This page discusses the services offered by Sky, which is the UK’s second largest broadband provider. The key benefits of Sky Broadband are the convenience and cost savings from bundling together TV, broadband and mobile phone packages. You are able to manage your account using a handy mobile app. Changing to Sky Broadband may allow you to save money and get faster speeds.
The Sky deals available to you depend on where you live, and Sky Broadband may not be available in your area. Also, not all areas offer the fastest (superfast and ultrafast) broadband services.
Sky Broadband Essential, which is standard broadband (known as ADSL). This can deliver download speeds of up to 24 Mbps, but usually significantly less due to the distance between you and the exchange. Upload speeds are limited to about 1 Mbps. Unless you have no choice, we strongly recommend that you opt for superfast fibre broadband or ultrafast broadband instead.
Sky Broadband Superfast, which is superfast FTTC (Fibre to the Cabinet) fibre broadband. Over the last few years, fibre broadband has been rolled out to about 28 million UK premises. It offers download speeds up to about 80 Mbps (and upload speeds up to 20 Mbps). As described in our What is Fibre Broadband page, exact speeds are dependent on the distance between you and your local green street cabinet. Fibre broadband generally delivers sufficient speeds for most households. If you currently subscribe to standard broadband and your area has been upgraded to superfast broadband, you will not automatically be upgraded. You need to proactively upgrade, which you can do through this page.
Sky Broadband Ultrafast, which delivers speeds over 100 Mbps using one of two technologies: G.fast or FTTP (Fibre to the Premises). These technologies are described in our What is Fibre Broadband and What is G.fast pages. G.fast is available to 2.4 million premises and FTTP is available to 1.8 million premises. If ultrafast broadband is now available in your area, please note that you will not automatically be upgraded. You have to proactively upgrade, which you can do through this page. We recommend ultrafast broadband if you have several people in your home using services such as video streaming services or you are only able to access slow speeds (30 Mbps or less) using fibre broadband.
Pros and cons of Sky Broadband
If you currently subscribe to Sky’s TV (or other) services, adding broadband can be convenient and cost effective. Sky currently offers some very attractive mobile packages (using the O2 network), so you could achieve some excellent savings by consolidating your TV, phone, broadband and mobile services. We really like the ‘My Sky’ mobile app, which allows you to manage all aspects of your Sky account, including the broadband service.
On its network, Sky uses some of the most advanced technologies (for example, with its local loop unbundling equipment), and speeds are generally excellent. Furthermore, Sky now provides customers with its Sky Q Hub, which is very good for a ‘free’ modem router. If you subscribe to the Sky Q service, any Sky mini boxes in your home effectively act as WiFi signal boosters.
You get a similar customer service experience as you do with Sky’s TV service, and Sky generally gets good customer satisfaction scores (such as from YouGov and Ofcom).
One potential drawback of Sky is that it can become expensive when you are outside the initial contract period when you can potentially benefit from significant initial discounts. As with all broadband providers, we would suggest keeping a close eye on contract dates and try to negotiate better deals when you are outside contract. About 8 million households are out of contract with their broadband provider and able to save money by changing (or renegotiating their package), according to Ofcom.
Sky broadband deals bundling broadband with Sky TV (and mobile)
A key benefit of subscribing to Sky is the availability of a broad range of TV content, which now includes Netflix. Sky currently delivers the best pay TV experience in the UK. Sky Sports provides a large choice of content, including Premier League football, cricket and golf.
The Sky Q system, which has received excellent reviews across the industry, is very easy to use and offers outstanding picture quality if you subscribe to Ultra HD services (as described in our Sky Q review). Substantial Ultra HD 4k content (including sports and movies) is available live and ‘on demand’. On demand content is downloaded to the Sky Q box through your broadband connection. This is another reason why we recommend superfast or ultrafast broadband.
Less well known is the fact that Sky Mobile (which uses the O2 network) offers some outstanding tariffs and features. In particular, Sky Mobile allows you to roll over unused data for up to three years. This means that you could save money and opt for for a smaller data allowance to begin with. You can have up to five mobile numbers on your account and flexibly share unused data will any of these. Most impressively, you can watch Sky TV and use all Sky apps whenever or wherever you want without using any of your data allowance.