More FTTH for Oxfordshire in Upper Heyford
It seems that maybe the idea that fast broadband is another tick box in the house buying process is starting to enter the property developers field of vision. Upper Heyford which was an old nuclear airbase is being redeveloped as a private estate (over 1,100 plots) and had an open house event over the 5th and 6th April for those wanting to spend over £350,000 on an old officers residence.
ISPreview mentioned the FTTH aspect of the area on Friday, and as we are keen to cover any FTTH news it is worth covering now. GTC announced it had the contract as the sole utility provider for Upper Heyford back in February, i.e. they will be installing and operating gas, electric and FTTH networks. There is little information on how this will operate, i.e. will there be a single retail provider, or a wholesale product the FTTH product page suggests home owners may have a choice of multiple providers, but to date the big name providers have been reluctant to join similar schemes. For a property developer on a private estate, by providing new properties with fibre built-in they can also insist on no satellite dishes, since via Fibre Integrated Reception Service (FIRS) the utility operator can feed Sky to properties, though in many residential flats with communal reception systems the extra fees for the system are often unpopular.
The Heyford Park development is not likely to be one full of your average modern shoe box property since it promises as part of the management services things like gardeners, handymen (and women we presume), concierge and more.
Openreach already offers FIRS but this was limited to the 10,000 home FTTH deployment at Ebbsfleet, which as a development has just been relaunched as a garden city after a few years of stop go development on the site.
Update 8th April Some time after we published this story GTC published news of a link up with Sky.