Sky has introduced a fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) broadband offer for the UK, just weeks after it announced a strategic partnership with BUUK Infrastructure to obtain wholesale access to full fibre networks across the country, a move it said would open up new growth in the new-build segment of the residential market.
The announcement also comes after Sky parent Comcast revealed in its third-quarter 2020 results that its UK division was seeing a return to growth and positive financial news after hitting headwinds during the Covid-19 pandemic. Comcast noted that during the quarter, Sky continued to add customer relationships at higher prices while reducing churn to all-time lows in its core UK business. Sky’s quarterly revenues grew by 5.2% year on year to $4.793bn.
With the UK’s second national lockdown to begin on 5 November and with high-speed and robust connectivity to the home still vital to support the new normal of remote working, Sky has launched the new fibre offer for its Sky Broadband Superfast and Sky Broadband Ultrafast products.
The service is said to guarantee average speeds of up to 145Mbps, up to 12 times faster than standard (DSL) broadband. Sky says that in addition to assuring that users of the FTTH service “say goodbye to buffering” and stream the latest entertainment, movies and TV “seamlessly”, the offer will have a guaranteed average upload speed of 27Mbps, especially useful for use cases such video conferencing, which is again likely to see a spike as employees are instructed to work at home if they can.
More than three million UK homes will already be able to gain access to the new fibre service technology, and Sky says this will increase as 31,000 new homes are added each week. If this growth is maintained until March 2021, it would see Sky Broadband Ultrafast with the fastest speeds available in 7.3 million households.
Sky noted that in locations where a fibre connection to the home was not available, SO GEA (offered by UK national broadband provider Openreach) and FTTC connections would be used to achieve so-called superfast speeds connecting 28.9 million households. G.Fast connections would be deployed to achieve ultrafast speeds where FTTP is not available, connecting 2.8 million households.
“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”, said Aman Bhatti, director of propositions at Sky Broadband. “This means that with Sky Broadband Ultrafast, we can offer our customers average speeds that are 12 times faster than standard enabling customers to download, stream, browse, work from home and game freely.”