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Hyperoptic's 1 Gbps FTTB service reaches 20,000 London homes

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Hyperoptic, a UK-based alternative service provider, may not be nearly the size of BT (NYSE: BT) and Virgin Media (Nasdaq: VMED), but it has one thing these established providers don't have: a 1 Gbps Fiber to the Building offering that now reaches 20,000 homes. 

Besides the speed, one of the compelling elements of the service is that eligible customers can purchase the symmetric service for £50 ($76.00) a month.

The alternative provider has set an ambitious target to bring Fiber to the Premises (FTTP) services to half a million homes in London and other cities by 2018 with a particular focus on multi-tenant dwelling units (MDUs). Hyperoptic launched its 1 Gbps FTTP service in September 2011.

To scale its subscriber base quickly while minimizing rollout costs, the service provider plans to work with developers and landlords of housing blocks with 100 or more apartments.

Of course, the question is, who actually needs a 1 Gbps connection?

Dana Tobak, the managing director of Hyperoptic, told The Telegraph "You might not need one gigabit now, but history shows people will use it as time goes on."

Tobak added that the majority of her customers take one of its 20 Hyper-lite or Hyper-active 100 Mbps offerings, which cost £12.50 ($18.97) and £25.00 ($37.94) a month, respectively.

Taking chances on providing higher speed broadband is nothing new for Tobak. As the co-founder of BE Broadband, she and partner Boris Ivanovic created one of the first service providers to offer an up to 24 Mbps DSL service in 2004 over BT's copper network.

While the idea of offering 24 Mbps service in 2004 was foreign to most consumers, it made the company an attractive acquisition target for Telefonica's (NYSE: TEF) 02, which was trying to establish a foothold in the UK's broadband market. Telefonica's O2 wireline unit, including the BE Broadband assets, is now being purchased by BSkyB.

Providing higher speed broadband is only one part of Hyperoptic's service equation. Last week, the competitive provider bolstered its IPTV power by hiring former BT IPTV executive Darren Shenkin to help it craft its own TV service strategy.  

For more:
- The Telegraph has this article

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