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Sky TV takes wraps off broadband service

After talking about it for months, Sky has finally soft-launched its fibre broadband service.

For now, Sky offers its own-brand broadband to a small group of existing satellite TV customers. It is not available to customers of the company’s streaming TV services. That makes sense, those people will already have decent broadband.

Sky says there will be a wider roll out in the coming months.

Gigabit, unlimited

The price is aggressive, but not market shaking. Customers, who must have a pay TV account and commit to a 12 month contract pay $79 a month for an uncapped 1Gbps plan. This compares with around $100 for similar plans from the big service providers.

In other words, satellite TV customers can buy gigabit broadband at a $20 discount to the usual price.

Sky’s deal includes a Wi-fi 6 router. That’s a better option than the low-budget wireless routers most rival service providers offer. It should mean customers will be able to get more out of gigabit speeds.

You may not be able to get the most out of Wi-Fi 6 today, but you soon will.

If needed, customers can get wireless network extenders for an extra $10 a month. That looks expensive, considering you can pick up range extenders for $60, but at the time of writing Wi-Fi 6 extenders cost hundreds of dollars.

An optional voice line costs $10 a month. That’s standard. The price of calls are industry standard too. Sky says it will announce other plan options soon, but there’s something to be said for making unlimited gigabit the base.

In testing Sky says customers saw download speeds of around 900mbps and could upload at 400mbps. This is in-line with other service providers.

Vocus in the background

Sky is working with Vocus to deliver fibre broadband.

The company’s approach, bundling broadband with Pay TV services echos the model used by companies like Trustpower and Contact Energy selling broadband to electricity customers. There is evidence that customers who buy more than one service from a single service provider are less likely to switch accounts.

Bundling Sky and broadband makes sense, it makes even more sense to bundle streaming services and broadband. It could mean getting, say, Neon or Sky Now, plus a connection for the price other service providers charge for the connection alone.

Sky’s press release.