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Sky states that Britain needs Gigabit
Monday 22 February 2016 09:32:25 by Andrew Ferguson

The last decade of low prices and retail competition are the result of Ofcom enforcing the functional separation and creation of Openreach and the risk taken by TalkTalk that the public wanted cheaper broadband and telephone packages. This Thursday will see another similarly momentous decision by Ofcom and Sky is making it 100% clear as to its preferred solution.

"It’s no secret that Sky supports separation. But while some portray the issues as a battle between commercial rivals the truth is it matters to us all. Consumers, small businesses, think tanks and MPs have all said that change is needed. I’ve never seen such a coalition of support.

So it’s important this week to focus on the heart of this debate. If the UK is to improve its productivity and international competitiveness, and ensure our businesses, homes, schools and hospitals benefit from the latest technology, then we need better digital infrastructure including an ultrafast broadband network with speeds of 1Gb/s or more, through fibre laid direct to homes and businesses (‘fibre to the premises’). Ultrafast connectivity is critical to Britain’s future economic and social welfare.

A wise man once defined insanity as ‘doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results'. With so many agreeing change is needed, Ofcom this week has the opportunity to lead the way. The industry, with much of the nation, will be ready and eager to support it."

Jeremy Darroch, Chief Executive at Sky

The Sky blog takes a poke at the BT Chairman raising concerns about the effect a full separation might have on the share dividend, which is one of the obligations of a PLC i.e. to consider its shareholders. Then Sky fires a warning klaxon over its FTTP roll-out in York when at the same time worrying about its profit margins, Sky said suggested that while demand is encouraging "it is difficult to achieve a reasonable return on investment while BT Retail remains tied to Openreach". This is an interesting comment and if we were CityFibre there would be urgent calls to understand what Sky means, as it sounds as if Sky is unsure of going forward with CityFibre and would prefer to work with an independent Openreach.

The Sky blog raises two main issues, the full separation of Openreach and mandating a nationwide FTTH/P roll-out. In both cases Thursday at best will only be the start of the process, Ofcom can only recommend a full separation it requires the Competition Commission to do a full split, and if Ofcom was to mandate a full FTTH roll-out this could destroy the emerging business model for alternate operators in the UK.


Posted by fastman about 1 year ago
ensure our businesses, homes, schools and hospitals really - I assume schools, Hospitals, and major businesses will already be on dedicated gigabit Ethernet 24/7x365 cover already -- they should not be on contened broadband services
Posted by fastman about 1 year ago
sky wants what is best for sky
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) about 1 year ago
You forget that Sky probably is talking about it being point to point dark fibre rather than GPON.

Worrying they talk of Britain and leave Northern Ireland to its own fate.
Posted by godsell4 about 1 year ago
"the full separation of Openreach and mandating a nationwide FTTH/P roll-out. "

Yay, I guess we can easily count the number of Market1 exchanges there are, which indicates how much of the population Sky is at least at this time, and for the last 10 years or so, decided not to invest in at all.

So OFCOM will of course be mandating that Sky and other operators contribute to this nationwide roll out of FTTH?
Posted by David-Park about 1 year ago
Good that Sky is pushing for speed improvements, but what bothers me is Sky gets less speed down the copper/fibre BB than BT down the same connection.
Sky needs to get this sorted out with Open Reach or themselves.
Posted by 961a about 1 year ago
"The industry will be ready to support it."

I can't see much evidence of Sky pitching in the readies to help with the rolling out of fibre. Nor does its pricing do much else than mirror its competitors

How much will Sky contribute to the cost of 1Gb/s roll out and who in the retail market wants it or will be prepared to pay for it?

For the vast majority of retail customers a stable broadband fibre speed is already available. Much of the remainder will have it soon. Who needs more and who would pay?
Posted by rtho782 about 1 year ago
Nobody is going to fund a full FTTP rollout much as we might like the idea.

I'd rather see BT give up retail operations (or move them off brand, e.g. Plusnet) than Openreach split from BT.

Sounds to me like Sky just want more margin e.g. the ability to increase prices.
Posted by Ben66 about 1 year ago
I don't set much store by the views of Sky. They will simply want what's best for them.
Posted by mlmclaren about 1 year ago
surely Sky means "Britain Needs 'Contended' 'Upto' Gigabit.....
Posted by mlmclaren about 1 year ago
Britain don't need Gigabit... its need upstream speeds to catch up with downstream... 50/50 would be plenty for most... some may need 100/100.... businesses shpuld be the only ones that need 1000/1000...
Posted by CarlThomas about 1 year ago
Can't say I'm convinced symmetry is a big deal yet.

Last 30 Days (2016-01-24 ~ 2016-02-22)
Reception 326.62 GB
Transmission 23.49 GB
Total 350.11 GB
Posted by mlmclaren about 1 year ago
That's you opinion however not sure how showing usage stats from a connection that I presume is not symetric!
Posted by CarlThomas about 1 year ago
My usage ratio isn't that atypical.

My ratio of downstream to upstream capacity is about 3:1, my usage is 10:1. The ratio is for me, and the average Openreach user, fine.

100/100 wouldn't significantly change my usage habits.
Posted by jumpmum about 1 year ago
""it is difficult to achieve a reasonable return on investment while BT Retail remains tied to Openreach". "

Taking this as read it infers that Sky would like to sell it's FTTP to BT Retail This suggests that if there was only one FTTx ( monopoly) network in each geography it would give a reasonable return with all SFBB customers using it but that they are having trouble costing in York with 3 competing access networks.
Posted by mlmclaren about 1 year ago
Well I know of many people who have issues with the lack of upload... I'm one of those people ...

Obviosuly you're happy with the quality of your service but many are not.
Posted by CarlThomas about 1 year ago
I'm not happy with the service and would appreciate more downstream speed at times. If that comes with upload too, fine.

The only real application necessitating >19Mb upstream speed for now is backups.

It's ample to either host or play games, and to stream the game in 1080p.

I would have no interest in giving up downstream performance in return for upstream.

Gamers have a curious vibe of confusing bandwidth and latency.

If the masses were that bothered by upstream our market would reflect this, and people's usage would reflect it.
Posted by CarlThomas about 1 year ago
It is worth at this point noting that I ran a blog called OneWayInternet that complained about upstream speeds on VM's cable network back when they were running 1.75Mb up on 50Mb down.

Upstream speed is always a bonus but the ratio of respective usage has, if anything, become more asymmetrical thanks to lower P2P usage and more streaming.
Posted by mlmclaren about 1 year ago
whatever... I can be arsed to argue about this again... I've had this discussion so many times over the years and always one person who isn;t affected insisting its fine...

happy downloading...
Posted by comnut about 1 year ago
PLEASE state where sky talks about 'gigabit' - it is nowhere in the article, only the *clickbait* title...:P :)
Posted by comnut about 1 year ago
oops, :( :O my bad, seen it... {blush}

if you want to pay almost £50 for .94 Gig...
Posted by leexgx about 1 year ago
unless SKy want to give openreach lots of money to target an area for FTTP or then they have to wait
Posted by CarlThomas about 1 year ago
Indeed. Clearly I'm that one person and everyone else is crying out for higher uploads but for whatever reason we don't read about it that much, ISPs refuse to provide them, and people keep buying services based on download speeds.

I really hope I wasn't as stubborn and self-righteous when I was younger.
Posted by CarlThomas about 1 year ago
@comnut is 50 quid a month for symmetrical gigabit really that expensive?
Posted by comnut about 1 year ago
Well WHEN will sky do it?? lots already ACTIVE!! and you DONT need to be stuck with sky to get it... cannot see sky.... :O

Just MORE 'I have a bigger one' for those with more money than sense???

Also you need one of the very fastest SSD PCs, otherwise it cannot handle data at 1 Gbps....
MORE disappointment, when almost all the 'normal' websites just do not go that fast....
Posted by comnut about 1 year ago
30 p month symmetrical 1000Mbps...

Hey its UP TO YOU and your money... anyone in york??? :E
Posted by 21again about 1 year ago
Ofcom have no interest in the end users, they don't even listen to complaints.
Posted by comnut about 1 year ago
as long as companies say 'up to' Ofcom does not have a leg to stand on...

Posted by CarlThomas about 1 year ago
Ah Sky and TalkTalk's Fibre to the Press Release.

When they start building en masse rather than Dido discussing the 10 million premises TT can't afford and Sky stop moaning to Ofcom at the prospect of having to divert some Premier League money to infrastructure get back to me :)
Posted by WWWombat about 1 year ago
If Sky thinks Britain needs gigabit and FTTP, then they get to put their money where their mouth is. Ofcom just gave them the opportunity.

Will they take it?
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