Broadband News

Hyperoptic to turn Brent into a Gigabit Borough

The London Borough of Brent currently has full fibre services to just over 5% of premises but that is set to grow substationally with the news that Hyperoptic has reached an agreement to service the whole of the Borough's council housing portfolio comprising 14,500 residential homes.

As Britain steps into an increasingly digital future, the need for fast broadband has grown rapidly over the past decade. I'm thrilled that Brent is leading the way in providing access to high-speed broadband for residents and businesses in agreement with Hyperoptic. We want to offer residents and business better choices when it comes to getting online, and access for those who may otherwise be unable to afford it.

The council works hard to ensure ease of access for everyone who uses our services, regardless of whether they're online or not, but we know the vast majority of people are online now. That's why we're bringing access to a high-speed broadband network to the majority of residents and businesses in the coming years. We believe that for many, access to the Internet isn't just a luxury, but a necessity.

Cllr Margaret McLennan, Deputy Leader of Brent Council

The press release carries on to say that as a result of servicing those buildings, Hyperoptic will also pass an additional 85,500 homes and businesses in the borough. This equates to over 80% of residential and 50% of businesses in Brent borough.

We chased for some clarity on what the 85,500 means and apparently for those that are owner occupied it should be a fairly simple agreement and for those where a wayleave is needed then connecting the building will be reliant on that but Hyperoptic is keen that many freeholders will come on board.

So can we say that 100,000 premises in Brent will benefit from Hyperoptic Gigabit broadband? We can say that 100,000 might have access, but a lot hinges on people saying yes, in the traditional FTTP world a fibre pot is installed on the edge of the boundary or outside wall and then when the resident orders a simple quick visit to install the last little bit of connection is needed. The definition of passed that Hyperoptic is using seems to be that their metro network is going down the street so you count the premises as passed, which is a diluted version and is more like the addressable figures that CityFibre like to use. We do wonder if maybe this is how some other countries declare so many premises passed, hence why it is always important to look at penetration which is where people have actually ordered and had the service installed.

This distinction is important, since if we count being in the same street as a council building where people can quickly order as enough to be passed, then we need to start counting the Openreach Fibre on Demand service even though this has obstacles, such as price and time for delivery.

The roll-out is set to start in Q4 2018, so if you are in a non-council building it is time to make sure that you are part of the 100,000 and point out to your landlord what is going on and why it is important.

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