Skip Navigation

Sky in Gigabit trials in Hampshire
Wednesday 18 June 2014 16:24:17 by Andrew Ferguson

Campaigners are calling for more fibre to the home and it looks like Sky are spending money to find out how popular a fibre to the home service will be. The TV, phone and broadband operator is running a trial in limited areas of Hampshire that will see fibre to the home installed, with speeds up to 1 Gbps.

thinkbroadband speed test results showing level of superfast coverage and take-up
        (click image for larger size

The new telegraph pole this notice is on is actually in Basingstoke with the picture supplied to us by Tim Robinson (thank you Tim) and suggests that more poles are on the way so that fibre can be easily run into peoples homes as the trial progresses.

The website for the trial talks of speeds around 15 times the UK standard broadband speeds but this is just for a Wi-Fi connection, the homes will actually be getting Gigabit connections and speeds of potentially 950 Mbps will be possible if using Ethernet and suitable hardware.

While the trial is of new Sky infrastructure it is being run by a Love Digital trial team. While no pricing is mentioned there is talk of a special offer to encourage people to sign up, and once the service is ready to be delivered to the first people we will be sure to hear on pricing and have emailed Sky to see if any more detail is forthcoming.

An interesting part of the project is that they talk of working with the Hampshire Superfast Broadband Programme who signed with BT back in 2013, so it is not totally clear what the level of co-operation may be, perhaps just ensuring that these trial areas are not already part of the gap funded project areas.

The UK broadband market place is increasingly showing more willingness to invest in actual infrastructure, with Sky also investing £5m in York as part of the first phase of FTTH to 20,000 properties in the city, possibly growing to 80,000 in the future. Who knows the safe and stepped approach that the BT Group Board has followed for broadband since its inception may come back to haunt them if roll-outs like what Sky appear to be planning prove popular and the operator can roll-out to significant numbers of homes.


Posted by cyberdoyle over 2 years ago
excellent news! competition is king, and it needs something to kickstart BT into parting with their obsolete old copper phone lines.
Posted by Unknown101 over 2 years ago
Cyberdoyle - indeed competition is king and hopefully with all this news that FTTP is being rolled out in all these small parts of the UK BT might start to use FTTP a bit more. Only thing is most of these FTTP roll outs by other ISP's are relatively small in comparison to the FTTC BT is rolling out (hopefully they all start to majorly increase it and head more towards rural areas to push BT in the same direction.
Posted by mdar5 over 2 years ago
Sky will cherry pick as usual as they all do.
They know the demographic most likely to watch their stuff and concentrate their efforts there.
....and up-market sparsely populated (in relative terms) rural areas are most likely not in their sights. Those residents usually have better things to do with their lives.
Posted by Pendlemac over 2 years ago
Unless Sky have high-capacity links to all content providers then they won't get the happy customers they want. What's the point of paying for a 950Mbps link when the actual throughput will probably be a tenth of that?
Posted by Unknown101 over 2 years ago
Pendlemac - Sky will probably just link these FTTP's connections back to the local exchange and onto their backhaul so they will be able to achieve these speeds, that's if there is no congestion on their network. From there onwards to services such as iPlayer etc and their servers are the same for every ISP.
Posted by phead over 2 years ago
It's already known that sky want to move towards ip services on new sky boxes. Upping the bandwidth seem a logical move.
Posted by themanstan over 2 years ago
I can't see Sky increasing their footprint beyond that which VM has in the very long term.

So it's no real competition to BT, as VM's products are available at "upto 152", so 99.9% of domestic users will see no benefit and Sky is very much domestic focussed rather than business.
Posted by Dixinormous over 2 years ago
'head more towards rural areas to push BT in the same direction. '

Unsure on this, are you saying that Sky et al should spend money deploying FTTP to really rural areas that BT don't consider viable for FTTC?

We do great in the EU charts for rural SFBB coverage and will only get better via BDUK. It's our UFBB coverage in urban areas that's well below par.
Posted by WWWombat over 2 years ago
I presume Sky are taking advantage of the relaxation in rules to allow pole-fed comms.

Have Hampshire run a second round OMR and consultation yet?

If so, the maps there might give us a clue as to whether Sky's trial coverage can be seen beyond the planned BDUK+BT+VM coverage. We might then see whether the word "rural" applies at all.
Posted by glasspath over 2 years ago
Interesting that the service is to use poles. I think the cable companies were expressly prohibited from this (leaving it exclusively to BT) and even electricity providers are being encouraged to go from poles to underground in some areas. Have the rules changed?
Posted by olicuk over 2 years ago
It looks like the rules were relaxed last year to encourage rural deployment after a DCMS consultation. However the first Sky trial area appears to be already covered by both VM and FTTC, and isn't exactly rural...
You must be logged in to post comments. Click here to login.