York’s Ultra Fibre Optic (UFO) network is being rolled out in the city by TalkTalk, who today donated 30 computers to Hob Moor Community Primary Academy in Acomb.

The gift to the Academy which has 340 pupils aged between five and eleven - marked the launch of a community drive by TalkTalk during the build of its full fibre network expansion project, which will provide ultra-fast full fibre internet to 55,000 homes and businesses across York by 2020 and make it the UK’s first Ultra Fibre Optic city.

The new Google Chromebook computers will be used to teach reading, writing and mathematics and digital skills as part of the curriculum.

York’s UFO team started work in October last year to install the full fibre network all the way from the exchange to the streets in Dringhouses, Woodthorpe, Foxwood and Chapelfields as the start of the second phase of its full fibre rollout across York. Around 9000 homes in these areas will be able to connect to the York’s UFO network in the coming months.

The donation of funds for the Chromebooks marks the start of involvement in a number of community-based projects in the areas West of York which will be rolled out over the next few months during the installation of the new ultra fibre optic network.

Head Teacher at Hob Moor Community Primary Academy, Alex Winter said: “We are really thrilled with the Chromebooks and would like to thank York’s UFO for supporting us. The level of engagement from pupils and the results obtained from this style of learning meant that we were keen to increase access for pupils to digital technology. Not only that, but digital is the way we will all learn in  future and so the more we can help children to learn these skills the better. Having 30 more will make a real difference across the academy.”

Helen Fletcher, Marketing Manager for York’s UFO for TalkTalk said: “It is wonderful to see the children using their new Chromebooks and we are glad we have been able to make a difference to the academy and support the children’s learning. We want to get involved with the local communities and give practical support by supporting local community based projects in the areas where we are working across York. We are also keen to help develop digital skills for all age groups so the opportunity to help with the Chromebooks was perfect for us!”

Costing no more than standard fibre, at £25 per month* York’s UFO, 1000 Mbps (1 gigabit) network, is 20 times faster, more stable and reliable than other ‘fibre’ products. The future of the internet connectivity globally, there is no difference in download and upload speeds even when everyone is online at the same time. Once connected, it is completely scalable and therefore futureproof.

Residents with a gigabit connection can download a two-hour HD film in seven seconds or 100 songs in three seconds, tasks that currently take more than 25 minutes and eight minutes in an average UK home.

Homes and businesses in Rawcliffe, Clifton, Huntington, New Earswick and parts of The Groves are already able to connect to York’s UFO. Research by the House of Commons Library, using information provided by Ofcom, revealed that York Outer constituency already has the fastest download speeds in the country at 128.9Mb/s, with York Central second fastest at 82.4Mb/s. This compares to a national average of 44.6Mb/s.**

A free gigabit Wi-Fi service is available in York railway station for residents to experience the capability of a full fibre network. To find out more or to register visit York’s Ultra Fibre Optic Information Centre at York Station, follow TalkTalkUFOYork on Facebook or go to talktalk.co.uk/ufo.

For further information, please contact: Rachel Goddard, Intandem Communications on 01904 637677 or 07774 486237