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UK ISP TalkTalk Confirm First Prices for 940Mbps FTTH Broadband in York

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2015 (9:59 am) - Score 3,383
ultrafibreoptic_ufo_broadband

Internet provider TalkTalk has revealed the first package and price details for their new 940Mbps capable Fibre-to-the-Home (FTTH/P) broadband network in the city of York (England), which as we revealed last month is being called Ultra Fibre Optic (UFO). Existing customers will effectively get it at “no extra cost“.

The somewhat experimental new network is being built as part of a joint venture between TalkTalk, Sky Broadband and Cityfibre (here). Each ISP is known to have contributed £5m to the first phase, which will cover 20,000 premises and that leaves roughly 60,000 left to be completed at a later date (more investment will be required).

The most recent status update from TalkTalk (here) suggested that some 1,200 of the 20,000 premises required for phase 1 had already been put within reach of the service and the first customers were expected to go live during the Autumn, which means that now would be a logical time to reveal the consumer prices.

According to TalkTalk, homes and businesses in York will be able to take its new ultrafast broadband “at no extra cost” and it “will come as standard” with their three consumer packages – SimplyBroadband, Essentials TV and Plus TV – as well as TalkTalk’s Complete Business Broadband package for small to medium sized firms.

In reality what this means is that the ISP has adopted a new pricing model where customers pay an all-in monthly price instead of splitting out a headline cost and line rental, which is similar to what some other pure fibre optic ISPs do because separate phone line rental is no longer a strict requirement like it is on BT’s network. The all-in consumer packages start with Simply Broadband at £21.70 per month and Complete Business Broadband at £25 a month.

talktalk_ufo_york_fibre_optic_broadband_prices

The ISP claims that this makes them the “first and only UK ISP to offer pure fibre for the same price as standard broadband“, although B4RN might well challenge that given how they offer 1000Mbps for £30 per month and that’s also about the same as a standard broadband + line rental package.

Dido Harding, CEO of TalkTalk, said:

The UK has lived with broadband infrastructure that has suffered significant underinvestment for too long and we lag well behind the rest of Europe when it comes to rolling out pure, ultrafast, fibre networks. We have the potential to become the world’s leading digital economy, but we need this kind of investment in superior fibre infrastructure to make this a reality.

Ultra Fibre Optic will revolutionise the broadband experience in York by giving consumers and businesses access to all the speed and bandwidth they could ever need, at an affordable price, future-proofing the city and making York better off.”

Chris Steward, Leader of City of York Council, said:

It is great to see this project is continuing to progress and we’re delighted York is the first city to benefit from Ultra Fibre Optic. Ultrafast broadband will help boost the local economy and provide a better quality service for residents and businesses across the city.”

The UFO website has been busy taking pre-registration interest since last month, although it’s interesting to note that today’s press release includes a specific mention of the Huntington and Groves areas of York (i.e. these looks set to be the first locations the benefit). Locals are being nudged to express their interest and existing TalkTalk customers will of course be given priority.

Apparently if enough people in Huntington and Groves vote for the service then Sky Broadband and TalkTalk will also connect a nominated good cause in the community with ultrafast broadband. It could be a local charity, community hub or a good cause that supports the local area.

Crucially TalkTalk has also setup its own portal for the UFO service – https://ultrafibreoptic.talktalk.co.uk. Two further cities may also receive the network, but they’ve yet to be named.

NOTE: The network can do up to 1000Mbps (Gigabit), although TalkTalk are actually advertising the service as 940Mbps (probably to please the advertising rules).

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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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12 Responses
  1. Avatar MikeW

    Nice marketing to go for a single, simple all-in price.

    No surprise, on the other hand, that the price doesn’t drop when it no longer includes a “phone line rental”.

    Still, nice prices.

    • Avatar adslmax Real

      I agree over conned hidden price extra (without line rental) is scandal

    • Avatar GNewton

      According to their website:

      “The broadband prices you’ll see around split out the broadband package cost and the monthly line rental. As UFO is a brand new ultra fast fibre broadband network that doesn’t involve phone lines from BT Openreach we can simplify things with a single ‘all in’ monthly charge.”

    • Avatar MikeW

      Actually max, you don’t agree with me.

      There are lots of people around who think that the line rental goes to pay for the voice service, and see it as an extra they can get rid of when they move to fibre.

      I don’t see it that way. I see it as the portion that goes towards having a fixed-line connection, with little bearing over what is carried over the line.

      TalkTalk’s new strategy bears this out … you still end up paying the same amount per month for having a fixed-line connection to their network.

      The only difference comes from how they choose to market it – i.e. the labels they choose to give it to appeal to people.

      It isn’t surprising that TT choose to use people’s hatred of paying “unfair” line rental as a USP … but then charge you the money anyway, just labelled differently.

  2. Avatar adslmax Real

    Lucky for York residential customers!

  3. Avatar Bob

    This sounds like a pilot to access the costs and take up. If it works I can see them rolling out across other areas of the UK

    BT is creating a gap in the market by dragging their heels with FTTC and it looks as if this consortium are out to exploit it

  4. Avatar Bob

    The without line rental seem to be to allow people to choose who they use for liner rental

    • Avatar MikeW

      It doesn’t look like that to me.

      As far as I can see, you will still get a phone service from TT included (their web page mentions “calls included” in the same way as their existing packages). It will just be carried over IP over fibre, I guess.

      Altogether, you still hand over the same money to TT. They just stop calling it “line rental” and “broadband”, and rename it “all in one” … which then stops you from having a choice.

      This part of the deal is purely marketing: naming things to appear more appealing.

  5. Avatar Bobby

    One day we will all have this in the UK. But care to speculate on how long that will actually be?

    • Avatar Chris Conder

      It will only happen when we get a regulator who regulates, and an ASA who understands telecoms, and a government that isn’t full of puppets. We also need a civil service with basic physics grades. We need journalists who can investigate and tell the story, not those who just rehash press releases as all the newspapers and tv ones do. We need to bust the snake oil myth that fTTc is fibre broadband. It isn’t. It is a rubbish patch up of a phone network to help a few go a bit faster, but in reality it is a dead end, despite the hype, and the sooner we all wake up to that fact the better. But how long? No idea. If more altnets like this get going and prove what real broadband should be like then we’ll have more evidence, but BT have made sure none get any support or funding from either our government or Europe. Nevertheless, altnets are working, and let us wish them all every success, leading the way where the incumbent fears to tread.There is a massive market in the cities just waiting to be harvested. Many there are on long EO lines with a trashy service.

  6. Avatar ax

    Not bad. Definitely cheaper than e.g. Hyperoptic. It is interesting that they are investing in infrastructure but not charging extra for it. BT would never do that.

    Anyway does anyone have any idea about the upload speed? Couldn’t find it anywhere on their website.

  7. Avatar Ignition

    I see Sky are currently building FTTP in Woodville, Midway and possibly Swadlincote in Derbyshire.

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