While we were at Hyperoptic’s HQ in Shepherd's Bush we were able to get a look at just how fast its 1Gbps service is.
Have a look at the video below - we filmed three speed tests in order to get an idea of a good average speed possible over Hyperoptic’s top tier £50 a month service.
You’ll immediately notice that the top speed registered by the Ookla-based speed test tool doesn’t actually show up as 1Gbps at any one time - we hit just above 900Mbps each time.
Not that this is a totally bad thing - 900Mbps is insanely higher than the UK national average - but you might be wondering why a 1Gbps download speed wasn’t achieved.
The really eagled eyed viewers will also note that the upload speed didn’t match the down speed - Hyperoptic’s 1Gbps service is a symmetrical service, so they should be the same.
There’s a couple of reasons for this. Part of the reason why 1Gbps isn’t being shown on the speed test is due to hardware limitations on both ends - the machines running the test aren’t yet capable of providing the data needed to get an accurate speed test of the 1Gbps line.
Hyperoptic: 'We're working on a new speed test tool for 1Gbps'
The upload speed should also be the same more or less as the download speed, as Hyperoptic’s 1Gbps service offers symmetrical speeds - the same down and up. Hyperoptic said that the Flash-based speed test tool (custom made for Hyperoptic by Ookla) won’t correctly display the true upload speed either.
Both Hyperoptic and Ookla are working on new speed test tools specifically to work with faster 1Gbps lines.
“The speed test copies data from one place to another, timing how long that takes and at what speed. For accurate results, the hardware at both ends has to be able to process data in an extremely efficient manner,” said Shyam Acharya, Director of Networks at Hyperoptic.
“The speeds that we are testing require a substantial amount of data to be copied from one place to another. Unfortunately, the majority of users’ have computers that are unable to transfer the data expeditiously, this is reflected in the speed test shown using a computer with a high specification.”
So basically, Hyperoptic’s service is too fast for the computers.
Apparently a “number of factors can impact the result of the speed test including; CPU power, memory and the Ethernet interface card. The bottleneck is caused by hardware and we are actually in the middle of building our own speed test, designed for our hyper-fast speeds - watch this space!”
This chimes with what BT’s Nicholas Sim was saying at Digital Home World Summit last week, that with the rollout of high speed fibre, the broadband bottleneck would move beyond the network and into the home.
But with dual-band and Wi-Fi AC routers starting to hit the shelves now, it’s really only a matter of time before the hardware catches up with Hyperoptic’s service. By the time the service is more widely available, the hardware ought to have caught up with the speed of 1Gbps broadband.