Sky is a major player in the media and telecommunications world. While Sky is well known for its satellite television subscription service, it’s also one of the UK’s leading internet service providers (ISPs). Its standard broadband and fibre options are widely available, with standard Sky broadband only off-limits to around one per cent of the population.
Sky Group Limited is a British media and telecommunications conglomerate, owned by Comcast and headquartered in London with operations throughout Europe. Sky is Europe’s largest media company, and also the continent’s biggest pay TV broadcaster by revenue.
Sky launched its first satellite TV service in 1989 before merging with rival BSB the following year. It launched a new broadband service called Sky Broadband in 2005, followed in 2012 by the introduction of Sky Fibre.
The deals Sky Broadband offers are among the UK’s most popular options, rivalling both BT and Virgin Media. It has established itself as a major player with attractive Sky broadband and TV deals, alongside an array of Sky broadband and phone deals.
As one of the UK’s leading ISPs, Sky Broadband offers combine impressive speeds with a reliable broadband service and a consistently low level of complaints. Selecting the right package guarantees a Wi-Fi signal in every room of your house, as well as a host of parental controls through its Broadband Buddy app. Sky has a good track record for customer service, while its biggest USP is its home entertainment bundles, offering a range of exclusive live sports and blockbuster movies. Both of the company’s broadband routers are impressively fast with speeds up to 1GB, and the Sky Q Hub router is one of the best around – capable of hosting 64 internet-enabled devices at the same time. The company’s dedicated Sky Switch Squad make moving to Sky a smoother process, though you will need to watch out for package price rises, particularly when Sky new customer deals are ending.
*Reviews on this page are randomly selected and sourced from an anonymous feedback survey of 7,681 broadband customers conducted by BroadbandDeals.com in July 2020.
Sky offers a range of broadband services, starting with a standard ADSL broadband package called Essential. There’s a Superfast fibre broadband service and an Ultrafast service, all of which come with a landline and pay-as-you-talk calls as standard alongside a Sky Hub and Sky Broadband Shield. There’s an option to upgrade to Sky Talk Evenings and Weekends Extra, Anytime Extra, or International Extra.
There’s also an array of Sky broadband and TV deals, combining broadband with movie channels, Sky Sports channels or Netflix. These tend to be among the best Sky deals in terms of value for money.
Sky deals for new customers start with the ISP’s entry-level package, combining an 11Mbps average broadband speed with no download limit. Great for light web browsing and SD streaming onto one device at a time, Broadband Essential includes Sky Pay as You Talk. Set-up costs are £20, and deals start from £22 a month for 18 months for a package which includes a Sky Q Hub router and Sky Broadband Shield.
This is Sky’s most popular fibre broadband package, with an average broadband speed of 59Mbps and unlimited monthly usage. Capable of supporting multiple connections at the same time, it mirrors the Broadband Essential package in offering Sky Pay as You Talk. Sky deals for new customers include options to add Sky TV and calls, or keep Sky Broadband Superfast it as a broadband only deal. Set-up costs are £20, with deals occasionally starting at £25 a month over an 18-month period. The package includes a Sky Q Hub router and Sky Broadband Shield.
This is Sky’s premium broadband service, with average download speeds of 145Mbps suitable for streaming in HD or even 4K, simultaneous online gaming or large-scale media uploads like adding RAW images to the cloud. However, despite being rolled out in new areas each year, it’s currently only available in around ten per cent of UK premises.
Sky’s Essential standard broadband is available in 99 per cent of UK homes. Superfast fibre broadband is also widely available in Fibre to the Cabinet-enabled areas, but Sky Ultrafast is only accessible to around one in ten domestic homes.
You’ll need a landline to access Sky Broadband, given that all connections, including fibre packages, rely on copper landline wires for at least part of the journey. The company has been developing broadband-only services through a new Openreach service called SOGEA, but these are not yet widely available at the time of writing (December 2020).
For an extra £5 a month, a Broadband Boost package is offered as part of Sky deals for new customers. This includes its Wi-Fi Guarantee, promising Wi-Fi coverage in every room of your house or your money back. Other inclusions are the Sky Broadband Buddy app which lets you manage domestic internet time and pause the internet from your phone, the latest Sky broadband hub, flexible engineer visits at evenings and weekends, and daily line checks for anyone experiencing connection issues.
As mentioned above, Sky Broadband’s Wi-Fi Guarantee means you can have coverage in every room in the house with at least a speed of 3Mbps in every room. If speeds are lower than 3Mbps anywhere around the home, Sky will either post out a Broadband Booster, or a member of their tech support team will try to configure existing hardware to optimise Wi-Fi signals. If this still isn’t able to deliver 3Mbps connectivity, Sky will refund the cost of the Sky Broadband Boost while retaining its other features.
This app lets parents keep an eye on who’s watching what, when, and for how long. You can manage how long specific domestic devices are online across 3G and 4G as well as Wi-Fi, for coverage within and outside the home. You can set regular time limits and create different filters for the whole family, determining what they should see.
The Sky Broadband Shield is included with every broadband package as an additional layer of security. As well as monitoring for malware and phishing scams, it comes with parental controls to ensure children aren’t accessing websites they shouldn’t be viewing.
Sky offers two routers – 2019’s Sky Broadband Hub, and the Sky Q Hub, which debuted in 2016.
Both routers are impressively fast, capable of processing up to 1Gbps of data and connecting 64 web-enabled devices at the same time.
The Sky Q Hub comes with the Sky Q broadband and TV bundles. Sky new customer deals including ones revolving around the 2019 Sky Broadband Hub can be topped up with Sky’s Broadband Boost add-on, while the Sky Broadband Hub is also compatible with Sky Broadband Buddy.
Both Sky routers come with smart power consumption technology, which means the router will switch to low power mode when not in use. They also have security which allows you to restrict access to the network at certain times of the day.
Choosing Sky’s cheapest broadband unlimited plan typically instigates a one-year contract, whereas fibre packages will tie customers into an 18-month agreement.
Every Sky Broadband subscription provides access to free Wi-Fi through the company’s Wi-Fi service, called The Cloud and found in numerous public locations, across up to six devices. Usage is unlimited and won’t cost anything extra, while the Sky Go app can link to The Cloud for TV-watching while out and about.
Some of the best Sky deals include phone plans, which come in four different formats:
Pay as You Talk — This default plan from Sky charges calls at the standard rate
Talk Evenings & Weekends Extra — This offers inclusive calls to UK mobiles and landlines during evenings and weekends, for £5 per month
Talk Anytime Extra – Costing £10 per month, Anytime Extra provides free calls at any time or day of the week
Talk International Extra – Perfect for people with friends and family abroad, this offers inclusive calls to around 50 international destinations for £12 a month.
Sky Talk customers also get the benefit of the Sky Talk Shield, providing greater control over blocking unwanted calls and numbers.
One of Sky’s most attractive aspects is its array of add-ons and packages. As of December 2020, these include:
Sky Ultimate TV: Every episode of the biggest Sky shows and Netflix content, all in one place
Sky Cinema: Eleven Sky Cinema channels, including a weekly premiere
Sky Sports: A host of live sports with dedicated channels for Premier League and EFL football, cricket, golf and F1
Kids: A variety of channels and thousands of on-demand episodes of popular TV shows
Box Sets: Hundreds of box sets, including some outstanding Sky Originals.
Switching to Sky Broadband is usually straightforward, with additional support on the Sky website, and the option to call Sky Help. The company has a dedicated Switch Squad to help transfer customers from other ISPs, which generally takes about two weeks depending whether installation is required or not.