Zen Customer Becomes First FTTP G-PON Business in UK

Zen Internet customer Mathias & Sons, a Bristol-based provider of branded clothing for businesses, has become the first business in the United Kingdom to be provided with Fibre-to-the-Premises broadband (FTTP) using the latest Gigabit-Passive Optical Network (G-PON) technology.

BT Openreach is currently conducting a trial of the ultrafast broadband technology for businesses in the Bristol area.

After Mathias & Sons expressed an interest in taking part in the trial, BT Openreach contacted Andy Sayle, Zen’s product manager for broadband and voice. Andy was told that the technology was available in the client’s area, and that Openreach could have it up and running in around two weeks.

Mathias & Sons ordered Zen’s top-of-the-range FTTP product, which has a theoretical maximum bandwidth of 330Mbps, and the product was, as promised, delivered in approximately two weeks. Prior to taking FTTP from Zen, Mathias & Sons had been a long-time ADSL customer of the company.

For Zen, the product was delivered in similar fashion to any of its other approximately 1000 FTTP connections (up to 80 new connections are added each month). The difference however was in the technology used by BT Openreach, which promises to make FTTP rollout much more efficient and widespread.

The technology promises FTTP connection bandwidth of up to 1Gbps, along with quicker and easier delivery and installation. Andy says, “it is much easier than the traditional method of laying fibre cables, potentially hitting obstacles along the way, and it provides a better experience for the customer.”

According to Mike Hayward, digital marketing executive for Mathias & Sons: “Responsiveness is a cornerstone of the business that was being hindered by our internet speed. Following the new fibre broadband installation, we are now able to send designs and concepts to customers in seconds where it used to take ten minutes. This connection is a great step forward for us and not only makes us more responsive and efficient, but also helps to future-proof the business.”

Discussing his business’s partnership with Zen, Mike adds: “We have always found Zen to be responsive and helpful whenever we have technical problems, and would gladly recommend them to other businesses.”

Zen liaised with Openreach during the order, to provide feedback for the trial which, if successful, is planned to be rolled out to approximately 2 million premises by 2020.

As the technology becomes more widespread, FTTP connections will become available to many more business and residential customers throughout the United Kingdom. The potential increase in bandwidth offered to many more customers will enable more businesses to benefit from the kind of ultrafast connection speeds previously only available through costlier solutions, such as leased lines.

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David Dungay

Editor - Comms Business Magazine