Yorkshire towns first to benefit from FibreNation rollout

22 November 2018   By Dr Lucy Brown, Editor

Harrogate, Knaresborough and Ripon first towns on agenda of newly-formed full fibre broadband company FibreNation.

TalkTalk has established the new company to build and manage the fibre infrastructure required by wholesale customers for their own users.

These latest rollouts follow a successful trial in York and will increase the fibre footprint in North Yorkshire to over 100,000 homes and business.

No dates have yet been announced for the rollout to the three Yorkshire towns, although council leaders have promised to minimise disruption from the works.

These developments come amid Government pledges to ensure that full fibre broadband is available to all UK homes by 2033, with a minimum of 15 million homes to be connected by 2025.

fibre broadband

Knowledge gained from York trial

A trial FTTP (fibre to the premises) network was established in York in 2014 as a joint project between TalkTalk and Sky. Earlier this year, TalkTalk took complete ownership of the project.

The purpose of the trial network was to assess customer demand and build a knowledge base that will enable them to deploy full fibre effectively in the future.

Thanks to the success of this trial, TalkTalk has accelerated its plans to deliver full fibre broadband to three million homes and businesses by creating FibreNation.

It follows similar moves by other companies to invest in FTTP. In 2017, Vodafone announced a partnership with CityFibre designed to deliver fibre broadband to one million premises by 2021.

Virgin Media have also been active in recent years, pledging to bring one million connections on to FTTP with their Project Lightning initiatives.

What does this mean for consumers?

Homes and businesses in Harrogate, Knaresborough and Ripon can look forward to broadband that is up to 100 times faster than current standard speeds.

Full fibre connections also deliver a more reliable service to users as they are less prone to faults than the standard copper technology in use for ordinary broadband services.

While there is a growing appetite for full fibre services in the UK, the country currently has less than 5% coverage. South Korea and Japan have 99% and 97% respectively.

Consumers hoping for rapid switches to full fibre will be disappointed as gradual rollouts are planned by all providers to assess demand and test infrastructure prior to widespread launches.

New company independent of TalkTalk

FibreNation is designed to be comparatively impartial, with TalkTalk themselves a customer of the company. They will wholesale access to the network to then sell on to their own customers. Sky will also be a wholesale customer.

Paul Reynolds has been appointed as Chair of FibreNation. With a background as a director in telecoms, he has first-hand experience of full fibre rollouts across the world.

He was also instrumental in creating BT Openreach as a business that was functionally separate from its parent company.

The launch of FibreNation as a separate company ensures that there is distance between the two enterprises. This will limit conflicts brought about by clashes between parent company strategies and infrastructure development needs.

As part of this, TalkTalk are seeking partners to ensure a long-term capital structure for FibreNation. This will guarantee the company's future beyond TalkTalk's initial investment.

Which broadband deals are available in your area?

independent comparison

We are independent of all of the products and services we compare.

fair comparison

We order our comparison tables by price or feature and never by referral revenue.

charity donations and climate positive

We donate at least 5% of our profits to charity, and we have a climate positive workforce.

Get insider tips and the latest offers in our newsletter