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How to get free gigabit broadband for a year: Become a Hyperoptic Champion

Having unbelievably fast gigabit internet in your flat is one thing. It gives you near-instant downloads, flawless streaming and excellent bragging rights. But it could be better. It could be free. 

Luckily, London-based pure fibre ISP Hyperoptic has a brand evangelist programme where converts willing spread the good word can qualify for some benefits including free internet access for a year. 

Hyperoptic’s top tier 1Gbps service normally costs £50/month plus £12.50/month for a phone line, but if you get enough people in your apartment block interested you could get it for nothing.  

If the prospect of saving nearly a grand by getting a bleeding edge service free for 12 months interests you, read on. 

Hyperoptic offers a range of speeds from 20 Meg to the full Gigabit
Hyperoptic offers a range of speeds from 20 Meg to the full Gigabit

How to become a Hyperoptic Champion

If you’re lucky enough to have moved into a new apartment that can be connected to Hyperoptic’s network you can sign up to become a Hyperoptic Champion. 

Hyperoptic currently offers services in a number of properties in London, Cardiff, Bristol, Reading, Manchester, Leeds and Liverpool and it plans to launch in more UK cities by the end of the year. 

The ISP typically targets new builds, apartment blocks and property developments – MDUs or Multi-Dwelling Units in construction-industry parlance. But if you don’t live in a shiny new build area you might still be able to get connected. Hyperoptic also offers services to housing associations and is considering launching entry-level packages for social housing in the future. 

If Hyperoptic can connect your building to its network and it gives you the go-ahead, you’ll then need to get on with the job of drumming up support from your neighbours. 

We are the 10 per cent

Hyperoptic says that it typically needs at least 10 per cent of residents in an apartment or property development to register their interest before it’ll get in touch with the building manager. 

This will involve you putting up posters, handing out flyers, speaking at residents association meetings (if you have one) and generally convincing your neighbours that signing up for Hyperoptic is a good idea. 

Promotional material, social media content and support will be provided by Hyperoptic, so you’ll have everything you need to get Championing. 

Once you’ve gathered enough expressions of interest, Hyperoptic and the building managers will do the rest. Once a date for installation has been set, everyone who is interested will be able to start plugging into 20Mbps, 100Mbps or 1Gbps services. 

As a reward for your hard work, you’ll get that champagne 1Gbps service delivered to your door for a year. 

Who do I speak to about becoming a Hyperoptic Champion?

Becoming a Hyperoptic Champion is easy – shoot them an email at champion[at]hyperoptic[dot]com or register your interest on the website

Hyperoptic goes where there is biggest demand, so as a Champion you’ll need to show Hyperoptic that your neighbours want to sign up. You’ll need to spread the word, get people interested and bring it to the attention of the residents association, if there is one. 

How much of the building do you need to get interested before a proposal is submitted to the building manager/developer?

For typical residential blocks, Hyperoptic looks for at least 10 per cent of residents to register their interest in Hyperoptic.

Once interest is established, Hyperoptic will get in touch with the building managers/developers to agree on terms of installation. They generally don’t charge for installation so this process is normally very straightforward.

What promotional materials are champions given?

Champion kits include leaflets, posters, presentations, content for social media and FAQs. Hyperoptic spokespeople have also attended at residents association meetings and sponsored events to help explain to people the benefits of a pure fibre broadband connection.

What benefits are there for champions?

To reward and thank our champions, we offer them free installation, landline telephone connection (with free evening and weekend calls) and gigabit broadband for a year, which is worth up to £990.

We work in partnership with our champions, so other benefits include regular updates, as well as a commitment that they will be the first person to go live – so that they can surf, stream and upload without compromise, and able to live their online lives to the full.

Meet the Hyperoptic Champions

We asked two of Hyperoptic’s Champions to give us their experiences of moving into the ultrafast broadband lane.

It's celebration time for residents in Lockes Wharf
It’s celebration time for residents in Lockes Wharf

Jonathan Cassar, Lockes Wharf

Jonathan lives in St Davids Square on Lockes Wharf, a riverside development located on the Isle of Dogs, in London’s Docklands.

Do you really need 1Gbps right now? What got you interested in Hyperoptic?

Gigabit broadband comes into its own when you have multiple users so if someone is having a VoIP call whilst someone else is streaming HD Netflix, say at the same time another person is downloading a patch or movies/music, with a gigabit connection the bandwidth just ceases to be an issue.  

I heard about Hyperoptic back in August 2011 and immediately registered interest as the speeds in my development were languishing at 1-3Meg. After lengthy discussions with our building management company, they finally agreed to have Hyperoptic installed and the service went live in July this year.

Can you describe what being a Champion entails?

It’s really down to the individual Champion how much they do. For me, putting up posters, sending emails and talking to other residents was the easy bit. The challenge for me was to get key stakeholders to agree to have Hyperoptic installed. It helped that I have an interest in the technology and the processes involved, which meant I could easily explain the benefits to the different stakeholders, and get them onboard.

What was the hardest part about convincing residents to get involved? 

My neighbours were on the same page as me, especially when they were as fed up with slow broadband speeds! In my development the residents typically experienced 1-3Mbps, so the idea of faster Internet was a no-brainer, both for our daily lives and to benefit the overall rentals and home sales.

The hard part was getting the stakeholders on board, as they don’t experience the same day-to-day frustrations. This is often the freeholder of a leasehold site, or the management company, as well the offsite stakeholders. There is power in numbers, so rallying the residents and being persistent is the best way to their expedite decisions.

Aside from the obvious benefits of gigabit broadband, what’s the best thing about this service? How has it changed your life?

I work from home, so there have been both personal and business benefits. Gigabit broadband means that I don’t have to think or worry about buffering or the time it takes to download files – it just works!

How do you think having this service could benefit others, not just in your building?

Technology is marching forward; it won’t be long until we have 4K HD services more widely available and a host of other online services we haven’t yet heard of. One thing is for sure though, these services will be bandwidth hungry and having a gigabit connection means that you are future-proofed and ready for what’s to come.

Do you now worry about what life might be once you move to a place where Hyperoptic isn’t available? Could you live without it?

I’ve lived in my development for 14 years but I was considering moving because of the slow broadband speeds.  With Hyperoptic installed, I’m happy to stay for many more years to come.

Image: Debbie Timmins/Flickr

Gallions Reach is a modern development but it wasn't built for broadband, until now
Gallions Reach is a modern development but it wasn’t built for broadband, until now

Lisa Pattenden, Gallions Reach

Lisa lives on the Gallions Reach development in Beckton, part of London’s Docklands.

Do you really need 1Gbps right now? What got you interested in Hyperoptic? 

Yes, we need this type of service due to my working from home and running engineering 3D CAD programs from a remote server. 

Pair that up with having a teenager who plays online games, but it is seamless with this package. Hyperoptic offered faster internet with no hassles over top other companies noted for their service. We had researched the ‘other guys’ and they weren’t prepared to install in the time we needed the service.

Can you describe what being a Champion entails? 

I feel a Champion is someone who utilises the service Hyperoptic provides and runs with it. It’s eating, breathing and sleeping a Hyperoptic high speed life and enjoying it. We love every aspect of Hyperoptic down to their tweets. We love to refer anyone who is looking for quality internet to Hyperoptic. We would not refer any other service because no one can top their all-around-quality.

What was the hardest part about convincing residents to get involved?  

First, if they weren’t home for me to talk to them and second if they weren’t really bothered by internet speed because they only casually used it. Eventually they are coming around.

Aside from the obvious benefits of gigabit broadband, what’s the best thing about this service? How has it changed your life? 

Hyperoptic has saved my family’s sanity. The fast response by Hyperoptic’s customer service is spot on. We have nothing but praise for their customer service and the actual service. 

Previously we had another ‘lesser’ provider and having more than one of us online was a maddening time. The speed for my work programs was so slow that I felt like we had dial-up. I went to Costa to get a better access when all were home and I had to work. This service saved me time and a lot of grief about work.

How do you think having this service could benefit others, not just in your building? 

As technology starts becoming more cloud based and services become more internet based speed is going to be imperative for residents of any area. Having a slow connection will become as maddening as dial-up used to be.

Do you now worry about what life might be once you move to a place where Hyperoptic isn’t available? Could you live without it?

We discussed that and agreed we will only move to a place where Hyperoptic is provided. No, we could not live without it… as proven when I went to France and did a comparison with my partner of speed tests at both locations. My connection was pitiful, I was Hypersad.

Image: Glenn Wood/Flickr

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