UK ISP G.Network, which between 2017 and 2018 hoovered up £65m of private investment (here) to support their ambition for rolling out FTTP “ultra-fast broadband” to 120,000 premises across parts of London, has spent most of 2019 on the initial build of their network and the first homes have already gone live.
The provider’s civil engineering teams first started their work on King Street (St James / W1 postcodes) in January, which shortly thereafter became one of 40 initial streets to be connected and the plan has been to follow this with a further 1,000 streets during the year.
Since then the G.Networks teams have been spotted working in Mayfair, Camden and Marylebone. A few months ago they also started work in parts of Tower Hamlets and Kensington & Chelsea, before jumping into Hackney. Most recently Bayswater was also been given the treatment ahead of the recent Notting Hill Carnival. They’re also using electric vans, which makes perfect sense in London.
So far as we can tell they appear to be deploying 10Gbps capable XGS-PON or similar technology, although naturally their residential packages only go up to 1Gbps (symmetric) but the capability clearly exists to go faster in the future.
Packages tend to start at £28 inc. VAT per month for an unlimited 150Mbps (50Mbps upload) service that includes a free router, dedicated relationship manager (no not a married couples self-help group) and a £50 connection charge (free with a voucher). There’s no mention of a minimum contract term for this plan so we assume it’s a 30 day arrangement.
By comparison the top package costs £57 per month (currently reduced to £48) for a symmetric 1Gbps speed, which is said to be available in either 1 or 2 year contracts. Broadly speaking the pricing is very competitive and is clearly mindful of how much rival full fibre ISPs may be charging for similar services.
The provider broadly appears to be targeting streets and SMEs where there is a lack of competing FTTP providers, although they have overbuilt some of Virgin Media’s 500Mbps+ cable network in the city and perhaps a few of Hyperoptic’s FTTP/B patches (note: it’s not clear if G.Networks is doing the same MDUs / apartment blocks or just passing nearby).
Over the past few years we’ve seen a large number of new full fibre ISPs crop up, although many have yet to even start their builds and some have only done much smaller deployments. By comparison G.Networks now appears to be maturing into a steady deployment pace and long may it continue.