Is Relish to start wider full fibre push?
More providers selling full fibre connectivity always gets the interest of everyone and thus when ISPreview covered what were thought to be three new FTTH packages on the Relish website the immediate reaction of us and we are sure many others was that maybe the 4G LTE roll-outs are going to have full fibre options too.
Alas we are still waiting on a response to our queries as are ISPreview and we have run through the postcodes covering the areas where Relish has its 4G LTE fixed wireless service and none have shown as having the fibre options available.
The home gateway featured appears to be a Zhone device which has a built in fibre ONT so this does look like real full fibre rather than one avenue which was that the wording 'full fibre experience' appears in some of the marketing, and generally you say experience when its not the real thing, so we did wonder for 30 minutes or so whether this a Gigabit point to point fixed wireless solution, but the choice of gateway hints at full fibre. The three packages are:
- Relish Home Fibre Unlimited 1 Gbps, 12 month contract, £70/m and no set up fee
- Home Fibre 250 Mbps, 12 month contract, £40/m and no set up fee
- Home Fibre 50 Mbps, 12 month contract £25/m and no set up fee
As seems common these days there is no mention of upload speeds and interestingly a 5 day lead time from ordering to installation is promised, which beats most existing full fibre deployments by a large margin and hints that most of the work is already done. On the upload the Zhone gateway is usually talked about in terms of GPON so looks likely the upload is not symmetric and selling a 1 Gbps GPON based service when GPON has 2.5 Gbps that is shared between up to 128 devices means you do not want many Gigabit customers on a split (upload is a shared 1.25 Gbps). The Openreach 1 Gbps service is set to be based around XG-PON which increases the shared capacity to 10 Gbps.
The key to the puzzle is that back in 2015 Relish acquired Keycom who were known for providing wireless and fibre/ethernet connectivity to student accommodation across the UK and as part of the acquisition Keycom was rebranded to Relish.
The Keycom link does not fully solve the puzzle either as we have looked at various locations which have Keycom speed tests and the addresses match student accomodation usually and the fibre service is not available. So just maybe the Relish Home Fibre is part of a move to do full fibre roll-out in apartments and flats across parts of the UK.
Update 11:30am We feel we should highlight particularly for any readers in Swindon that the Superfast Swindon website does not seem to match the superfast wireless availability results offered by Relish website which is claiming 88,000 premises across Swindon have the option of their superfast access. This may be in part down to the Superfast Swindon project only highlighting availability for premises where gap funding has not been used to deliver the wireless network, or does not overlap previously built commercial options.
Update 6:55pm A comment has arrived from Relish, alas no information on the area which we did ask about so a follow up question is now on the way.
The Relish fibre package has been available on relish.net since early May 2017. This product is provided by PCCW Global Networks (UK) plc, who used to be part of Relish prior to its purchase by Three UK. There is a license agreement in place between Three UK and PCCW Global Networks (UK) plc, for the fibre service to be featured on the relish.net website up until the end of 2017.Quote from Relish
Update Thursday 5th October We now have the location information for the Relish Home Fibre service and it has been added to our postcode search and coverage system. The footprint is just 19 postcodes in Lower Holloway but when some of postcodes comprise 100+ apartments then as roll-out continues the footprint will fully expect the numbers to up, the locations are on our broadband map. Another addition to the map today is our understanding of the Relish 4G LTE Superfast Swindon coverage.