UK telco TalkTalk is hiring 500 more service engineers to ensure that its launch of TV services based on the new YouView platform goes smoothly.
Speaking to UK newspaper The Daily Telegraph, TalkTalk CEO Dido Harding added that the new hires will be visiting customers’ homes and ensuring that their broadband connections are optimally set up to deliver the best service for YouView boxes, at a cost of GB£ 50 (US$ 80) per visit.
Ms. Harding also indicates that by forcing customers to wait for an engineer’s visit before it dispatches a subsidised YouView box, TalkTalk hopes to ensure that it can control the pace of its entry into the TV market and avoid the problems which plagued its entry into the broadband market.
TalkTalk plans to offer YouView boxes – which combine ‘Freeview’ DTT broadcast signals with catch-up TV and online video services from the likes of the BBC, Channel 4 and Sky – for free to the 1mn customers who receive broadband and telephony services on its ‘Plus’ tier. The TV service will be extended to customers on its ‘Essentials’ tariff some time next year.
Rival telco BT (also a founding partner in the YouView initiative, along with TalkTalk) will be launching its own YouView bundles this autumn – although whether this will include the offer of free boxes to those customers on its higher tiers remains to be seen.