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Sky Formally Launches Full-Fibre Packages

Sky-broadband

Sky has officially launched ultrafast broadband packages on Openreach’s FTTP network.

The ISP previously indicated a launch of full-fibre products was imminent in February or March, but plans were scuppered by the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown. Sky later teased at a June launch but that didn’t materialise either. 

Finally, reports circulated that some existing Sky customers were able to sign up for the full-fibre packages in mid-October. Now Sky is formally launching the service for all consumers—or rather those living in the 3.5 million premises currently reached by Openreach’s FTTP (fibre-to-the-premise).

Sky isn’t yet taking advantage of the full capability of Openreach’s infrastructure. Although the network provider launched 550Mbps- and 1Gbps-capable wholesale products in March, Sky has limited itself to full-fibre plans at 59Mbps and 145Mbps. These are speeds that Sky already offers through Openreach’s FTTC (fibre-to-the-cabinet) and G.fast networks.

However, subscribers to even slower tiers of FTTP will still see the benefits of full fibre, including no attenuation, or loss of speed over distance, and boosted upload speeds (although not the symmetrical speeds that full fibre is capable of).

Currently, you can sign up for Sky Ultrafast (145Mbps) if you live in a full-fibre area or one of the 2.72 million homes connected to G.fast, a hybrid of copper and fibre which tops out at speeds of 300Mbps. 

The ultrafast service costs £35 a month for the first 18 months, rising to £44 thereafter. You’ll also need to pay a £19.95 setup fee and will receive the latest Sky Broadband Hub (SR023) router. 

The package comes with a 100Mbps download speed guarantee and average upload speeds of 27Mbps.

Aman Bhatti, Director of Propositions at Sky Broadband, said: “Launching FTTP, the UK’s most advanced broadband technology, reflects Sky’s commitment to innovation and providing customers with the fastest and most reliable broadband possible. 

“This means, with Sky Broadband Ultrafast, we can offer our customers average speeds that are 12x faster than standard enabling customers to download, stream, browse, work from home and game freely.”

Meanwhile, if you’re trying to contact Sky about your service, expect waiting times. The telecoms firm closed one of their big customer service offices in Sheffield last Tuesday due to an outbreak of COVID-19 and expects it to be closed for at least seven days. This is the second time the virus has forced Sky to close one of its call centres after its Cardiff offices were hit with an outbreak in March.

Meanwhile, quarterly results from the BT Group indicate that Openreach has connected 3.5 million homes and businesses to FTTP as of late September, on track to meet its goal of 4.5 million by March 2021. Although it’s not known how the second lockdown will impact installation rates, as of September Openreach engineers were connecting 40,000 premises a week to the network.

Lauren Smith
Lauren Smith

Lauren Smith has worked as a journalist and copywriter for most of the last decade, covering technology, energy, and consumer rights, in the US and UK.

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