Today should see the first customer (trial user we presume) go live on the Sky FTTH network in York, and to celebrate there is a short press release from Sky.
"Sky is the first broadband service provider in the UK to offer guaranteed broadband speeds. We are proud that these products will be available to our customers in York on our ultrafast and ultra-reliable gigabit network. As Ofcom continues its review of the broadband market, we believe that trials like this are a valuable demonstration of the alternative technologies now available. With the right conditions for investment and innovation, consumers and businesses could benefit from more ultrafast connections across the UK."Lyssa McGowan, Director of Sky Broadband
Would it be naughty to remind people that the guarantee only applies to the 50 and 100 Mbps products, not the up to 940 Mbps service.
Where the war of words with BT is getting a bit silly is the line "making York the first ultrafast city in the UK", if one live user at ultrafast speeds (which remember the EU and UK Governments define as 100 Mbps and faster) means you can declare a city ultrafast then almost every city in the UK is ultrafast and some such as Brighton, Portsmouth, Nottingham and Bristol have cable coverage at speeds of up to 152 Mbps (rising soon to 300 Mbps) at over 90%. Even if we adopt the FTTH is the only true future proof broadband service stance, then the City of Kingston Upon Hull with KC Lightstream available to 30.9% of premises is a long way ahead now of even the future Sky/TalkTalk/CityFibre target for York. Openreach while not uniform in its FTTP coverage across the UK is delivering 35% FTTP coverage in the constituency of Truro and Falmouth (and Truro is a city), central York already has Openreach native FTTP coverage (up to 330 Mbps) at 12.4% and the outer area is lower at 3.25%.
Hyperoptic is currently the largest provider of Gigabit based broadband services in the UK and so it will be interesting to see how the Sky and TalkTalk service stacks up in the speed race. The advertising war of words is going to be the most fun component particularly as Wi-Fi via tablets and mobiles is increasingly popular, though it need not be slow as this 230 Mbps from an iPad speed test shows.