| LONDON, April 15
LONDON, April 15 British broadband rivals
TalkTalk and BSkyB are building their own fibre
network in York that will deliver the fastest broadband speeds
available by sidestepping the BT network they rely on
The two companies are joining up with AIM-listed CityFibre
, which has already installed a fibre infrastructure in
the city in northern England, to start the service next year,
they said on Tuesday.
"We are going to deliver a pure fibre network that will
deliver speeds of 1 Gig per second (1,000 Mb) direct to homes
and businesses in York independent of BT Openreach
infrastructure," TalkTalk's Chief Executive Dido Harding said.
The network will have superfast connections to tens of
thousands of homes and businesses, she said, bettering BT's
service, which uses copper wires for the last few metres.
One connection would allow 200 people to watch different
high-definition videos at the same time without buffering, she
"One Gig is basically unlimited bandwidth whereas with fibre
to the cabinet and copper wire to the home or business, all you
can commit to is up to 76 Mb," she said on Tuesday.
BT also offers its retail customers a full fibre-to-the-home
product that has speeds of 300 Mb in some areas, and Virgin
Media offers speeds of up to 152 Mb on its own
TalktTalk and Sky will each have a one-third stake in the
new venture, and they plan to build similar networks in two more
cities, Harding said, with the choice decided by a competition.
"The economics of building a fibre to the premises network
are quite final balanced," she said. "We will be looking to work
with cities that are enthusiastic."
TalkTalk, with four million customers, has to date relied on
BT's fibre network for superfast broadband, and it has
complained that BT abuses its position by squeezing the gap
between its wholesale price and its retail prices.
Regulator Ofcom is investigating the claim. BT has said
there is no case to answer
Harding said charges for its product in York, which will be
sold independently of Sky's offer, would be set in due course.
"TalkTalk never does anything in the middle of the pack, we
always look to offer our customers extraordinary value, and this
will be no different," she said.
TalkTalk customers had baulked at paying an additional 10
pounds to 15 pounds a month extra for fibre to cabinet, she
said. "We think we can offer a much better product at a much
Ofcom said on Tuesday that one in four residential broadband
connections was now "superfast", which it defines as 30 Mb or
faster, up from 5 percent in November 2011.
(Editing by Jane Merriman)