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Sky Dumps Usage Limits for Most UK Customers, Gives Away Free, Limited Broadband Service to Others

Phillip Dampier April 28, 2010 Broadband Speed, Competition, Consumer News, Data Caps, Sky (UK) 3 Comments

More evidence arrived this week that Internet Overcharging schemes are becoming a thing of the past for many global broadband users.

Sky has announced it is getting rid of its usage limits and speed throttles for most of its broadband customers.  It’s also giving away a free speed upgrade to up to 20Mbps for its DSL-provisioned broadband service.

“It comes with no usage caps, fair use policies or traffic management, making it ideal for those who want the freedom to download emails, photos, TV programs, movies and games. It’s also ideal for those who want to access live and on-demand TV through Sky Player,” Sky said.

That may be part of the plan.  Sky, a satellite television company serving the United Kingdom, is preparing to launch new video on demand features that will work in conjunction with its broadband service.  Delivering faster access, without limits, could be part of the equation of making their video on demand service a success.

For occasional broadband users who don’t exceed 2 gigabytes of use per month, Sky is giving free usage-limited broadband service to customers who also subscribe to Sky’s telephone service.  For those that don’t, the 2 gigabyte-capped service costs £5 ($7.59US) per month.

For those looking for unlimited service, Sky Unlimited is available for £7.50/$11.38 per month for Sky customers with Sky Talk or £12.50/$18.97 per month for those without.  In the United Kingdom, line charges for the phone line are broken out from broadband pricing and have to be considered towards the total monthly cost for broadband service.  Line rental from BT costs £12.50/$18.97 a month for customers who pay by direct debit and receive paper billing (£11.25/$17.08 with paperless billing).

Sky requires a 12 month service commitment.  These prices and plans take effect June 1st.  New customers can get a promotion offering six months of free broadband service, including line rental, when signing a 12-month service commitment.

New customers can get six months of broadband service for free when signing up

Is there a downside to this offer?  Not as far as usage limits are concerned.  However, the service is dependent on BT-provisioned DSL phone lines, which can create great variability in the maximum actual speeds customers receive.  The further away from a BT exchange office, the slower the maximum speed a customer will achieve.

But for existing Sky satellite customers looking for a discount on bundled service and an end to worries about monthly usage or speed throttles, Sky Broadband is a welcome relief for those tired of Internet Overcharging schemes.

It’s also one fewer example North American providers can point to as an excuse to attempt Internet Overcharging schemes of their own.

Currently there are 3 comments on this Article:

  1. Loons In June! says:

    How much does it cost to subscribe to Sky satellite?

    • Sky Satellite video packages start at £18/$27.30. They have similar bundle deals like American providers do when you combine video, phone, and broadband service together.

  2. Nic says:

    I would avoid Sky at all costs. I’ve never used them as an ISP and after they came out in favour of the Digital Economy bill, I never will. Under that, I could end up being blamed for someone else’s filesharing. I understand Sky’s position, they provide content as well as broadband but if they were my ISP, I’d be straight online to compare broadband packages and switch. No matter how good a connection they might be able to provide, it’s not worth the risk.

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