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Bristol SMBs gain 1Gbps ‘full fibre’ network access through local council and HNS

Hub Network Services (HNS) is to provide local Bristol businesses with ultra-fast broadband connections, through an agreement with Bristol City Council. The firms will use the council’s own BNET duct fibre (FTTP) network, which covers most of the city.

Almost 80km long, the re-purposed network was originally owned by cable TV company Rediffusion; Bristol council acquired it to run its own services in the early 00s, such as telephony and CCTV cameras. Commercialisation began in 2015, when the council signed a 20-year joint venture agreement with ITS Technology Group and Net Support; under the agreement, unused capacity is rented out to local firms.

The joint venture partners have taken on HNS to offer ultra-fast services through local ISPs, while also offering 24/7 monitoring and support.

John Volanthen, CEO of HNS, said, “With its already extensive footprint, BNET is ideally suited for quickly connecting businesses of all sizes to the internet, including the many media, marketing and software firms in the area with particularly large bandwidth requirements; as well as large multi-tenant office buildings and corporate premises.

“Apart from sheer speed, low latency and low cost, BNET also offers a reliable, fully supported and very secure Internet connectivity solution.”

Revenues received from the service, which costs around £350 plus VAT per month, will go toward funding other projects in the city. The council also plans to extend the network by up to an additional 96km. No time scale has been provided for these plans, though. There are currently around 60km of unused duct in the network, which could be reactivated for such an extension.

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