Sky joins the crowd with 'free' broadband

Sky became the third operator in the U.K. to launch a free broadband offering to its TV subscribers.

British Sky Broadcasting Group this week introduced a free broadband service in the U.K., becoming the third operator in the country to market free broadband as part of a bundled offering. But don't expect the same type of offering in Australia.

Subscribers to Sky's digital TV service can sign up to receive a 2M-byte broadband connection that includes 2G bytes of usage per month for no extra charge beyond the monthly TV charge. The offering is initially limited to the 28 percent of U.K. homes that are reached by Sky's broadband network.

Sky is also offering higher-speed service for a fee. Sky digital customers can opt for an 8M-byte service with 40G bytes of usage for £5 (AUD$12.50) per month or a 16M-byte service with essentially unlimited usage for £10 per month.

Sky expects its network to reach 70 percent of the U.K. by the end of 2007. Customers who are out of the coverage area can subscribe to a more expensive service and later switch to one of the lower cost offerings if the network eventually reaches them.

Broadband customers will also receive a free wireless router and a year subscription to a McAfee Inc. antivirus service.

Carphone Warehouse Group started the free broadband trend in the U.K. in April, when it made the offering to subscribers of its telephone service.

"Carphone Warehouse caught the others by surprise and they've had to hastily put ideas together and launch counter attacks," said Michael Philpott, an Ovum analyst.

Just two months after launching the service, Carphone said it had been overwhelmed by the response. In late May, Orange PLC began offering free broadband to its U.K. mobile customers.

While the trend toward bundling multiple services together under one bill is happening globally, the marketing strategy of calling the broadband service free so far seems mostly limited to the U.K.

But Philpott expects the idea to catch on elsewhere. "Others are seeing what's happening in the U.K. and they'll pick up on the marketing success that Carphone has received," he said.

However, this cannot occur in Australia with pay TV provider Foxtel.

Under its agreement with Telstra, Foxtel is only allowed to offer entertainment services.

"They might be able to offer a Foxtel service over the BigPond broadband service but they can't run a broadband service themselves," said telco analyst Paul Budde.

"Telstra successfully avoids any competition. This of course is a real shame as we desperately need competition. So much for government policies that allowed Telstra to own Foxtel."

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Nancy Gohring

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?