March 01, 2013

Sky to overtake Virgin Media as the UK's second largest broadband provider

British Sky Broadcasting is buying the UK broadband and fixed line businesses of Spain's Telefonica.
It will give Sky half a million customers who use the O2 and BE brands for their home phone or broadband.
Sky has taken on 4.2 million broadband customers since launching the service in 2006. The deal will allow Sky to leapfrog Virgin Media and close the gap on the number one provider: BT.


Dazz285 said...

Nothing surprises me with Sky...

VM are so behind the times..

Richard said...

VM are now reminding me of other things in the format wars of the past. Let me explain what I mean...

Betamax lost against VHS despite being superior.

VM may have great technology and be superior in many ways, but they are so out of touch with what will make them a winner.

VHS won because they won the content war with movies Studios. They ended up with lots of content and lots of customers.

Sky may not have the best technology but they have content galore and loads of customers to cross sell and upsell to.

Much as I have always loved the vm bb service, loved TiVo (being a series one owner back in 2000) love the on demand service. They appear increasingly out of touch.

They need to lower the cost of BB to compete with adsl and not be such a premium service. BTs fibre is becoming more prevalent and BT have more customers, many people will do the easy switch and stay with BT if BT price it right.

I can imagine BT sharing the infrastructure with competitors in the same way they have to share the telephone network. So sky selling fibre BB is inevitable!

We all argue over the content and lack of hd channels.

What about on demand... Why not compete with similar packages to Netflix and love films rather than price per movie.

The tv anywhere app is a great remote app for the TiVo but is lacking as a tv viewer for mobile devices... You have to use other apps to fill the gap including watching on demand stuff. Mother have the library and can act as the hub for content but don't.

Time and again they have a disjointed approach to back to my comment that started my rant...

They have superiour tech ology but fail to deliver on what people want.
Sky are technology inferior (IMHO) but deliver what people want.

Time will tell whether new ownership will address any of this.

sduncb said...

Sky already sell fibre broadband. Although only in select few areas

Phil Baxter said...

"Sky Fibre" is of course, just a repackaged BT Infinity. Infinity has an enormous advantage over Virgin at present - it's a dedicated data network which currently has relatively few subscribers.

By contrast Virgin's network also has to carry bulky TV streams, and is massively over subscribed. Years of underinvestment have left many in areas where the service degrades to such an extent during peak hours as to be essentially broken. Virgin are doing little to fix this, and seem much more interested in signing up new customers,- and in doing so making the problem even worse.

Infinity deserves to be the no.1 right now, although it's too bad Sky are able to piggy back on BT's work. Virgin deserve a good kicking, as to be frank, their service is a disgrace.

Square eyes said...


I decided to stop posting on the comments but to continue reading them due to all the VM bashes out there

However as per normal the daggers have come out and you start to plunge them in VM's back once again.

Phil your comment is laughable, VM upgraded to DOCSIS 3 on the networks and have successfully trialled a 1.5Gb broadband in London, and with VM spending on developing the DOCSIS 3.1 VM is going to be capable of up to a 10Gb bandwidth.

So big deal Sky has bought Spain's Telefonica, their fibre network is still not anywhere close to what VM provide. As Richard said VM do have a superior product and now as part of the worlds largest cable company, with an owner that would more than happy to see Murdoch run over by a London bus, I would say watch this space….

Jon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jon said...

I'm sorry square-eyes, I have totally given up listening to Virgin's grand vision for the future. They no longer have ANY credibility. Since cable was first installed around here in 1988 and United Artists promised that cable had far more capacity for channels than satellites(!), cable has again and again over promised and underdelivered. This has been true of UA, Telewest AND Virgin. In fact I would say Virgin are the WORST for allowing their phenomenal PR machine to get way ahead of their delivery.

I will believe in a 1.5gb service when it is actually available to install, not when it has been "trialled" for a few select users or, even, announced for availability to be rolled out over the next 5 years if you're lucky!!

And even then Virgin's claim for better tech is increasingly undermined by the upstream limits of DOCSIS. With increasing use of cloud services a 1/10 up.downstream ratio is just not good enough.

I say this as a cable triple-play customer of 25 years standing and a lover of my TiVo. However, once I can get just about all I need "over the top" from a future version of Netflix or competitor I can only see myself dropping Virgin for a "real fibre" service. Maybe not this year, but in 2-5 years.

openviews said...

Just to let you know, ITV2 HD, ITV3 HD, and ITV4 HD are going to be added on Thursday for XL customers.

Phil Baxter said...

@Square Eyes

My comment is a joke? The area I live in has been over subscribed for over 6 months now. Streaming video doesn't work. What on earth is the point of a 100mbit connection which can't maintain a 1mbit stream without constant buffering?

I'm far from the only one in this situation. Read the Virgin support forum for a few minutes and you'll see how widespread this is. VM's network is a train wreck in many parts of the country.