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Sky Broadband Cuts Ultra Fibre Optic FTTH Pilot Service Price in York UK

Thursday, July 14th, 2016 (8:03 am) - Score 5,434

Sky Broadband appears to have sharply reduced the price of their 50-940Mbps capable Fibre-to-the-Home (FTTH/P) based “Ultra Fibre Optic” (UFO) broadband packages in the city of York (North Yorkshire), which is still being jointly rolled out alongside partners TalkTalk and Cityfibre.

As a quick recap, around 20,000 premises (Phase One) in the northern half of York should soon be covered by the new network, which is being supported by an investment of £5m each from Sky and TalkTalk. Sky also have a couple of separate pilots in Basingstoke (here) and Derbyshire (here), which use the same technology and a similar product selection.

However there’s currently a huge question mark over the future of Sky’s FTTH/P deployment in York or indeed anywhere else in the United Kingdom. The reason for this stems from an April 2016 statement by Sky’s CEO, Jeremy Darroch, who officially ruled the operator out from any ambition to build its own national FTTH/P network in the United Kingdom (here).

Despite all of this Sky still appears to be taking the marketing side seriously and as such they’ve cut the price of their packages in order to make them more attractive to local residents, with the slowest two options being offered at half-price. Mind you there’s oddly still a standard line rental charge of £17.40 per month that must be added on top.

Sky Ultra Fibre Optic
* 50Mbps “Guaranteed Speeds”
* Totally unlimited usage
* Included router (£6.95 delivery charge)
* 12 Month contract

PRICE: £5 per month for 12 months (£10 thereafter) + line rental

Sky Ultra Fibre Optic Plus
* As above, but with..
* 100Mbps

PRICE: £10 per month for 6 months (£20 thereafter) + line rental

Sky Ultra Fibre Optic Pro
* As above, but with..
* ‘up to’ 940Mbps

PRICE: £20 per month for 6 months (£30 thereafter) + line rental

NOTE: The so-called “Guaranteed Speeds” are only to the router, which is intended to avoid the impact of poor local WiFi or wired LAN performance on their claim. The Guarantee of performance also only applies to their 50Mbps and 100Mbps packages as it would be practically very hard to support such a claim for 940Mbps.

Residents of York can select the packages by visiting this page, although despite being more of a ‘Register Your Interest‘ job we do know that customers are in fact still being connected to the service; assuming you’re covered of course (check here to find out).

The original aspiration of the Joint Venture (JV) between Sky, TalkTalk and Cityfibre was that all of York (roughly 80,000 premises) should eventually be covered and then two more cities would follow, but the future beyond the City’s first 20,000 premises is unclear.

NOTE: The new prices appear to have gone live in June, although the change wasn’t widely announced and so we only spotted it during a routine check.

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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 Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
Leave a Comment
7 Responses
  1. joe pineapples says:

    No doubt someone will enlighten me, but I’m confused by all this. Surely they can’t be making money at those prices, and if they don’t intend extending it to anywhere else in the country, what’s the point of it?.

    No jealousy involved at all on my part 😉

    1. Kekkle says:

      Presumably uptake is low so the prices have been dropped simply to get people onto the network.

    2. FibreFred says:

      Always said they’d have trouble as York is already well served

      and….

  2. Jonny says:

    Presumably this is being funded out of a marketing pot so they can point to the uptake figures and say “Look at the demand for FTTP! Make Openreach separate!”. They can’t do that if actually it turns out that residential customers are happy with a connection of around 16Mbps.

    1. FibreFred says:

      Yep or just to get some sort of return on it, put in at great expense no-one using it.

  3. A.nnoyed says:

    I have sky ufo ftth, I was very excited to see it come to York! However, the installation took 3 weeks instead of 3 hours, there was a fault
    Somewhere and sky’s left hand didn’t have a clue what it’s right hand was doing. Eventually once the connection was working I was getting 900mbps with a wired connection and using “nperf” speed test the wireless connection was just ok. The router constantly shuts down and I can nearly get a wireless signal upstairs, the router was red hot, I called sky up to tell them about this and they just fobbed me off. Hours later they called back saying it could be the router as they have had one overheating before and sent out a new one. The same thing happens. The routers the send with the package are total rubbish. If you have ultra fast optic you would expect an ultra fast router with great wireless coverage. Now I have too chop cable into the walls or buy my own router that works. Oh and they said sorry for the 3 week install, we will compensate you. Ha! Thanks a lot sky.

  4. Merritt says:

    I’ve had UFO for around 6 months. DL speeds above 900mbps are consistent. The install took about an hour, there was a 2 week wait for installation. The router they supply obviously isn’t like any other home ISP, it’s still very commercial and the admin interface isn’t great. However, the router can be configured to transmit 2 separate WIFI networks making user/guest management easier, the inbuilt firewall is of commercial quality and security is very good. No lax WPA passwords to be found anywhere. Plus all the usual traffic quality, DMZ etc etc options. Needs refining for the home market but works as intended.
    Massive benefit of UFO isn’t only the speed of the internet but also the speed that UFO can be installed in a street. My street of around 80 houses was done in 1 day with very minimal disruption thanks to the micro trenching that they use.
    This may be a “trial” or a ” marketing stunt” but I can assure you all that it works very well and I’ve no complaints about the service. Yes there’s a cost increase compared to other ISPs but I truly have a 1gb home internet connection.

    Side note: the sky UFO team is completely separate to normal sky customer services, if you call up sky and ask about UFO chances are they won’t have a clue what your talking about. You get a letter through the door and a number to call if interested, then you will get access to the UFO team who handle billing etc etc this UFO is so new that the lady I spoke to awhile back when my speed dropped yo 800mbps for a day told me that they have to manually input the data each month for UFO customers as it’s not even in there standard billing system yet,

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