Zen Internet to Launch Fibre Optic Broadband Services

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ISP Zen Internet has announced that from September 2010 it will be launching “Up to 40Mbps” fibre optic broadband services.

Zen has partnered closely with BT in trialling Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC), fibre optic broadband services. Upgrades to Zen’s own network to connect with BT’s new 21st Century Network (21CN) will allow it to introduce these services.

Fibre optic broadband services bring with it many benefits for both residential and business customers including file download and upload in seconds (quicker back-up, etc). Additional bandwidth will improve the performance of Virtual Private Networks making uploading and downloading of files more efficient, meaning working from home becomes a more viable option.
The use of multi-media and conferencing facilities will improve with higher download and upload speeds as will the use of live streaming services. Connectivity will be better equipped to cope with the forecasted exponential growth in high definition streaming and lower call costs by taking advantage of VoIP delivered over fibre.

Zen’s first trials began in July 2009 and ran until the end of January 2010. The trial allowed Zen to learn more about fibre technology, the installation process, how customers use it and the challenges supporting this new technology. The trial was then extended to its own employees and a limited number of customers that connect to the new cabinets in exchange enabled areas.
Zen continues to connect new customers through an extended commercial trial, until the full launch which is set to coincide with the increased availability of the service at the end of the summer. This superfast broadband will have a minimum 15Mbps download speed and the potential for “up to 40Mbps”. Upload speeds will be offered as “up to 2Mbps” and “up to 10Mbps” options.

Zen Internet is continuing to seek participants in its Fibre Broadband trials. Anyone interested should contact the company.

“We are developing these new services which use fibre optic cabling for part of the network to deliver faster broadband to homes and businesses. It is important to us that we develop these new services in line with our mission to provide the best ISP service in the UK,” said Andrew Saunders, Head of Product Management and Marketing.

“The introduction of fibre based broadband will be more significant than the change from dial-up to broadband and we are working hard to ensure we provide all our customers with the same level of service and support that they expect from us for these new services,’’ said Saunders
Zen is planning products tailored for both residential and business customers with options for 2Mbps or 10Mbps upload speeds and ‘prioritised traffic’ on downloads. The final pricing for these fibre optic broadband services is still to be confirmed. They will be priced at a slight premium to Zen’s current broadband services.

Whilst Zen will be able to offer all customers these new services in September, customers will need to be connected to a fibre enabled exchange.

By the end of this summer BT are forecasting that around 1.5 million premises will be connected to fibre, growing to 4 million by the end of the year, including 30% of existing Zen customers. The roll-out is subject to change and availability is dependent on the enablement of the actual roadside cabinet customers use to connect to their local exchange.

Following the launch of Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) fibre-optic broadband, Zen will begin development of Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) services. This exciting development will deliver even faster download speeds of “up to 100Mbps”. Zen Internet is one of a select few ISPs chosen by BT to run early trials of the service. The initial trial will begin in July and be available around Bradwell Abbey (Milton Keynes) and Highams Park (North London).

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