TalkTalk has flipped the switch on full-fibre in Ipswich, giving residents of the Suffolk town the option of 506Mbps broadband.
You’ll pay £32 per month for a connection with 150Mbps speeds on an 18-month term or £40 per month for 500Mbps. The only setup fee is £4.95 postage for your new router.
TalkTalk’s Future Fibre broadband tariffs are delivered over CityFibre and Openreach’s separate fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) networks. The ISP has arrangements to use both alternative network CityFibre and BT division Openreach, but in many cities has chosen one or the other.
In Ipswich, however, both CityFibre and Openreach have presences (although Openreach’s footprint is limited), and TalkTalk has partnered with both. Households connected to either network can sign up for FTTP tariffs with the budget ISP. Prices are aligned but you’ll get higher, symmetrical upload speeds if your home is on the CityFibre network.
TalkTalk’s fibre offerings will be rolled out to more cities as the UK’s FTTP infrastructure grows. Most recently, in February it launched FTTP packages on CityFibre’s network in Aberdeen, Bolton, Milton Keynes and Peterborough.
CityFibre already reaches 650,000 premises and, with the backing of Goldman Sachs, is investing £4 billion to reach 1 million premises by the end of the year. It ultimately aims to reach 8 million homes and businesses, including in rural areas, and expects this build, which will give them 30% coverage across the UK, will be “substantially completed" by the end of 2025. TalkTalk is expected to offer tariffs over the entirety of the network by the end of this year.
CityFibre’s deployment in Ipswich in particular is being supported by a £24 million investment and will be completed by the autumn of 2022.
Charles Kitchin, City Manager for CityFibre in Ipswich, said: “We are delighted to be working with TalkTalk to offer people the opportunity to access the full fibre network we have been building in Ipswich. We have made real strides in bringing state-of-the-art digital connectivity to homes since beginning our build and look forward to even more homes having access to fast and reliable digital connectivity in the future.”
At one point TalkTalk had its own full-fibre network, branded FibreNation, covering parts of York, Harrogate, Dewsbury and surrounding areas. Last January, it sold FibreNation to CityFibre for £200 million and the alternative network has since integrated the footprint into its network and installed new equipment.
Meanwhile, Openreach recently met its interim goal of reaching 4.5 million premises with full fibre by March 2021. It connected 1.9 million homes and businesses to the gigabit-capable network in the 2020-21 financial year, despite the disruption of the coronavirus crisis, and anticipates hitting a maximum build rate of 3 million connections per year in the near future. Openreach is ultimately targeting 20 million FTTP connections by the mid to late 2020s, supported by a £12 billion investment.
Keiran Wines, Openreach’s Regional Partnership Director, said: “We’re proud to be supporting TalkTalk with access to our network. Openreach is the UK’s largest broadband infrastructure provider with millions of households and businesses using our infrastructure every day. No-one else is building full fibre faster than us; 42,000 premises each week and we’ve just reached 4.5 million in total.”
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