Posted on 16 February 2016
The Hyde Group, one of the UK’s leading Housing Associations, today announces that it will soon be offering its residents access to the fastest broadband service in the UK.
The UK’s leading Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) provider, Hyperoptic, is enabling the connectivity. The project is being piloted across six of Hyde Housing’s existing developments in South London - Eyot House, Hicks House and The Parker Building in Bermondsey and Pinter, Arden and Beckett House in Stockwell. The agreement also includes two new build sites in Southwark and Harrow.
As Hyperoptic installs its fibre broadband all the way into a development, it enables symmetrical ‘gigabit’ speeds of 1,000Mbps, which are over 135 times faster than traditional ASDL services.
Residents will be able to choose from a number of affordable broadband and landline packages, including the full gigabit service, or a 100Mbps or 20Mbps service – all of which can be ordered on a contract-free basis, without any need for credit checks. As a result of this offer The Hyde Group’s social housing tenants in affected blocks will be able to access a 2mb/s service from Hyperoptic.
Shaun Holdcroft, Regional Director, The Hyde Group, comments: “We were looking for a partner who could do two things. Firstly they had to offer something to help our offline social tenants to get on-line, our latest figures show offline rates amongst our tenants are 23% compared to 14% in the rest of the UK. Secondly they had to have experience in providing their services in new build developments as hyper-fast reliable broadband is increasingly expected by our new customers. Hyperoptic met these objectives fully and we are delighted to be the first housing association to work out a deal to provide fibre to our residents that benefits all our customers.”
This new infrastructure from Hyperoptic supports the government's "digital by default” programme, which has made it increasingly important to get people online, as government services become digitised. Online families can also make significant savings - it’s widely accepted that households can save £560 per year from shopping and paying bills online.
Dana Tobak, MD, Hyperoptic, adds: “Hyperoptic is renowned for setting the gold standard in fibre broadband. We passionately believe that reliable, fast broadband access should be the norm, not the exception. We are working hard to increase our UK footprint so even more people can enjoy living their online lives without compromise and bridge the digital divide.”
It is expected that services will be live across Hyde Housing’s pilot buildings by September 2016 The agreement allows for further Hyde blocks, both existing and new build, to be connected once the pilot has been completed.
Frequently asked questions
Does everyone in the blocks get free 2mb/s broadband?
No. All the blocks in the pilot are mixed tenure, that is they have some social housing households and some residents who own their home through Right to Buy, open market sale or shared ownership. The 2mb/s broadband offer is only open to those residents in a social housing tenancy. Every resident can access Hyperoptic’s broadband packages.
Are social tenants really getting broadband for free?
Not exactly, there is still a small one off fee for a router (around £40) that social housing tenants will have to pay if they want to access the broadband wirelessly.
What does 2mb/s broadband actually mean?
2mb/s broadband is the minimum speed the government defines as broadband. It allows users to browse the web quickly and visit most websites. You can use video streaming websites like BBC I-player but downloading videos or music would be a long process.
Why are Hyde doing this?
Hyde’s digital inclusion strategy notes that the percentage of our social housing residents who are offline is nearly double the percentage in the rest of the country. There are a number of reasons for this but one of them is the lack of affordable, reliable home broadband. This project pilots an approach where broadband is offered with no credit check to social tenants in pilot blocks, removing that barrier.
From a new build perspective, this deal starts a relationship with a provider who could ensure that all Hyde New builds have gigabit broadband from day one. This provides a great service to new tenants and helps increase sales.
What do Hyperoptic get out of it?
Hyperoptic get more than 1000 potential customers and start a relationship with one of the largest Housing Associations in the country, building 1200 homes each year.
Do residents have to sign up to this?
No, individual households can decide if they want to take up Hyperoptic broadband or not. Deals with your existing broadband providers are un-affected
Are non-social housing tenants subsidising the broadband for social tenants?
No. Non-social housing tenants get the same price structure as any other Hyperoptic customer elsewhere.
Will this be available at my block?
This is a pilot which includes six existing Hyde buildings and two new builds in London. We expect other buildings will be added to the contract if the pilot is successful, but this will most likely be next year.