Sky Q to allow people to do away with satellite dish
Sky is obviously reasonably confident about the state of broadband in UK based on an announcement made during the presentation for the Q2 16/17 financial results as in the next financial year (which means 2018) Sky Q customers will gain an option to ditch the satellite dish and receive their TV broadcasts over their broadband.
"We also have exciting plans in place to launch our Sky TV service in the UK without the need for a satellite dish for the first time, opening up the full Sky TV service to millions of customers who either currently don’t want or can’t have a dish installed. Launching in our next financial year and initially in the UK, this new broadband-based service will open up new headroom for growth. Over time, we will launch this service in our other markets, building on our position as Europe’s leading OTT provider."Extract from Sky financials
The results did reveal that the number of Sky broadband customers has risen by 140,000, taking the broadband customer base to 6,107,000 and that there is increased fibre penetration, though no specific figures on fibre penetration.
Sky is not new to the using of broadband for delivery of Sky TV, since Sky+ HD boxes have using this to access box sets and the NOW TV service offers both live and pre-recorded material. The difference is that Sky Q is offering Ultra HD and that needs a lot more bandwidth, generally in the 25 Mbps to 40 Mbps region, so watching a 3 hour F1 show at that rate would chew through around 54GB of data.
It is possible the Sky Q over broadband may seek to exploit multi-cast abilities to save bandwidth, in addition to of course exploiting CDN infrastructure, but the data volumes raise concerns over any superfast broadband service that has usage limits.