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UK ISP Sky Broadband Keeping an Open Mind for Wholesale Services

Monday, Dec 2nd, 2013 (1:50 am) - Score 880

The rumour mill rarely stops turning and the latest to blast through our inbox, supported by reports from several usually credible sources, suggest that BSkyB (Sky Broadband) has held discussions with some ISPs about the prospect of launching a wholesale or business solution via their fixed line network.

At first glance we dismissed the claims because they didn’t appear to make a lot of sense. Sky recently had the opportunity to grab O2’s soon to be defunct wholesale division / business clients as part of their £180m acquisition of the operators fixed line home broadband and phone customers but chose not to take it (or O2 didn’t want to sell) and now O2Wholesale is set to close at the end of February 2014 (here).

Similarly Sky still retain the UK Local Loop Unbundling (LLU) network assets that they acquired as part of their original £211m acquisition of Easynet in 2005, which already gives them the capability to become a wholesale provider but so far they’ve chosen not to enter what had already become a crowded market (BT, Vodafone [C&W], TalkTalk and until recently O2 had it all tied up).

Never the less the latest reports we have are that Sky could be gearing up to launch some sort of business or wholesale solution on 1st March 2014 (immediately after O2Wholesale’s closure), although for now we’d take this with a pinch of salt because another source suggested that if anything does happen then it would be “a long time coming“. It’s clearly not yet a done deal and O2Wholesale’s closure might have thrown a spanner in the works.

At present all we can be sure about is that some discussions have taken place within the above context but nobody wants to talk in public. Similarly Sky itself, while refusing to go on the record with a comment, are keeping an open mind about the potential to provide wholesale/business services but at this point in time they claim to have no plans. Of course that doesn’t mean to say that something won’t happen next year or the year after (e.g. BT once told us they had “no plans” for a self-install FTTC service and a few months later we uncovered one).

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By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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