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TRISTIA

TalkTalk's Chief Executive has warned that the UK is lagging behind other countries when it comes to fast broadband provision.

Speaking to BBC News, Tristia Harrison said full-fibre connectivity is currently available to just three per cent of the UK.

As a result, she believes "the only way we're going to see full-fibre at scale is through competition".

TalkTalk this week announced it is in discussions with Infracapital over a plan that could lead to full-fibre broadband being deployed to more than three million premises across the UK.

The provider and Infracapital are looking at jointly setting up an independent company that would be responsible for creating the 1Gbps ultrafast broadband infrastructure.

TalkTalk would have a 20 per cent stake in the company, while Infracapital would own the remaining 80 per cent.

Ms Harrison stressed that this plan will have minimal overlap with BT's full-fibre rollout, as that is focused largely on big rather than mid-sized cities.

She went on to state that TalkTalk's rollout will build on the success of a recent trial in York, which saw fibre-to-the-home broadband delivered to 14,000 homes and will eventually reach another 40,000 premises.

Ms Harrison said this trial helped TalkTalk learn a great deal about the economics of deploying the technology, adding that the "micro-trenching" technique it pioneered in York will be used again to minimise disruption for local people.

TalkTalk's upcoming investment in full-fibre has already been praised by Culture Secretary Matt Hancock, who said it would play a big part in future-proofing the UK's connectivity needs.

"It’s fantastic to see Talk Talk stepping up to the plate," he stated.

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