Wednesday, 30 March 2016 01:01

Lightning Broadband promises faster, cheaper broadband without the NBN


Former solar panel mogul Jeremy Rich wants to take on the NBN, already rolling out in Melbourne with ‘plans to go national soon.’

With Australia’s promised ‘fast, affordable, sooner’ MTM NBN turning out to be ‘slow, still expensive and still taking forever,’ it’s no surprise to see some private players trying to speed up the availability of fast broadband to Australians.

The news comes via the new ISPs own site, with Lightning Broadband’s news article here.

The company says that not only will it ‘become the next role model for business disruption to benefit consumers,’ it is also ‘offering blistering fast broadband to Australian households and businesses without the need for an NBN connection.’

The company’s founders explain that the Lightning Broadband service ‘evolved from group of frustrated internet users and a successful community-led pilot project in Melbourne.’

Thankfully, it has moved past the pilot stage, with the service ‘now being rolled-out across selected suburbs in Melbourne with plans to go national soon.’

Australian-owned and operated, Lightning Broadband boasts that it is, ‘in many cases, faster and cheaper than the NBN,’ and in a move sure to annoy nbn Co, ‘the service will also be made available in areas where the NBN is yet to gain a foothold – or may ever do.’

Lightning Broadband CEO Jeremy Rich said: “When people experience the level of speed, service and pricing we can offer, they will wonder why this hasn’t been offered earlier.

“We use tried and tested technology along with some clever engineering to offer our services; which we’ll roll out wherever we find sufficient demand. We expect to become a national provider over the coming year or so.”

More below, please read on!

So, how does Lightning Broadband’s technology work?

The company says it ‘involves providing a direct optical fibre and/or hybrid fibre + wireless broadband connection to the home or business user – bypassing the slower and aging copper wire connections that link most homes in Australia to the internet from their street.’

Then there’s the retrofitting of apartment buildings, which Lightning Broadband says it ‘easy to retrofit’ to bring ‘up to speed’, which would be ‘at zero cost to building owners, developer and body corporates.’

The company says it ‘offers connection speeds of up to 1,000 Mbps – far surpassing NBN Tier 5 and dozens of times faster than the maximum speed of ADSL2+,’ and all at low-latency too, which is ‘the measure of time delay from one point of a network to another.’

There’s also symmetric speed support, something dropped by various vendors this year, which means the upload rate is the same as the download seed.

Yet another promise is ‘extremely competitive pricing and a straightforward, robust service offering unlimited data without shaping; plus a Voice over IP (VoIP) phone option, while commercial customers have dedicated equipment and ‘benefit from uncontested symmetrical connections; plus receive unlimited data, priority support and a range of other benefits.’

Rich said: “We’re going to help pull Australia into the 21st century when it comes to broadband.”

Lightning Broadband’s media release says Australia has slipped to 48th in the world, with Rich adding: “It’s a rather sad state of affairs that such a clever country is still behind so many others with internet access speeds – it’s generally holding the nation back and stifling innovation. These are frustrations I’m pleased to say that our customers simply don’t experience.”

The company also boasts it can ‘handle the heavy demands of 4K (UHD, Ultra HD) video.’

More info here.

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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