Sky was launched in 1989 as Sky Television, with a meagre - by today's standards - nine channels. Following financial difficulties it merged with British Satellite Broadcasting in 1990 to form BSkyB. In 1998 Sky Digital TV was launched, offering improved picture and sound quality, more channels and interactive features. Analogue satellite broadcasts were discontinued in 2001.
Perhaps the biggest change for Sky though came in 2005 when it purchased ISP EasyNet and created its own broadband provider. It has since branched out into streaming TV with NOW TV and Sky Anytime, and collaborated with TalkTalk to launch UFO, a gigabit fibre broadband service currently being trialled in York.
The launch of Sky Broadband allowed the TV company to offer ‘triple play’ deals bundling broadband, TV and phone. If you’re looking for a complete entertainment solution in one easy bundle, Sky TV and broadband has a lot to offer. Read on, or check out the following pages for more:
Sky broadband and phone deals
Sky is now one of the most popular ISPs in the country, and with good reason. They offer great speeds at affordable prices plus the option to bundle broadband in with TV.
What speeds and services are available with Sky packages?
In common with many other ISPs, Sky packages use the BT Openreach network to provide broadband and telephone services. This means that Sky package deals are available throughout the UK, and setup is generally painless and cheap as you probably already have a BT line coming into your property. You will have to look elsewhere for broadband deals with free setup, as these are not currently offered by Sky.
Sky offers two different types of broadband technology:
ADSL Sky Broadband
The cheapest broadband packages from Sky provide download speeds up to 17Mb and upload up to 1Mb. ADSL uses the regular telephone lines and is available at the vast majority of homes across the UK. It’s perfectly sufficient for many home broadband users but not particularly fast by modern standards, so less suitable for large file transfers, HD video streaming or handling multiple users in a shared or family home.
It’s important to note that the speed of an ADSL connection is highly dependant on the condition of your lines and distance from the exchange - if your home is very far from the exchange the actual speed could be much slower than 17Mb.
Fibre optic Sky Broadband
Fibre optic broadband delivers a very welcome speed boost over ADSL. Using fibre broadband you can get download speeds up to 76Mb and upload up to 20Mb. So even the slowest fibre packages are more than twice as fast as the best ADSL connection. And unlike ADSL the actual performance is typically very close to the quoted “up to” speed. Fibre optic broadband is great for handling multiple users at once, and is also ideal for anyone who wants to get the most out of their broadband service by downloading big files very quickly or streaming high definition video.
Do you need a phone line for Sky packages?
An active telephone line is required to use Sky Broadband. A Sky telephone line is a standard part of any Sky Broadband package, and the price you see here on Broadband Genie is the cost of both Sky Broadband and Sky phone line rental.
If the landline is not used for calls, select a basic line rental service where you only pay for the calls you make. But there are also optional inclusive calling bundles which offer free evening, weekend or anytime calls, and discounted international calling rates.
A landline telephone is also required for Sky TV, but this does not need to be a Sky phone line. Broadband is not a requirement for Sky TV, but is highly recommended to get the most out of it.
Sky Unlimited Broadband
We recommend unlimited broadband as the best option for most subscribers. With an unlimited broadband service you’ll never have to worry about additional costs or service restrictions, and they are typically not much more expensive than deals with data limits.
A limited package might be preferable if you’re trying to keep costs as low as possible, but make sure you take the time to check that your typical usage will not exceed the cap. Activities such as web browsing and email are generally low impact, but the likes of file downloads and video streaming can consume a large amount of data in a very short time.
Is Sky Broadband available in my area?
Because Sky deals use the BT phone network they’re very widely available across the UK. The vast majority of premises will have access to some level of Sky broadband.
Unfortunately, coverage is not 100%. There are still many homes not covered by fibre optic broadband, and a minority where even ADSL broadband isn’t available.
Your first step to buying a Sky Broadband package (or indeed any broadband service) is checking coverage. You can do this using the postcode checker tool on Broadband Genie’s comparison tables. Simply enter your postcode and we’ll filter the results by location.
What do you get with Sky package deals?
Sky packages include some or all of the following features:
Sky is available with either ADSL broadband up to 17Mb or fibre optic internet up to 76Mb.
A telephone service is required to use Sky, and line rental is standard with all Sky deals.
Some Sky deals include an inclusive call package for free or discount calls. If not included, this feature can be added as required.
Every Sky Broadband subscriber receives a free Sky Hub Wi-Fi router for accessing the internet and sharing the connection via wired or wireless networking.
Sky Broadband Shield
Optional web filtering for younger members of your family.
Free Wi-Fi hotspots
As a Sky customer you get free access to The Cloud Wi-Fi hotspot network, giving you free internet outside the home without using your mobile data allowance.
Many Sky package deals include great special offers, such as discounted prices, free gifts and free shopping vouchers.
For an in-depth look at Sky’s broadband services, visit our Sky Broadband page.
Sky TV and Sky Q packages
Sky is of course best known for its satellite TV service, and as well as the broadband packages you can also find the ideal Sky TV deal using Broadband Genie’s comparison tools. Let’s take a closer look at what’s on offer with Sky TV package deals...
Sky Q and Sky Multiroom
One of Sky’s most popular features in recent years was its excellent Sky+ box. This didn’t just provide an easy interface for finding great entertainment amongst Sky’s extensive selection of channels, it also provided live pausing and rewinding and could record shows to the built-in hard drive for later viewing.
However if you sign up for Sky TV today, you’ll no longer receive a Sky+ box, but something better. Sky Q is the next generation Sky TV set-top box, and in addition to a sleeker design and slicker UI it offers a number of improvements over the old Sky+ setup.
Firstly, you can record more shows than ever before with up to 2TB of storage. And Sky Q is a must for anyone with a 4K TV with support for Ultra HD resolutions on selected models. The new Sky Q remote is also a big upgrade, with intuitive touch sensitive controls and even a lost remote finder built into the TV box. Your Sky Q box also acts as a Wi-Fi hotspot for Sky Broadband, extending the reach of your wireless network.
Multiroom support is a standard feature with Sky Q too. For an additional £12 per month you can add up to four Sky Q Mini boxes which connect wirelessly with the main Sky Q box. The Sky Q Mini boxes not only allow independent viewing of live broadcasts on up to two different screens at once, they also provide access to all recorded and on-demand content. And each Sky Q Mini box acts as a Wi-Fi network booster.
Sky TV channels and services
Sky TV offers potentially hundreds of channels. While your choice will depend on the type of Sky TV package deal and optional channel bundles, here’s a selection of some of the channels you could get:
- Sky Atlantic
- Comedy Central
- Sky Cinema
- Film 4
- Sky Sports
- Sky News
- BBC News
- Al Jazeera
- Discovery Channel
- History Channel
- Crime & Investigation
- National Geographic
In addition to the many live channels, you’ll also get access to a wide variety of on-demand content. Catch-up players for BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5 are built into the Sky Q box, along with 30 day catch-up for many Sky channels. And Sky Go is a free extra for all Sky TV subscribers, letting you view lots of favourites on a compatible laptop or tablet, in and out of the home. Additional on-demand content is available with selected Sky deals and addons, giving you further access to TV box sets and movies.
Sky TV packages
There are three main Sky package deals to choose from:
Original & Sky Q
The entry level package is an affordable option that still provides plenty of choice with 270 channels, including Sky 1, Comedy Central, Fox and SyFy.
Variety & Sky Q
The same selection as the Original bundle, plus additional drama and documentary channels and a big bundle of shows for kids, including thousands of on-demand episodes and the Sky Kids app for tablets.
Box Sets & Sky Q
Offers more than 350 channels, with 50 in HD, plus over 350 box sets to view on-demand.
Sky TV addons
Whichever Sky package you choose, there’s also the option to customise it with additional channels and features:
Sky Q Multiscreen
Add Multiscreen for £12 per month. Includes a free Sky Q Mini box, additional boxes £99.
Get 11 Sky Cinema channels for £18 per month, with a new premiere every day.
8 Sky Sports channels, with 127 Premier League matches, Live Test Series, F1 and more. £27.50 per month.