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One week to go for those waiting to order FTTH in York
Monday 14 September 2015 10:59:27 by Andrew Ferguson

September 21st 2015 may be a turning point in the UK broadband timeline as the Sky and TalkTalk UFO up to 940 Mbps FTTH based services should be available to actually order in parts of York. The 21st is believed to be the date when people can actually start to place orders for the service and then get the final few metres of fibre installed into their home.

Even though the same physical network will be used by the two providers there is competition over the price and speed of packages and we are sure that existing customers on the Openreach network will be encouraged to switch and advertising locally is likely to heavily target Virgin Media customers, particularly with TalkTalk now offering TV bundles.

The roll-out which is building on the core fibre network built by CityFibre has involved a lot of roadworks and this does not always appear to be as clinical as micro-trenching is sometimes suggested. One area that has had the trenching done and covered back up looks set to have the foot paths resurfaced and we presume at the expense of City Fibre and this underlies the difficulty of delivering brand new competing infrastructure, in that while people will welcome better broadband they also expect to not see pavements downgraded.

The York roll-out to some 20,000 premises once completed is very much an experiment and its success financially will determine whether other cities see the FTTH option from CityFibre. Resurfacing pavements will certainly eat into the potential for profit and is one reason why firms like Gigaclear prefer soft digs in the verge.

Around 8.22% of premises in York already have access to an up to 330 Mbps FTTH/FTTP product from Openreach, the York UFO roll-out as yet does not appear to over lap this, but a good number of premises will have access to FTTC or Virgin Media products, so beyond the cost/profit analysis this will be a good test whether Gigabit speeds appeal to the wider population.

Update Midday TalkTalk has been in touch to say that the 21st is not the date for general orders, but rather this is when trial users will start to be connected and no general order date has been announced yet. On the pavement re-surfacing apparently this is was a decision reached by the council independent of the work being carried out.

Comments

Posted by TheEulerID about 1 year ago
Those who remember when the cable networks were being installed back in the 1980s will recall the horror stories of wrecked pavements, interference with utilities and dead trees because of roots being cut. Many of the pavements still bear the scars (and it was all done at mad-cap speed with "variable" quality contractors).
In truth, this sort of works is never going to be pretty or easy.
Posted by Dixinormous about 1 year ago
Absolutely Euler - the cable build in progress around here has raised the ire of some residents and, obviously, doesn't look pretty. People complaining about access to drives, pavements 'looking like patchwork', etc.

Full reinstatement of the pavement mentioned won't be cheap. In some more 'NIMBY' areas strong complaints are, sadly, inevitable though.

Yet another cost that those who consider it relatively simple to deploy new networks based on specific and unrepresentative experiences don't consider.
Posted by Dixinormous about 1 year ago
I should mention, however, that in this area the council have been somewhat less 'precious' about things.

Where there have been legitimate complaints that could be addressed they have been taken up with Virgin who have been responsive.

Where complaints are because the pavements don't look uniform, even though they've been appropriately reinstated, they have been disregarded.

Pretty much as the council in York should have disregarded the complaint featured in this article. Pavements get excavated from time to time. Demanding utliities perform full width reinstatement isn't appropriate.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) about 1 year ago
Indications seem to be council is doing the resurface off its own back, or so TalkTalk have just told me - updated item appropriately.
Posted by Dixinormous about 1 year ago
I trust next time York complain about their funding from central government the treasury will take delight in reminding them that while they are cutting services they appear to be able to fund pavement reinstatement because said pavements don't look nice :)
Posted by TheEulerID about 1 year ago
Are the council going to be charging the installers with reinstatement? As I understand it those companies who do streetworks are compelled to do so to a decent standard.
Posted by zhango about 1 year ago
The picture linked to in the article with Stuart Rawlings on Staindale Close - looks like a neat repair to me. Those guys are as bad as the Kensington & Chelsea lot wanting fast broadband but objected to the street cabs.
Posted by tmcr about 1 year ago
I also remember the cable being laid in my area, and the footpaths have never been the same. A real patchwork job in areas, more like abstract art than a repair. If the residents of those streets in York have nothing better to complain about...
Posted by phil_cooke about 1 year ago
That reinstatement looks like a better job than the recent road 'repairs' the council made round my way, so would be happy for that in my street! Unfortunately I'm 1 road the wrong side of the next planned deployment area :(
Posted by lockyatlrg about 1 year ago
I get my 1GBS installed in Swadlincote on Thursday.
Posted by chrysalis about 1 year ago
councils with a brain will just cut their losses and resurface, their citizens in return get FTTP. Probably cheaper than paying BT for BDUK.
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