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TalkTalk’s 1Gbps FTTP Broadband in York Reaches 33000 Premises

Wednesday, March 6th, 2019 (12:01 am) - Score 4,419
talktalk york fttp digging

Budget orientated UK ISP TalkTalk has revealed that their roll-out of a new Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) network in the city of York has now covered 33,000 homes and businesses. The final 21,000 premises are due to “follow this year” (54,000 total) and customer satisfaction is high.

By now most of you will hopefully be aware of TalkTalk’s FibreNation strategy, which will initially see them build a wholly owned “full fibre” wholesale ISP network to cover up to 60,000 homes in three towns and cities: Harrogate, Knaresborough and Ripon (taking place within the “next 12-18 months“). The provider also has an ambition to cover 3 million UK premises (cost £1.5bn) but this is dependent upon finding an investment partner.

However TalkTalk has separately been working with Cityfibre and Sky Broadband (Sky stopped investing after phase one but remain a wholesale partner) to deploy a similar “Ultra Fibre Optic” network across the City of York for some years now. Originally this only covered c.14,000 premises but in 2016 they announced a Phase 2 expansion to reach an additional 40,000 (here); Cityfibre is not a part of phase 2 or the FibreNation strategy.

In an update to investors this week we learnt that the York deployment had now reached 33,000 premises (14k in phase one, 19k in phase two and 21k more to follow this year) and was delivering a Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT) of 92% “Satisfied” (57% “Very Satisfied“).

TalkTalk’s York Highlights to Investors

Extremely positive customer reaction

−Phase 1 penetration reached 35% with only TalkTalk marketing the service –and 7 of the 38 Cabinets have 40%+ penetration.
−Phase 2 cabinets released in Autumn 2018 already achieved penetration of 12% with no proactive migration activity.
−Significantly lower fault rates and virtually no churn.
−Net Promoter Score of +47, higher than any UK telecommunications business –fixed or mobile.

Exciting construction innovation driving down cost

−Use of Openreach infrastructure both ducts and poles.
−Active cabinets expanding addressable area.

Back in 2016 TalkTalk said its build costs for the York network had been established at below £500 per home passed (doesn’t include the final home install) and they claimed to be “increasingly confident of reaching our targeted penetration rate of 30%‐40% and delivering the proof of concept required to expand beyond York“. We believe the build costs may have come down a little since then.

In theory TalkTalk could in the future automatically migrate customers on to their FTTP platform, although this would be a significant change of service and creates some additional complications (ISP switching choice, phone service etc.). As such it’s probably more of a consideration for the future, as copper networks are retired.

The York deployment will ultimately be joined into their future FibreNation platform. Areas not covered by FibreNation are expected to be offered FTTP and G.fast solutions from Openreach’s (BT) growing network. The latest are to be connected in York is Poppleton.

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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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17 Responses
  1. Avatar Elliot

    I’m in an area that was part of the initial phase but they missed our street and have no intention of coming back to extend, so is this actual numbers or rough coverage areas? They claim to cover our street on the UFO website.

    • 33,000 premises covered is the figure given by TalkTalk. Mind you even once they hit 54,000 that still leaves several thousand York premises outside of their network area. Did they ever give you a specific reason for missing your street? Might help to know what street this is.

    • Avatar Badem

      Don’t forget that some streets could not be done due to being unadopted highway so no permission or possibly under S58 notice prohibiting work, as Mark says, if you state the street or even contact the TalkTalk UFO team on 08002300272 they can investigate why its not available and supply you with clarity around this.

    • Avatar Rahul

      Check this map. https://images.ctfassets.net/0zd818fqktdq/1hdFEe7iYnch19bX9B0niq/9fc24f6205ab0d98057199fc4c473e24/UFO_Coverage_Map_Feb19.jpg

      If your street is under the blue or purple highlighted areas then you should eventually get it after the current constructions are complete.

      If you’re in the grey areas then of-course maybe you won’t get it yet. But I’m pretty sure they will expand the whole York area eventually one day.

      That’s what I think they are going to do, complete York first before heading over to the other cities for their FibreNation roll-out plan.

    • Avatar Meadmodj

      @Rahul “expand the whole York area eventually one day”
      There are currently no obligations on Altnets to either cover a whole area or not to leave isolated islands surrounded by FTTP. These providers will expand out to the point where it is no longer commercially viable based on cost and market share. VM’s predecessor Telewest haven’t covered all homes round here and stopped as soon as the density reduced.

      Similar islands are being created in BDUK areas given to Gigaclear (covered by commercial FTTC). So many in both urban and rural may find that they are left out of these roll-outs. As far as I am aware only OR are rolling out to all premises in each phase but the way things are going they may choose to stay out of the urban Giga fight until later in some places.

      Talktalk and Vodafone FTTP pricing is to ensure take-up but these will inevitably rise going forward. Talktalk may be happy at 35% but Cityfibre won’t when FTTP should be selling itself at £27.50/m for 900 sym. Companies like TrueSpeed and Hyperoptic may fill the gaps if there is sufficient demand (30%) in an “non-FTTP island” but if it is only a handful of homes or far apart people may have to await a USOv2 around 2030.

    • Avatar Meadmodj

      York approx.
      Households 83,552
      Cityfibre/Talktalk 54,000
      VM 27,453

      Quite a shortfall and a possibly long wait for those, you’ve guessed it, on ADSL and slower FTTC products.

    • Avatar Steve Blake

      “Talktalk may be happy at 35% but Cityfibre won’t when FTTP should be selling itself at £27.50/m for 900 sym. ”

      How do you know that?? Have you personally spoken to the bean counters at Cityfibre?

    • Avatar Rahul

      @Meadmodj: To be fair from the map that I have viewed there are some unimportant areas in York that are in the grey area which don’t really need FTTP. Such as National Railway Museum, Shopping Parks and Sports Clubs, Cafe and Tea Rooms. These don’t really need FTTP they are more of sight viewing/recreational destinations.

      If the York area is predominantly being focused on residential houses and apartments where most of them are covered that’s more than enough.

      From another article for Vodafone Coventry we can see “the aim is to cover “almost every home” in the city by the end of 2021.”

      I’m optimistic about York and Coventry they are one of the smallest populated cities in the UK. With only 200-300 thousand populations.

      Let’s face it, if they can’t cover almost 100% of these cities how are they going to cover London, Birmingham and Manchester which are the biggest in the UK? Completing York and Coventry to 100% is most definitely going to happen before London, Birmingham, Manchester, etc. They are the most realistic targets and I believe they will be completed before 2030. What I don’t believe however, is the UK achieving 100% FTTP by 2033. Individual cities may achieve 100% FTTP by then, but I’m not optimistic about the entire UK.

  2. Avatar CJ

    Interesting they are using openreach duct and pole sharing to reduce the build cost. I wonder what the annual rental cost per premise passed works out at, in areas where they are doing it that way.

    In theory it should be cheaper than spending money upfront on new build ducting, even over the long term, because neither party incurred the cost of new civils (and subsequent interest on the financing of them).

    • Avatar Rahul

      Yes, this is why perhaps TalkTalk UFO has managed to provide a cheaper package.
      https://www.talktalk.co.uk/shop/ufo/broadband
      More than 900 Mb Full fibre all the way to your home

      Totally unlimited uploads and downloads

      £27.50 a month. Fixed for 18 months. No set-up fees.

      1Gbps TalkTalk is the cheapest in the UK! It even beats B4RNs £30 a month deal for the same speed. There’s no other package like this that’s this cheap. Even Hyperoptic would be £38/9 a month but on 12 month contract. While this is on 18 month contract. I guess because it is a trial in York only, that’s why they are giving such a cheap deal.

    • Avatar Badem

      To be fair Rahul, at so many properties passed its well out of the Trial phase now

  3. Avatar Angela Charles

    Great news for some but I regret that they do not prioritise a reasonable speed for ALL customers, but instead incredibly fast speeds for a few and barely functional or even non-functional (given modern usage needs) for the majority.

    • Avatar Steve Blake

      “barely functional or even non-functional (given modern usage needs) for the majority.”

      How do you know this? Have you seen all TT customers modem line stats and actual speeds? Or are you just using your own experience to generalise?

    • Avatar Badem

      The limitations for the majority of their customers are down to the network they are connected to, they cannot just magically connect everyone to their FTTP product as it needs to be installed first, and only York has it (with the new cities being started that makes 4 places in York)

      TalkTalk have undertaken massive programmes to improve the speed issues for their entire customer base and just reading the Trading updates shows this is having a positive impact on their figures.

  4. Avatar Ian Silverberg

    1GB who they kidding, that’s what they’ll sell you, but they’ll come up with a million excuses why they don’t deliver it, I’d not bother with TalkTalk unless you want a service that is offline more than online.

  5. Avatar Robert Cunningham

    I registered interest in the city fibre service about 4 years ago. Still waiting…Meanwhile the world has changed. might even get 5G quicker than this and then fibre will be redundant.

  6. Avatar James

    Virgin has just installed 300meg fibre system in our area and am with talk talk n you slapped me with 280 to cancel lol .. I’ll give it a few months n bolt lol

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