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Sky Broadband Buddy lets parents lock down internet time

And it’s backed by Internet Matters, too

Sky has just unveiled an interesting new take on parenting in the internet-connected age: Broadband Buddy. It’s a paid service that’s available to customers as part of the new Sky Broadband Boost service, but it’s a bit more advanced than your standard parental controls package and has the important endorsement of child protection, non-profit outfit, Internet Matters.

The app is installed on each device that’s connected – iOS or Android – giving parents the option to set age ratings for each phone, and control when the internet can and can’t be accessed. It works on both the home internet and over 3G/4G.

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That can be as simple as setting bedtimes for children, without the temptation of watching another YouTube video or having a moment where the whole family’s internet is paused for some quality family time. All this is controlled centrally and works for other devices connected to the Sky Hub router, meaning you can cut the internet to your Xbox and smart speakers at certain times, too.

But the real use is on mobile devices, where the app also creates a record of usage for parents, including location history and app usage.

This isn’t designed to be used purely for punishment, however. Parents can also add extra internet time or access to blocked websites as a reward for good behaviour.

On iOS Broadband Buddy can be set to be non-removable. On Android, a child could uninstall the app but this generates a record on the master device which to tip parents off to the change.
“At Sky, we connect families to content they love so it is our responsibility to make sure they can do this safely,” said Sky’s chief executive officer, Stephen van Rooyen. “Sky Broadband Buddy is an easy way to manage and monitor children’s internet usage, and pausing the internet is a great way to ensure you can enjoy family time free from screen time – for both children and adults.”
Broadband Buddy will go live this Friday, May 17, priced at £2.50 per month for new and existing customers. This is just an introductory offer, however, and after 18 months it will change to £5 per month.

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