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Sky Dumps BT, Unbundles Lines

Gordon Kelly


Sky Dumps BT, Unbundles Lines

It was only a matter of time...

Sky has finally become bored of sitting on BT's network and decided to unbundle its broadband and phone offerings. The move will not be in partnership with any other unbundled ISPs and Sky will use its own equipment exclusively.

"We have built a new state-of-the art network which uses Local Loop Unbundling (LLU) to give us end-to-end control of your broadband and phone service, instead of 'renting' the connection from another provider," said Sky in a statement to customers this week. "We're using the latest technology to offer you a great experience and to offer you new features in the future, such as managing your voicemail through Sky.com."

It continued: "Carrying voice and internet signals over our own network also means we can offer unbeatable value for money. You don't have to do a thing - we're transferring Sky Talk and Sky Broadband customers to our new network automatically, with minimal disruption to your connection. Your account details, including your home phone number, email address and username will all stay the same. Your Sky TV service will not be affected."

The only question is how Sky's move affects BT friendly numbers such as 0800 and the now free 0845 and 0870 - often the bane of many customers' phone bills.

On the other hand this may see Sky soon playing in the upper echelons of the ADSL2+ sector with a 24Mbit product, currently it tops out at 16Mbit. The Murdock juggernaut doesn't do things by halves so this should be a development worth watching...


via digital spy

Tony Walker

May 28, 2009, 9:59 am

More skimming! (Where companies - buses, etc - target that percentage of the market that they can reach with minimal outlay, leaving those outside the area with little or vastly more expensive services.

Despite being made redundant by them in March, I hope BT get a lot of traction with network and consumer end upgrades (read fibre optics) as they are going to be the only option for those of us whose exchanges all the LLU companies are avoiding coz they would have to spend more money than they think they would recoup from users.

This is where a Socialist government should be making legislation, forcing the companies involved (across all industries) to cross-subsidise (where some of the money they will make in say, urban areas, supports areas with low population density) their services allowing ALL people to make equal use (and cost saving) of their services.

I'm OLD Labour, not a Tory in disguise, in case you were wondering :-)


May 28, 2009, 12:57 pm

Just wondering. Would speeds real world speeds in some of these low density population density areas still be quite decent due to the lower contention ratios.


May 28, 2009, 3:11 pm

@Tony Walker - why should they cross-subsidise? This isn't the NHS, it's private industry, and they have the right to charge as they see fit. If that means offering the service exclusively in high density areas or at a higher price in lower density areas, so be it. I pay a massive premium to live in London, and part of the reason is access to great facilities. If someone chooses to live in Sticksville, Middle-of-nowhereshire, why should I subsidise the astronomically higher cost of providing them with phone and broadband?

If the government decided to roll out say a nationalised fibre-to-the-home network (hint hint - it's only a few billion quid for a network that will last decades; we've splashed way more than that up the wall on far less useful things, like bailing out banks and fighting unconstitutional wars), it might be justifiable for every line to cost its user the same amount, and in effect that is what we have with the tight regulation over BT's pricing, but for private networks, what's the justification?


May 28, 2009, 3:58 pm

The cost to sky of unbundling lines is not that high. They acquired the firm Easynet (UKonline) who have been unbundling exchanges for years now. The service is a lot better than that offered by bt. Lower contention (less people sharing connection) and actual unlimited downloading, where unlimited actually means the word in the dictionary despite the Fair Usage Policy that some companies adhere to much more strictly than others..

Sir Stuie

May 28, 2009, 4:23 pm

@ Tony Walker - Well said comrade commissar!


May 28, 2009, 5:14 pm

I can't even begin to compare Sky and BT for broadband, BT Charge £25 for unlimited downloads, + ~£11 for phone line - that's £36 for unlimited internet.

I pay sky £10 for phone, £16.50 for basic TV (inc sky plus, which cost me no extra) and £10 for unlimited internet. So i pay £36.50 a month for the whole lot - with BT i'd be paying that much just for the phone rental and broadband (no TV!!).


June 2, 2009, 1:53 am

Sorry for your particular situation Tony, I hope things improve/have improved for you.

I'm not suprised BT have difficulties, I just cancelled an order for a phone with 'em after three different delivery estimates in as many calls, One day at the start, 3-5 working days when tracking the placed order.

I was also obliged to cancel their phone services after I got the deal for Sky Max, free calls 24/7 (0800, 0845 etc chargeable - at the mo) 'unlimited' broadband 'up to' 8 - 16meg, will monitor this, for 15 quid and NO BT RENTAL ! fifteen quid ! that's £15 in shorthand and bank statement terminology, a whopping two pounds fifty pence more than the BT line rental, I really don't know how I shall survive.

When Sky make a success of their ambitions, again, doubtless the EU will compell them to sell off some of their assets so perhaps Setanta/ITV can poke their nose in and we will all be at liberty to buy an extra subscription and router for use on alternate days, if we have the right PC that year.

I really enjoyed watching the The FA Cup Final in standard def last Saturday.

Good luck to Sky in this endeavour, they seem to have the minerals.

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