BSkyB and TalkTalk have buddied up in a joint venture with CityFibre to build a new broadband network in the City of York that is not dependent on one-time UK state monopoly BT's infrastructure.
The trio have formed a new company with each holding an equal equity stake to bring a fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) service to York citizens.
Once their network is fully linked up – the plan is for this to happen by next year – BSkyB and TalkTalk hope to compete for subscribers by offering retail products over the FTTP network, which the companies claimed will deliver speeds of 1 gigabit (1,000 Mbps) to tens of thousands of properties in the city.
No mention of prices yet, however.
BSkyB said the strategy would give the three firms "the opportunity to fully test a new cost-effective approach to building a viable pure fibre network, independent from BT Openreach’s infrastructure".
The parties 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.
BSkyB and TalkTalk have inked a deal with AIM-trading CityFibre after it struck an agreement with Japanese tech giant Fujitsu some years ago to help it build a 103km (64-mile) fibre optic network around the City of York.
Fujitsu said last year that it was keen to work on fibre rollouts in urban areas, following its inglorious departure from bids for taxpayer-funded cash to fatten the broadband pipes of country-dwelling folk.
As for any other cities BSkyB and TalkTalk might be eyeing up, it's a safe bet to suggest they'll soon be breathing in Caledonian air.
In 2011, CityFibre said it had completed deployments in York, Ayr and Dundee. ®