Following the highly successful trial conducted in York by TalkTalk, Sky and CityFibre, work will soon start on connecting the rest of the city to the 1Gbps Ultra Fibre Optic network.

The initial roll out covered nearly 14,000 homes, with over 2,400 customers signing up to the service with TalkTalk and Sky since the beginning of the year. Residents and businesses have embraced the ultrafast service, as they discover a broadband service that delivers seamless, uninterrupted internet access on multiple devices, come rain or shine. With build costs coming in under budget and customer take-up and satisfaction running ahead of targets, work will now begin on extending the network across the rest of York. The build will start in the Spring and is expected to reach a further 40,000 homes over 18 months, covering the vast majority of the city’s premises.

Richard Sinclair, General Manager Ultrafast for TalkTalk, said: “We are very pleased with the success of UFO in York so far. Our customers are amazed at what they can do with their ultrafast connections – streaming HD TV without buffering, playing games in real time with people on the other side of the world, or simply enabling every member of the family to be online at the same time. We’re very excited to be extending our roll out – York is well on its way to achieving its ambition of becoming the digital capital of the north.” 

Currently only 2% of the UK has access to a pure fibre network, compared to 60% of Lithuania meaning that as broadband increasingly becomes the fourth utility in the UK, it is vital that it is fast, reliable and affordable for everyone.

The decision to extend the network in York emphasises all three companies commitment to the UK’s fibre future. In due course, TalkTalk will acquire Sky's equity in the venture, with Sky becoming a long-term wholesale customer. Completion of the York rollout is expected to cost approximately £20 million during TalkTalk’s financial year ending March 2018 and will be funded by TalkTalk, with CityFibre Holdings continuing as a shareholder.

Dido Harding, CEO of TalkTalk, said: “I have long been convinced that we need to be more ambitious when it comes to the UK’s digital economy, and upgrade our broadband infrastructure once and for all. What we are doing here in York is a clear demonstration of our commitment to playing our part in securing connectivity for everyone.”

Minister of State for Digital and Culture Matt Hancock said: "The future is fibre and TalkTalk's extension of its rollout of full fibre gigabit speeds in York is exactly the kind of thing we want to see industry delivering across the UK. We are working to support full fibre roll out by removing barriers and putting the right incentives in place to help cement our role as a digital leader and get the very best broadband to families and business."

Greg Mesch, Chief Executive of CityFibre, said: "CityFibre sits at the centre of pure fibre investment across the UK, with dense local access fibre networks in 40 UK towns and cities. The expansion of the York trial validates our commitment to bring ultrafast broadband to both communities and businesses. What we have delivered in partnership with Sky and TalkTalk has been truly ground breaking, leveraging our existing assets to deliver a state of the art fibre-to-the-premises network built efficiently and without the involvement of Openreach."

Mary Weastell, Chief Executive of City of York Council, said: “We are delighted that this ultrafast network will be extended further across York. As a result, over 50,000 households will be amongst the first in the country to benefit from gigabit broadband, which places York as one of the top digital infrastructure cities in the UK. It has been the council’s ambition with partners across the city to make York the first truly gigabit city, given the opportunity and potential this platform provides, and this is the final part of that puzzle.” 

Cllr David Carr, Leader of City of York Council, said: “This investment will transform York’s digital landscape. As the first gigabit city in the country to benefit from having access to city wide gigabit broadband, this provides significant new opportunities and support for thousands of businesses based here and a better quality and value to our residents. Not only helping to create new jobs and attract investment but making York an enviable business destination.”

ENDS

For more information, please contact:

Coralie Frost: coralie.frost@talktalkplc.com / 020 3417 1867

Isobel Bradshaw: isobel.bradshaw@talktalkplc.com / 020 3417 1027

Customer testimonials can be found here: http://talktalk.co.uk/ufocustomers

UFO in numbers

2014 – Ultrafast trial announced

<£500 – cost per home of building the network

21.70 – monthly cost of UFO, £1.25 cheaper that TalkTalk’s copper broadband

2,400 – number of homes and businesses currently enjoying ultrafast broadband

40,000 – additional number of York homes that will be connected to the UFO network

10m – homes that TalkTalk hopes to connect to FTTP nationally by 2025