Sky and TalkTalk have joined forces with CityFibre to create a new company that will deliver ultra-fast broadband services in the City of York, it was announced on Tuesday.
The new joint venture company is planning to build a state of the art, city-wide, pure fibre-to-the-premise (FTTP) network that can deliver broadband speeds of one gigabit direct to tens of thousands of homes and businesses in York.
TalkTalk explained that the new network will leverage CityFibre's existing metro fibre infrastructure in the City and once it is in place, Sky and TalkTalk will retail competing broadband services over the new infrastructure, with the first York customers expected to be connected in 2015.
Dido Harding, the Chief Executive of TalkTalk Group, said: "TalkTalk has a long history and proven track record of disrupting new markets, and this is the next step in that journey. We are excited to be working in partnership with Sky and CityFibre to build this new network that will offer significantly higher speeds at much better value than is currently available.
"This marks TalkTalk taking its first steps into investing in building infrastructure as part of our mission to make British homes and businesses better off."
The joint venture plans to work with global technology provider Fujitsu to deploy the pure fibre FTTP network, which will enable Sky and TalkTalk to offer customers better value for higher speeds than is currently available.
Importantly, the roll out will give Sky, TalkTalk and CityFibre the opportunity to fully test a new cost effective approach to building a viable pure fibre network, independent from BT Openreach's infrastructure.
The companies said they also intend to bring ultra-fast broadband to two further cities across the UK and will announce further details about the selection of the cities in due course.
Stephen van Rooyen, who is the Managing Director of Sky's Sales, Marketing and Brand Group, said: "Increased competition in the broadband market has brought benefits to millions of households who now enjoy better quality and value of service.
"Sky has led the growth of the sector since the launch of Sky Broadband, becoming the UK's favourite provider of TV, broadband and home phone, and we see plenty of opportunity to continue to develop our offering. This trial will help us understand the potential for cutting-edge technology to help us give customers an even better quality of service and we're looking forward to working in partnership with TalkTalk and CityFibre."
dropped 0.84% on the news to 285.68p, while BSkyB invetors were more enthusiastic, pushing shares 1.0% higher to 886.50p.