TalkTalk creates Fibre Nation as wholesale vehicle for full fibre
We had no idea on Tuesday when we published our update to the TalkTalk UFO footprint that Fibre Nation was to be launched today, but the news of a wholesale FTTP operator delivering more premises is welcome news.
The launch brings with it the news that Harrogate, Ripon and Knaresborough are set to be the next towns joining the roll-out in York and once everything is built will give a 100,000 premises footprint of full fibre.
Sky is on board for the Fibre Nation roll-out consuming the wholesale service along with TalkTalk, and we presume that the long tail of providers who resell TalkTalk Business products will very quickly get on board too.
No dates are given for when the build in the three new towns will start and this is probably linked to the information that TalkTalk is still in talks with potential partners to fund the long-term capital structure. Previously there was a Head of Terms announced in February 2018 with Infracapital but that will not be progressed, but this does not preclude Infracapital from getting on board with the FibreNation vision.
One thing that seems to have escaped management notice at TalkTalk and Fibre Nation is the headline 'FibreNation Full fibre for everyone', clearly not correct given that the stated eventual aim of FibreNation is to roll-out to three million homes. A reminder the UK has around 30 million premises, so even once a long term capital partner has been found and the roll-out is complete they will serve around 1 in 10 premises. It is possible the headline is a visionary statement but using that premise every broadband firm that is building a FTTP network could say the same thing.