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TalkTalk connects its first customer to 940Mbps ultrafast fibre in York

TalkTalk punters in York will soon be able to access top download speeds of 940Mbps – and a retired teacher is set to be the first customer to get the next-gen service. 

Derek Paterson of Ings View will have the honour of being the first Yorker to get TalkTalk’s experimental service, which uses CityFibre’s FTTP (Fibre to the Premises) technology to deliver the borderline gigabit speeds. 

So, what’s Derek going to do with this state of the art service? Watch House of Cards in 4K on Netflix? Skype with multiple family members at the same time? Get a holodeck installed?

The soundbite TalkTalk got out of Mr. Paterson is depressingly vague: “I’m really excited to be part of this programme. Like most households, we’re doing more and more online. It’s not just the speed that’s appealing, knowing that we can all do as much as we want online at the same time is also a huge advantage.” 

While that’s true, it’s a shame that TalkTalk couldn’t have done more to make a service that millions of people would no doubt love to have sound terribly exciting. 

TalkTalk’s fibre broadband project is a joint venture involving fellow ISP Sky and infrastructure specialists CityFibre and Fujitsu. The project will see thousands of homes across the city being connected to CityFibre’s pure fibre broadband network and is something of a litmus test to see if folks really do want gigabit fibre broadband (or something close to it) right now in 2015, or they’re content to wait five years or so for BT to install and FTTP

The announcement comes in the wake of BT announcing that between now and the end of 2020, it plans to make services – which can apparenlty deliver download speeds of 300-500Mbps – and gigabit (1,000Mbps) fibre broadband available to 10 million homes. 

TalkTalk’s Dido Harding has hinted in the past that working with CityFibre could allow the ISP to reach the same number of customers with FTTP over a similar time scale, but without having to rely on BT’s network arm Openreach. 

Earlier this week Harding posted an article on TalkTalk’s blog, calling for a competition inquiry into Openreach’s relationship with the BT Group in general. 

Openreach is required to treat all ISPs using its access network, which covers some 29 million premises across the UK, on a fair and equal basis. TalkTalk, along with Sky and more recently Vodafone, have criticised the state of BT’s network, arguing that it’s under-developed and inhibits consumer choice. 

Telecoms regulator Ofcom is currently investigating whether or not Openreach should be spun off from BT as an entirely separate entity as part of its Strategic Review of Digital Communications. 


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