AN INTERNET provider's ultra fast broadband has now reached 20,000 homes and businesses across York.

Residents in Chapelfields, Foxwood, Dringhouses and Woodthorpe can now connect to 1 Gigabit per second internet speeds as TalkTalk ramps up the second phase of its ultra fibre optic (UFO) network rollout, which will reach up to 55,000 homes and business in York by the end of next year.

York will be the first city in the UK to have city-wide full fibre all the way from the exchange into individual homes or businesses, transforming it into the country’s first gigabit city.

Fifteen thousand homes and businesses in Rawcliffe, Clifton, Huntington, New Earswick and parts of The Groves have been able to connect to York’s UFO over the last couple of years since the first phase of the project was completed.

York’s UFO is 20 times faster than other ‘fibre’ products.

Digging has been carried out over the last year to install the fibre around the streets of Dringhouses, Woodthorpe, Foxwood, Chapelfields and Holgate. The build also recently started in Poppleton where ‘narrow trenches’ are being dug along the pavements of the streets to be connected so that the fibre can be installed. Homes and businesses in Holgate and Poppleton will be next to connect.

Paul Crane, head of ultra fibre optic engagement for TalkTalk, has been in Dringhouses to see the first residents in the area that have connected to the network.

He said: “Launching Ultra Fibre Optic to the first residents in this second phase of our full fibre rollout is an important milestone. We are really excited that people in Dringhouses, Woodthorpe, Foxwood and Chapelfields can now connect and that very soon residents in Holgate and Poppleton will be able to experience the benefits of gigabit connectivity. We are working closely with the Council to progress the build as quickly as possible so that we reach our goal of bringing York’s Ultra Fibre Optic to 55,000 homes and businesses across the city.”

Richard Grayling, York’s UFO customer and resident in Dringhouses, said: “I have been waiting for York’s UFO for so long. I work in IT and have been through the ‘pain’ of having new internet providers with other companies at work. I expected it to be equally difficult; however it was really smooth and easy.

"Having three growing boys, who love playing games online, we were always struggling with internet speeds and they would have to take it in turns to play. Now we can all play at the same time and we are not getting any lag so the children are winning as well."

Research by the House of Commons Library, released in January 2018, using information provided by Ofcom, revealed that York Outer constituency already has the fastest download speeds in the country at 128.9 Mb/s, with York Central second fastest at 82.4Mb/s. This compares to a national average of 44.6 Mb/s.