Is Sky Broadband the Right Choice For You?
Sky broadband has been around for a long time; ever since the company entered the broadband market with the purchase of EasyBlaze. Nowadays, it is possible to get some really good packages combining Sky Television, Sky Broadband and Sky Line Rental. But how good are the packages in terms of value and quality?
This article will have a look through some different packages offered and then in detail about Broadband Lite, Unlimited, Fibre Unlimited, Connect, Line Rental Prices, the Talk Packages and the Service.
Sky Broadband Packages
There are four main packages offered by Sky broadband and these are:
The Lite package is available only to Sky Television customers and is a free broadband offering, which is as the name suggests, Lite. Connect and Unlimited Broadband are available if you just want to grab a broadband package and no other bundle of services. Again, Fibre Unlimited is available for anyone that wants broadband and is available with speeds up to 38 MB.
Here is a quick look at the pricing of the different plans.
On all of the plans, the Line Rental per month is £14.50 with Broadband Unlimited with free weekend calls. You get truly unlimited broadband, a free 6 months of the package and then £10 per month. With Fibre Unlimited and Weekend Calls, it costs £20.00 per month.
The Broadband Lite and Weekend Calls when bought with Sky TV offers you 2 GB of data allowance per month, which starts at £10.75 for 6 months, and then £21.50 thereafter.
For broadband Unlimited and Weekend calls with Sky TV, the price starts at £18.25 per month for 6 months and then comes down to £29.
With fibre unlimited and weekend calls, when you get them with Sky TV, you pay £25.75 for the first 6 months and then £41.50 thereafter.
With Broadband Connect, Weekend Calls and Sky TV; you get 40 GB of data allowance, which starts at £27.75 for the first 6 months and then £38.50.
As you'll see the pricing is very reasonable, but if you want more comprehensive TV packages, then you'll have to pay more than these amounts.
Sky Broadband Lite
As you've seen, this is the cheapest package available on Sky Broadband. There are two main negatives to this package and these are the very limited 2 GB month download allowance that will only be enough for very limited users who don't spend any time streaming movies, downloading files or listening to online radio. The second disadvantage is that you can only get it when you have Sky TV and Sky Line Rental.
With this broadband, therefore, the cheapest you can get it with the other package is £36, because you need to pay the £21.50 for Sky TV and £14.50 for the monthly line rental costs.
If you're getting Sky TV, or have a Sky TV package anyway, it is a free offering. If you haven't, then you need to weigh up the pros and cons of having an outlay like this to start with.
Sky Broadband Unlimited
Perhaps the best package available on the market at the moment is the Sky Broadband Unlimited package.
Most providers offer some sort of fair usage policy alongside their policies’ packages and these can be quite limiting. For instance, TalkTalk offer 40 GB of data allowance in their unlimited package and Virgin media are quite restrictive, too.
Sky doesn't have any form of cap on their unlimited deals in terms of a fair usage policy or traffic management. Some of Virgin Media’s very top level packages are unrestricted and some of the broadband packages from BT and BE Broadband are likewise; but it is not the norm in the industry.
The Unlimited package offers broadband download speed up to 14 mbps and an Ofcom survey found that speeds tend to be between around 7 and 8 mbps, which is plenty for most homes. Ofcom also found that the packet loss rates from Sky were lower than other providers including Virgin, Plusnet, BE broadband and TalkTalk. This can mean higher quality broadband with less jitter and less lag, which is great when you are buffering media or talking on Skype.
Sky Broadband Fibre Unlimited
Nowadays, Sky tends not to charge for installation of their fibre unlimited package, which is a saving of £50 on the past. It also comes in cheaper than the BT Infinity Broadband package by around £5 per month. It is a truly unlimited package and a very good offering if you can get it in your area. It's available to around 30% of homes at the moment, but this is increasing.
The Connect package tends to be the option available to people who are not within range of an exchange that has Sky LLU installed. Essentially, Sky have to pay BT to use the exchange and download limits and costs are better with LLU than on Connect. You get a 40 GB download allowance per month, which is enough for most users, but not for heavy users sometimes,
Sky Broadband Additions
The Sky Broadband packages come with a good wireless router and also access to Wi-Fi hot spots for free using the Cloud. Generally, you don't have to pay a setup fee for installation and costs for new phone lines from phone line setup are lower than in packages from many other providers. The line rental is normally a pound cheaper than BT at £14.50 and the call packages with free weekend calls are pretty good.
Evenings for Sky begin later compared to other providers, with their evening calls available from 7 pm. Calls that are not included in minutes packages or free calls are similar to the costs with other providers at 8.41p/min for UK landlines, 12.77p/min to mobiles during daytime periods and 7.66p to mobile phones after 7 pm.
Sky Broadband Talk Anytime
Talk Anytime offers the opportunity to talk to people for free in the UK and 20 other locations around the world to landlines, but also mobiles in the United States of America and Canada. It's just an extra cost of £5 per month, which is pretty good all in all.
How is the Sky Broadband, Talk, and TV Customer Service?
Sky broadband does tend to get its fair share of challenges, but then all broadband services do. They offer 24/7 support on technical issues on 0845 numbers.
Sky Talk customers get these technical support calls for free, but other customers will pay a 13.1p, one off connection fee and then 5.1p per minute thereafter. It seems that the customer service offered by Sky has improved a lot over the years and this has been backed up by Ofcom data on annual complaints.
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