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Hyperoptic 20Mb fibre broadband review

Wednesday, November 4th 2015

If fast fibre broadband access from mainstream providers is but a distant dream, Hyperoptic could be just what you’re looking for. The innovative company delivers fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) broadband to businesses and shared residential addresses throughout the UK, which means you get the advertised broadband speed you pay for without a phone line.

Hyperoptic is not available to individual homes. Instead, it is installed on a site-by-site shared basis in multi-unit buildings or as a dedicated link to a single business. The 20Mbps speed is the entry-level service, so let’s see whether it offers customers a good deal.

Cable.co.uk overall rating
3

Reliable 20Mbps speed, unlimited usage and no need for a phone line are the perks of Hyperoptic broadband, and it’s good value to boot. Availability is the only snag, but it’s a pretty big one, since it’s not available to single homes; those in shared buildings need to group together to get it.

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Speed & usage

Rating

3

At first glance, the 20Mbps speed of this service seems to lag behind the entry-level fibre speeds elsewhere on the market (which sit around 38Mbps). However, this rate is achievable by pretty much all users, rather than just a minority who can achieve the ‘up to’ speeds advertised by the better-known providers. This feature makes it much more attractive, because you get exactly the speed you pay for, subject to variances such as your devices and the sites and services you access.

Hyperoptic is able to offer reliable speeds because the FTTP delivery method runs fibre optics directly into your property, instead of a cabinet at the end of your street. This means old copper telephone lines are not used at any point so there’s nothing to slow your broadband down. This level of speed is ample for a wide variety of internet activities, from gaming to downloading movies, although households with several people sharing the same connection could find it a little slow and may benefit from upgrading to Hyperoptic’s next level of 100Mbps.

Usage is unlimited on this plan so it’s ideal for heavy users but you can’t go completely download crazy. While there’s no specific traffic management in place, there is fair usage policy to penalise excessive usage that is detrimental to other customers. However, Hyperoptic confirmed to Cable.co.uk that the policy has not been applied to date, and it is in place to control the activity of someone running multiple servers from one line, rather than regular residential users.

Advertised download speed 20Mbps
Average downloads (off-peak) n/a
Average downloads (peak) n/a
Advertised upload speed Up to 1Mbps
Monthly usage limit No
Traffic management Yes
Static IP No
Minimum contract 30 days
Router HyperHub
Public wi-fi No
Prices from £21 per month
Info

Scroll horizontally for more information.

What you can do with it

Advertised

Actual

‘Actual’ speeds for Hyperoptic are not tested by Ofcom.

Call plan

Rating

3

Hyperoptic broadband is available with or without a call plan. If you choose to take one, it’ll cost you £21 per month for broadband and phone service, which includes unlimited evening and weekend calls. You can upgrade to anytime (+£3) or international calls (+£5), which features anytime discounted call rates to 50 destinations.

Hyperoptic’s telephone service operates differently to traditional phone and broadband providers in that your calls are carried over the broadband connection instead of through a copper line, so you’ll just have to connect your phone to the HyperHub. The downside of this is that a power outage will make your landline unusable and you’ll have to rely on your mobile instead. The upside is that if you don’t want a home phone service, you don’t have to have one.

Extras

Rating

1

There aren’t any extra features to speak of like free public wi-fi or inclusive security software, but then Hyperoptic isn’t a traditional telecoms supplier like BT or Virgin Media. This could change as Hyperoptic grows in popularity and starts to compete with the big names, but for the time being, what you see is what you get and there are no additional perks.

However, Hyperoptic operates a UK customer support centre, which is a major plus, and it’s open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so there is always someone available. Another boon is the option to take Hyperoptic services on a short-term (30-day) or long-term (12-month) contract. The short-term rates are higher but bring enhanced flexibility for those who don’t want to or can’t commit for longer.

Reliably fast fibre broadband direct to your property from £21 per month pretty much speaks for itself. The installation fees are also currently being waived, and this is set to remain the case for the foreseeable future (although they apply to the 30-day no contract deals). The option to take broadband without a phone line seems like a bonus for those who don’t use their landline, but the savings aren’t quite what you’d imagine. It costs £15 per month for broadband only, compared to £21 per month for broadband with phone, plus an additional £16 for the obligatory basic call package.

If you do decide to take out a phone plan, it is a little cheaper than the competition, but opting for a Voice-over-Internet-Protocol (VoIP) service such as Skype or Vonage is cheaper still and likely to be the favoured option for many people.

Signing up to Hyperoptic is not as simple as just click and buy. First, you’ll need to find out if Hyperoptic is already installed and available in your building using the availability checker. If it is, great, you can go ahead and sign up, but if not, it gets a little more complicated. You’ll need to register your interest with Hyperoptic here. The firm regularly reviews all requests and makes a decision on installation based on the level of interest for each building. A good way to improve your chances is to talk to your neighbours or other businesses within your complex, and encourage them to register their interest with Hyperoptic.

Hyperoptic will install fibre cables from its core network to your property, then to the individual premises within the building. The wires are threaded into your home and a faceplate is installed near the entrance. The free wireless HyperHub router features intelligent channel switching to avoid interference and enables you to connect up to five devices via Ethernet.

Hyperoptic Router

Overall Rating

3

Hyperoptic broadband certainly has a lot going for it. The entry level 20Mbps speed will be adequate for many users and it’s good to have reassurance that you’ll actually get this speed, or at least very close to it. The unlimited usage coupled with a reasonable price, and the option to take it with or without phone plan are all major pluses. It falls down on extra features however, and availability is an issue since there are some major restrictions. But if it’s already in your building or you’re in a position to garner interest among neighbours, it could provide the fibre broadband solution you’re looking for.

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