The latest set of financial results from Sky are out, and the headline in the broadband world is that they have 5,897,000 broadband customers, alas no split on how many of those are fibre based. This means a growth of 277,000 in the last six months, with the last quarter adding over half at 144,000.
Disappointing to not find any mention of the York trial, though we are having difficultly spotting any Sky customers in the CityFibre FTTH footprint, no problem with TalkTalk customers. In the small FTTH trial in Derbyshire that is outside the scope of the joint venture with CityFibre we are seeing speed tests.
For now the main developments are a new top of the range Sky Q satellite TV set-top box, and a NOW TV box that integrates FreeView channels that should keep cord cutters happy.
In theory we could estimate the number of fibre customers from the profile of Sky speed tests that we see, which is showing 3 out of 10 are on one of the FTTC products (just 2% on the up to 76 Mbps version), this about the same as TalkTalk for overall FTTC tests, hopefully once the results for the BT Group are published we can see how close this method of tracking take-up with individual providers is.
Update 10:30am Sky is enjoying sending out a stream of press releases today, and the latest includes some launch pricing for the Sky Q system.
The entry level bundle which appears to be The Original Bundle (standard price £20/month) but with more HD, and access to box sets is £42/month, with an up front set-up cost of from £99 for the set-top box. Streaming to a tablet is limited to one device, but you can record three channels while also watching a fourth on the set-top box. There is a more expensive option, Sky Q Silver which allows an extra channel to be recorded and stream to two tablets for an up front price of from £149 and £54/month. The part that may appeal to some is that the costs of servicing and mechanical fault repairs is built into the cost of the service. Unlike Sky+ HD boxes which you can keep after the minimum term and the PVR functionality switches off if you stop your Sky subscription, if you stop the Sky Q subscription the hardware must be returned, i.e. the equipment is on loan.
The reviews of the hardware have been favourable, but the question was always one of price, and with the high monthly cost it is clear that the new box is priced at the premium end of the market, unfortunately that is also the market who are buying 4K televisions and are looking for 4K content.