General FAQs

General questions, including queries about connection types, packages, backups and extras.

  • What’s the difference between SuperBOLT and UltraBEAM?

    SuperBOLT is a FTTC (Fibre To The Cabinet) broadband service whereas UltraBEAM is a FTTP (Fibre To The Premises) broadband service.

    SuperBOLT connections are delivered via a fibre running to the nearby cabinet and from there to the premise, it’s over a twisted copper pair (BT phone line). The length and condition of the final copper cable connection is what determines the speed and reliability of the service.

    As UltraBEAM services are delivered with a fibre connection all the way to the premise, they not only offer much faster speeds compared to SuperBOLT, but they are also immune from sources of interference, issues with copper jointing, and speeds are not affected by the length of the fibre cable.

  • Do you offer backup services?

    Connectivity is now the lifeblood of most organisations, so relying on a single uplink connection is probably a bit risky, even if the SLAs and care level are very high. Nothing is 100% immune to problems, and 100% uptime SLAs offered by some providers doesn’t mean they are more reliable – it’s marketing.

    The great and reassuring news is that as Giganet owns and operates its own ISP core network, we have a huge range of options that we can tailor. As we own and operate this, we can be sure of the differing levels of resiliency/backup that each solution provides. Can other providers give you this assurance?

    We offer a wide-range of backup/resilient connectivity options subject to your requirements:

    • Fully managed automated failover retaining IP addresses across two circuits
    • Utilising multiple wholesale carriers for the backup circuit
    • Different access technologies for the backup – leased lines, broadband, FTTC, FTTP, ADSL2, EoFTTC
    • Utilising Giganet’s three different data centres/POPs for the termination in our ISP core
    • 3G/4G failover options
    • VRRP HA (high availability) Juniper SRX300 and SRX340 router options
    • BGP routing with BFD failover for sub 1 second automatic failover in some configurations.
    • RO2 (Resilience Option 2) completely diverse entry/exit points, separate fibre routing, different exchanges, different collector nodes, different backhauls and different exchanges.

    M12’s core ISP network by default is resilient with multiple connections to LINX and LONAP IXP Internet exchanges, as well as to Tier 1 IP Transit networks from GTT and NTT. We also operate a diverse private wave between our three data centre locations. Our data centres are operated in Tier3 (3 is higher than 1) facilities, where we have access to diverse power feeds, generators, UPS, power feeds and air conditioning.

  • What is a Giganet Local connection?

    Giganet have strategically installed our equipment into a number of telephone exchanges across the south of England. This means we have direct access to the fibre cables that serve the local surrounding towns and villages. Therefore providing the best prices, highest level of communication and ensuring we’re able to offer customers the most competitive services.

    Due to Ofcom regulation, Giganet’s buying power in the exchanges is the same as the largest providers such as TalkTalk, Sky, and BT Retail themselves. However unlike those providers, we offer dedicated account management from a local team that you know and can trust.

    Giganet Local cuts out the middlemen usually associated with broadband and leased line connections. Cutting out the middlemen results in improved pricing, lead times and communication.

    Giganet Local also means we’re at the front of the wave of the new Openreach innovations, products and services that are released. These typically take the larger wholesale providers months and years to commercialise. Services such as Ultrafast FTTP broadband and G.Fast broadband, SOGEA which removes the need for an analogue line with broadband, are some of the services we’re able to offer.

  • Can we switch our business telecoms or mobiles to you too?

    Giganet is a brand-name of well-established telecoms company M12 Solutions, who have been providing connectivity and telecoms solutions for over 15 years. Giganet operates within the same offices as M12 and many of the staff work across the two brands.

    M12 and Giganet can essentially be a single-source provider for all your communications needs. Fixed lines and calls, business phones, cloud solutions, mobiles, energy and many other extras.

    For more information on our M12 services, please visit our website by clicking here.

  • What is a Giganet National connection?

    Giganet have strategically partnered with a number of national wholesale broadband and leased line providers to be able to offer connectivity to any part of the UK. As Giganet’s legacy is not new to the connectivity world, we’ve ensured that we’re partnering only with the best national wholesale providers to offer customers the best option for their location.

  • What is contention?

    Contention is the ratio of the potential maximum demand of bandwidth to the actual bandwidth available.

    Broadband networks share bandwidth between multiple customers from a local exchange/point of presence (POP) to the Internet Service Provider’s (ISP) network. No matter which ISP you use, every broadband network will be contended from the exchange/POP to the ISP’s network.

    Whereas leased line services have dedicated bandwidth from the customer’s premise all the way to the ISP’s network.

    This partly explains why leased lines are more expensive than broadband services as bandwidth has to be dedicated rather than shared as broadband services do.

    Giganet’s contention policy

    Giganet operate a policy of ‘not being the bottleneck’.

    What we mean by this is that we will ‘dimension’ our network capacity that’s in our control, to ensure that congestion never arises within our network. This means that we ensure that we have plenty of capacity both downstream to our broadband and leased line carriers as well as upstream to the Internet exchanges and Tier 1 transit networks. This is why we’re never going to be the cheapest provider in the UK, but we’re proud that we’re not cheap and massively overselling/contending our network like some may be happy to do.

    Fundamentally though, the Internet as well as your own local network is contended, and there’s little-to-nothing that you or we can do to improve this (without incurring some major costs).

    Should I care about contention/ratios?

    If you are a larger organisation (50 or more staff), or highly rely on the Internet for your work (hosting servers/transferring large files), then we usually recommend that a leased line service is chosen which provides dedicated & uncontended bandwidth from your premise to our ISP core. The larger organisation piece is really because you are highly contending the service within your own organisation, and therefore you need, and we need, to be able to dedicate and allocate specific quantities of bandwidth against your requirements.

    If you are a smaller organisation, then a broadband connection usually suffices as leased line connections are often overkill. The only time a leased line connection would be applicable for a smaller organisation is if there is no suitable broadband service available at your location, as leased lines are available nationally, whereas broadband services’ speeds and access (ADSL vs FTTC vs FTTP) technology vary widely across the country.

    I’m nervous about contention and don’t want to make a mistake

    We totally understand this, and before we ran a residential Internet Service Provider (Wessex Internet) with over 2,200 customers, we also didn’t know what contention really looked like at mass scale. At peak times (8pm-11pm), we typically saw a maximum of 2.8Gb/s (2,800Mb/s) against these 2,200 customers. This means that on average each customer was using the service at 1.27Mb/s even though a substantial amount of customers had access to over 100Mb/s, 30% had access to 50Mb/s and the remaining 65% had access to 30Mb/s access speeds.


    If you have any questions, our Technical Director would be more than happy to explain and provide analogies.

  • How do community/district schemes work?

    Where a connection, like UltraBEAM (FTTP broadband) is not currently available but is nearby, it may be possible to devise a scheme to expand the local fibre infrastructure to reach new homes and businesses. We call these District schemes.

    The feasibility of a District scheme is dependent on a number of factors, including:

    • Proximity of the local fibre infrastructure to the area.
    • Take up of the (homes and) businesses within a District to consume the new services (and the inertia).
    • Complexity to expand into the District, and thus the cost and lead time.
    • Private landowners that may be required to grant access.
    • The availability of grant funding, such as the LFFN Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme that can help subsidise the costs.

    If you would like to find out more about Giganet Districts, please contact our sales team on 0800 107 8888 or

  • What products do CityFibre offer?

    We offer two types of CityFibre Product:

    CityFibre ELITE – available in speeds of 100Mb/s or 1Gb/s – a dedicated connection so the equivalent of a leased line.

    CityFibre UltraBEAM – Available in speeds of 500Mb/s and 1Gb/s – this is a very lightly contended connection (8:1 ratio) so is more akin to a Fibre To The Premises broadband connection.

    For more information on the products CityFibre offer please click HERE.

  • Are CityFibre Services Reliable?

    CityFibre’s network is pure-fibre, meaning no copper like Openreach or Virgin Media.

    Full-fibre services are immune to various issues that cause broadband to be unreliable such as electromagnetic interference, bad copper joints, cross-talk interference, water ingress into joints, flooding of active FTTC/Cable cabinets, car accidents into street side copper cabinets and copper cable theft, to name a few issues that plague traditional networks.

    In some towns and cities CityFibre operate within, there are diverse fibre rings and two or more points of presence (PoPs), and if customers require absolute maximum resiliency, then there could be very advanced methods of achieving this. All fibre cables are ducted, thererfore extra fibre capacity can be pulled or ‘blown’ into these ducts as demand increased.

    All business CityFibre services come with a 24×7 6hr fix SLA for piece of mind.

  • Who are CityFibre?

    CityFibre are an alternative network builder that are in competition with the likes of Openreach and Virgin. They design, build, own and operate their infrastructure in the UK and they are the UK’s largest independent builder.

  • Why do SuperBOLT speeds vary based on premises location?

    SuperBOLT is a FTTC connection, which stands for Fibre To The Cabinet. As there is only fibre going to the cabinet, the rest of the cabling from the cabinet to your premises is typically copper cabling. Copper unfortunately doesn’t maintain speeds like fibre does. So the further a property is from the cabinet, the longer the copper cabling, which means the more the speeds may decrease. Speeds also vary based on the condition of the line, with copper joints and sources of interference all contributing to the overall line conditions.

  • What is Giganet IGNITE?

    This is also known as EoFTTC (Ethernet over Fibre To The Cabinet). It’s essentially our uncontended/dedicated version of the SuperBOLT services. Being dedicated and uncontended, we will provide a managed Juniper router, to provide more insight into your service.

    Giganet IGNITE service offer the lowest cost entry to a leased line (or ELITE) service. However as they are delivered over copper, the headline speeds will not be as high as the fibre ELITE services. The leadtimes for IGNITE can be very fast, as little as 2 weeks. For more information on the installation process, please click HERE.

  • Is UltraBEAM/FTTP available to me?

    Please check your postcode on our checker to check whether an UltraBEAM service is available to you. This checker offers a fairly accurate guide on whether you can receive a native UltraBEAM service. For UltraBEAM on Demand services, these need to be manually quoted. Please contact our sales team to find out more.

  • What’s the difference between UltraBEAM and UltraBEAM on Demand

    UltraBEAM is Giganet’s name for pure-fibre fibre to the premise (FTTP) broadband services. FTTP currently has very limited availability across the UK, however this is scheduled to increase to 10 million premises by 2025. Where we describe a service as UltraBEAM, this means that the FTTP service is already easily available to the premises or there is a known or limited excess construction charge to have it installed.

    UltraBEAM on Demand means there is no FTTP service nearby and there could be very large excess construction charges to provide this service. Typically there is a long lead time and more complex provisioning process with these services.

    For more information on the different types of FTTP and the typical order process please click here.