BSkyB, TalkTalk, CityFibre joint venture challenges BT's broadband hold

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A new fiber to the premises (FTTP) joint venture formed by BSkyB, TalkTalk and CityFibre will provide up to 1 Gbps speed broadband in York as a way battle incumbent telco BT with their own broadband network.

This new network will leverage CityFibre's existing metro fiber infrastructure in York, a city in northern England. Under the terms of the agreement, Sky and TalkTalk will sell rival broadband services over the new infrastructure, with the first customers expected to be connected in 2015.

"We are going to deliver a pure fibre network that will deliver speeds of 1 Gig per second (1,000 Mb) direct to homes and businesses in York independent of BT Openreach infrastructure," TalkTalk's chief executive Dido Harding said.

While BT (NYSE: BT) has rolled out FTTP in some select areas, it has offered only up to 300 Mbps. The majority of BT's broadband network is based on a hybrid fiber to the cabinet (FTTC) architecture that brings fiber to an outside street cabinet and uses a mix of ADSL2+ and VDSL2 to deliver services via existing copper to each household or business location.  

Each of the partners will work with infrastructure provider Fujitsu to build out the network.

A key element of this pact is it gives each provider more control over its service delivery destiny. Traditionally, BSkyB and TalkTalk have had to rent unbundled local loop (ULL) copper and fiber-based facilities in other areas to deliver services to their customers.

BT may be obligated to provide wholesale services to competitors, but TalkTalk claims that the incumbent telco abuses its dominant position by allegedly squeezing the gap between its wholesale price and its retail prices. Ofcom, the UK's telecom regulator, is investigating the claims, reports Reuters.

For more:
- see the release
- Reuters has this article

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