Sky and TalkTalk partner with CityFibre

Sky and TalkTalk have announce that they have joined forces with CityFibre to create a new company that will deliver ultra-fast broadband services in the City of York. The new joint venture company plans to build a state of the art, city-wide, pure fibre-to-the-premise (FTTP) network to deliver broadband speeds of 1 Gigabit (1000 Mbps) direct to tens of thousands of homes and businesses in York, offering customers better quality and value.

The new network will leverage CityFibre’s existing metro fibre infrastructure in the City. Once the ultra-fast network is in place, Sky and TalkTalk will retail competing broadband services over the new infrastructure, with the first York customers expected to be connected in 2015.

The joint venture plans to work with global technology provider Fujitsu to deploy the pure fibre FTTP network. It will enable Sky and TalkTalk to offer customers better value for higher speeds than is currently available, increasing both choice and innovation in broadband for consumers.

The roll out will give Sky, TalkTalk and CityFibre the opportunity to fully test a new cost effective approach to building a viable pure fibre network, independent from BT Openreach’s infrastructure. The parties also intend to bring ultra-fast broadband to two further cities across the UK and will announce further details about the selection of the cities in due course.

The Joint Venture plans to sell wholesale fibre services to Sky and TalkTalk. CityFibre, Sky, and TalkTalk will each have an equal 33.3% equity stake in the new company. CityFibre’s initial investment in the Joint Venture will be via an in-kind equity contribution comprising a right of use of its asset in York. CityFibre expects that some additional capex may be required to adapt the metro network for use by the Joint Venture but this is not expected to be material.

Dido Harding, Chief Executive of TalkTalk Group, said: “TalkTalk has a long history and proven track record of disrupting new markets, and this is the next step in that journey. We are excited to be working in partnership with Sky and CityFibre to build this new network that will offer significantly higher speeds at much better value than is currently available. This marks TalkTalk taking its first steps into investing in building infrastructure as part of our mission to make British homes and businesses better off.”

Greg Mesch, Chief Executive of CityFibre, said: “As a business that believes in the transformative potential of pure fibre infrastructure and gigabit speeds to stimulate growth and innovation this partnership is great news for UK plc. Working with two of the largest and most forward-thinking service providers in the UK we will continue to extend our existing metro fibre infrastructure and introduce a new generation of gigabit speed services to homes and businesses.”

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David Dungay

Editor - Comms Business Magazine