TalkTalk lining up assault on BT with superfast fibre networks

Telecoms

by Michael Moore| 15 May 2014

Trial of FTTP networks in York to begin soon.

TalkTalk has signalled its intention to take on the likes of BT with an expansion of its superfast fibre broadband offering.

The operator has announced it soon hopes to be rolling out its FTTP (Fibre to the Premises) networks to a range of locations throughout the UK.

"We have a long term vision to build infrastructure," Ms Harding said. "We can provide unlimited, low cost bandwidth to customers ... the best value-for-money connectivity."

Last month, TalkTalk announced it would be investing £5m in a trial of the technology, which it developed in partnership with Sky and infrastructure firm CityFibre, in York. But the company is now also hoping to roll it out to as many as ten million potential customers across the country, with new areas being decided via a competition launching later this year.

In comparison, BT's fibre network currently covers more than 19m homes, or around two-thirds of the UK.

FTTP networks, which connect directly to homes or businesses, are able to deliver internet speeds up to ten times faster than the FTTC (Fibre to the Cabinet) technology currently operated by BT.

TalkTalk's FTTP network will be built upon the small piece of the UK's 4G spectrum which the company acquired seven years ago for around £100,000. It will use this to create mobile 4G networks based around a specific local area that are supported by access to its superfast fibre network.

The company currently relies on infrastructure from BT and others to support its networks so will be hoping its new FTTP offerings will help it continue its strong growth so far. Both TalkTalk and Sky have in the past complained about the cost of access to BT's fibre services, which are not regulated in the same way as the old generation of copper line networks.

"Our focus on data products for businesses is...delivering very strong growth and as a result, TalkTalk Business is one of the fastest growing B2B telecom operators in the UK," Harding said.

The news came as TalkTalk announced its preliminary end of year results for the financial year 2013. The results included a 3.4 percent increase in revenue throughout the year, spurred on by a significant increase in customers for the company's television business, which now has over a million subscribers, making it the fastest growing TV business in the UK.

"We have built a TV business with over one million customers in just 18 months," Harding said of the results. "We continue to grow faster than all the other UK TV operators put together and are confident that in time, all our customers will take TV."

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