I have been talking with with someone directly involved with Digital Region Ltd as well as asking questions via e-mail to Digital Region Broadband.
What it seems to be is that DRL guarantee a minimum of 25Mbit per customer, but that is basically network capacity per customer, nothing to do with your ISPs contention ratios.
Basically, the network was design so you could buy Internet from one service, and TV from another, and presumably VoIP from yet another - all coming in via the same VDSL connection. This makes sense with them using a fully managed router (in bridge mode) as presumably they assign each service to one of the ethernet ports. Even some ADSL2+ providers function the same today where their VoIP service is a separate virtual network from their Internet, presumably so they can operate QoS on the router and guarantee VoIP has no contention.
The 25Mbit minimum is so that VoIP and/or TV will always have at LEAST 25Mbit between them on your line, as obviously anyone delivering those services HAS to guarantee no contention at all for those services so it would be no good having 50:1 contention on the network, it could break those services completely. An ISP service on the other hand are still left to decide their own contention ratios although I think its safe to say they will always try to keep performance up or lose customers.
Its also worth noting the 10Mbit guarantee Ripwire quotes on their site actually refers to a minimum SYNC speed, not actual throughput. The idea being that if your line cannot obtain a 10Mbit minimum sync you are allowed to refuse connection, any greater than that and you are tied into a 12 month contract. Likewise, DRL have a 15Mbit minimum, the same rules apply.
As for residential services, I believe all the ISPs do provide them but none are advertised on their websites yet. The prices I know of are Ripwire at £25/month and DRB is £35/month. DRB claim you can cancel your land line once you are connected with them and use VoIP instead (even porting your BT number over to the service), saving you line rental. Ripwire are unsure about that, but I suspect they will eventually discover you can do the same.
As for activation costs, the burden lies on the customer for now. Ripwire charge £75 inc VAT, DRB charge £75 also but there is some confusion over if theirs is inc or exc VAT. According to the person I have been talking to at DRL, BT charge slightly more than £75 to wire up the connection so as usual, its BTs pockets we are lining even when getting as far away from their services as possible.
Also I believe anyone can order fibre to the home on Digital Region, but its likely to cost a fortune as you will have to pay the cost of laying the fibre from the cabinet to your house. Its generally businesses who will do that I think.
Edited by alexatkin (Thu 28-Oct-10 05:10:11)