BSkyB and Vodafone in talks for new broadband services

Sources claim BSkyB and Vodafone are in discussions around forming an alliance to compete against BT with broadband and PayTV services

A new alliance between Vodafone and BSkyB could be on the cards in the UK to compete against the dominance of telecoms giant BT.

A report in The Sunday Times citing senior sources at the firms claimed Vodafone and BSkyB had been in discussions regarding a tie-up with Sky Movies and Sky Sports, as well as working together on offering superfast broadband.

However, the sources said any partnership would not go as far as building out a full-scale fibre network across the UK as it would prove too expensive.

BT has long been the dominant player when it comes to broadband, having the largest network in the UK which it wholesales to rival internet service providers (ISPs) – including BSkyB – and in 2010 committed to spending £2.5bn on its own commercial roll-out by the end of spring 2014. 

It was also the only provider to secure contracts as part of the government’s BDUK roll-out for bringing superfast broadband to rural areas.

However, it has now made its mark in TV services as well, with the launch of BT Sport in 2013, spending a further £2bn to win rights to high-profile events, such as Premier League Football and Rugby Union.   

Last year also saw BT end its longstanding deal with Vodafone for mobile services, having won a portion of its own 4G spectrum in Ofcom’s auction earlier in the year and confirming a deal to run its future services over EE’s network.

Sky has an existing partnership with Vodafone to provide Sky Sports as part of a mobile 4G package.

Computer Weekly contacted BSkyB, but the company refused to comment. We also contacted Vodafone, but it had not returned our request at the time of publication.

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