The Latest From Sky Broadband
Sky Broadband is a relatively new phenomenon in the broadband market. Sky has always been a brilliant satellite TV company and Murdoch has just developed an offering that is just about second to none in the UK market. When you compare Virgin and Sky, for me, Sky is certainly better on the TV front. So with them so focused on TV, does it mean that their broadband service is poor or does it actually match up to the offerings that they provide? This article will have a look at the broadband so that you can better understand what packages are available and whether they are any good.
Introduction to the Packages
Sky Broadband offers four main options.
Sky’s Light offering is a pre-broadband package that is made available to anyone with a TV package. The Unlimited and Connect packages are available to anyone that wants Sky Broadband and as a stand-alone service but also to the Sky TV customers. The Fibre optic broadband package again, is for customers that either have Sky or don’t have Sky. Let’s have a look at the prices of the packages.
Below we’ll have a look at the pricing of different bundles and packages with Sky.
Any telephone service, you’ll be paying £14.50 will have a line rental. If you’re getting ADSL broadband as you can’t get fibre optic broadband or you don’t want fibre optic broadband then again, you’ll need line rental.
In this package you get unlimited broadband and the first 6 months are free after you pay 10 pounds per month.
This fibre service has truly unlimited broadband and costs 20 pounds per month.
Broadband Light (+ Sky TV)
You get 2 gigabytes of internet and pay £10.75 for six months followed by £21.50 per month. Of course, you can add further packages in order to increase your Sky to suit your preferences.
Broadband Unlimited (+ Sky TV)
With broadband unlimited, the usage is of course unlimited and you pay £18.25 for six months then £29 per month thereafter.
Fibre Unlimited (+ Sky TV)
This is another unlimited package with good speeds, probably up to 38 megabits per second [inaudible]. The cost is £25.75 for six months and £41.50 thereafter.
Broadband Connect (+ Sky TV)
This offering is for customers who are outside of the Sky network area and where therefore, Sky does not have equipment installed in the telephone exchanges. You have a usage cap of 40 gigabyte on this package and you pay £27.75 for 6 months and then £38.50 per month thereafter.
Sky Broadband Light is of course, the cheapest of any other packages out there. In fact, it’s the cheapest broadband package on the market because it’s free. There are two main hitches to the package and these are that you only get 2 gigabytes of data per month, which is in fact the smallest allowance of any home broadband package in the UK and secondly, you only get access to this package if you are with Sky TV and you also have line rental. The package is totally insufficient for anyone who wants to do anything other than browse the web and check emails. Streaming video, downloading music and so on will soon eat up the 2 megabit allowance.
The Unlimited Sky Broadband Package
This is one of the biggest attractions of Sky Broadband. Sky offers a truly unlimited package with no fair usage policy and absolutely no traffic management. You are able to do whatever you want to your heart’s content and there are a few offerings that match the broadband in this regard; Virgin media’s absolute top packages are similarly unlimited and BE Broadband are too.
Speeds on this package tend to be up to 14 megabits per second. Packet loss rates from Sky connections are extremely good and actually better than PlusNet, TalkTalk, Virgin Media and O2, according to Ofcom. This means that data integrity is better. When you’re streaming, you get less time buffering and generally better performance. You can get unlimited Sky Broadband without having to go for Sky TV, or there may be customers that get it alongside their TV package.
This is the fibre to the cabinet offering where there’s optical fibre cables going through the street level cabinet and then the remaining leg of the journey comes over your telephone line. It’s cheaper than BT Infinity normally although prices do fluctuate. You can normally save around £5 per month. The installation fee of £50 is normally waived and so you can get on fibre unlimited for £20 a month and get a really, really good service with truly unlimited broadband.
Sky Broadband Connect
This is one of the slower packages and is generally available in rural areas. It’s more expensive than the other packages but also restricted to 40 gigabytes of data per month. It basically has poorer performance than the other broadband because Sky hasn’t installed their equipment in the local telephone exchange and therefore, you are cast as out of network.
The Talk Packages
All the packages are really exceptional. You get truly unlimited broadband and will not be restricted in any way. You’ll also get a very good wireless router and can access Wi-Fi spots through the cloud. Installation is normally free and the line rental is actually cheaper than through BT by £1, but Talk packages are competitive with rates very similar to other offerings. You’ll pay around 8.41 p per minute to UK landlines and 12.77 p per minute to mobiles. In the evenings, mobiles will cost around 7.66 p. It’s worth noting that the evening for Sky starts at 7PM rather than 6PM as with most other providers.
The Customer Service
Sky offers customer service at 5.1 p per minute plus connection fee of 13.1 p when you call from a BT landline. If you’re calling from a Sky line then customer service is absolutely free. The people on the end of the line are knowledgeable and the customer service experience is much better than it used to be. Indeed, Ofcom’s annual complaint stats show that Sky is 5% better than any other provider on customer service based on how many people would use the service purely because of the quality of the customer service.
Broadband unlimited packages are really, really good and the fibre optic broadband is as well. You won’t get the speediest internet but you will get stable, good quality internet at a really good price points. You have excellent customer service available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and you’ll be left with a good experience in most situations to ensure that you get the set-up right as that is the basis of your connection.