Currently Sky telephone products are based on Wholesale Line Rental (WLR) or Carrier Pre Selection (CPS) where BT telephone hardware is used at the exchange, but Sky handles all the billing and customer service. After rumours of Sky moving towards a fully unbundled model, DigitalSpy has details of what the firm which has over 2 million broadband customers will be doing.
In areas where Sky has the capability it will fully unbundle the telephone line for new customers signing up, to provide the broadband and telephone service from its own hardware in the exchange. Existing broadband and telephone customers will be given a choice whether to move across, whether there will be any cost saving to the consumer is unclear. Line rental from Sky using WLR is £10 a month, moving to full LLU may allow for a further reduction as incentive to switch.
The issues of how you change provider if you decide to switch has not improved much with full LLU, things are complicated by the need to find a telephone provider and broadband provider. A process does exist which is not part of the MAC system and is known as a Simultaneous Provide, where the phone and broadband orders are linked by the Linked Order Reference Number (LORN).
At least Sky is asking existing customers if they want to move networks, a number of other providers have either not informed customers of changes, or hidden them behind a mantle of upgrades that the customer cannot opt out of.