June 18, 2013
Sky have gone back on the offensive to lure broadband customers to them as they go in a toe to toe battle with rival broadband provider BT by offering 12 months free broadband for Sky Sports subscribers.
BT Broadband started this latest battle by offering BT Broadband customers free viewing of it’s new BT Sport TV channels that will have 38 live Premier League games available that won’t be available on Sky.
Sky have now countered this offer and switched it round a bit and are offering customers who pay for a Sky Sports TV package free Sky Broadband Unlimited for a year, or 6 months free superfast Sky Fibre broadband which usually costs £20 per month. £14.50 monthly line rental will still be charged.
Those who take Sky Sports TV package will receive Sky Sports 1 & 2, Sky Sports News and Sky Sports F1.
The good news for existing Sky Sports customers is that the deal is available for both new and existing Sky Sports customers, Sky are obviously trying very hard to make sure that few of their current broadband subscriber base make the switch to BT Broadband and that also they can maybe try and lure some of BT’s customers over to the “Sky” side.
June 11, 2013
The roll out of high speed broadband to rural areas has been described as a “train crash waiting to happen” with rumours that BT could be charging up to 80% mark up on the price they are putting on installing rural broadband infrastructure.
The government is to spend around £1 billion to help fund the roll out of high speed broadband to around 12 million UK homes, half the money has been made available in the BDUK (Broadband Delivery UK) fund with the rest coming from council tax bills. The government are committed to providing high speed broadband to these rural areas that BT themselves don’t find financially viable to roll out to themselves, however there has been much criticism that as BT are the only company bidding for the government funds now that Fujitsu pulled out meaning that there is no competition to BT to bring prices down or to allow councils to compare what they are paying in comparison to others. This has led to reports that BT are charging up to 80% mark up on the price it costs them to roll out high speed broadband, a claim which BT says is not true.
The people who monitor the spending on behalf of the government, The National Audit Office (NAO), are to publish a report next month and it is believed top say that they don’t know if the taxpayer is getting value for money.
According to The Telegraph newspaper, one source said about the broadband scheme:”a train crash waiting to happen and the train appears to be accelerating rather than slowing down. We will either end up with some sort of meltdown in the next year or so, or there will be significant cost in the next parliament to unpick it.”
Governments high speed rural broadband is “a train crash waiting to happen”
May 31, 2013
BT are aiming to have over 90% coverage of the UK with fibre broadband by the end of the decade according to targets set out in BT’s Better Future Strategy.
BT say they want more than 9 out of 10 people in the UK to have access to fibre based products and services by 2020. As part of BT’s Better Future Strategy they have set 3 areas that they want to focus on, they are Connected Society, Net Good and Improving Lives.
Connected Society aim is aimed at improving society globally through the power of digital connections which includes areas such as Africa where BT are providing internet services via satellite to 20 locations.
Net Good is about reducing carbon footprints, with BT wanting to help customers continue to reduce carbon emissions by at least three times the end to end carbon impact of its business.
Improving Lives is aimed at improving hundreds of millions of loves across the world with the help of products by BT. They want to continue using their skills and technology to help generate money for good causes.
Niall Dunne from BT said:
“Our Better Future programme signals BT’s evolution to a new model in which every part of the business and every employee has a role to play in realising our visions and achieving our goals to create a better business with a better future.“
May 30, 2013
Plusnet (www.plus.net) have launched a new improved range of business broadband packages which includes business fibre broadband packages too which also come with a half price introductory offer to entice over business broadband customers.
Both the Plusnet broadband only and broadband & phone packages are available with the 6 months half price offer providing a 24 month contract is taken out and customers sign up before the 27th June 2013.
Although Plusnet have offered business broadband for years they have only just launched their business fibre broadband deals. For a broadband only option customers can choose the “Business Fibre Broadband” which offers up to 76Mb speeds with 50Gb monthly usage for £25 per month with the first 6 months just being £12.50 per month (both prices exclude the VAT) when a 24 month contract is taken.
The other option is the “Unlimited Business Fibre Broadband” which again offers up to 76Mb speeds but with Unlimited monthly usage for £35 per month with the first 6 months being half price at £17.50 per month when a 24 month contract is taken.
The same broadband only deals are available as a package with a phone and cost: “Business Fibre Broadband and phone” £23 per month with £11.50 a month for 6 months + £10.50 line rental or “Unlimited Business Fibre Broadband and phone” for £33 per month with the first 6 months at £16.50 plus £10.50 line rental.
Jamie Ford, from Plsunet, said:
“We pride ourselves on providing a stellar service, and we feel it is important that small businesses use a broadband package that meets their own promises to clients and customers. Many of our customer trialists discovered new and improved ways of working and we are confident that once people try a fibre broadband connection, they will see the instant benefits.”
Any of the business fibre broadband deals are available on either 12 or 24 month contracts, however to claim the 6 months half price users must sign up for the 24 month contract. Calls packages can be added on for £4 per month for UK anytime calls on the phone packages too.
All prices quotes are excluding the VAT to be added on.
May 23, 2013
Hyperoptic, a British fibre optic broadband provider has received a boost of investment to the tune of £50m from a private investment fund for George Soros so that they can start to extend their network outside of London.
Hyperoptic are a 1Gb symetrical fibre broadband provider, so user scan get the same speed for uploads and downloads, what’s more they can do so at far greater speeds than are currently readily available from BT Broadband or Virgin.
Hyperoptic have currently covered more than 20,000 homes in London, they have done so by targeting blocks of flats of around 200 or more so they can make their roll out as cost effective as possible rather than having to roll out to individual houses which would cost a lot more to do so to have the same number of homes covered.
The plan for Hyperoptic is to eventually start to have smaller developments covered to, this will happen when costs for their roll outs start to reduce and they are able to do so cost effectively. In their 5 year business plan Hyperoctic want to have their fibre network covering 500,000 homes in 30 cities across Britain, this will include buildings with as few as 20 homes. By the end of the year Hyperoptic aim to have their FTTH technology to 10 cities with the places being deployed to based on the demand.
Hyperoptic was started by Boris Ivanovic and Dana Tobak, they were the founders of Be Broadband, they subsequently sold that to O2 in 2005 for £50m (Sky have subsequently now bought Be Broadband).
My Ivanovic said:
“Today’s investment is a resounding vote of confidence in both our business model and the bright prospects for FTTH technology in the UK. As momentum continues to build for ‘smart cities’ and an increasingly technology-fuelled economy and society, the need to future proof our infrastructure has become absolutely critical and Hyperoptic will play a key role in doing just that.“