TalkTalk’s latest figures show that it added over 67,000 superfast Fibre products customers over the last three months.
Last quarter TalkTalk signed up just 34,000 new customers to TalkTalk Fibre, FTTC (Fibre to the Cabinet)-based services that provide download speeds of up to 76Mbps. That’s over half the number that signed up in the previous quarter.
Despite this continued interest in superfast broadband, TalkTalk is quietly getting on with a separate project; a joint venture with CityFibre, Fujitsu and Sky that will see customers in York able to order full FTTP (Fibre to the Premises) broadband delivering speeds of up to 1Gbps (1,000Mbps).
Buried in TalkTalk’s results comes word that the ISP expects customers in York will be able to order gigabit services next year.
TalkTalk said: “We have made good progress on our fibre to the premise joint venture in York. Fujitsu has been appointed as the infrastructure contractor and we commenced the first phase of digging to build the network out from our points of presence to our cabinets two weeks ago. We are on track to start connecting customers to our Ultrafast product in York next year.
As well as making FTTP available to properties in York, TalkTalk also appears keen to expand its pure fibre footprint:
“We are excited about bringing affordable 1 Gig services to consumers and businesses in York and should the trial be successful, we see the potential to build a pure fibre network to 10 million households.”
If both TalkTalk and Sky decide to extend their partnership with CityFibre, there’s a number of towns and cities where gigabit FTTP could be offered to customers. CityFibre currently owns and runs a gigabit fibre network in Bournemouth and is busy setting up networks in Peterborough, Aberdeen, Huddersfield, Dewsbury and Batley. Earlier this year, CityFibre acquired a pure fibre network from the local authority in Coventry. The trial in York will initially connect 20,000 homes before expanding to other premises in the city.
In total, TalkTalk added 15,000 broadband customers in the last three months, taking its total number of broadband subscribers to 4.2 million.
Dido Harding, chief executive of TalkTalk puts the growth down to the offer of bundled services. Harding said: “We have made strong financial and operational progress in the first-half of the year with accelerating revenue growth, profits up 45 per cent and operating cash flow up 120 per cent.
“We are ideally placed as the market moves to quad-play bundling of fixed phone and broadband, TV and mobile. A third of our customers now take phone, broadband and TV from us, 9 per cent take mobile and we recently announced that mobile will now come as standard for all Plus TV customers.”
This sees TalkTalk stay in fourth place in the UK, in terms of broadband subscribers, behind Virgin Media which has 4.5 million broadband customers. Sky is the UK’s second biggest ISP by subscriber size with 5.3 million customers while BT is sitting comfortably at the top spot with 7.5 million.