV/radio stations. Fibreband is perhaps a name less well known, but is another fibre provider offering triple play deals. The Fibreband website has a 100Mbps downloads and 10Mbps upload package for £49.95, with 40 TV channels and telephone, with the option to buy uncontended bandwidth at £1 per hour on the cheaper packages.

"The Fibrecity portal is a virtual market place that offers consumer choice by allowing multiple service providers to offer and deliver services over a single Fibrecity network connection. I am delighted that Fibreband, Velocity 1 and Vispa are the first service providers to join this portal.

This announcement is just the start, as we expect additional providers, large and small, to come on to the portal over the course of the year. Now that service providers have a technology platform to support next generation services, I believe they will develop media rich applications that legacy copper networks simply cannot support."

Elford Thomas, CEO of i3 Group, of which FibreCity is a company

People who already have the fibre connection in place will shortly be being contacted to arrange delivery of a free set top box that will provide access to the service portal and allow people to browse the offerings. To encourage use of the box, an offer will run for a while whereby people will receive a number of free digital TV channels. So while at launch for many people their familiar broadband provider may not be listed, it is likely that more will sign up to offer services.

What this means for homes with the service is that a film purchased from iTunes that would have taken 4 hours to download on a 2Mbps connection can arrive in just six minutes. Families will be able to do things like watching video, while still using a VoIP service, or a webcam call and have two or three games consoles online playing games. The killer application for fast broadband like FibreCity is no one single application, but the freedom it provides to carry out a number of tasks without impacting on others in the home.

Residents of Dundee should be the next part of the UK to benefit from the service, with the infrastructure work starting in April 2010. We await the news of where roll-out will continue around the UK; FibreCity told us that they have a target of covering 750,000 homes by the end of 2012. recently highlighted the lack of numbers for next generation roll-outs (Virgin Media is not in their analysis). BT according to Point-Topic had around 1850 FTTC/FTTH customers, but the majority are FTTC, which gives a variable connection speed of 15Mbps to 40Mbps currently. The total number of FTTP connections in the UK stood at around 1600 (business leased lines are not included in this count), so today's news provides a significant boost and should help other emerging FTTP providers to gauge demand for their products.


Posted by cyberdoyle over 7 years ago
lucky lucky lucky Bournemouth...
...our first Next Gen network? Let us hope this is the start of a truly digitalbritain. The only way to go is fibre, the scrap value of copper is good, loads of unemployed, ROI for country immense. It makes sense to JFDI FTTH.
Posted by c_j_ over 7 years ago
Is it just me or is there (still) no go-live date for this service? OK we're a step or three closer, which can't be bad, but the Bournemouth Echo says "FIBRECITY is on track to have superfast broadband up and running in Bournemouth early next year."


Where will FTTC be by then? FTTC may be far from ideal technically, but if it's easier to deploy than FTTH *and* satisfies a good proportion of the market...
Posted by davidburnand over 7 years ago
Good morning c_j,

My name is David Burnand and I run the marketing for the i3 Group, including Fibrecity Holdings, who are building the Fibrecity network in Bournemouth. The Bournemouth Echo's comment about 2011 isn't accurate. 2011 is when we expect to complete the Bournemouth network, not when the services will go live.

We announced today that the first service providers on the network will go live this week and that we will be rolling our STBs and ONTs to enable customers to access those services.

I'd be happy to answer any more questions that you may have.


Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 7 years ago
Announcing the retail providers 10 months before you can buy sounds bad, how do we know the Bournemouth Echo is correct?
Posted by whatever2 over 7 years ago
Who is the point of contact for these services? My premises is in central Bournemouth (BH1), yet we have heard nothing. Scattered offers of permission to install were sent back from various colleagues but alas that's the last they heard of it.

All i've seen is sub 100 installation figures quoted and this is the only news on service providers... yet there doesn't seem to be any real network out there yet.

Perhaps it will all be good in a year's time, but previous milestones haven't lived up to the hype it seems. Perhaps i'm wrong... happy to be shown as such.
Posted by Somerset over 7 years ago
cyberdoyle - who will pay to JFDI FTTH in rural areas?
Posted by boggits over 7 years ago
Anyone who has the service installed can now select from the 3 service providers via the closed portal (in theory).

Rather than signing up online, fibercity are getting people to have the kit installed (for free) and then choose the provider.
Posted by nmg196 over 7 years ago
@cyberdoyle I doubt many home users would want to pay the £2000 installation fee for FTTH when they can have FTTC for free (or very low cost) with install paid for by BT.
Posted by otester over 7 years ago
Anyone thought about just replacing copper lines with fibre? Swap-for-swap.

Keep the poles etc. so no diggy required?
Posted by chrysalis over 7 years ago
the prices published seem very unrealistic, corners cut service?
Posted by oomingmak over 7 years ago
@ chrysalis - I was thinking the exact same thing. £9.99 for 100Mbps. Why do companies do this?
Posted by AndrueC over 7 years ago
Online game /playing/ is not a bandwidth hog! When are people going to learn that? Gameplay itself is often sensitive to latency but bandwidth is at most a dozen or so kilobytes a second.

Computer gaming in general can eat up your allowance if you buy it or download demos but the actual playing is an irrelevance.
Posted by doowles over 7 years ago
Excellent news, well done to this innovative company. I agree though, I would pay £50+ quid a month for a fibre connection. Just get it here!!
Posted by otester over 7 years ago

Remember they own the network, broadband is so expensive because BT owns the network (they have a £10bn debt), an unmetered 8Mb connection costs £80 (Market 1).

An unmetered 16Mb connection via LLU costs £15 (can do 24Mb, but only enough usage allowance given for 16Mb - 5.25TB).

So the less of BT you see, the cheaper it gets, therefore making 100Mb at £10 possible.
Posted by otester over 7 years ago
Virgin's FTTC is more expensive because they have a debt to pay off (region of £4bn) and also because they don't have the cash to fix the capacity problems (most of their current fibre backhaul is stuck a 1/5th of what it should be due to old cabling).

For reference, both BT and VM are struggling with their debt, so they don't have a lot of room to play with cash wise unlike Fibrecity.
Posted by herdwick over 7 years ago
LOL @ otester - how much cash exactly lies behind the facade of Fibrecity ? Last time I looked their debts were N times their revenue.

What is the rental cost of the fibre in Bournemouth ? ie is there something to add to the figures above ?
Posted by lloydio over 7 years ago
There is no line rental fee.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 7 years ago
Superb, well done to i3, knew they would get there in the end. I still see there are people doubting the service, face it they have did it, its happening. No doubt that will turn into jealousy when bournemouth resident start to pop up all happy with their fast and cheap real fibre services. Hope its a success for them and they spread their wings further.
Posted by kamelion over 7 years ago
BT don't have debt. THis is because they are still using the backbone they were gifted when the GPO became BT. The sharegolders have been milking the cash cow for too long unfortunately technology has moved on so the cow dried up. I wasn't given the chance to buy shares I was in my early teens when BT was privatized. I would love my dividend in the shape of fttc for all
Posted by chrysalis over 7 years ago
otester yes I know that, but people will pay more than a tenner for 100mbit no doubt, people pay vm over £30 for 50mbit, so the company has no need to undercut so much, they are just throwing away cash and damaging the market. They can then offer something like 10-20mbit for a tenner to get the budget crowd in.
Posted by davidburnand over 7 years ago

I will try and answer a few of your questions:

- The services will be live for the first customers this week: we aren't pre-announcing ten months in advance of service as the Bournemouth Echo article implies.
- Fibrecity don't charge line rental, as we are not a Service Provider, so don't bill end users. Some of the SPs will charge a fibre rental as part of their packages, just like BT charges line rental.
- The packages will be listed on the portal from tomorrow, ready for the first connected customers.


Posted by otester over 7 years ago

Currently BT and VM (if they carry on as they are - falling profit), won't be able to pay it off.

Fibrecity should be in a better position, with some being in a VM area, but won't touch them due to poor record (I know quite a few).
Posted by otester over 7 years ago

I was just explainging their position, I don't personally agree with it.

1GBps for short periods of time and an uncontented line for £1 per hour.

I think they should charge more like you said with other speed options like VM and invest more in the network (ie. uncontended 100Mb for everyone then 1GBps).
Posted by wirelesspacman over 7 years ago
from the fibrecity website:

"Low cost quality telephone calls at fibre speed"

A fibre speed telephone call?!?
Posted by c_j_ over 7 years ago
@Andrew: isn't it "Elfed" Thomas?

@David Burnham: Thank you for raising your head above the parapet. How about getting the Echo to correct their article? I do genuinely hope your organisation can deliver, but...

@wirelesspacman: "Low cost quality telephone calls at FibreCity speed"
Like this: you get the leaflet, you get the fibre, the media get the PR, you pick up the phone, and then for six months all you get is a voice saying "your call cannot be connected at this time".
Posted by danjkent over 7 years ago
I'm surprised to see people asking to be charged more. I think it's good to finally have some real competition in the comms market.

Yes they could charge more - we would probably pay a higher price, but the fact that they're choosing not to over-charge when they're hopefully able to make sufficient profit on these prices puts the company in a much more positive light.
Posted by whatever2 over 7 years ago

Bad Request (Invalid Hostname)
Posted by whatever2 over 7 years ago
Vispa Premium £49.95 100Mb/s Unlimited Broadband. * Fair usage policy applies.

No details of FUP on site.

Velocity1 Broadband £9.99 per Month. * Fair usage policy applies.

No details of FUP on site.

It's not very detailed in what your getting, and asks you to start the process without any terms and conditions...
Posted by whatever2 over 7 years ago
Both of the above state 100mbps but there's a vast difference in price...
Posted by davidburnand over 7 years ago
@c_j_ We are working with the Echo to get a more accurate representation of the position out.

@whatever2 Service providers are responsible for their own FUP.


Posted by silver47 over 7 years ago
Anyone know the link to the article in the Echo. The only reference I've found on the site was the one about the micro trenching.
Also David, can you give us any infomation on when the work will be starting in other areas of Bournemouth. Are you going downwards meaning that BH9 and BH8 are next in line (I live in BH7)? It would be nice if you could give us at least a estimated timetable of when work will be carried out across town.
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