Sky signs up for ultrafast broadband
Sky as the second largest UK broadband provider is a key ally now for Openreach, it seems as a result of the price incentives that providers can unlock by signing up customers to the various GEA products and thus moving people away from the old ADSL2+ services that Sky is going to also sell the Openreach FTTP and G.fast services.
The Telegraph business section covers the basics, with the key aim by Sky to get 84% of its customers onto the Openreach GEA platform within five years.
The Openreach Ultrafast footprint is declared by the operator as around 1.7 millions a month ago, but in line with a number of other operators we suspect this may include things like G.fast pods installed on cabinets but not quite ready to take orders just yet e.g. Openreach have delivered but the 10 Gbps handover node still needs some work. The footprint we are tracking as live is 1,307,491 all but 30,000 of the gap is down to G.fast.
Existing Sky customers are not likely to see any price cuts due to the price cuts Sky will be getting as the price cuts only kick in if people switch from ADSL2+ to VDSL2/G.fast/FTTP but what we may see is offers running for Sky ADSL2+ customers, e.g. a VDSL2 service for the same price as your existing service. New customers may already be seeing some of the incentives as the £75 and £100 reward cards vanished for a long time on the broadband service but appear to be a regular feature again.
G.fast while it can be viewed as a dead-end technology, should be expanding to a footprint of 5.7 million premises in the next couple of years and it is this speed of roll-out that may have attracted Sky. Of course the cheers will be the full fibre FTTP service which should reach 3 million premises in the same time frame and we have started to see the first VDSL2 cabinets getting serious overlay (rather than infill to slow areas) in the last month and while it is a stated aim that FTTP will not be available where G.fast is, there is nothing to say that premises too far for G.fast will not get FTTP delivered.
The race now is to see the first G.fast speed tests from Sky customers, there is already the odd GEA-FTTP test which we have assumed was Sky staff and VIP type customers but may have been limited trials ahead of this news.
If you live in an area where the G.fast pod is live and is missing from our coverage do drop us a note, or name the exchange in the comments and we will investigate. Similarly for areas where FTTP is appearing on top of VDSL2, the earlier we can add it to our checker the more likely it is people will sign up.