Alternative British broadband providers BSkyB and TalkTalk have announced a partnership under which they will join forces with CityFibre to create a new company that will deliver ultra-fast broadband services in the City of York. Detailing their plans, the companies confirmed that the new joint venture company will roll out a state of the art, city-wide, pure fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) network to deliver speeds of 1Gbps to tens of thousands of premises in the city, with vendor Fujitsu also helping out with the deployment. This new infrastructure will reportedly leverage CityFibre’s existing metro fibre infrastructure in York and, once it is in place, both BSkyB and TalkTalk will retail competing broadband services over it, with the first customers expected to be connected next year.
It has been claimed that the FTTP infrastructure will enable both of the broadband operators to offer customers better value for higher speeds, while the rollout will also give all of the companies involved the opportunity to fully test a ‘new cost effective approach to building a viable pure fibre network, independent from fixed line incumbent BT’s infrastructure’. Looking ahead, the JV aims to bring ultra-fast broadband to two additional unnamed cities, with further details regarding such plans to be unveiled ‘in due course’.
Commenting on the plans, Dido Harding, chief executive of TalkTalk Group, said: ‘We are excited to be working in partnership with Sky and CityFibre to build this new network that will offer significantly higher speeds at much better value than is currently available. This marks TalkTalk taking its first steps into investing in building infrastructure as part of our mission to make British homes and businesses better off.’ Meanwhile, Stephen van Rooyen, managing director of BSkyB’s Sales, Marketing and Brand Group, said: ‘This trial will help us understand the potential for cutting-edge technology to help us give customers an even better quality of service and we’re looking forward to working in partnership with TalkTalk and CityFibre.’ Rounding out the representatives of the JV partners, CityFibre CEO Greg Mesch said: ‘As a business that believes in the transformative potential of pure fibre infrastructure and gigabit speeds to stimulate growth and innovation this partnership is great news for UK plc. Working with two of the largest and most forward-thinking service providers in the UK we will continue to extend our existing metro fibre infrastructure and introduce a new generation of gigabit speed services to homes and businesses.’