Sky has offered broadband in the United Kingdom since 2006.
In the time since, it has grown to be one of the UK’s leading providers of home broadband. While a large proportion of its customers have taken Sky broadband in bundle offers with Sky TV subscriptions, there is also many households in the UK who use Sky broadband as a standalone subscription basis from the company.
In 2019 Sky broadband launched it’s first “ultrafast” broadband package, and an even quicker package, dubbed “Ultrafast 2”, is due to launch in the future, although at the time of writing no confirmed date had been provided by Sky.
Sky say their internet is “broadband you’ll love.” Let’s see if that’s really the case.
What Internet Speeds Do Sky Broadband Offer?
Sky currently offers three broadband packages, titled “essential”, “superfast”, and “ultrafast”. The advertised average speeds for these are 11MB, 59MB, and 145MB respectively.
Sky’s upcoming “Ultrafast 2” will reportedly have average speeds of 285MB, which would take it way above most UK competitors in terms of the maximum internet speeds it can offer, with the only exceptions being Virgin Media and EE.
Sky Broadband Download Speeds
Due to a ruling from the Advertising Standards Authority that came into effect in May 2018, internet service providers (ISP’s) in the United Kingdom are now required to advertise average speeds on the basis of what at least half of their customers can receive at peak times. Prior to this ruling, ISP’s could advertise higher headline speeds, so long as only 10% of customers were being provided with such a speed.
Although this ruling means the advertised speeds you see when looking for your ideal broadband package are more accurate, the speed you can receive, and use, depends on several variables. Use a broadband speed checker to get an even more accurate idea of the internet speeds you can expect to receive, from Sky or any other provider.
The tables below highlight the most recent data based on Ofcom’s home broadband performance research, comparing Sky to other popular providers against the advertised speeds they offer. This research took place in November 2018 and was published in May 2019.
Some of the data for the Sky comparison may appear to be missing or incomplete. This is not the case, rather we have not included it as Sky have changed their broadband packages since the research was completed. Specifically, Sky no longer offers a 36MB package, which was formerly its mid-range broadband package, and featured heavily in the cited Ofcom research.
Sky Broadband Essential 11MB Broadband Speed Comparison
Sky’s Essential broadband package offers an advertised average speed of 11MB. This is a slightly quicker advertised speed than some other providers, but in general basic broadband packages in the UK are offered around the 10MB – 11MB speed.
|ISP||Advertised Average speed||Performance range over a 24-hour period||Performance range at peak times (8pm – 10pm, weekdays)|
|BT||10MB||9.7MB – 12.1MB||9.7MB – 12.1MB|
|Plusnet||10MB||10.7MB – 13MB||10.6MB – 12.9MB|
|Sky||11MB||10.8MB – 12.8MB||10.7MB – 12.7MB|
|TalkTalk||11MB||8.9MB – 11.1MB||8.8MB – 11.0MB|
As we can see from the table, Sky’s 11MB broadband product compares favourably against the other providers in this range that were included in the Ofcom research. As a direct comparison to TalkTalk, who also advertise 11MB speeds for their basic broadband, Sky performs demonstrably better.
Sky Broadband Superfast 59MB Broadband Speed Comparison
|ISP||Advertised Average Speed||Performance range over a 24-hour period||Performance range at peak times (8pm – 10pm, weekdays)|
|Sky||59MB||56.3MB – 61.0MB||55.9MB – 60.7MB|
|Plusnet||66MB||58.0MB – 61.4MB||57.6MB – 61.0MB|
|BT||67MB||62.4MB – 64.6MB||62.1MB – 64.3MB|
|TalkTalk||67MB||61.0MB – 64.5MB||60.5MB – 64.1MB|
|EE||67MB||60.0MB – 64.9MB||59.4MB – 64.5MB|
Firstly, it’s worth noting that Sky’s advertised average speed is significantly lower than the competitors Ofcom compared them with. Previously, and before adding the 145MB package to their broadband offer, Sky’s fastest package was this superfast broadband but with an advertised speed of 63MB.
At the current advertised average speeds, while Sky advertises a lower speed, we can see that they’re the only provider that hits the speed they advertise!
Sky Broadband Ultrafast 145MB Broadband Speed Comparison
At the time of writing, there were no speed comparisons for Sky’s ultrafast 145MB package, and as noted above this package was launched after the Ofcom research had been conducted in November 2018.
Sky Broadband Download Performance Summary
Sky broadband performs strongly against its competitors, particularly in its 59MB broadband offer, which has now shifted from being Sky’s highest speed broadband product to be its mid-range product.
This may allow Sky to be viewed more favourably to its competitors as its mid-range broadband is now on a competitive par with many ISP’s highest speed broadband packages.
The overall competitiveness of Sky’s broadband from a download speed perspective will become even clearer as performance of its 145MB packages is assessed and published and it launches its Ultrafast 2, 285MB broadband package in the UK.
Sky Broadband Upload Speeds
While ISP’s advertise their internet based primarily on download speed, many consumers are interested in upload speeds, particularly given the popularity of adding video content to social media today.
The below tables are also taken from the November 2018 Ofcom research, which was published in May 2019, and highlight how Sky’s broadband performs against its competitors for upload speeds for its 11MB and 59MB broadband packages.
Sky’s basic broadband provides upload speeds generally on a par with its competitors, and better than TalkTalk which at 11MB download speed was the closest like for like competitor that featured in the Ofcom report.
With what is now its mid-level broadband, Sky broadband performs slightly slower for uploads than the other competitors in the Ofcom report. Note also that the upload speeds were taken with Sky’s previous 66MB broadband and not the current 59MB package.
Sky Broadband Speeds
Overall, Sky’s broadband speeds compare favourably to other ISP’s in the market, particularly in what is now its mid-range package, although it is at the lower end of performance for upload speeds in this package.
In the coming year, as research is conducted into Sky’s faster broadband at 145MB and 285GB, we’ll add those tables to this guide to see how Sky compares to its competitors in these areas.
Sky Broadband Offers and Deals
As we mentioned earlier, Sky broadband is frequently bundled with other Sky packages, particularly a TV subscription but often also with telephone packages, and now with mobile phone deals, too.
Sky currently does not advertise its Ultrafast broadband on its broadband homepage, as this service is currently being rolled out geographically across the UK. You can check if Ultrafast broadband from Sky is available in your area, and get a quote, here. We have however added Sky’s best deals below.
Currently, Sky are not offering any specific incentives to sign-up to broadband as a new customer. However, discounts may be available if you sign-up to a bundled deal, with customer frequently enjoying heavily discounted or even free broadband, as well as no upfront or setup costs, if they take out a TV subscription with Sky. Sky is currently offering 18-month contracts as standard.
|Package||Advertised Average Speed||Contract Term||Upfront Payment||Monthly Payment|
|Essential||11MB||18 months||£19.95||£20 a month for 18 months, then £25|
|Superfast||59MB||18 months||£19.95||£27 a month for 18 months, then £32|
|Superfast & Wi-Fi Guarantee||59MB||18 months||£19.95||£32 a month for 18 months, then £37|
|Ultrafast||145MB||18 months||£39.95||£39 a month for 18 months|
Sky offers what it calls its “speed guarantee” as standard with its superfast packages. Like with many broadband providers, there’s a clear price incentive with Sky to take out the more expensive packages given the extra speed capability you get for the price.
What is Sky’s Speed Guarantee?
Sky’s speed guarantee states that if you take out a superfast or ultrafast package that, after the first 14 days post-activation of your broadband service, if your broadband speed drops below your guaranteed minimum speed for three consecutive days, you can claim your monthly subscription fee back.
You can claim this refund twice within your broadband contract, and if this occurs within the first 30-days of your contract you can also claim back your upfront/setup cost of £19.95.
However, to get this back you have to check your internet speed yourself, and Sky will only accept the results of its own speed checker, which customers will find in their “My Broadband” section upon becoming a Sky customer.
What is Sky’s Wi-Fi Guarantee?
Sky’s Wi-Fi guarantee states that Sky will guarantee customers will get a broadband speed of at least 3MB in every room of their home. If customers do not receive such a speed in any room in their home, they can claim back the cost of their Wi-Fi guarantee or Broadband Boost product, depending on the method by which they have the guarantee.
Sky will also send out technical specialists to your home to seek to resolve this issue and deliver 3MB speeds in every room of your home. If Sky can’t achieve this, they will refund your Wi-Fi guarantee or Broadband Boost fees to cover the remainder of your contract, while leaving you subscribed to enjoy the other benefits of these add-ons.
Sky Broadband Pricing vs Competitors
Let’s look at how Sky’s broadband pricing compares to competitors across its current three speed tiers.
Sky Broadband Essential 11MB Broadband Price Comparison
|ISP||Package||Advertised Average speed||Contract Term||Upfront Fee||Monthly Payment|
|Plusnet||Unlimited||10MB||18 months||Free||£19.99 for 18 months, then £30.98|
|BT||Broadband||10MB||24 months||£29.99||£26.99 for 24 months, then £32.99|
|Sky||Essential||11MB||18 months||£19.95||£20 for 18 months, then £25|
|TalkTalk||Fast Broadband||11MB||18 months||Free||£19.95 for 18 months, then £30|
As we can see, Sky’s pricing is favourable to BT and is on par with other competitors who offer basic broadband at these speeds, although they are comparable monthly with Plusnet and TalkTalk they do have an additional cost in the form of the £19.95 upfront payment.
Sky Broadband Superfast 59MB Broadband Price Comparison
|ISP||Package||Advertised Average speed||Contract Terms||Upfront Payment||Monthly Payment|
|Plusnet||Unlimited Fibre Extra||66MB||18 months||Free||£26.99 for 18 months, then £40.98|
|TalkTalk||Superfast Fibre||67MB||18 months||Free||£24.95 for 18 months, then £41|
|Sky||Superfast||59MB||18 months||£19.95||£27 for 18 months, then £32|
|EE||Fibre Plus||67MB||18 months||Free||£28 for 18 months, then £42|
|BT||Superfast Fibre 2||67MB||24 months||£9.99||£34.99 for 24 months, then £47.99|
|Virgin Media||M100 Fibre Broadband + Talk Weekends||108MB||12 months||Free||£33 for 12 months, then £49|
At the mid-range it’s important to remember what we learned earlier about Sky’s speeds, namely that they actually deliver those speeds, in comparison to competitors who, with the exception of Virgin Media who weren’t included in the Ofcom data at this speed, did not deliver their average advertised speed.With that considered, Sky’s pricing is favourable, although if other providers offer money back incentives around their own speed guarantees then they may become more attractive.
Sky Broadband Ultrafast 145MB Broadband Price Comparison
|ISP||Package||Advertised Average speed||Contract Terms||Upfront Payment||Monthly Payment|
|Zen Internet||Unlimited Fibre 3 + Line Only||145MB||12 months||£55||£49.99|
|BT||Ultrafast Fibre Plus 2||150MB||24 months||£9.99||£49.99 for 24 months,|
|Virgin Media||M200 Fibre Broadband (30-day contract) + Talk Weekends||213MB||1 month||£80||£54|
Sky has clearly the best pricing among ISP’s at this level in the market, although at this time it remains to be seen how effective its 145MB ultrafast package is.
Virgin Media is unique in effectively offering a rolling monthly contract, and may be useful for student homes, but the upfront setup costs and monthly payment are easily the highest on the market, albeit for higher broadband speeds.
How Does Sky Broadband’s Pricing Compare Overall?
In general, Sky’s broadband pricing is competitive in the market without being a standout in terms of pricing.
The exception to this is with the 145MB ultrafast package, where they’re clearly the best value, but it remains to be seen over time whether Sky can deliver these speeds consistently and how this package performs against established competitors, such as Virgin Media, at this section of the market.
Sky Broadband Customer Service Performance
Sky is very much a mid-table performer when it comes to customer service. Their current performance represents an improvement on their historical customer service reputation, which was poor to say the least.
However, Sky’s latest performance is shown to be generally favourable in comparison to others in the market below, while it’s low of 20 complains is said by Ofcom to make the company the least complained about provider across broadband, paid TV subscription providers, landline, and mobile telephones combined.
To get in touch with Sky’s customer service team, customers can either:
- Contact @SkyHelpTeam via Twitter. Please note this is Sky’s general Twitter “helpdesk” for all its services and is not exclusively dedicated to broadband customers.
- Go through Sky’s Help section until you reach a recommendation, which will usually be a specific phone number to call, although Live Chat assistance is also available at times. Sky may also direct you to FAQ’s and Answers on its website and forum for common issues.
Summing Up Sky Broadband
As a standalone service, Sky broadband is very much part of the pack, although if you’re looking for an ultrafast broadband solution, it is available where you are and Sky are able to deliver the speeds it says it can, then they appear to offer good value from a price perspective.
Where most customers will see value from Sky Broadband is by taking it as part of a bundle with subscription TV. In this context, if the TV package is your main service, then it probably ticks its own box of being “broadband you’ll love”, but as broadband packages themselves, their essential and superfast packages need to do more to stand out, particularly with the lack of a free gift card or another incentive to join up.