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Is 5 Giga bits a second enough broadband for you?
Tuesday 17 November 2015 19:42:44 by Andrew Ferguson

There are some 10,000 homes in the UK that will have the option of a 5 Gbps broadband connection courtesy of Gigaclear. The Fibre to the Home provider who concentrates on rolling out its FTTP network to villages which can show demand and meet other commercial criteria along with a number of BDUK/Council contracts now is able to offer these symmetric speeds by virtue of building a point to point fibre network.

"We’re offering customers the chance to access absolutely phenomenal broadband speeds. To be clear, this is a premium service that gives the fastest internet speeds in the country to those of our customers who want the best connection that they can get - such as businesses and homeowners who require significant data transfer capabilities. But it won’t be long before there’s a greater need for a 5Gbps service as connectedness becomes an ever more important part of our everyday lives. By launching the trial of this 5Gbps service now, we are showing all our customers that we are delivering a future proof network today, one which won’t need to be updated even as their usage massively increased in the years to come.

Matthew Hare, Chief Executive at Gigaclear

The service will be prices at £399 per month (inc. VAT) for homes and businesses will pay £1,500 per month plus VAT which includes lower contention ratios and premium support.

Potentially the 5Gbps service could support a wall of 100 UHD televisions all streaming different content at live Ultra HD resolutions and as the press release suggested a 1.5GB film would download in four to six seconds. Though it should be noted that many shared hosting solutions are still based on sharing 100 Mbps, with 1 Gbps hosting still seen as a premium option and servers with dedicated 10 Gbps access links still being rare, so if you were to buy a movie from an online store for download it will not be your Gigaclear connection that is the bottleneck but the server and hard-disks delivering the file to you and this is not just a bottleneck for downloads many cloud storage services have similar speed limits that even standard FTTC upload speeds can exceed. Another issue will be the size of the external links between Gigaclear and the rest of the Internet too.

Perhaps it is like owning a Bugatti Veyron knowing you can go at amazing speeds but the numbers of places you can do this are a limited, which with a Veyron is race tracks in the UK.


Posted by jumpmum about 1 year ago
Is there any Home device that could actually take 1.5Gb in 6 Sec, hard disc speed would prevent this even if the interface was capable.

It would be good for those running webservers as this could really move them up the usabiliy tree for their end users.
Posted by PaulKirby about 1 year ago
@jumpmum not if they are using multiple RAID5, also SSD Drives can handle write speeds at 4Gbps easy.
To be honest I would be happy with my FTTP with the 330/30 option.

I can see businesses needing this, but not really the home, but that's just me.
Posted by ZenUser27 about 1 year ago
The service will be prices at £399 per month

Did a meerkat right this? :p

Still, being this to my village and i'll happily sign up for 5Gbps both ways. Infact just come to more villages rather than just giving more to less!
Posted by camieabz about 1 year ago
Upload speeds? :-p
Posted by Paulington about 1 year ago
I just want genuine 1Gbps FTTH instead of this terrible "Fibre broadband" that's actually co-ax after the cabinet.

Doesn't seem too much to ask!
Posted by Saurus about 1 year ago
Nice if you can get it. I wouldn't mind a usable connection speed that can cope with two simultaneous connections i.e. my PC whilst my wife watches a film online on TV.
Posted by mikejp about 1 year ago
It is a typically British reaction to 'rubbish' anything new. Why not just accept, as Matthew says, there will not be many 'takers' at present, BUT Giga ARE showing us all where the broadband network SHOULD be moving rather than being stuck on grotty copper and aluminium feeds.

Well done, GC. Keep the ******* on their toes!
Posted by comnut about 1 year ago
well at least Andrew mentioned the 'supercar' comparison.... :P :)
Untill an 'average' motorway enables (yes, I mean is smooth enough, cops will not bother you!) you to go at 400MPH, its rather pointless... :)

Posted by comnut about 1 year ago
Ok, millionaires... post your speedtest results here!!! :D
Posted by chilting about 1 year ago
The point is that Gigaclear now have products to suit all internet users in their service areas.
BT seem to be moving towards G.Fast in urban areas that will bring speeds up towards FTTP levels.
Virgin Media are doing well but upload speeds are poor.
Fixed Wireless is gradually filling the gaps for the final 5%.
The area of main concern has to be rural exchanges with poor FTTC speeds. Enormous capital expenditure would be needed to improve services in these areas.
Posted by mikejp about 1 year ago
QED, comnut!
Posted by Scuffers about 1 year ago
What a load of bull, Name me a device (PC/Laptop) thats not server/rack mounted that supports 5G connection?

My other question would be do Gigaclear even have the interconnects to support this speeds?

Unless you're running a data-centre in your home, I am really struggling to imagine what the application for even 1G outside of doing speedtests.

Then we get to the real question, what SLA's are they offering? do their networks have diverse routed connectivity?

Here, we have been staring at Gigaclear boards for 18+ months now, no sign of anything, (apart from killing of any BDUK projects).

Posted by keith969 about 1 year ago
No home user in their right minds is going to pay £399 a month for broadband capacity that they will probably never use. Only a very few companies could make full use of this capacity. And Gigaclear are very selective about where they provide to, so all the ra ra is just hype.
Posted by comnut about 1 year ago
chilting: horses for courses (or "each to it's own purpose")
Virgin is mass market, for those that only download, and usually see most of the talk here as a 'foreign language'... :) stop complaining, and go to a *specialist* ISP..

there are plenty that will do high download AND upload speed...
Posted by comnut about 1 year ago
If someone DOES provide a 'high-speed' download service for distros, etc (using the same 'special server' that speedtest uses) I will bet the will want cash to finance all the *expensive* routing and hardware...
Posted by ZenUser27 about 1 year ago
Servers in data centres on 10Gbps links cost peanuts. I have one with 12TB storage and it's £60 a month with unlimited both ways.

Posted by comnut about 1 year ago
ZenUser27 and how do you access this?? plusnet???
Posted by comnut about 1 year ago
BTW you will nee £300 for one of these too...:)
Posted by Dixinormous about 1 year ago
Accessed via Zen / VM / whatever the EoFTTC service in use is, depending on which account is being used to post in the forums presumably. :)

A link to this 12TB storage unmetered 10Gb server deal for £60 would be good. That's a genuine high-end enterprise deal. I haven't seen anything that comes close to that pricing.
Posted by Dixinormous about 1 year ago
In other news this is, of course, not a serious deal they expect any uptake on. CPE would be very expensive. See Comcast's 2Gb deal in the States.

They are offering it because they can to score PR points. BT and VM could do similar if they felt the need.
Posted by comnut about 1 year ago
Dixinormous: I did mean what *speed* it was accessed.. If your 'fast sports car' car will not go over 10MPH, its not good... (SFX: grrrrrk, clunk, clunk, eeerggg..)

A bit more 'reality' here..

"Of course, this is all very well, but the speed of transfer of your site is dictated by the speed of all the networks that the data must travel through. If you're watching a low-resolution video being sent from a computer with a low-bandwidth connection, it may still buffer."
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) about 1 year ago
If people cannot refrain from attacking others then they will find they comments rejected.

People are free to ask questions, raise issues but name calling of individuals is not allowed.
Posted by herdwick about 1 year ago
Gigaclear don't build contention free networks, cabinets in villages split off to feed individual properties. What does the network look like beyond the cabinet ?
Posted by WWWombat about 1 year ago
So the cabinets split the feed, but aren't passive PONs? They're active switches, requiring power?
Posted by Dave2150 about 1 year ago
Whilst 5Gbps is obviously overkill at the moment, people do need to educate themselves on high end PC hardware.

For example, my main PC is running a Samsung 950Pro SSD, which features 1500MB/s write speeds.

Hard drives have largely been replaced in mid to high end PC's for a few years already by SSD's. Of course people still keep a few large hard drives for bulk storage (for media that doens't require high access speeds).

SSD's are very cheap already - time to wake up and embrace technology that's been commercially available for more than ten years!

Posted by herdwick about 1 year ago
Yep, Gigaclear install cabinets with power. A pair of black fibre "cables" come from the next village and a host of orange PtP cables leave the cab. There are buried splitters too, further away from the cabs.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) about 1 year ago
@dave2150 most of the technology to run a car at 200mph has been around for decades, but still don't see many of them on the road.
Posted by mbuckingham about 1 year ago
@andrew A car driving at 200mph is more dangerous that one driving at 50mph. As far as I'm aware a 5Gb internet connection is no more hazardous to human life than a 5Mb one.

I'm old enough so that my first PC had 256K RAM, 360K floppy drive and 4.7MHz CPU. It was fine because no one would ever need more than 640K. Now PCs have 32,000 more RAM, 1,500,000 times more disk space, 500 times faster. Yet no one seems to complain that their PC is too powerful; quite the opposite.

Failing to learn from history is a mistake; one that many on this board seem to be making. “No one will ever need 5Gb”

Posted by Scuffers about 1 year ago
the flip side to that is this:

why buy something today you can't/won't use for another 5-10 years?

come 5-10 years time, it will be much cheaper.

The real question with Gigaclear is what is their back-haul like to support these speeds? (and dare I mention SLA's or redundancy?)

Posted by comnut about 1 year ago
Its lovely to dream... how much 'future stuff' from 20 to 30 years ago has come true??
communicator maybe, but where is my flying car??? :) :)
If politicians had not wasted cash, we migh have more ability...

Gbps BB? I will watch the 'top 50 ISPs' and seee...
Posted by CecilWard about 1 year ago
This seems rather a pig in a poke, since contention ratios are mentioned, you are paying £399 per mon for who knows what speed. If I am paying that much money I want to know exactly what I am going to be getting, no nasty surprise 95% speed reduction because 19 other people are using the link at the same time as me. Absolutely no way on earth. I would require 1:1 or no sale.

I currently pay nearly £180 per month to get just under 6 Mbps downstream. Puts things into perspective for me. Government + BT postcode lottery.
Posted by JacktheMac about 1 year ago
Having just signed up for Gigaclear their info clearly states that the speed you order is the speed you'll get, since the contention rates are very low (their fibre optic allows for a huge degree of redundancy).

So those who order 100Mbps should expect 98-100Mbps (both up and down) before LANS and wifi slow it down.

Posted by Scuffers about 1 year ago
Fine words, but without any hard info of what exactly their contention ratio's, back-haul capacities and interconnects are, it's just words.

This is bad enough at 100Mb speeds, just imagine what it's like a 5Gb

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