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Karoo launches its Lightstream fibre products
Monday 23 January 2012 10:19:37 by Andrew Ferguson

After a few months of trials, the full product launch for the fibre products by Karoo has taken place, though roll-out across the Hull and East Yorkshire area continues, so if you live in the area do check availability before getting too excited.

Karoo is launching a mixture of fibre to the premises (FTTP) and fibre to the cabinet (FTTC) under the collective name of Lightstream. The FTTP products will run at 100 Mbps initially, but are easily upgradeable to support 1 Gbps in the future, the FTTC product will connect at a maximum of 80 Mbps with the exact speed varying according to the distance from the home to the street cabinet.

Lightstream Lighstream Home Xtra is the premium product that offers 100 Mbps downstream and 10 Mbps upload for £48 per month, current offer gives free connection and the first month free on an 18 month contract. Usage allowance is 600GB a month and includes free calls to UK telephones and 180 minutes of calls to mobile phones as part of the bundle. KC Lightstream Home is their basic bundle, and offers 45 Mbps download speed with a 2 Mbps upload speed, the usage allowance is smaller at 50GB. The basic package is £35 a month, and the same free connection, first free month and 18 month contract.

The product comparisons with BT Infinity are interesting, as is the claim 'no slow down no matter how many of you are online'. The comparisons are a little selective as it only compares Lightstream with BT Infinity 40 Mbps services, when they have a similar 100 Mbps available in some areas too. There is no explanation for the no slow down comments, many will read that line and take it to mean that they will get line speed for downloads always while within their usage allowance. A tough challenge, a tough challenge for any provider to make at this sort of price point.

Compared to the pricing that BT Retail is using for its Infinity products, Karoo Lightstream is more expensive, but their ADSL2+ products are not as cheap as the rest of the UK. ADSL2+ with 50GB allowance is £25.54 per month. The premium for switching to a fibre solution is around £10 a month, the same as TalkTalk charges for its fibre boost.

One thing we are sure of is that while the products are clearly using light via fibre optic cable as a transmission medium, it is that light does not travel down a fibre optic cable at 186,000 miles per second, the refractive index of the medium needs to be taken into account, only in a vacuum does light hit the stated speed.


Posted by driz over 5 years ago
An interesting point, but given that Virgin and BT are allowed to call their non-fibre products 'fibre-optic' (HFC and VDSL2 respectively) I'm sure it's fine.
Posted by GMAN99 over 5 years ago
Well I see the lightspeed reference will be pulled by the ASA no doubt shame as they could have made some nice star wars-esque adverts with that :)

It's great that they are doing this though the residents of Hull should be very pleased.

Not sure about the price though its certainly high and for that price there should be no usage allowance at all.
Posted by pcoventry76 over 5 years ago
It's only because the residents of HUll have no other choice!.

I hope the ASA get a life and don't pull it. it's true you can catch up with your fave TV with that speed. It made me laugh anyway!

only anal people worry about that point.
Posted by GMAN99 over 5 years ago
Oh some will be all over it saying that its Karoo, they might not attract the hatred that BT and Virgin Media does. Well Hull do have a choice or will soon anyway I believe, Ofcom were opening it up to others not sure how that is progressing though.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 5 years ago
Nothing wrong with saying a fibre product is light speed, just need to use the right actual speed figure for it :-)

Does mean that some with an idea of physics, but not broadband might think that latency is going to be sub ms though
Posted by fibrebunny over 5 years ago
It is to be hoped that someone with an idea of physics would have some idea of marketing speak too. Though I'm sure it will set many a sphincter twinkling in the anally retentive camp lol
Posted by AndrueC over 5 years ago
Just so long as they don't start measuring time in light years :D
Posted by opticalgirl over 5 years ago
Light always travels at the speed of light - it's self referential so how could it do otherwise? The speed of light in glass is still the speed of light. Nowhere does KC say that "fibre-optic cables carry data at the speed of light [in a vaccuum]."

I think I win on pedantry!
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 5 years ago
Panto mode ON

Oh yes they do "Light can travel at over 186,000 miles per second"

"This isn't just faster. This is light speed"

Wonder what medium allows light to travel at OVER 186,000 miles per second

Panto mode OFF

Posted by themanstan over 5 years ago
Um, the speed of light changes depending on the material it passes through.
In a vacuum it is at it's fastest, depending on the refractive index of the material it slows. So air a teensy bit slower, glass a lot slower as the wavelength is shortened. In fact, the signal is slower than the wave propagation down a copper wire... So in one way copper is faster than fibre optic...
Posted by miken06 over 5 years ago
Full price guide is at

Lots of the products are unlimited overnight usage.
Posted by otester over 5 years ago
If you downloaded 600GB with VM during peak hours I'd expect to get a AUP letter.
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