Sky enters Irish broadband market
Sky has begun offering home broadband and phone services to Irish customers.
Sky Ireland has begun offering home broadband and phone services to Irish customers, as it enters the "triple play" market in Ireland.
The addition of the DSL broadband service, which goes on sale from today, comes a few months after the pay TV company unveiled its video on demand offering that allows customers to watch content broadcast by the TV firm whenever they want.
The company is using BT Ireland's wholesale broadband to deliver the 24Mb service to its customers, with Eircom's network utilised in areas where BT's services are not offered.
Sky is offering two services to customers: Sky Broadband Lite, which caps usage at 2GB; and an unlimited package aimed at users of video services such as on demand TV.
Basic phone services are also included as part of the service, with free calls at evening and weekends to certain numbers.
Both broadband services will offer theoretical speeds of up to 24Mb/sec, but a Sky Ireland spokesman said the company would perform line tests to give potential customers a better idea of the kind of speeds they would achieve on their individual broadband connections.
UPC's fibre broadband starts at speeds of 50Mb, with Eircom and Vodafone offering services starting at 8Mb.
Prices for Sky's entry level broadband service will start at €30 - about 30 per cent cheaper than similar services from competitors Eircom and Vodafone - with the unlimited offering costing €40. That can be combined with phone packages for between €37.50 and €47.50 every month.Adding digital TV takes the cost to €57 fort he cheapest package.
Managing director of Sky Ireland JD Buckley said in addition to choice of services and value for money, the key for consumers was simplicity.
"Our research shows that 40 per cent of Irish people find it difficult to understand what’s included in their package when shopping around for broadband," he said.
Up to 70 per cent of Irish households will be able to access the Broadband Lite and Unlimited services. A further 20 per cent, primarily in rural areas, will be offered Sky Connect Lite and Unlimited, which offers similar services for about €10 per month more.
A Sky Ireland spokesman said the additional charge was due to the additional costs incurred when supplying services to certain areas.
However, the data caps on the Lite service will be larger than the regular entry-level broadband service.
To support its expanding services, Sky is also adding to its workforce, adding
Sky announced last month that it was expanding its operation in Ireland, planning to add more than 900 staff to its workforce by the end of June, bringing its total to more than 1,000.
Sky has already launched a similar offering in the UK, with its broadband service hitting the market in 2006. It has more than 4.1 million broadband customers, with 3.5 million on the triple play service there.