By Steve McCaskill
TalkTalk will offer ultrafast broadband for the same price as copper broadband and cheaper than superfast to both businesses and consumers when it launches its 1Gbps service in York this autumn.
The company's joint-venture with Sky and CityFibre has been building a city-wide fiber to the premise (FTTP) network, with the intention of connecting up to ten million properties across the United Kingdom if the project is successful.
The partners claim this will provide the country with "futureproof" broadband infrastructure and create a genuine alternative to BT Openreach, which it is argued has too much power in the fiber market.
Both Sky and TalkTalk will offer competing ultrafast packages, but the latter has announced its plans first, offering 1Gbps from £21.70 a month to consumers and £25 a month for SMBs—including line rental. Businesses get inclusive U.K. landline and mobile calls, four static IP addresses, a 'super router' and free installation, but must sign a two-year contract.
TalkTalk claims it is the first U.K. ISP to offer ultrafast at no extra cost and will prioritize existing customers when Ultra Fiber Optic (UFO) launches later this year.
The service will initially be available in the Huntington and Groves area of York, with residents invited to 'vote' for access, with UFO provided free of charge to good causes in successful local communities. The company has also built in part of Rawcliffe and is building in Clifton now.
"The U.K. has lived with broadband infrastructure that has suffered significant underinvestment for too long and we lag well behind the rest of Europe when it comes to rolling out pure, ultrafast, fiber networks," said TalkTalk CEO Dido Harding. "We have the potential to become the world's leading digital economy, but we need this kind of investment in superior fiber infrastructure to make this a reality.
"Ultra Fibre Optic will revolutionize the broadband experience in York by giving consumers and businesses access to all the speed and bandwidth they could ever need, at an affordable price, future-proofing the city and making York better off."