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Hyperoptic 1Gb fibre broadband review

Wednesday, November 4th 2015

Looking for lightning-fast fibre broadband? Hyperoptic could be the provider for you. Its 1Gb fibre optic broadband service is so fast it’s beyond the requirements of individual households, but comes into its own for property developers and management companies of business and residential buildings.

As of yet, Hyperoptic broadband is not yet available to individual householders, although the rollout is continuing and this may change. So how much can you expect to pay for such a high-speed service, what can you do with it and how do you get it?

Cable.co.uk overall rating
3.6

If you have a serious need for broadband speed, look no further than Hyperoptic. It delivers more than most of us can ever really use, with 1,000Mbps downloads and uploads. You’ll get unlimited usage and the option to go with or without a landline, on a short or long-term contract. And it doesn’t cost as much as you might expect. The major downside is that availability is limited to small pockets of the country at the moment.

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Speed & usage

Rating

5

One gigabit broadband is so fast you’ll be at a loss as to how to fully utilise it. This level of speed is way beyond the realm of necessity for home users or even small to mid-size offices. To give an idea of just how fast, 1Gb will download an album in 0.6 seconds (in essence, instantaneously), 500 photos in 21 seconds (this would take around 10 minutes on a 38Mbps connection) and an HD movie in 43 seconds (20 minutes on 38Mbps).

Hyperoptic’s 1Gb broadband service is symmetric, which means that the speed applies to downloads and uploads. The real boon is the sheer capacity of this level of speed. In theory, office workers in a skyscraper or residents in a huge apartment building could all happily download, upload and stream simultaneously with optimum performance on a single 1Gb connection.

Hyperoptic delivers fibre cables directly into the property, meaning that the speed you actually receive will be pretty close to 1Gb. In Hyperoptic’s latest tests, customers’ real-time speeds were 95% of the advertised speed.

Yet while the speed capacity is vast, the usage capacity has some limitations in the form of a fair usage policy. Hyperoptic advertises its services as unlimited, but reserves the right to suspend or terminate users who download or upload excessively to the detriment of others. However, Hyperoptic states that the policy it is in place to control the activity of someone operating multiple servers from one line, rather than regular residential and small business users.

Advertised download speed 1Gb (1,000Mbps)
Average downloads (off-peak) n/a
Average downloads (peak) n/a
Advertised upload speed 1Gb (1,000Mbps)
Monthly usage limit No
Traffic management Yes
Static IP No
Minimum contract 12 months
Router HyperHub
Public wi-fi No
Prices from from £31 per month
Info

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What you can do with it

Advertised

Actual

'Actual’ speeds for Hyperoptic are not available from Ofcom.

Call plan

Rating

3

A major draw of Hyperoptic is the option to take broadband with or without a phone plan. With any broadband and phone package you will get the basic unlimited evening and weekend calls plan included as standard. If you like to talk more often, you can upgrade to anytime (+£3) or international (+£5), which features anytime discounted call rates to 50 destinations.

Hyperoptic’s telephone service isn’t like a traditional landline, and instead carries calls over the broadband connection. Set-up is easy by connecting your phone to the HyperHub router, but a power outage will render your home phone unusable and you’ll need to rely on a mobile instead.

Extras

Rating

2

There’s little in the way of additional perks or optional extras at Hyperoptic. What you see is what is you get. However, a recently added feature is the option to take the service on a contract-free basis with a 30-day notice period. The contract-free plan is targeted at tenants and those who just don’t want to commit to a 12-month deal, although you’ll pay more for this flexibility. Secondly, the UK-based customer service centre is certainly a welcome bonus, and help is available at the end of the phone 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Although extras are limited, that’s not to say Hyperoptic doesn’t have any advantages over regular fibre optic broadband from the big names you might be more familiar with. The potential to boost property value is a big benefit pushed by Hyperoptic and other FTTP providers as high-speed broadband works itself onto househunters’ wish lists. As a resident, joining forces with neighbours to pitch for Hyperoptic installation is certainly a positive step to improve value when you come to sell.

Starting from £30 per month for broadband-only or £31 per month (+ £16 phone service) for broadband and phone, Hyperoptic’s 1Gb plan isn’t exactly cheap in comparison to more mainstream broadband packages, but in all fairness it isn't really in the same league; this is after all an outrageously fast service. While the standard price is a premium one, discounts for new customers are common and installation fees are currently waived and set to remain so for the foreseeable future. However prices are higher and installation fees are charged if you go for the shorter 30-day contract.

However, there’s still the issue of whether you need this much speed. For many consumers, it is a needless luxury as a single household simply cannot make use of this much bandwidth, so it’s not even worth the reasonable cost. For owners of office blocks and apartment complexes on the other hand, it offers superb investment value.

Joining Hyperoptic is a completely different process to signing up to most other broadband providers. The first step is to find out if Hyperoptic is already installed and available in your building using the availability checker. If so, it’s pretty straightforward – select the deal you want and work through the sign-up stages. A free wireless HyperHub router is provided, which features intelligent channel switching to avoid interference and allows you to connect up to five devices via Ethernet.

If it’s not yet available, potential customers are asked to register your interest with Hyperoptic. The firm regularly reviews all the requests and makes a decision on installation based on the level of interest for each building. The more interest, the higher your chances of getting it (at a potentially cheaper price too) so it’s worth joining forces with your neighbours or other businesses within your building to pitch for it together. If you get the go-ahead, Hyperoptic will install fibre optic cables from its network to your property, then into the individual premises within your building. The wires are then threaded into your home and a faceplate is installed near the entrance.

Hyperoptic Router

Overall Rating

3.6

Hyperoptic purports to offer the speed that you pay for, anytime, all the time. That’s quite a claim with the offer of 1Gb broadband but it appears to hold true and Hyperoptic is building up a display cabinet of industry awards as a result. However, it’s not the easiest service to get your hands on as it’s still in the very early stages of rollout and you need to club together with others in your building to get it. There’s also the big question of whether you really need it, since 1,000Mbps is simply beyond the realms of day-to-day usage. But then desire surpassed necessity in the technology world long ago.

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