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BSkyB Connects 74,000 Broadband Customers
By: MarkJ - 03 November, 2006 (8:53 AM)

Satellite TV operator and ISP Sky has managed to connect 74,000 people to its recently launched broadband service, with roughly one million having registered an interest and 20,000 new orders being recorded each week.

Publishing its results for the three months (third quarter) ended 30th September 2006 today; Sky also reported having successfully unbundled (LLU) 540 local exchanges (36% of UK homes). That equates to 25 new exchanges each week:

Sky announced its new broadband internet access service, Sky Broadband, on 18 July 2006 and implemented a controlled provisioning process in anticipation of high levels of customer demand. Following an initial period of registrations only, the Group commenced provisioning in mid August. At 31 October 2006, around one million customers had registered their interest in Sky Broadband and the Group had received 113,000 orders. Of these, 74,000 customersí broadband lines had been activated, 65,000 (88%) of which were located within Skyís network. The vast majority of these customers were activated within 15 working days of their booking date. At this early stage the mix of products chosen is encouraging, with over half of customers taking a paid-for broadband package, reflecting the offeringís high quality and compelling value. The Group had a further 35,000 customers registered to UK Online, Easynetís residential broadband service, bringing the total number of broadband customers to 109,000.

Skyís broadband provisioning process is designed to ensure that customer demand is managed in an efficient manner. After the launch announcement, the Groupís TV customers were invited by letter to register their interest in Sky Broadband. Following registration, customers have been invited on a phased basis to order the Sky Broadband product of their choice in accordance with network coverage. This has allowed the Group to maintain a controlled approach to customer provisioning and to manage the increase in the rate of customer orders from an average of 950 per week during August to around 10,000 per week during September and October. This rate has accelerated further and the Group is currently processing around 20,000 orders a week. The recent launch of ĎeSalesí, the Groupís online ordering tool, will facilitate further this acceleration in customer activations and reduce demand placed on the call centres.

At 31 October 2006, 602 exchanges had been handed over by BT OpenReach for Easynet equipment installation, of which 540 had been unbundled, (representing 36% of UK homes passed). The Group remains on track to meet its target network coverage of 50% of UK homes by December 2006 and 70% of UK homes by December 2007.

Itís also noted that 18% of Skyís broadband subscribers have taken the groups telephony product too. Unsurprisingly there is no mention of the providers many shortcomings.

Customers have been complaining about delayed connections and worsening support for the past few weeks, with many left unsure when their line is going to be hooked up. The problems have recently been on the TV and continue to show themselves in our ISP Complaints page too. We suggest avoiding Sky until things have had a chance to settle.

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