Lithuania appears to be the country that the UK should aspire too, but for those living in rural areas look away now - Lithuania has FTTH to around 60% of premises, so plans to beat Lithuania may not touch rural areas at all.
The good news is that TalkTalk is expanding its footprint in the joint venture with CityFibre in York from around 14,000 premises to around 54,000 premises (take-up sitting at around 2,400 premises currently, and 40,000 more premises to be passed in today's announcement).
"We are very pleased with the success of UFO in York so far. Our customers are amazed at what they can do with their ultrafast connections – streaming HD TV without buffering, playing games in real time with people on the other side of the world, or simply enabling every member of the family to be online at the same time. We’re very excited to be extending our roll out – York is well on its way to achieving its ambition of becoming the digital capital of the north."Richard Sinclair, General Manager Ultrafast for TalkTalk
The TalkTalk press release suggests that the further 40,000 homes announced will mean the majority of city's premises are served, and we believe 54,000 homes passed would equal around 63.5% of York, so whether this is good or bad will depend on where you live. The unknown is exactly where these extra homes will be as York already has an ultrafast coverage footprint of 53.5%, where ultrafast is defined as 100 Mbps and faster, but this could easily be flipped to a 300 Mbps or faster definition now that Virgin Media is soft launching its 300 Mbps service. The degree of overlap with DOCSIS and Openreach FTTP will be interesting to see, as the Ofcom vision of urban areas with three different ultrafast infrastructures may be reality in York sooner rather than later.
More Gigabit based connections are welcome, and while each small announcement means a big difference to those directly affected for the UK as a whole if we want to race from 2% FTTH coverage to 60% premises passed and a timeframe of 2020 for 60% is used, then around 16,000 premises need to be passed every day.