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Will Sky start using Liberty Global (VM) network to provide Broadband.

marcosgilson

Casual Member
There has been plenty of discussion about this over the past couple of years, but still no news. Do we think it will ever happen?
 

Buggerlugz

ULTIMATE Member
Can't see it, Sky has a long standing relationship with BT to provide broadband and it also has BT's own channels on its TV packages, so I can't fathom why Sky would ever get into bed with Virgin Media.
 

marcosgilson

Casual Member
Can't see it, Sky has a long standing relationship with BT to provide broadband and it also has BT's own channels on its TV packages, so I can't fathom why Sky would ever get into bed with Virgin Media.
Err. Access to 15m households that can receive VM compared to current 5 million on Openreach. Sky having a deal with BT to wholesale BT Sports, doesn't affect any possible new relationship with VM to use their infrastructure
 

Bubblesthefish6

ULTIMATE Member
Well if Sky bought out Liberty global, maybe......
Can’t see sky buying an already merged company.... I know it happened with the BT/EE partnership with EE beings formed from the TMO/Orange PCS partnership but BT is a HUGE company compared to sky and I just cant see the Comms regulator allowing it if I’m honest.
 

marcosgilson

Casual Member
Can’t see sky buying an already merged company.... I know it happened with the BT/EE partnership with EE beings formed from the TMO/Orange PCS partnership but BT is a HUGE company compared to sky and I just cant see the Comms regulator allowing it if I’m honest.
Who mentioned buying? VM is owned by Liberty Global Media, they are looking to open up their cable network in the UK to other ISP's, as a direct competitor to Openreach.
 

Mark.J

Administrator
Staff member
ISPreview Team
The "talk" about Sky taking a wholesale solution from Virgin Media O2 (VMO2) is more than just talk. The market today has changed and Openreach can't bully operators into taking services solely from them, as that would be in breach of Ofcom's rules.

If somebody were to ask me what % chance I thought there was of Sky offering a broadband service via VMO2's network within the next 12-24 months, I'd probably peg it at c.70%. Openreach's ability to negotiate a favourable deal with Sky for a volume discount, which might encourage Sky to stay exclusive with OR, is also limited by those same Ofcom rules.

This is the way the market is going now, Openreach will no longer be the only major player in town at wholesale. VMO2 are almost certain to go wholesale, but to do that seriously they'd need to launch with the support of more than just their own ISP (VM).
 

Lucian

ULTIMATE Member
This is encouraging, @Mark.J , OR really do need actual competition.

The one thing I dread is the VM abysmal support. They can barely support themselves, let alone a plethora of different ISPs. Serious investment and organisation needs to go into that.
 

Buggerlugz

ULTIMATE Member
If Sky's considering this, then surely VM are considering going wholesale, so other ISP's should be able to effectively offer VM services in the same way as they offer BT's "pretend fibre" product.
 

marcosgilson

Casual Member
If Sky's considering this, then surely VM are considering going wholesale, so other ISP's should be able to effectively offer VM services in the same way as they offer BT's "pretend fibre" product.
not necessarily. My understanding is that Sky will be the anchor customer, it may open up to other ISP's in the future. Don't forget Sky wholesale lots of channels to VM. Deal to be done here
 

Mark.J

Administrator
Staff member
ISPreview Team
Long term, VMO2 would want to wholesale out to the entire market, but right now it remains to be seen if Sky can negotiate some degree of exclusivity at launch. The other question is whether VMO2 wholesale their entirely network, or only the newer FTTP build (currently c.1 million premises but potentially rising to c.10 million in the next 5 years). But for Sky, 1 million via FTTP isn't likely to hold as much interest.
 

baby_frogmella

Pro Member
This is the way the market is going now, Openreach will no longer be the only major player in town at wholesale. VMO2 are almost certain to go wholesale, but to do that seriously they'd need to launch with the support of more than just their own ISP (VM).
^^^This. A bit like why some major ISPs -Vodafone, Talktalk, Zen - are also using Cityfibre based FTTP (where available) in addition to Openreach based services. Who knows, we might even see BT Retail using Cityfibre FTTP network one day :LOL:
 

marcosgilson

Casual Member
I hope this happens soon. I want the speeds of Virgin, but not the atrocious customer service, cost and compatibility between a Sky router and Sky Q
 

Meatball

Top Member
Sky have a number of options but may not want to saddle themselves with the technical complexity and associated cost. Having an agreement with another GPON provider would mean their processes would be very similar and they can have common kit (Sky Router/SkyQ/Mini - 5GHz Airties Mesh).

If they went with VM then VM would have to provide a low cost cable modem or an Ethernet interfaced ONT (on external wall) with FTTP.

Sky may find its easier to have Sky TV sell through options with ISPs that are using Altnet FTTP networks.

One of the biggest issues is VM speed consistency on legacy. It may be better on FTTP but on legacy my personal experience is that VM fail their own product minimums on a regular basis, particularly at peak times.
 

marcosgilson

Casual Member
Alternative FTTP don’t provide anywhere near the 15 m homes that VM can provide sky. The broadband router issue is not a big one
 

Meatball

Top Member
15m is coverage different from capacity. Recent VM FTTP rollouts will be more flexible and easily augmented but in some legacy areas they simply do not have the capacity with high levels of homes currently blocked on their sales site. Without significant investment (which may be going on, no evidence here) then it can only get worse as higher speed products are promoted.

Sky know that they can get 25m via OR by 2026. What will concern them is the interim from now until then and the advertising lure of "Gigabit". So Altnet/VM agreements could be more tactical.

A good percentage of Sky customers like my father in-law don't actually need much broadband so even slow FTTC will suffice. Those without OR such as New Build (e.g OFNL) can get Sky via current sell through agreements with smaller ISPs.

Sky will be looking to move to a lower support cost network (i.e FTTP) and VM legacy may not provide that.
 

Mark.J

Administrator
Staff member
ISPreview Team
Sky have a number of options but may not want to saddle themselves with the technical complexity and associated cost. Having an agreement with another GPON provider would mean their processes would be very similar and they can have common kit (Sky Router/SkyQ/Mini - 5GHz Airties Mesh).

If they went with VM then VM would have to provide a low cost cable modem or an Ethernet interfaced ONT (on external wall) with FTTP.

Sky may find its easier to have Sky TV sell through options with ISPs that are using Altnet FTTP networks.

One of the biggest issues is VM speed consistency on legacy. It may be better on FTTP but on legacy my personal experience is that VM fail their own product minimums on a regular basis, particularly at peak times.

Any wholesale solution offered via VMO2, or and off-shoot company, will probably be able to give ISPs more flexibility over router using EPON or similar. I wouldn't confuse it with Virgin Media's retail offering, as they'll be able to build a clear distinction. Likewise, Sky will have its own capacity links to help fuel such a network. But this is all up in the air until we get some final detail.
 
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