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Upmarket London homes to get Hyperoptic broadband after residents successfully petition developers

Friday, June 12th 2015 by Ellen Branagh

Residents on a London riverside development are celebrating after being told they will be able to get broadband from independent gigabit provider Hyperoptic if they want to.

Residents on the Royal Arsenal Riverside development in Woolwich, south-east London, had complained of “useless” internet speeds on the development.

As reported by Cable.co.uk last week, some said they were “completely falling behind” many rural areas despite being in the capital.

Residents had been told that BT is due to install fibre to the cabinet (FTTC) broadband.

But many were urging property developer Berkeley Homes and property management company Rendall & Rittner to allow gigabit provider Hyperoptic to provide services on the site and some started a petition on Change.org.

Last week, residents received a letter from Rendall & Rittner announcing they will appoint Hyperoptic to provide a service on the estate in parallel with the BT upgrade.

The letter, dated 5 June – the day after Cable.co.uk’s story on the issue – said BT Openreach had been appointed to facilitate the upgrade to all buildings on the estate and installation dates will be announced shortly.

The advantages are that it provides 100% fibre coverage to Royal Arsenal; offers more choice of service provider; and does not require any “invasive wiring or cabling”, bringing less disruption, the letter said.

'Huge expectation'

“We are aware that some residents are in favour of and continue to enquire about the possibility of allowing Hyperoptic to install their service into individual buildings, as this approach suits their specific requirements,” it said.

“We will therefore also appoint Hyperoptic to provide their services on the estate, in parallel with the BT upgrade.”

It said more information will be provided once installation dates are confirmed, but Hyperoptic will be unable to provide a service to some parts of the development.

The letter added: “We appreciate that there is a huge expectation in delivering this upgrade and hope that all of the above demonstrates the work being undertaken on residents’ behalf to provide a superfast fibre broadband network for the entire Royal Arsenal Riverside development.”

Media lawyer Geraint Lloyd-Taylor, who originally described the broadband situation as “useless”, said the decision was “great news”.

He said: “Fingers crossed we'll be joining the 21st century before long.”

Neil Aspinall, who also lives on the development, said: “I think it’s fantastic news that Rendall & Rittner have listened to the demand for Hyperoptic’s service and agreed to approve their installation.

'Healthy competition'

“While the Openreach FTTC (fibre to the cabinet) install is also very welcome, the addition of Hyperoptic will provide residents with more options at lower speeds while adding a 1Gbps service that FTTC is not able to provide.

“This will ensure that the Royal Arsenal will be at the leading edge of broadband service for the foreseeable future while creating healthy competition in both price and service quality between Hyperoptic and Openreach.”

Karl Whiteman, Berkeley Homes east Thames divisional chairman, said: “We are pleased to be working with BT Openreach and Hyperoptic to bring fibre optic services to the older buildings at the Royal Arsenal Riverside.

"Our focus has been on finding a solution for our residents that could serve all properties on the site and give flexibility over the supplier. Only the proposal from BT Openreach was able to meet these requirements, and this is the solution that was approved by the resident’s committees.

“Hyperoptic is unable to serve a number of the older buildings on the estate, but both Berkeley and the residents’ committees are of the view that Hyperoptic should be appointed to install their service in the buildings where they can do so, to give residents maximum freedom of choice.

He said they looked forward to confirming installation dates for both services, which they hoped would be within the next three to four months, if not sooner.

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