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Sky Launches 500Mbps Broadband

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Eight months after launching its first broadband tariffs on Openreach’s FTTP network, Sky has increased its top full-fibre speeds to 550Mbps.

Sky Broadband’s Ultrafast Plus package offers speeds of 500Mbps downstream and 75Mbps upstream. Those speeds are protected by Sky’s Speed Guarantee, allowing customers to claim money back if their download speeds fall below 400Mbps for three consecutive days or longer.

Sky’s Ultrafast Plus costs £45 per month for the first 18 months, rising to £50 thereafter, plus a £19.95 setup fee.

Aman Bhatti, Director of Propositions at Sky Broadband, said: “Today’s Ultrafast Plus launch reflects our commitment to providing customers with the fastest and most reliable broadband speeds possible. This is why Ultrafast Plus comes with the UK’s fastest Speed Guarantee, so our customers can game, stream, download and work from home seamlessly.”

As with its other tariffs, Sky is using Openreach’s infrastructure. Openreach, part of the BT Group and the largest broadband network in the UK, has reached around 5 million premises with its gigabit-capable full-fibre. It’s connecting around 43,000 new premises to its full-fibre network each week, with the ultimate aim of reaching 25 million addresses (80% of the UK) by December 2026. 

Sky's new Ultrafast Plus tariff follows the November launch of its first plans on Openreach’s FTTP network. At the time, however, Sky was only reselling connections with average speeds of up to 145Mbps, not taking advantage of the full capabilities of the network. Sky still isn’t offering Openreach’s 1Gbps product but may launch it at a later date.

For those who don’t need to live in the fastest lane, Sky’s 145Mbps Ultrafast product continues to be available—for £35 per month for the first 18 months, rising to £40 thereafter.

Of course, Sky is one of a number of ISPs reselling full-fibre connections on Openreach’s network, including TalkTalk, Vodafone, Zen Internet and BT itself.

Sky has also reportedly been in conversations with CityFibre and Virgin Media about gaining wholesale access to their networks but no concrete deals have emerged yet.

CityFibre is an alternative full-fibre network, currently covering 650,000 premises in 66 locations and aiming to reach 8 million (or even 10 million) by 2025. You can purchase plans on CityFibre’s network through TalkTalk, Vodafone, Giganet and Zen Internet.

Meanwhile, Virgin Media’s cable broadband network reaches 15 million premises. An upgrade will make 1.1Gbps speeds available to all of those properties by the end of the year. The newly merged Virgin Media O2 has also the ambition of extending its network to 7 to 8 million more premises, a rollout potentially funded by opening part or all of the network up to wholesale partners like Sky for the first time.

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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