H2O Networks, which has now become i3 Group, has announced that three ISPs have signed for its FTTH (Fibre to the house) scheme in seaside town of Bournemouth and will offer broadband speeds starting from 100mbps.
There's also an option that will allow broadband speeds to be temporarily boosted (for 60 minutes) to a staggering 1gbps and prices are apparently going to start from £9.99 for the basic 100mbps line (with 10 hours internet at 1gbps) and will depend on the type of the triple play package customers will choose.
ISP Fibreband for example will offer a 100mbps line with 40 TV channels and telephone line for only £50 per month with the possibility to purchase an uncontended service for £1 per hour. Cheaper speeds are available from £20 per month.
The process of building the infrastructure, which differs from the traditional one because it uses the sewers, has been carried out by Fibrecity Holdings, which is part of i3 Group.
A spokesperson for the group told Thinkbroadband that they want to connect more than 750,000 homes in the UK by 2012.
Elfed Thomas, chief executive of i3 Group, said at the launch that "The Fibrecity portal is a virtual market place that offers consumer choice by allowing multiple service providers to offer and deliver services over a single Fibrecity network connection."
David Burnand, head of marketing of i3 Group, confirmed that the Bournemouth Network will be completed by 2011 with more ISPs set to join them.
Free set top boxes will also be distributed to Bournemouth residents who have signed on the scheme and will allow them to get access to the three providers currently available.
It is refreshing to see that a small startup like H2O, which we have been following for more than two years now, has managed to do what politicians have been promising to do over the next decade, get very high speed broadband in the country now.