Sky And TalkTalkTalk Up Their Fibre

Max 'Beast from the East' Smolaks covers open source, public sector, startups and technology of the future at TechWeekEurope. If you find him looking lost on the streets of London, feed him coffee and sugar.

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The new 80 Mbps service is coming to a cabinet near you, while TalkTalk lays off some staff

Two of the UK’s biggest ISPs, Sky and Talk Talk, have launched new fibre broadband services this week, doubling the download speeds to 80Mbps. The Talk Talk offering was widely advertised, while Sky had recently claimed it had no interest in upgrading the fibre.

Talk Talk is offering its new service to anyone, and Sky will test it on new customers first. Both companies will use BT infrastructure to achieve faster fibre speeds.

Speed of light

Sky started offering its new 80Mbps FTTC (Fibre-To-The-Cabinet) service to new customers from April 25. It features uncapped downloads and will set data-hungry users back £30 per month, plus the line rental at £12.25 per month.

Potential customers will only find the service on the website after Sky’s postcode checker establishes that they live in a fibre-ready area. Otherwise, the service will remain hidden. Alternatively, the faster broadband can be ordered on the phone. The company has said that up to 80Mbps speeds will become available to existing customers in the near future.

Talk Talk has opened registration for its faster service on April 12. It costs just an extra £15 per month, on top of TalkTalk Essentials (£6.50/month) or Plus (£14.50/month) and the Talk Talk line rental. In comparison, 40Mbps fibre optic broadband costs £10 a month, so Talk Talk customers can double their download speed for a fiver.

“This will cut down the time it takes to upload a photo album to just seconds, making it great for those of you who like to share videos and photos with friends and family online,” said Charlotte Maxwell, spokeswoman for the company.

”And with download speeds of up to 80Mb you’ll be able to download a movie in around 2 minutes, a TV programme in around 30 seconds, and an album in just 10 seconds making it perfect for heavy downloaders or busy households,” she added.

According to Recombu, both services will use BT Openreach’s enhanced FTTC infrastructure, which lets IPSs offer up-to-80Mbps connections with up-to-20Mbps upstream.

However, you might find different numbers advertised in the media. New rules state that advertised broadband speeds must be available to at least 10 percent of users, so the numbers will be closer to 76Mbps download and 16Mbps upload to meet the guidelines.

Talk Talk, which constantly comes at the bottom of the Ofcom customer satisfaction survey, has yesterday announced it will close its Northampton office and lay off 168 call centre staff, reports Northampton Chronicle.

The Communication Workers Union understood the company intended to offshore work to Manila and India. The firm defended itself, saying that it will be creating 250 engineering jobs this year to support the roll-out of the YouView TV service.

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