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Internet service provider (ISP) Sky has launched its first ultrafast broadband products to the market, with two packages clocking in at an average speed of 145Mbps and 285Mbps, 12 times faster than its previous fastest offering and undercutting comparable BT services on price.
Running over Openreach’s network using both copper-based Gfast and full-fibre (also known as fibre-to-the-premises or FTTP) delivery technology, Sky’s service will be immediately within reach of about two million homes that were able to access a full-fibre service as of December 2018, according to Ofcom statistics.
In fact, the number of homes that can access ultrafast broadband is considerably higher than this thanks to the increasing pace of the Openreach roll-out in the past eight months, and other factors such as Virgin Media’s expanding footprint.
“Fast and reliable broadband is an essential part of the family household today, and it’s only going to get more important in future,” said Kathryn Imrie, broadband director at Sky.
“We want our customers to be able to do even more online, on more devices, without seeing their connection lag or drop. As a Sky Broadband Ultrafast customer, you will be able to seamlessly watch an HD movie, while your partner surfs the web and your kids are gaming in their bedroom.”
The operator said Sky Broadband Ultrafast had been developed to address the “ever-growing connectivity needs” of the average household, with multiple devices demanding fast connections and an increasing number of Wi-Fi enabled smart products.
Dani Warner, a broadband sector observer at comparison site uSwitch.com, said Sky’s entry into the ultrafast broadband market was an important moment for the industry because it would help drive down the price of full-fibre connectivity.
Read more about full-fibre broadband
- Broadband sector advocates warn Boris Johnson that the clock is ticking if he wants to be serious about achieving 100% full-fibre broadband coverage in six years.
- Openreach has announced 36 new locations in line for its expanding full-fibre broadband network build, with Scotland a particular focus after the announcement of additional rates relief.
- Virgin Media is betting that improvements to the Docsis standard will enable it to offer gigabit broadband without full-fibre.
“Households looking for these types of speeds have traditionally had to choose between Virgin’s cable network or BT or smaller suppliers such as Hyperoptic and Gigaclear – although they are only available in limited areas,” she said.
“Another provider joining the mix will be music to the ears of those looking to upgrade, as increased competition should lead to lower costs in the ultrafast space – and Sky has already undercut BT’s ultrafast offer by £15 a month.
“Although this announcement does widen the market for those considering an ultrafast connection, it is worth checking your own needs before upgrading.
“If you are only surfing the net to read the news, or watch a few videos on social media, the truth is, this level of speed isn’t necessarily for you.”