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GTC and Sky Sign 300Mbps FTTH Broadband and TV Deal for New UK Builds

Friday, April 4th, 2014 (10:50 am) - Score 2,344

Utility infrastructure provider GTC has signed a new deal with Sky (Sky Broadband) that will make available a bundle of premium TV services, fixed-line home phone and fibre optic broadband speeds of up to 300Mbps (Megabits per second) to future new build homes across the United Kingdom.

GTC is a fully Lloyds accredited multi-utility provider, which typically works alongside house builders to roll-out gas, electric, water and also Internet connectivity into various new builds across the country.

The firm’s website reveals that their most recent deployment, which was agreed during February 2014, involves 1,134 plots on a contract in Upper Heyford with Bovis Homes and The Dorchester Group, where the developer has installed a combined utility solution.

The highlight of this build in Upper Heyford was a Fibre-to-the-Home (FTTH) network that can deliver broadband speeds of up to 300Mbps (i.e. very similar to BT’s FTTP service). A bit more digging also reveals that their platform can technically already deliver speeds of up to 1000Mbps (here).

Paul Summers, Regional Sales Manager at GTC, says:

Unlike fibre to the cabinet (FTTC), fibre to the home does not suffer from declining speeds with distance from the exchange. Laying fibre optic cable right to each home ensures homeowners will be able to enjoy the best of today’s fibre offerings and know that the network is future proofed to support further advances in technology. The fibre connection will be fully installed and ready for use when the homeowner moves in.”

GTC are also known to be conducting various other developments but one product they haven’t yet been able to bundle in is a proper TV service, until now. Under a new deal Sky (BSkyB) will offer a full range of their premium TV services, including Sky+ HD, to those homes who take GTC’s fibre optic broadband connectivity.

Apparently this solution avoids the need for individual Satellite dishes, which is what Sky normally uses, and delivers TV + all other services via fibre cables directly into homes, utilising a Fibre Integrated Reception System (FIRS) that comprises a central satellite receiver and aerial array, to serve the whole new-build site.

Suffice to say that it’s very encouraging to see more new build home developers adopting FTTP/H style services instead of slower hybrid fibre solutions like FTTC, or even older pure copper lines through ADSL2+. It’s usually more cost effective to build fibre optic networks from a blank slate than to come back later and dig up roads, pathways etc. More of this please.

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Mark Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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10 Responses
  1. My guess is that the “arrangement” will mean that BT will have no infrastructure on those new build estates and thus Sky will become a de facto monopoly provider and price accordingly! 🙂

    • Avatar DTMark

      My guess is that it will give BT the competitive kicking it so badly needs and those premises will get BT FTTP as well – that which was unnecessary and impossible will suddenly become both necessary and possible.

      Anyone who ever followed “how I’d have done BDUK” – and others who have said the same – that competition and private investment were key – could do well to pay attention to this aspect.

    • Avatar Steve Jones

      It’s quite possible new developments will only have one set of communications infrastructure installed, or even some covenant limiting other connectivity as part of the deal to get the fibre installed at minimal cost to the developer. That way the communications infrastructure installer will have a very good chance of achieving a return. I know that for rental properties, landlords can enforce these sorts of arrangements, but I’m not sure if it can be enforced on freehold. However, even if overbuilds can’t be legally prevented, the practicalities might well be that it’s uneconomic to do so after the event.
      Of course, the danger here is that there could be local de-facto monopolies on retail supply without regulatory recourse (as these sort of companies are not compelled to provide wholesale services). It would be interesting to know what the legal position is.

  2. Avatar rob

    does it also apply to the houses that were built in December 2013 ? Or just houses that are going to be build ?

  3. Avatar Ignitionnet

    This is delicious.

  4. Avatar Neil

    Given this influx of capacity into the house, I wonder how many of these houses are being hardwired for data. As much I like a bit of wifi for browsing, I wouldn’t want to be streaming multiple movies at the same time over wifi, even MU-MIMO 802.11ac.

  5. To deliver over FIRS you don’t need to sign anything with Sky, its an off the shelf solution (if you have the right contacts) and is already used in a number of residential multi-tenant properties to reduce the number of Satellite dishes.

    We’re looking to do with a couple of developers on builds that complete over the next year or so. Details when everyone finishes their paperwork…

  6. Avatar hmmm

    sky are retards they havent a feckin clue what they friggin doing and they use shit gear

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