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Sky UK Formally Launch FTTP Broadband as COVID19 Hits Call Centre

Friday, October 30th, 2020 (7:30 am) - Score 26,640
sky broadband uk tv 2020

UK ISP Sky Broadband has just officially announced the launch of their new Openreach Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) based “Superfast” (59Mbps) and “Ultrafast” (145Mbps) broadband package for new and existing customers from £35 per month. Meanwhile an outbreak of COVID-19 has forced their Sheffield call centre to close.

Admittedly today’s news won’t come as much of a surprise to ISPreview.co.uk’s readers as we’ve already unofficially reported on it a couple of weeks ago (here). The announcement means that the service should now be available to ALMOST everybody (new and existing customers) covered by Openreach’s FTTP network (currently 3.5 million UK premises, rising to 4.5m by March 2021).

NOTE: As a reminder, Sky Ultrafast is also available to those living in G.fast areas on Openreach’s network.

However, we understand that Sky is still trying to polish their migration journeys and thus a small number of homes in FTTP areas aren’t yet able to order it. The provider is currently in the process of trying to resolve this issue as soon as possible, but sadly it wasn’t possible to do so in time for today’s announcement.

At present Sky Ultrafast (FTTP) costs from £35 per month for the first 18 months of service (£44 thereafter) and comes attached to a £19.95 setup fee. You can expect to receive their latest Sky Broadband Hub (SR203) router, unlimited usage, a 100Mbps minimum guaranteed download and various other things. The average upload rate on this package is 27Mbps. Sky’s Superfast tier is also available via both FTTP and FTTC.

Aman Bhatti, Director of Propositions at Sky Broadband, said:

“Launching FTTP, the UK’s most advanced broadband technology, reflects Sky’s commitment to innovation and providing customers with the fastest and most reliable broadband possible. This means, with Sky Broadband Ultrafast, we can offer our customers average speeds that are 12x faster than standard enabling customers to download, stream, browse, work from home and game freely.”

Separately, Sky has had to close one of their big customer service centres in Sheffield (Concourse Way) after an outbreak of COVID-19. A Sky spokesperson said: “Protecting our colleagues and customers is our top priority. Following a number of confirmed cases, we closed our Sheffield site on 26th October for at least seven days as a precautionary measure.”

Sadly, it’s not the first time that COVID-19 has forced Sky to close one of their call centres. A similar issue occurred in Cardiff during March 2020 (here) and the current resurgence of the virus raises the prospect of this becoming a problem again for all broadband providers. Closures like this are unavoidable due to the need for a deep clean, but they can also create longer delays when trying to contact support.

Leave a Comment
16 Responses
  1. Mark says:

    Any idea why these speeds are so much lower than those offered by competing providers using the same openreach network? I.e I can get 500 and 900 service for not THAT much more given the much faster speeds?

    1. Mark Jackson says:

      Not all ISPs have introduced Openreach’s top tiers yet. The reasons for that can vary, sometimes it’s an issue of needing to upgrade capacity / core network first and other times it may be a problem of cost or something else.

      Likewise they only promote G.fast’s entry-level tier and not 300Mbps. Sky has said that faster tiers will follow but they don’t seem to be in a particular rush.

    2. A_Builder says:

      Probably because the number of people who can get 300mb/s on GFast is quite small?

      Or maybe they sense that the level of issues they might get is too high with that speed over copper. It does sort of make sense THB.

      That being said 145 is a big improvement over 76 for a WFH situation – however the upload of 30 isn’t exciting if a family is struggling on 20.

      That being said my home GFast is rock solid at 285 ATM.

  2. Matthew says:

    Least they are supporting FTTP now for most 145 Mbps is sufficient. Hopefully they start being a CityFibre Wholesaler next year as well.

  3. Tim Procter says:

    A step in the right direction.

  4. beep says:

    BTW to those ordering FTTP, my engineer visit got delayed a month on the day they were supposed to visit due to covid, might happen to you too.

    1. Paul Norris says:

      I don’t understand why an engineer is needed, if you have the Openreach technology in your home, then you don’t need one.

    2. Jay says:

      The vast majority who are ordering FTTP for the 1st time don’t have the OpenReach technology in their home.

      They only build FTTP as far as the distribution point (telegraph pole or underground chamber) and only install the last section of fibre after an order is placed.

      Only new builds have an the work completed which is a small proportion of the FTTP footprint.

  5. adslmax says:

    I think most home only need 80/20 and 160/30 on G.fast and FTTP are more than enough. But I was surprise that Sky are not interesting 330/500/900 on FTTP as it will disappointed for many peoples.

    1. Peter says:

      They need better router hardware as current one is terrible

  6. Bon scott says:

    Sky understand that you dont need 1000meg . They sell what sells quickly and effectively.

  7. Steve says:

    It seems to me that Sky are just trying to adopt a universal offering for now which makes sense until FTTP coverage improves. Once it does I expect they will launch faster tiers alongside an update to Sky Q meaning mo sattelite is required.

  8. John says:

    Any idea how long it takes Sky and other ISPs to update their broadband checker? FTTP went live a few weeks ago where I live and BT and Zen are offering FTTP packages here but no other providers have it available.

  9. Jim says:

    The current (new since late 2019) SR203 and SR204 Sky Hubs being issued for Superfast(with broadband boost option) and Ultrafast (i.e. FTTC, g.fast and FTTP) all appear to have a serious firmware issue such that the DHCP server doesn’t work properly for wifi devices. It can take an age to issue proper addresses (169.x.x.x addresses are defaulted to which don’t work properly) – this can rectify over a period of some hours, but happens again at every router reset. I’d say avoid these until there’s a firmware fix – there’s a long thread here which should be updated when resolved https://helpforum.sky.com/t5/Broadband/Sky-Router-SR203-DHCP-issues-on-reboot/td-p/3276267

  10. Brad Hughes says:

    Still can’t place an order here https://www.skyoffersnewcustomers.co.uk/broadband/ultrafast/ against my postcode – just gives me FTTC options, even though we’ve had FTTP with BT and Zen in the area since August.

    1. Steve Turnham says:

      Openreach’s FTTP fibre network starts at the OLT (Head End) in the Telephone exchange for your exchange area ( basically where your copper phone wires terminated the majority of the time. Depending on which ISP’s that have a point of presence to deliver Fibre Broadband in the Head End Telephone Exchange for your area so that they can connect their equipment to the OLT is the reason that you have only been offered BT and ZEN.
      Same knows a website is a good place to see available ISP’s available. Currently there is less choice of ISP’s for FTTP nationwide than there is for FTTC.

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