TALKTALK and Sky will bypass BT’s national fibre broadband network, which they complain overcharges and under-delivers, with a trial of their own dedicated fibre network in York.
Sky and TalkTalk will both plough £5m into the new joint venture, in partnership with CityFibre, which they say will surpass speeds offered by BT.
“This is a first step in TalkTalk building an infrastructure business,” TalkTalk chief executive Dido Harding told City A.M., describing the new network as an early trial which could lead to a wider rollout.
The new joint venture aims to connect fibre directly to 20,000 properties in York, with more details on a rollout to two other cities soon. The plan differs to the majority of BT’s fibre network, which only reaches the cabinets on streets.
“You could easily invite 200 friends around your house and all stream HD video on tablets, laptops and smartphones without a problem,” said Harding, describing the speeds that the network will offer.
She compared the rollout to Google Fibre in the US which has seen the search giant install its own dedicated fibre network for residents in Kansas and Austin, bypassing the incumbent national networks. “In the US where Google has put gigabit internet in it’s driving the economy in those cities, this will help drive the economy in York and it will give us a read on how to roll this out further.”