Sky Unveils Three Broadband Initiatives

2017 is poised to be a fascinating year for the home broadband market. With rumours of Virgin Media climbing down from their ultra-fast broadband perch to offer slower, ultra-low cost broadband and the likes of TalkTalk re-energising their business after a torrid couple of years which has seen hack after hack crumble their satisfaction ratings.

Clearly then, Sky had to do something to get themselves ahead of the game, and today they’ve done just that with not one, not two, but three separate bits of news which should bring a smile to the face of the broadband buying population.

The first news is that Sky have today launched the UK’s lowest priced combined fibre broadband & line rental deal, available for just £20 per month, with a one off set up cost of £19.95. The deal is available exclusively for Sky TV customers, either new or existing.

The deal is for Sky’s fibre broadband, which has an average 34Mbps download speed, and comes with a 25GB monthly usage allowance – which might prove to be a problem for stream-happy families. Nevertheless, Sky are positioning the broadband deal as the perfect accompaniment to their TV package and their On Demand content.

Additionally, Sky are launching the Sky Broadband Tech Team, which is due to take customer service duties for broadband away from and move them into their own team.

This new, dedicated, UK team of broadband experts are specially trained to resolve customers’ broadband problems, and will build on Sky’s excellent history of customer service. That customer service has seen them listed as number 1 by Ofcom for the last two years, and the new helpline will help cement that reputation.

Their role will extend from helping customers get the best broadband speeds to solving the majority of broadband issues online or over the phone. If needed, the team will be able to dispatch a specially trained engineer to the affected home. Additionally, better training means that the team will be able to provide a more personal experience to customers.

Speaking on the new fibre broadband offer and Tech Team, Lyssa McGowan, Director of Communication Products at Sky said: “Faster and more reliable internet is becoming ever more important for our TV customers. That’s why we are offering Sky Fibre at such a brilliant price, exclusively for our Sky TV customers, alongside launching our new, dedicated Broadband Tech Team, so they get the best service in town.”

The two initiatives are being launched with a new ad campaign which will feature characters from the upcoming Lego Batman movie, with the ad hitting screens from the 28th of December.

The final bit of broadband news is perhaps the most interesting one, because Sky have become the first company in the UK to advertise average download speeds when selling their broadband service.

To date, Sky (and every other broadband supplier in the UK) has advertised ‘up to’ speeds, which highlight the best case scenario that a customer can experience. The change means that now customers buying broadband from Sky will see a more realistic estimation of their broadband speeds.

Though Sky are the first company to offer realistic average speeds in their advertising, it’s likely that they won’t be the last. In November, the Advertising Standards Agency concluded that broadband providers should stop misleading customers with best-case-scenario speeds. Currently, the guidelines state that at least 10% of subscribers see the advertised speeds, which leaves plenty of room for misuse.

Indeed, the Committees of Advertising Practice are currently reviewing that guidance, and look set to announce a change which would bring an end to optimistic broadband speed reporting. That recommendation is due out in Spring 2017, so this move from Sky could simply be them getting ahead of the game and making the change before it’s legally required.

Whatever the reasoning, it’s a move that should be applauded from Sky, who are making the broadband buying world a fairer place.