toob full fibre live in its first Southampton locations
toob is planning to bring full fibre to some 100,000 premises across Southampton in the next two years and with pricing of £25/m for 18 months (£29/m thereafter) on the Gigabit service and just a £49 install fee it looks set to win a lot of customers on just price online.
The first customers are now live and while the footprint is small (we've not tracked down the exact locations yet) covering a few apartment blocks in the south of Southampton City Centre it is interesting that they've gone live in apartments first. Existing apartment buildings are usually where the existing two largest players (Openreach and Virgin Media) tend to have problems.
In terms of competition Southampton is not easy as it is one of the Gig1 areas for Virgin Media with their premium 1.1 Gbps DOCSIS 3.1 service available but the pricing is very different and the promise of a new network that has less of the mental baggage that people remember about an existing provider e.g. outages or slowdowns at peak times means getting pro-sumers to sign up is probably fairly easy. Of course the new providers as they grow as well as building their own local loop will need to ensure that the core network is not the bottleneck.
The biographies of what two of the new customers do are interesting as it supports what we say to people when they ask why do people need Gigabit connections? In short, it is no single one task but the reality that in households more and more things are going on at the same and Gigabit connectivity removes the bottleneck that can see uploads crippling tasks that are downloading, i.e. it is about being able to do what you want and retain a stable latency connection that is still good for things like gaming or video calls.
There is no single killer app for Gigabit full fibre, the requirement is our increasingly complex and busy digital lives.