TalkTalk is planning to connect its first customers to ultrafast fibre broadband, providing speeds of up to 1Gbps (1,000Mbps) this year.
The latest set of financial figures from TalkTalk reveal that its joint venture with Sky and CityFibre in York is beginning to pay off, with over 1,200 premises passed with FTTP (Fibre to the Premises) connections.
The pure fibre network will be independent of BT’s Openreach network and is seen by TalkTalk as a potential stepping stone to providing gigabit broadband services to roughly 10 million properties across the UK.
But before TalkTalk unleashes the fibre big guns, it’s going to wait and see how well the trial goes in York – if too few customers bite, it might pour cold water on those ambitions.
Related: ‘Thousands’ more in York to get CityFibre gigabit broadband in York trialTalkTalk’s financials said: “We have made good progress on the groundworks for our York Fibre to the Premise (“FTTP”) trial, with 1,200 homes passed in the first dig area, and are on track to launch our proposition soon and begin connecting customers in the autumn.
“Build costs of under £500 per premise passed and speed of take-up from our combined market share of 30 per cent 40 per cent are the key variables that will determine the opportunity for a scale national roll-out of fibre to the premise.”
TalkTalk is nevertheless confident that it’ll be able to acheive its full fibre dream. Using CityFibre’s networks, ISPs like TalkTalk and Sky could offer customers gigabit fibre broadband without having to rely on BT’s network.
Openreach customers are currently able to sell FTTP products and BT has built a commercial pure fibre footprint that, as of November 2014, encompassed 160,000 premises. That figure has likely increased since then, but BT isn’t saying by how much.
Top download speeds currently possible via BT’s pure fibre lines is 330Mbps but tests in Cornwall have demonstrated that download speeds of 10Gbps are doable.
Elsewhere Sky is running a separate trial of FTTP broadband in Basingstoke, which has seen mixed results. Despite promising top speeds of 950Mbps, views of the picturesque Hampshire town have been obscured by unsightly poles.