TalkTalk launches new company, FibreNation, to deliver full fibre network

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Image: PA

Broadband provider TalkTalk has formed a new company to build its a full fibre network across the UK. Called FibreNation, TalkTalk hopes it will eventually provide fibre to the home (FTTH) services to 3 million people in the UK.

The telcoms company confirmed that the first three towns to benefit from the new service will be Harrogate, Ripon and Knaresborough. The rollout builds upon TalkTalk’s full fibre trial in York, which has seen the city benefit from Britain’s fastest internet. The combined footprint will reach over 100,000 homes and businesses. 

Full fibre is one hundred times faster than standard broadband and offers guaranteed speeds rather than variable ones. With speeds of 1000mbps, customers can download an HD film in just seven seconds, compared to 25 minutes on a standard connection. 

The announcement comes as the Government sets ambitious targets to increase the number of homes served by full fibre. Britain currently ranks almost last in Europe for full fibre availability. Just 5% of the UK homes and businesses have access to the technology, compared to over 80% elsewhere in Europe. The Government hopes 15 million homes and businesses will benefit from full fibre services by 2025. 

Tristia Harrison, Chief Executive of TalkTalk, said: “We’re delighted to launch FibreNation and set out our plan to deliver world class broadband to three million homes and businesses. For too long, Britain has trailed the rest of the world when it comes to broadband speed and reliability. We’re determined to change that and invest in the faster, more reliable broadband Britain deserves. This is just the beginning of our plans to be at the heart of Britain’s full fibre future.”

Today’s announcement comes as TalkTalk continues to report strong growth. In interim financial results published today, the firm reported a seventh consecutive quarter of growth, having added over 100,000 customers over the last six months.

Comments Ernest Doku, broadband and mobiles expert at uSwitch.com:

“After a rocky couple of years, TalkTalk has worked hard to claw back consumer confidence following 2015’s well-publicised data breach and today’s results reflect that.

“This positive swing, adding more than 100,000 customers in the last six months, most of them on higher speed fibre products, is being underpinned by the provider’s much-discussed turnaround plan.

“At the heart of its strategy is an effort to win back trust among its core customer base by guaranteeing no price rises during the life of broadband contracts and ardently pushing on in its ambitious full-fibre rollout plans.

“Despite a recent hiccup in the form of a dispute with its Prudential-backed full-fibre funder, Infracapital, TalkTalk is still targeting full-fibre services to three million homes in the next three to five years.

“Today’s eye-catching FibreNation announcement is merely the latest stage in that plan, an endorsement for the successful trial run in York and especially good news for those in Harrogate, Ripon and Knaresborough, who will be the next to benefit.

“Its ongoing plans to double down on its broadband offering and move away from mobile also show remarkable self-awareness in a market where providers think they can contend for all slices of the pie.”

 
Chris Price