Just weeks after setting up for a mass increase in remote working caused by the UK’s second Covid-19 lockdown in November 2020 with London’s first 3Gigabit home broadband service, altnet Community Fibre is now reacting to the third stay-at-home order by going up the applications stack with a connectivity and entertainment service.
Community Fibre’s stated mission is to empower communities by offering more reliable and affordable connections, and to make London a Gigafast city – a key UK government target. The company operates its own dedicated 100% full-fibre network, saying that running fibre-optic cable all the way into homes and business premises helps deliver maximum speed, reliability and efficiency, with zero use of legacy copper.
In September 2020, Community Fibre saw its controlling equity acquired by private equity firm Warburg Pincus and specialist technology investment management group DTCP, alongside existing investors Amber Infrastructure and RPMI Railpen.
Offered in partnership with online TV services provider Netgem, Community Fibre TV is designed to offer the service provider’s customers in the metropolitan area streaming experiences enabling more entertainment accessible on unlimited smart devices. The new service is claimed to offer an entertainment platform with over 30,000 hours of on-demand content across 135 channels and 25 catch-up services such as the BBC iPlayer.
Services are delivered on a Netgem 4K/HDR set-top box which runs on any TV and can be connected to Wi-Fi or Ethernet cables. New and existing Community Fibre customers will receive a three-month free subscription to the TV service and a one-year subscription to Amazon Prime, including full access to Prime Video in 4K.
Community Fibre guarantees that users will be able to watch TV shows simultaneously, with no buffering due to the high bandwidth of the Community Fibre 3Gigabit-capable network. The broadband package allows a multi-gigabit-enabled device to reach 3Gbps, as well as enabling multiple devices to reach 1Gbps speeds at the same time.
The multi-gigabit speed is delivered using a Wi-Fi 6 Zyxel router, which optimises bandwidth utilisation to increase network capacity and the number of simultaneous connections. The result, said Community Fibre, is that when a household wants to conduct video conferencing, downloading and upload heavy files, or live-stream video and TV shows, the new package can handle all this simultaneously to deliver the best connectivity experience, and future-proof the home for the technology of tomorrow, such as virtual reality applications.
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Such capability is said to be at the heart of the TV packages, providing a key differentiator compared with rivals and, said Community Fibre, “raising the standard” on the market. It added that by using its TV App, unlimited phone and tablets can be connected over home Wi-Fi networks to users’ community Fibre TV account with no extra cost.
“The Community Fibre network has been designed with high speeds, high reliability and multiple users in mind, so we wanted to launch an affordable TV offering that can make full use of the home network,” said CEO Graeme Oxby. “The launch of Community Fibre TV leverages the power of 100% full-fibre broadband to offer a whole new world of entertainment.
“With the mission to offer affordable and highly reliable services, we strive to bring customers a great value-for-money TV service that is full of included content and delivered with a 4K resolution and Wi-Fi-enabled TV box. The new Community Fibre TV keeps customers entertained on multiple devices both at and away from home.”
The full-fibre broadband, home phone and TV offerings are now available across all London boroughs served by Community Fibre. These include Brent, Camden, the City of London, Croydon, Ealing, Hackney, Hammersmith and Fulham, Islington, Lambeth, Lewisham, Newham, Richmond upon Thames, Southwark, Sutton, Tower Hamlets, Waltham Forest, Wandsworth and Westminster. Community Fibre aims to roll out the services to more London boroughs soon.