Hyperoptic’s month-by-month Gigabit fibre-optic service
Advertising a month-by-month telecommunications service as “no contract” service
From the horse’s mouth
Advertising Standards Authority
Published Ruling concering Sky UK and their NOW TV service (month-by-month offering as a “no contract” service)
Most Internet services, whether ADSL or next-generation broadband, are offered to customers on a contract where they have to maintain the service for 12 months or more. This is typically to benefit from cheaper or complementary equipment or tariff plans with better value. This may not suit every user, especially if you are on a short-term work placement or are living “month by month”.
Hyperoptic, who provide fibre-optic broadband to apartment blocks through the UK, have answered this need through the provision of a “month-by-month” plan for their next-generation broadband services. They understand that, as I have said before, a person may occupy an apartment for a few months rather than for the full 12 months or more.
The plans require you to stump up GBP£40 to get the service put on, which includes the provision of a Gigabit router. They offer a double-play Internet and telephone service for GBP£27 for a 20Mb service, GBP£41 for a 100Mb service and GBP£67 for a Gigabit service. These include the phone line rental and evening and weekend calls to UK landlines. There is also an “Anytime UK” plan and an “International” plan available but I am not sure of the prices for these plans. A pure-play broadband-only service will come for GBP£24 for 20Mb service, GBP£38 for a 100Mb service and GBP£64 for a Gigabit service.
The open question concerning these tariffs is whether you can take the Gigabit router with you when you move out of the apartment or leave it in place for the next tenant to use. As well, is there a cheaper “wires-only” or “self-install” connection-cost option for those of us who have suitable fibre-optic modem equipment and infrastructure in place? This could be feasible because of the fact that you don’t need to send people to the premises where existing infrastructure is in place and working.
I am surprised that Hyperoptic aren’t running a triple-play service of their own but it would be dependent on them tying up deals with an IPTV service that is operating in the UK like Sky or BT.
By the way, a question that the UK computing and IT press and blogosphere have raised about telecommunications, Internet, Pay TV or similar services is whether a service offered on a “month-by-month” basis with no long-term contract requirement should be described as a “no-contract” service? The advantage with these services is the fact that a customer can walk out of the service before the next monthly billing cycle by cancelling the service and settling up the account for the cost of the service. The IT press were splitting hairs by describing a single monthly billing cycle as a one-month contract because you wouldn’t be able to get money back for unused days of your service if you walked out before the end of the billing cycle.
The UK’s Advertising Standards Authority settled this once and for all by allowing a service provider to call a “month-by-month” service with no long-term requirement a “no-contract” service when they advertise it to the public. This is even though a contract that represents the monthly billing cycle of these services is technically a contract.
At least someone has stood up to the realities associated with apartment blocks and offered an Internet service deal that caters to people who come in an out of town on a short-term basis.