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Sky Broadband

Sky Broadband review: High cost, poor performance

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £34
(Starting from) Note: The monthly price shown may increase during the contract period

Bottom-of-the-class speed and reliability scores make Sky a tough one to recommend

Pros

  • You might, might get a reasonable deal if you bundle in TV services

Cons

  • Worst reliability and speed scores in our survey
  • High prices compared to rivals
  • Have to pay steep fee for Wi-Fi 6 router upgrade

Sky’s broadband offering shot to prominence in the days when bundles were all the rage. Why pay separately for TV, phone and broadband when you can get them all in one bargain bundle?

Well, bundles have largely fallen out of fashion and that’s beginning to leave Sky’s broadband offering looking a little threadbare. Yes, you can still do a deal with Sky to get different services bundled into one (its TV service largely relies on broadband rather than satellites these days), but as you’ll see from our table of tariffs and survey results below, there’s little reason to turn to Sky for broadband alone.

Its broadband-only deals are at the punchier end of the price spectrum, which is one of the reasons it scores so poorly for value in our survey. In our survey carried out with YouGov, only 45% of Sky broadband customers were satisfied with the value for money they were getting – only Virgin Media scored worse.

Value isn’t only about price, though; it’s about price-performance. However, when you’re the company with the worst speed performance of any of 11 providers we surveyed, you can see why customers aren’t impressed with relatively expensive packages. Prices are particularly steep for the Superfast packages, where rivals such as Plusnet are around £10/mth cheaper for the equivalent speeds.

The poor value score may have been compounded by recent price rises, too. A hefty 63% of the Sky customers we surveyed said their price had increased in the past year, a higher percentage than any other provider we surveyed.

In fact, Sky fails to lift itself above mediocre in any of the categories in our survey, meaning that unless you get a spellbinding deal on those TV/broadband bundles, it’s hard to find any reason to choose Sky as your broadband provider.

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Sky Broadband review: Superfast 35 and 80

The two fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) deals in Sky’s lineup are both identically priced. This has become pretty common practice among broadband providers, meaning there’s no reason to take the slower Superfast 35 unless your line simply can’t support the faster speeds of Superfast 80.

The price of these packages is steep. Plusnet offers the same speed for £26/mth. Three’s mobile signal-based service is even cheaper at £20/mth. It’s hard to see how Sky is justifying such a premium price, especially when you consider the lowly performance, reliability and customer service scores below.

All Sky customers get the basic Sky Broadband Hub as standard. It’s a Wi-Fi 5 unit, and so is beginning to feel tired now that Wi-Fi 7 routers are creeping on to the market.

Sky offers all customers the chance to upgrade to “Wi-Fi Max”, which includes an upgraded hub based on Wi-Fi 6 technology. That’s probably only worth it for customers on the faster full-fibre lines, though “worth it” might not be the best choice of words here – Sky wants an extra £10/mth for this upgrade, which is further expense on top of its already spenny tariff prices.

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Sky Broadband review: Full Fibre 100, Ultrafast, Ultrafast+ and Gigafast

Sky offers a reasonable spread of speeds across its full-fibre tariffs, though we see little value in the Ultrafast tariff – few people will see any practical difference between that and the £10 cheaper Full Fibre 100, which is only 45Mbits/sec slower.

Ultrafast+ and Gigafast may appeal to families whose streaming and online gaming is high – but once again, the prices won’t. Hyperoptic offers gigabit broadband for £40/mth, and there’s a symmetrical line where upload speed matches downloads. This is unlike Sky’s offering, which is £18/mth more expensive. However it’s £28/mth more expensive if you upgrade to Wi-Fi Max, which is what you’d want so you can take better advantage of those fast download speeds.


Superfast 35Superfast 80Full Fibre 100UltrafastUltrafast+Gigafast
Price per month (inc line rental)£34£34£28£38£48£58
Upfront costNoneNoneNoneNoneNoneNone
Stated speed36Mbits/sec61Mbits/sec100Mbits/sec145Mbits/sec500Mbits/sec900Mbits/sec
Contract length18 months18 months18 months18 months18 months18 months

Note: The monthly price shown may increase during the contract period

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Sky Broadband review: Coverage

Sky’s broadband is based on the Openreach network, in common with rivals such as Plusnet, EE, BT and its own stablemate Now Broadband. That means the vast majority of people will be able to get the Superfast packages, with around 12.5m homes within reach of the faster full-fibre tariffs.

It’s worth noting that rivals such as Zen Internet and Vodafone have multiple full-fibre network providers, so if you can’t get full fibre with Sky, it’s worth checking out if you’re within range of the others.

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Sky Broadband review: Performance and customer satisfaction

Our survey results make pretty sorry reading for Sky. Speed is the biggest disappointment. Only 68% of Sky customers are happy with their speed and 19% are unhappy – the worst score of any provider in our survey.

If that wasn’t enough of a red flag, reliability is equally suspect. Again, only 68% said they were satisfied with the reliability of their connection, with 17% disgruntled – once again leaving Sky rock bottom.

Things pick up slightly when it comes to customer service. A modest 56% of customers say they’re happy with customer service overall, which is a mid-table score. The Contact Centre also seems to do a reasonable job of sorting problems, with 62% left satisfied after making contact with support, another mid-table score.

READ NEXT: Zen Internet review


Sky Broadband review: Verdict

There’s very little to recommend in Sky’s broadband service. Speed and reliability ratings are the worst of any provider in our survey, and the prices are among the highest. Unless Sky offers you a bargain bundle, it’s one to strike off your shortlist.


Methodology

Unless otherwise stated, all of the figures are drawn from a survey commissioned by Expert Reviews, with respondents and data supplied by YouGov PLC. The total sample size was 6,316 adults and the survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all Great British adults (aged over 18).

We asked people how likely they would be to recommend their broadband provider to others and to rate its customer service, reliability, value, and speed. Only the 11 ISPs with over 50 respondents are included in our results above.

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