CityFibre, Sky and TalkTalk joint-venture moves a step closer to becoming a reality with website launch
Households and businesses in York are being invited to register their interest in upcoming ‘ultrafast broadband’ services operated by Sky and TalkTalk.
The two companies, along with CityFibre, have entered into a joint-venture to build a citywide fibre to the premise (FTTP) network in the city with a view to exporting the model to other locations in the country to provide a rival to BT’s Openreach fibre network.
A website for UFO (UltraFibreOptic) offers residents the chance to check their postcode and sign up for information about the services, which are expected to be offered by the joint-venture partners.
It promises a faster and more reliable connection than ADSL2 or fibre to the cabinet (FTTC), boasting speeds of 1Gbps. It claims businesses will be able to download large files and use cloud applications, but no pricing details about UFO services are disclosed.
TalkTalk expects to connect its first ultrafast customers in the autumn and has said that if the joint-venture is successful, up to 60 percent of the UK population could be connected to FTTP. This, it says, is dependent on the cost of connecting each premise coming under £500 and the combined market share between the partners reaching 40 percent.
The York network is based on CityFibre’s existing infrastructure and the first phase has allowed the partners to test out network design principles, engineering processes and deployment economics. TalkTalk says early indications suggest it will beat its £500 per premise target.
BT’s rivals have long been critical of the company’s apparent dominance in fibre and claim there is not as much competition as there is in the copper market. Ofcom has ruled BT must maintain a minimum margin to ensure it doesn’t undercut its competitors, but this has not quietened calls for greater regulation.