TalkTalk aims to bring 1 Gig service to 60% of UK homes

TalkTalk has set a goal to offer 1 Gbps fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) services to 50-60 percent of UK homes and business premises via its partnership with CityFibre and Sky, a move that will enable it to lessen its dependency on BT's (NYSE: BT) Openreach last mile network.

Already testing the service in York, the service provider will focus on bringing it to towns and cities that have more than 150,000 to 200,000 residents. If the trial is successful, TalkTalk said it would offer the service in other cities across the country and be offered on a wholesale basis to other providers.

"We're very serious about the scale here but we're also incredibly pragmatic," Charles Bligh, managing director of TalkTalk Business, told the Huawei Ultra Broadband Forum in London, according to a TechWeek europe report.

In order to move ahead with a broader deployment, the joint rollout would have to ensure customer connection costs are less than $758 and that the adoption rate was higher than 30-40 percent. After these goals are achieved, the three companies would look at bringing the 1 Gbps service to other cities, but at this time it has not revealed any potential targets.

"Our aim here is very much to get to 50 to 60 percent of UK households and certainly a huge business community within that with this rollout over time," said Bligh.

Having a 1 Gbps network would also create another challenge to BT's move to increase the speeds of its fiber-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) network via G.fast technology, one that can theoretically boost the speed of existing copper to 1 Gbps. To achieve these higher speeds, a service provider has to deploy network gear in a fiber-to-the-distribution point (FTTdp) architecture over short copper loops connected to each home.

However compelling the G.Fast technology may be, Bligh says an all fiber-based network architecture is the better option.

"We've spent a couple of years talking about the BT rollout, but it's an interim step in terms of really pure gigabit fibre," he said. "We've decided to put our reputation on the line, but also some money into this. We're putting our money where our mouth is."

For more:
TechWeek europe has this article

Related articles:
Operators push fixed-mobile convergence and quad-play into spotlight
Zayo brings dark fiber, wavelength services to UK provider TalkTalk
G.Fast standard gets ITU's green light
BT achieves 1 Gig rates with G.Fast copper trial, creates new broadband lab

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