People don’t need 1GB fibre yet, the man who is leading TalkTalk’s FTTP joint venture with CityFibre and Sky, has said.
Charles Bligh, who also serves as TalkTalk Business Managing Director, made the comments as the company unveiled brand and pricing details for the new service, which is set to launch in the autumn.
The three companies announced plans to take on BT by launching a pure fibre network that features "superior" technology to Openreach’s FTTC architecture in April last year.
TalkTalk has branded its offering Ultra Fibre Optic, with consumer packages starting at £21.70 a month and a business service for £25 a month.
It claimed to be the first and only UK ISP to offer pure fibre for the same price as standard broadband.
TalkTalk also talked up a pricing model where customers will pay an all-in monthly price instead of splitting out a headline cost and line rental.
Sky is yet to announce plans of its offering but Bligh dismissed the idea that TalkTalk was gaining an advantage as neither company is taking orders at this stage.
Conspicuous by its absence was the exact speed of the new service; rather, the press release talked of offering speeds that are 100 times faster than standard broadband.
Bligh said consumers would get over 900Mbps and admitted: “They don’t need 1GBps yet, but they are looking at more speed as they consume more services, eg Netflix, on more devices.”
He said one of the key takeaways from the trial so far has been that the company must focus on explaining exactly what it’s doing.
“People find it difficult to understand [broadband speeds]… what we’re doing is so disruptive,” he told European Communications.
Bligh also thinks it will help TalkTalk, consistently one of the most complained about broadband providers according to Ofcom, with providing a better customer experience.
“We’re making the assumption that the experience will be so good that the cost to serve will be cheaper,” he said before adding: “It’s a leap of faith.”
TalkTalk, CityFibre and Sky said in March that the original plan to reach 20,000 premises was being expanded.
Bligh said this partly down to the “micro” trenches the JV was using to deploy the fibre, which enable them to cover 500m per day versus 100m per day with more traditional “narrow” trenches.
He confirmed the longer-term plan was to launch in other small, mid-tier cities, but would not confirm where or when.
“Let’s see how York goes over the next six months,” he said.
Dido Harding, Chief Executive of TalkTalk, commented: “The UK has lived with broadband infrastructure that has suffered significant underinvestment for too long and we lag well behind the rest of Europe when it comes to rolling out pure, ultrafast, fibre networks.
“We have the potential to become the world’s leading digital economy, but we need this kind of investment in superior fibre infrastructure to make this a reality.”