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ISP TalkTalk Launch 150Mbps and 300Mbps G.fast Home Broadband UPDATE3

Tuesday, April 24th, 2018 (11:43 am) - Score 23,826
talktalk uk fibre broadband

Low cost UK internet provider TalkTalk has today officially launched their new range of unlimited G.fast based ultrafast home broadband packages, which offer download speeds of ‘up to’ 150Mbps (30Mbps upload) and 300Mbps (50Mbps upload) from just £40 per month (including line rental).

At present the new hybrid fibre G.fast technology is still technically in the pilot phase and as such its coverage remains limited. Despite this Openreach are ramping up their deployment quite quickly and as a result the new service should reach about 10 million UK premises by the end of 2020.

As usual all of their packages include phone line rental, unlimited usage, a wireless router (we are trying to find out what it ships with right now), no setup fee (engineer install) and various other features (e.g. network-level Parental Controls, nuisance call blocking and Internet Security). Currently the packages can be taken with either an 18 or 24 month contract option.

Faster 150 Fibre (150Mbps Down / 30Mbps Up)
PRICE: £40 per month

Faster 300 Fibre (300Mbps Down / 50Mbps Up)
PRICE: £50 per month

There is also an additional £12.50 charge for customers requiring a new copper line. We assume that customers can also add one of TalkTalk‘s TV boxes to the same packages for the same £25 one-off charge as usuall (or £50 for the TV Plus box with video recording) and for an extra +£7 per month on top you can usually take their TV Plus subscription that adds 30 premium entertainment channels.

Unfortunately at the time of writing the provider’s availability checker doesn’t appear to support online ordering, which means you’ll have to call an 0800 number if it’s found to be available and you want to order it. The ISP also states that their G.fast service can currently only be ordered in the following 11 locations, although we know that Openreach’s pilot is being expanded well beyond these (here).

G.fast Availability Areas
Bath
Cheltenham
Cambridge
Derby
Edinburgh
Gillingham
High Wycombe
Brighton & Hove
Luton
St. Austell
Swansea

UPDATE 1:09pm

We’ve had a response on our router question. Like other ISPs (except BT), TalkTalk will make use of Openreach’s own modem to handle the G.fast side (currently a Huawei MT992) and at the same time they’ll continue to ship their existing Huawei HG633Super Router” to deal with everything else (WiFi etc.).

One or two very obvious problems here is that the wired LAN ports on the HG633 are stuck on the old 100Mbps standard, which means that those of you who prefer to get the best performance by using an Ethernet cable to your computer will not be able to get the best broadband speeds. The advertising watchdog might have a few things to say about that.

Meanwhile the 802.11ac WiFi performance of the HG633 is reasonable but it doesn’t have the same reach or performance as others, which makes it better for last generation FTTC (VDSL2) than G.fast. You really do need a better piece of kit to make the most out of these ultrafast broadband connections.

We know that TalkTalk does appear to have a more advanced router from Sagemcom under closed beta trial but so far the details have remained elusive.

UPDATE 1:58pm

The PR team at TalkTalk says they’ve made a small typo and that actually the ISP will be shipping the HG635 router. I’ve responded and asked for them to check the quoted specs for that because we recall the HG635 having Gigabit LAN ports on the back, rather than 100Mbps.

UPDATE 3:30pm

TalkTalk has apologised for the earlier error and kindly confirmed that the HG635 does indeed have 4 x Gigabit Ethernet ports and one WAN port, which is much as we reported all the way back in 2014. Sadly it’s fairly old kit by modern standards (here) and hopefully they’ll release something more up-to-date in the near future.

Leave a Comment
25 Responses
  1. Avatar CarlT

    Excellent news. Be interested to see how the take up runs on this product.

    Great to see TalkTalk covering the bases via both their own FTTP project, assuming it comes to fruition, and using Openreach products.

    • Avatar A_Builder

      @CarlT

      Always good to see more options so people can vote with their feet. I have a Gfast connection and it works as fine as you would expect from a copper connection 292/48.5 at 140m line length.

      The drivers for the take-up are going to be pretty all over the place.

      If you can get Alt Net fibre they will struggle to give GFast away.

      If you are choosing GFast relative to VM this is probably actually better as the performance might well be better and more consistent at least to the DSLAM. Leaving backhaul out of it for now.

      If you have good FTTC and don’t need more download/upload GFast is pretty pointless for most people.

      If you don’t have FTTC and don’t have VM and there is no Alt Net then GFast take up will be very high. But that will be hens teeth stuff as the vast majority of the PCP’s with Gfast already have FTTC.

  2. Avatar Ixel

    Good for those who have g.fast coverage, sucks for those who are too far away from the cabinet to get it. I wonder everyday why Openreach went down the route of g.fast at the cabinet, it seems like a waste of investment.

    • Avatar Ixel

      I can’t find a way to edit my comment but I forgot to add something.

      On a bright note, maybe for some VDSL2/FTTC connections it will result in a little less crosstalk depending how many take up g.fast, since at the moment they operate on different frequencies.

    • Avatar JustAnotherFileServer

      The main reason why they went with having G.Fast at the cabinet level was because it was supposed to be quick deployment. This has not been the result as it’s been slower to deploy than FTTC was.

    • Avatar FibreFred

      “This has not been the result as it’s been slower to deploy than FTTC was.”

      But is that what was meant by a quick deployment? I thought it meant quick compared to Gfast being deployed at the pole.

    • Avatar JustAnotherFileServer

      @FibreFred It was first thought that it would be quicker to bolt on a side pod to the cabinet rather than either deploying to the pole or dp point.

      I’ve had G.fast pods installed near me since last September, but won’t be in operation until the end of summer (due to the unforeseen delays in the way the deployment has gone). Talked to a local Openreach engineer the other day about this and they said that if they had known it was going to take this long then probably they would have not gone for the side pods.

    • Avatar CarlT

      Just not true that it’s a slower process enabling a PCP for G.fast than for FTTC. Deployment of G.fast is still ramping up and is a way faster process than FTTC for obvious reasons – no civils.

    • Avatar CarlT

      The delays are nothing to do with the choice of PCP-mounted pods and do not impact on that choice. They are due to issues with supply of 10G CableLink kit.

      Random Openreach guy’s words should not be taken as gospel.

    • Avatar JustAnotherFileServer

      @CarlT Maybe I wasn’t that clear in my comment, but from what I’ve heard from both people in BT and Openreach is that is they had known that it would take so much time for 10G cablelink (and have the pods sitting idle) then they would have gone with something like having the g.fast on the poles (as installing on poles would take a little little, but would not be sitting around doing nothing and waiting).

      I hope that now makes it more clear for you?

    • Avatar CarlT

      That would have increased cost substantially and cost was the primary consideration in placing the pods on PCPs. Obviously a good part of that lower cost is in terms of not requiring civils and lower labour costs so speed of rollout and cost correlate well.

      Putting the pods deeper into the network requires deeper fibre for backhaul alongside either powering via a series of pairs or local low voltage supply. Given when Openreach plan on replacing G.fast with FTTP it’s not worth it. They can’t spend too much as the incremental revenue is low and the expected life of the pods is low. It’s a dead-end technology unlike the FTTC deployment which pushed active electronics and fibre deeper into the plant.

      Pods are sitting idle but that’s not holding back deployments. Openreach aren’t sitting on their hands doing nothing while they wait for the CableLink capacity they are carrying on deploying further pods.

      It’s obviously not ideal having them sitting there waiting for CableLinks but it’s not slowing the programme down much overall, or increasing its cost. In the case of this locality Hunslet has been finished bar some CableLinks and Openreach have moved onto Armley and other surrounding exchanges.

      Even the commissioning of the pods isn’t being held up. They are powered, they have backhaul, they have the software installed and configuration done they are just not marked as being ready for service until the CableLink capability is in place.

      Sticking the pods into distribution points would take the cost from tens of pounds per premises passed into three figures. The cost in some cases would be virtually identical to or even higher than FTTP per premises passed with the only saving being per premises connected.

      Hopefully Huawei will get the cards delivered sooner rather than later and once that’s done there should be a rapid increase in premises passed.

    • Avatar JustAnotherFileServer

      It’s just a little frustrating even for the engineers who are having to replace parts in the pods because now they’ve become obsolete and new parts have been developed even before they have been put in service.

      In the end the closer they can get the fibre to the end customer the better as it would make full fibre for the last bit easier and quicker to do when they finally get around to doing the full fibre rollout.

    • Avatar CarlT

      Yes… the actual line cards in the pods started off with a single ‘first generation’ card and a maximum of 48 lines per pod. This will become 96 as higher density cards become available.

      It is a weird situation but I guess it is what it is.

    • Avatar Kelvin

      96 ports? That is a bit poor.

  3. Avatar HV42

    This is starting to look more like it, compared to the borderline ridiculous £55/month prices seen this far. Competition seems to be eroding this, and £40 is in line with altnets offering ~150Mbps services for around £35-£40.

    • Avatar Paul M

      I pay £45 a month to Zen for just 40M down, 5.5M up, because it’s all my line can handle. Sure, it’s a lot more expensive than Plusnet or TalkTalk but it never slows down, I get static ipv4 and v6, and customer service is excellent.

    • Avatar Wujek Pawel

      Paul M: I pay £27 a month to Vodafone for just 38M down, 9M up, but it’s not all my line can handle. I am not sure, if it’s a lot more expensive than Plusnet or TalkTalk but it never slows down, I get static ipv4 and unfortunately not v6, and customer service is excellent.

  4. Avatar NE555

    “the new [G.fast] service should reach about 10 million UK premises by the end of 2020”

    Does this figure count all people connected to G.fast-enabled cabinets, or only those with a short enough loop length to benefit from G.fast?

  5. Avatar Peter

    What a load of s### I’m with talk talk and the internet us s### I never get the speeds they say. Really should never off swapped from virgin now that never failed in getting the speeds they say

  6. Avatar Rahul

    Unbelievable news coming from this afternoon! I couldn’t believe my eyes what I just saw this! Only couple of days ago when I checked it said in a plan for Superfast Broadband but works haven’t been started yet. As I mentioned that was how it was 4 years so far. Today all of a sudden I see they mention FTTP as their plan of upgrade for my area. :O

    Result In scope

    Your area is currently in our plans to be upgraded with Fibre to the Premises (FTTP), however we follow a different design and build process for FTTP so you won’t see updates at each stage. Once the engineering work is completed there is a commissioning period of up to eight weeks before an order can be placed. When you are able to place an order you will see the Accepting Orders message.

    Cabinet
    Exchange name: Bishopsgate
    Exchange status: Fibre enabled
    Cabinet number: –
    Technology: Pending – EO Line

    I’m still not sure if this is a mistake or BT have been reading my posts here and decided to take the matter seriously. XD

    Well it only makes sense really since my line is an Exchange Only. FTTC would’ve required 2 new green cabinets which would’ve been just as expensive as going through an FTTP installation instead.

    I’m not 100% certain whether this is real or an electronic mistake from BT. Maybe I’ll need to get in touch to confirm the validity of this FTTP plan… 😛

  7. Avatar jeep

    Isnt this flogging a dead horse? from a laymans pov doesn’t gfast only help those within x metres of the cab as does fttc. so if that being the case if your property is fed either by pole or duct wouldn’t fibre have to be laid to the nearest point to make any marked difference? so to a layman it would seem you may aswell lay fiber.

  8. Avatar arfon jones

    I pay talktalk £31.50 for upto 76mbps talktalk tried for 6 months to reach the target and failed there only manage 51mbps how the hell are there going to reach 150 mbps

  9. I quite enjoyed the read, but as an ordinary 76year old It’s s lot to take in. For my needs, 38 mbs for £23 to £25.00 would be fine for me.

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