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Hyperoptic to expand with £50m of investment funding
Thursday 23 May 2013 09:25:12 by Andrew Ferguson

The financial sections are all over the news that the George Soros a financier is via Quantum Strategic Partners investing some £50m into Hyperoptic. In case you don't know Hyperoptic offer three products, 20 Mbps, 100 Mbps and 1 Gbps with the fastest service available from £50 per month.

Hyperoptic has a footprint that is expanding rapidly adding 10,000 flats to its coverage footprint between October 2012 and March 2013 giving a footprint at that time of 20,000 and an average take-up rate that is running at over 20%.

"Hyperoptic is clearly paving the way for the UK to take a significant leap forward when it comes to superfast broadband. The UK's major property developers, managers, investors and owners alike are awakening to this reality, and will soon begin to realise the significant benefits – including increased value and marketability of a property – of ‘future proofing' their assets, taking smart decisions today about what will be absolutely critical for tomorrow."

Louis Armstrong, non-executive director of Hyperoptic

This investment will mean two new directors on the Hyperoptic board who are from Soros Fund Management, but the more important part for the broadband consumer is that this extra money should allow for expansion.

The plans seem to be to expand coverage to another 10 cities by the end of 2013, with consumers and landlords firmly in the driving seat on which cities will benefit. The expansion is all part of a plan to build their coverage level pass more than 500,000 homes within the next five years.

"The entire Hyperoptic team is excited by the opportunity to further grow our network and fulfill demand for proper fibre connectivity. We will be looking to our Registered Interest and current Freeholder and Developer partners to decide which cities to target next. The question on the table now, is where will the next HyperCity be?"

Dana Pressman Tobak, Managing Director

After the debacle that is the Governments super connected cities plan, we have a company that with no recourse to public money might drag the UK into line with the best of what is available in some other countries.


Posted by WWWombat over 4 years ago
Aren't they very focussed on MDU - buildings with a large number of flats?

About 18% of the UK is in flats, the third-lowest percentage in Europe, behind (or ahead of) Ireland and Norway.

So Hyperoptic are targetting 10% of the UK's flats, or about 2% of the nation, over 5 years - and probably the densest 2% of the whole nation, and the easiest to fibre.

I'm not sure that's enough to drag the UK into line as a whole.

The build-out is certainly welcome, but it isn't going to help the final 98% ;)
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 4 years ago
Conversely living in flats means FTTC has extra distance to go, i.e. add the vertical.

As part of the puzzle, it is another piece of good news.
Posted by WWWombat over 4 years ago
Yes, for flats the vertical distance, when added to some significant horizontal distance, makes FTTC a slightly worse proposition. But the density makes FTTB a better proposition... if only it were being offered by anyone.

So yes, as a part of the overall picture, it is indeed good news.

Not good enough to persuade me to go and live in a flat, though!
Posted by MCM999 over 4 years ago
Hyperoptic offered FTTB, at a price, to our development of 75 properties which is a mixture of low rise flats (2 & 3 storey) and houses.
Posted by Bob_s2 over 4 years ago
They see potential in the UK for FTTC which is more than BT do. They will focus initially on where they get the best return on the investment and I would expect them to start building out to other areas later on

Remember as well they are not saddled with BT's legacy system costs
Posted by doowles over 4 years ago
I live on the 7th floor of flats and I get 80+ mbit from BT infinity.

These guys are 2 years too late unfortunately.
Posted by WWWombat over 4 years ago
Interesting - not a full fibre offering then.
What kind of price?
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 4 years ago

Hyperoptic is normally FTTB, then Gigabit Ethernet around the building. The same as most flats with Gig speeds across Europe.
Posted by c_j_ over 4 years ago
"most flats with Gig speeds across Europe. "

For readers who can't remember (e.g. me), what speeds are people actually getting for Internet access (rather than around the building) in these places? E.g. according to Akamai?

Ah yes, world's fastest is South Korea, measured at a whole 15Mbit [1].

So really the "Gigabit Ethernet" is mostly for decoration.

Still nice though.

Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 4 years ago
@c_j given the Akamai data does not give us a breakdown on the flats that actually have Gigabit connectivity to them, impossible to say.

NOTE: I did not say most flats in EU have Gig, but FTTB is commonly for flats where Gig connections are actually available.
Posted by WWWombat over 4 years ago
Gigabit ethernet is good, but subject to the usual ethernet limit of 100 metres, and requires Cat-5e 4-pair cables.

The distance means it'll do low-rise flats, and/or low-width ones, but not the larger ones - at least not without active help.

But if you are having to wire the building with Cat-5e, why not just pull the fibre?
Posted by WWWombat over 4 years ago
And as an aside, I find it ironic that people accept copper when it is carrying gigabit ethernet, even while they are vilifying copper in the street as "old technology".

Should we watch for people having a go at Hyperoptic because they are relying on copper?
Posted by bbluefoot over 4 years ago

the limit with low-spec cat5e cable is 100m or so, but there's no reason why cat6(of varying descriptions) cannot be used. 200m is no problem whatsoever for one of the fully shielded cat6 cables.
Posted by WWWombat over 4 years ago
It isn't a matter of the quality or the shielding, or the power of the transmitter.

The actual maximum length that ethernet can be is more like 600 metres, or more with repeaters.

However, for the collision-detect mechanism to work correctly, ethernet puts limitations on the maximum length (and minimum packets size). This limit ensures that the start of a packet reaches the far end of the cable before the end has been transmitted.

That distance is, of course, 100 metres. Use beyond 100 metres, and you risk undetected packet loss on the LAN segment.
Posted by JNeuhoff over 4 years ago
@WWWombat: You said: "And as an aside, I find it ironic that people accept copper when it is carrying gigabit ethernet, even while they are vilifying copper in the street as "old technology"".

Well, if it makes people more happy: Most users in the UK already have fibre broadband, namely, FTTE (fibre to the exchange). :)
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