UK's TalkTalk to debut FTTC-based broadband service

TalkTalk confirmed this week they will be the first major wholesale ISP customer to leverage BT's (NYSE: BT) Fiber to the Cabinet (FTTC) network to offer up to 40 Mbps broadband service.

As reported in Financial Times, TalkTalk's chairman Charles Dunstone said his company was "ready to start using BT's new high speed wholesale products, and was already working on a commercial launch." This latest development comes after rumors emerged that TalkTalk is conducting its own FTTC trials.

Signing up TalkTalk as a wholesale customer is significant to BT as it will calm analyst fears that the UK incumbent service provider would not be able to get a good return on its $4 billion FTTX network if it did not sign major wholesale customers.  

One issue that TalkTalk and other ISPs such as Sky have cited about BT's wholesale FTTX service is that they have little control over the quality of service delivered to consumers. To offset quality concerns, the UK's telecom regulator Ofcom issued a mandate today that BT will have to provide Virtual Unbundled Loop Access (VULA), which will give wholesale customers similar control over the connections they can purchase with Local Loop Unbundling (ULL).

While TalkTalk has been public about its FTTX broadband plans, fellow ISP Sky Broadband has not revealed any plans to leverage BT's wholesale network and it's not talking about its overall broadband strategy.

For more:
- TeleGeography has this article
- FT has this coverage here
- see Ofcom's VULA release here

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