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What is The Loop? Manchester’s secret 10Gbps network

What is The Loop? Manchester’s secret 1Gbps networkA fibre optic network known as ‘The Loop’ lies dormant beneath the streets of Manchester and is in the process of being brought back to life.

Running from Gorton in the east and Stretford in the south of Manchester, the 77 kilometre ring encircles the city of Manchester and reaches out to Salford, Eccles, Trafford, Levenshulme and Newton Heath.

Speeds of up to 10Gbps are apparently possible on this network which was installed by Atlantic Telecom for the Commonwealth Games in 2002. The Loop has since been bought by local ISP Gamma.

Gamma, normally a business broadband ISP, is keen to use The Loop for both business and residential services.

Right now there’s not much detail on where and when 1Gbps services from The Loop will be coming online.  Gamma wants people who are interested in having 1Gbps fibre for their business or home to get in touch and points to a site – theloopmanchester.co.uk – where you can contact Gamma to register your interest.

CityFibre in Bouremouth has adopted a similar approach, sending out letters to the 20,000-odd homes on its network to gauge interest. Though the Fibrecity project ran in to cash problems back in 2010, Bouremouth residents can now enjoy 1Gbps fibre broadband thanks to Gigler.

We’ve asked Gamma for more information on its plans for The Loop and we’ll update as soon as we hear more.

Update: We’ve put the correct link in now. Kudos to eagle-eyed commenter Pfm who spotted our mistake.

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