Hyperoptic launch 'no contract' ultrafast broadband
ULTRAFAST fibre to the premises broadband provider Hyperoptic have announced a "no contract" package for new customers.
Very few ISPs offer contracts of 30 days or less - we've a guide to them here - and until Hyperoptic joined the field, they were all ADSL providers.
Being able to get a connection of 1Gb for just a month at a time might appeal - but like their standard 12-month packages, the offer is limited to those very small areas already able to get Hyperoptic services.
Very limited edition
As we've covered in our main review of the service, Hyperoptic connect single, high occupancy, buildings to their network one at a time.
So far they've connected more than 100,000 premises in over 1,000 buildings in 12 cities.
And while they offer ultrafast connections of 1Gb, they also offer slightly more affordable 100Mb and 20Mb packages - usually on a 12 month contract.
At £22 a month without a phone line, or £7.50 a month plus £16 line rental for the first year, their 20Mb service isn't too expensive over the course of the minimum contract.
But anyone who'd fancies trying the 1Gb service might find themselves put off by the thought of having to pay at least £60 a month for 12 months - or facing early termination fees.
As with other providers who offer 30-day packages, Hyperoptic do charge more per month than they would for customers committing to a longer minimum term.
There's also a serious lack of introductory offers for people who want a phone line as well as freedom.
Here's a quick look at the monthly costs of each package, first with a phone line - and inclusive evening and weekend calls:
|Package||Contract length||Price||Line rental||Total monthly cost|
|20Mb Fibre Broadband + Evening and Weekend calls||30 days||£11||£16||£27||Visit Hyperoptic|
|20Mb Fibre Broadband + Evening and Weekend calls||12 months||£7.50 for 12 mths, then £9||£16||£23.50 for 12 mths, then £25||Visit Hyperoptic|
|100Mb Fibre Broadband + Evening and Weekend calls||30 days||£25||£16||£41||Visit Hyperoptic|
|100Mb Fibre Broadband + Evening and Weekend calls||12 months||£12 for 12 mths, then £22||£16||£28 for 12 mths, then £38||Visit Hyperoptic|
|1Gb Fibre Broadband + Evening and Weekend calls||30 days||£51||£16||£67||Visit Hyperoptic|
|1Gb Fibre Broadband + Evening and Weekend calls||12 months||£30 for 12 mths, then £47||£16||£46 for 12 mths, then £53||Visit Hyperoptic|
Now the prices without the phone line:
|Package||Contract length||Total monthly cost|
|20Mb Fibre Broadband||30 days||£24||Visit Hyperoptic|
|20Mb Fibre Broadband||12 months||£18 for 12 mths, then £22||Visit Hyperoptic|
|100Mb Fibre Broadband||30 days||£38||Visit Hyperoptic|
|100Mb Fibre Broadband||12 months||£30 for 12 mths, then £35||Visit Hyperoptic|
|1Gb Fibre Broadband||30 days||£64||Visit Hyperoptic|
|1Gb Fibre Broadband||12 months||£50 for 12 mths, then £60||Visit Hyperoptic|
All new Hyperoptic customers must also pay a £40 connection fee.
Up and down
The advantage with the no contract option, however, is the freedom it gives people with the infrastructure in place to experiment a bit with speeds before committing to a package.
With the two faster packages, Hyperoptic offer symmetrical uploads and downloads - that is, the headline speed quoted is the same whether streaming video on Netflix or uploading photos to Facebook.
Customers taking their "basic" fibre broadband might still be getting faster downloads than customers with the fastest ADSL services, but their uploads will trickle through at a pretty similar rate.
Recently Plusnet changed the speed of uploads possible for new 38Mb customers, decreasing them from up to 20Mb to just 2Mb.
People really need to experience faster uploads - even of just a few Mb - to realise what a difference they can make, and none of the national providers offer anything like 100Mb uploads, let alone 1Gb upload speeds.
What about me?
So what options are there for the rest of us?
That depends on where in the country we are.
Virgin have started trying to fill the gaps in their existing network, which is also a mostly urban offering - people determined to be considered for the next phase of the expansion can find out more here.
In York, CityFibre are building a 1Gb fibre network, to be sold through Sky and TalkTalk and expected to start going live this autumn.
TalkTalk have also somewhat enigmatically said they have plans to introduce ultrafast broadband to another two cities.
Meanwhile superfast and ultrafast connectivity in less urban parts of the country depends on small projects rolling out the infrastructure a little at a time - and some of those projects, like the most recently approved bid for Superfast Essex's - are for FTTP.
In the meantime, those who fancy trying to get upload speeds of 100Mb in their building can always register their interest with Hyperoptic by entering their details here.