We are pretty sure that the Gigabit service announced by Spectrum Internet is not the first to launch in the UK, but they do qualify the claim with the words 'specifically designed for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs)'. The Gigabit service according to the release will be available from £50 per month, which is significantly faster and cheaper than the existing business products that are listed on their website.
This new Gigabit service for the SME sector is set to only be available in Cardiff and appears designed to meet the requirements of the Super Connected Cardiff scheme where vouchers to the value of £3,000 are potentially available for the installation of ultra-fast broadband connections.
Hopefully once the voucher scheme launches on the 1st of August Spectrum Internet will have more detail on the product, so that businesses can assess whether this is a true leased line replacement saving them money, or actually a way to get much better business broadband speeds. The latter scenario is much more what the Super Connected City scheme is about. Looking at their existing products it is likely the £50 service either has a usage allowance, or is more of a burst to a Gigabit service than anything approaching uncontended Gigabit speeds.
Cardiff was originally awarded £11m via the super connected fund, so there is potential to help around 3,000 businesses if the majority of this money goes on the voucher scheme. Hopefully lots of the vouchers will go to expanding businesses, rather than ones just after cost saving measures, as the latter will do little to improve the UK broadband picture.
Spectrum Internet are not the only business to create products specifically for the city voucher scheme, the Openreach FTTP Fibre on Demand product is another service that fits the voucher concept very well and we expect to hear about more in the next week or two.
Spectrum Internet does have a track record of working with the Welsh Government, as it has made use of the Welsh Government's Broadband Support Scheme to build a mixture of network types offering FTTC and FTTP to some 700 homes and businesses, though no figures are available on the number of subscriptions.
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