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By: MarkJ - 31 January, 2012 (7:21 AM)
best sky BskyB broadband ukSky ( Sky Broadband ) has today announced that its broadband internet access (ISP) service, which is now home to a total of 3,651,000 subscribers (up by +166,000 from Q3-2011), will be extended to cover 88% of the UK by June 2013 (unbundled LLU network footprint).

Crucially the operator has also announced the launch of its first superfast Sky Broadband Unlimited Fibre (40Mbps) package for April 2012 and revealed more details about its public Wi-Fi plans!

Stephen van Rooyen, MD of Sky’s Sales and Marketing, said:

"Sky is reaching more homes than ever and those homes are taking more products from us. We are delighted with the response from our customers to the likes of Sky+ HD, Sky Broadband and Sky Go. However, we are a business built on innovation and we have a very exciting year ahead, whether with the launch of a brand new internet TV service, supercharging Sky Anytime+ or adding fibre and free WiFi to the UK’s fastest growing broadband service."

Sky's latest fourth quarter results (Q4-2011) managed to deliver strong overall performance. Broadband subscribers leapt by +166,000 (strongly up from the +150,000 added during Q3-2011) and revenue hit a new high of £3.4 billion. On top of that several major new services have been revealed, which we've summarised below.
New Superfast Unlimited Fibre Broadband Package

Sky plans to launch its first superfast broadband package using BT's FTTC technology - Sky Broadband Unlimited Fibre - during April 2012. The service will cost £20 per month (£50 one-off setup fee) and offer internet download speeds of up to 40Mbps (could later rise to 80Mbps after BT's related upgrades).

The new package will continue Sky's tradition of offering a truly "unlimited" service without a Fair Usage Policy (FUP) and "no usage caps". At launch the new product will be available to around 30% of UK homes, growing over time in line with BT’s fibre roll-out programme.

Expanding Traditional Broadband Coverage

Sky is extending its unbundled ( LLU ) network footprint to bring their traditional ADSL2+ based broadband services to 88% of the UK by June 2013 (currently 82%). As a result some 1.4 million extra homes will soon be covered by Sky’s network. Note that this is entirely separate from their forthcoming 'Fibre' package (above), which is based off BT's platform and not Sky's LLU.

Sky's Free Public WiFi Service

Sky plans to launch its public Wi-Fi (wireless internet) Hotspot service "shortly" (April 2012), which will be based off their The Cloud platform. The service will provide their existing SkyBroadband Unlimited customers with free access to more than 10,000 hotspots across the UK.

New Internet TV Service ( IPTV )

A new Internet TV service, which is due to launch during the first half of 2012, has also been revealed that will offer an additional choice for "people who don’t currently subscribe to a pay TV service". The new service will offer "instant and simple access" to a range of Sky content from Movies to sport and TV shows (initially only Sky Movies will be available).

We strongly suspect that this service will be based off the new YouView platform or This service will be based off Sky's alternative IPTV tech (not to be confused with their existing online TV services for current customers) and not the YouView platform. The service will come with a range of "flexible pricing" options and "no minimum contract" terms.

For example, customers will be able to either pay monthly for unlimited access to Sky Movies or rent a single movie on a pay-as-you-go basis. The service will also be available across a wide range of connected devices, including PCs, Macs, laptops, tablets, mobile phones, games consoles and connected TVs.
Today's significant new product and service announcements bode well for Sky which, despite the obvious lack of a competitive superfast broadband package or Wi-Fi service, has continued to grow. Adding those features and a new IPTV solution should quickly bring it up to speed; although it's yet to offer a mobile service like Virgin Media and TalkTalk UK.

UPDATE 11:27am

Sky have confirmed to ISPreview.co.uk that their new IPTV service will use their own technology and not the YouView platform. Sky also told us that they have "no other plans to announce" in regards to whether or not they will upgrade their 40Mbps fibre service to 80Mbps as BT deploys a similar change.
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