Update: Since the launch of Sky's ultrafast 1Gbps broadband service in York, we've seen the overall speed of Sky's broadband improve, much to the delight of customers on the Sky tel number. However, Sky havebn't yet announced any plans to expand the service outside of York. That's a letdown, but we believe that Sky are doing the correct thing in ironing out any issues that the service might have.
The pace of improvement in the UK's Internet speeds over the last decade has been pretty remarkable. From plugging in your phone line to early broadband and now to fibre optic broadband, we've seen an explosive improvement in speeds to match the more demanding things we now do online. Indeed, over the last two years the UK average broadband speed has gone from 12Mbps in March 2013 to 22.8Mbps in February of this year, an increase of almost 100%. With that being said, broadband suppliers are in no rush to slow down the pace of improvements, and so companies like Sky are trailing what they call 'ultrafast broadband', and for a change, that isn't just empty hyperbole because Sky's new service can hit speeds of almost 1GB per second, 940Mbps, to be exact.
That's truly astonishing speed, and follows in the footsteps of what Google have been doing in America as well as what multiple broadband providers are trailing. We wrote about Sky's intention to launch the service in York a couple of months ago, and since then, work with TalkTalk and CityFibre has moved at a brisk pace laying the cable and typing up the contracts necessary in order to flip the switch on the first customers for the service.
With the first customer now online, they're the first person to feel the true power of an almost 1GBps speeds, which means that you could download a HD film in less than 10 seconds, 100 photographs in less than 2 seconds and multiple full albums in a second. If you haven't yet noticed, those are truly astonishing speeds, and more than that, they're perfectly achievable in real life.
Even better, this new type of fibre optic broadband will mean that greater stability and reliability than ever will be felt for Sky customers, something customers on the Sky Broadband contact number will be pleased about.
Lyssa McGowan, Director of Sky Broadband, said: “Sky is the first broadband service provider in the UK to offer guaranteed broadband speeds. We are proud that these products will be available to our customers in York on our ultrafast and ultra-reliable gigabit network. As Ofcom continues its review of the broadband market, we believe that trials like this are a valuable demonstration of the alternative technologies now available. With the right conditions for investment and innovation, consumers and businesses could benefit from more ultrafast connections across the UK.”
Sky hope that if the trial is successful, they'll be able to slowly roll out the service for more Sky customers across the country. It'd also lay down the infrastructure to allow everybody to stream 4K television programming, should Sky decide that streaming is a more viable option than broadcasting it through their existing satellite systems. Indeed, it could also make the distinction between on demand content and live content almost indistinguishable from each other, with streaming programmes beginning instantly with no buffering.
It'll be some time before we can conclusively say that Sky's trials in York are a success, but with much of the hard work behind them it's hard to see how Sky won't look to roll this out across the country.
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