Sky’s entry into Irish broadband market to kick off price wars

7 Feb 2013

Sky this morning entered the Irish broadband market with DSL broadband and phone services starting at €30, as well as triple play unlimited broadband, phone and TV packages rising to €74.50 a month.

Broadcaster Sky is entering the Irish broadband market through a partnership with BT, which gives it access to 90pc of households in Ireland.

Sky told that it intends to compete in the marketplace on reliability, quality, speed and price.

The broadcaster enters the market at price points that will give homeowners something to consider and that could raise the hackles of competitors like Eircom, Vodafone and UPC.

The entry-level €30 broadband and phone product Sky Broadband Lite with speeds of up to 24Mbps is capped at a 2GB limit with unlimited local calls and calls to 20 international locations.

The next product up from Sky Broadband Unlimited, which, as the title implies, has no download limits and comes with unlimited local and international calls costs €40 a month.

In terms of triple play, basic TV services with Sky Broadband Lite with freetime calls costs €57 a month and anytime calls costs €64.50 monthly, rising to €72 after six months.

TV basic with Sky Broadband Unlimited costs €67 a month with freetime calls and €74.50 a month with local and international anytime calls. This rises to €77 after six months.

“Just as we have innovated in TV, so too are we innovating in the value, quality and simplicity of our communications services,” Sky Ireland managing director JD Buckley said in a statement. 

“We are offering customers a truly unlimited broadband service they can use as much as they like, whenever they like – all at a great price. It also means delivering the best customer service, directly from our Dublin base. 

“And simplicity is also crucial. Our research shows that 40pc of Irish people find it difficult to understand what’s included in their package when shopping around for broadband, so we’re confident that they’ll respond to our easy-to-understand offering,” Buckley said.

A new customer service centre set up specifically to support the launch of broadband in Ireland will employ 800 people in Dublin.

Sky plans for fibre, but has no immediate plans for mobile

A spokesman for Sky told that the company is keenly watching developments unfold in the fibre-to-the-cabinet market.

Its partnership with BT will give it access to 90pc of homes in Ireland, out of which BT has access to 50pc of the population through unbundled exchanges with the remainder through Eircom’s exchanges.

The spokesman confirmed that discussions are under way to trial VDSL fibre-to-the-cabinet technology, which will potentially lead to broadband services starting at 50Mbps and higher.

The company said all of its broadband packages will be ‘up to’ 24Mbps depending on the quality of each homeowner’s broadband line.

The company said it will analyse each customer’s phone line to give them an accurate expectation of broadband speeds before they sign up, rather than following the negligent policy of promising false speeds which has characterised the Irish broadband market up until now.

Launching alongside the broadband and phone services will be Sky’s own-designed router Sky Hub, which was named Router of the Year by Which Magazine because its Wi-Fi reach was stronger than that of competitors.

When asked if Sky had any plans to enter the mobile market considering Eircom intends to launch quad play broadband, phone, wireless and mobile services in the coming months, the spokesman for Sky said the company currently has no immediate plans in either the UK or Ireland to launch mobile services.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years