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BT Infinity vs Sky fibre broadband

Tuesday, February 25th 2014

They're not only two of the biggest names in UK broadband, but also they both offer super-fast fibre connections. So if you're trying to choose between BT and Sky, what do you need to know?

Our impartial and detailed head-to-head guide reveals who wins when it comes to speed, availability, download limits and more, so you can make a more informed choice between these two broadband heavy hitters.

Speed

On paper, BT offers up to 300Mbps connections with their ultrafast Infinity 4 service, but we've yet to find anyone able to receive this top speed. As a result, the fastest optimum speed that we've found from BT that's actually available to consumers is up to 160Mbps. With these speeds, the provider estimates that you'd be able to download an album in around two seconds, and a feature-length movie in around 27 seconds.

Sky’s fibre service can clock in at up to 76Mbps, which is generally the top optimum speed for most fibre packages in the UK (with the exception of those carried on Virgin Media's cable network). If that's a bit too speedy for your tastes, there's a slower and lower priced tier of fibre broadband available from Sky, which has optimum downloads of 38Mbps.

Download speedsUp to 300MbUp to 76Mb
Upload speedsUp to 19MbUp to 19Mb
Usage options20GB & unlimitedUnlimited
Fair usage policyNoNo
BT
Download speed
Up to 300Mbps
Upload speed
Up to 19Mbps
Usage options
20GB & unlimited
Fair usage policy
No
Sky
Download speed
Up to 76Mbps
Upload speed
Up to 19Mbps
Usage options
Unlimited
Fair usage policy
No

Package comparison

There are four BT fibre-optic broadband packages; BT Infinity 1 (up to 38Mbps with 20GB usage cap), BT Infinity Extra (up to 38Mbps with 40GB usage cap), Unlimited BT Infinity 1 (up to 38Mbps with unlimited data usage), and Unlimited BT Infinity 2 (up to 76Mbps with unlimited data).

BT also offers packages for its high speeds of 160Mbps and 300Mbps, but these won’t be advertised until a greater proportion of customers on the network can actually access the speeds. Alongside the monthly cost, you’ll also have to take on line rental. Standard BT line rental costs £15.99 each mont

There are two Sky fibre broadband packages, both of which come with totally unlimited downloads; the up to 38Mbps Sky Fibre Unlimited and the up to 76Mbps Sky Fibre Unlimited Pro. Whichever package you go for, you'll pay £15.40 per month line rental.

  • Broadband
    Max Download Speed38Mb
    Max Upload Speed9.5Mb
    Monthly UsageUnlimited
    Fair UsageNo
    Traffic ShapingNo
    IP AddressingDynamic
    Digital TV
    TV Channels-
    SD Channels-
    HD Channels-
    3D Channels-
    Radio Channels-
    Home Phone
    Daytime Calls9ppm
    Evening Calls9ppm
    Weekend CallsInclusive
    Pricing & Contract
    Monthly Cost
    (£23 after 3 mths)
    £16
    Upfront Cost£30
    Contract Length18 months
    Line Rental p/m£15.99
    Average Monthly£39.49
    First Year Cost£476.88
    Lifetime Cost£710.82
    See deal →
    or call 0800 840 5395
  • Broadband
    Max Download Speed38Mb
    Max Upload Speed10Mb
    Monthly UsageUnlimited
    Fair UsageNo
    Traffic ShapingNo
    IP AddressingDynamic
    Digital TV
    TV Channels-
    SD Channels-
    HD Channels-
    3D Channels-
    Radio Channels-
    Home Phone
    Daytime Calls7.95ppm
    Evening Calls7.95ppm
    Weekend CallsInclusive
    Pricing & Contract
    Monthly Cost
    (£20 after 6 mths)
    £7.50
    Upfront Cost£6.95
    Contract Length18 months
    Line Rental p/m£15.40
    Average Monthly£31.62
    First Year Cost£356.75
    Lifetime Cost£569.15
    See deal →
    or call 0800 840 5394

Availability

Although they're two discrete services, both BT Infinity and Sky fibre broadband are carried on the BT Openreach network. As a result of this, availability is virtually identical – if you can get one, you should be able to get the other. You can find out exactly what you can get where you are by entering your postcode into the availability checker below.

Check availability

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Customer service

Industry watchdog Ofcom last released complete broadband customer satisfaction statistics in December 2012, and found that both BT and Sky had an average satisfaction rate of 63% – so on the surface, it looks like there's nothing to separate the two providers.

Although 25% of Sky customers said they had neutral feelings towards their provider, only 20% sat on the fence with BT. The remaining 12% of Sky and 17% of BT customers said they were "dissatisfied" with their service, meaning that according to Ofcom, BT are the least successful of the two when it comes to keeping their customers happy.

Technology and equipment

Both the BT Home Hub 5 and Sky Hub feature smart power-saving modes which switch the devices to an electricity bill pleasing low energy consumption mode when not being used.

Similarly, both devices search to find you the least congested Wi-Fi channel so you can get the quietest connection possible where you are. Continuing the list of similarities, the Home Hub 5 and Sky Hub both allow simultaneous connections, either with their Ethernet ports or via Wi-Fi.

BT make a point of highlighting how their Home Hub fits through average letterboxes when delivered. The Sky Hub is taller and deeper than the BT alternative, but almost half the width.

Extra features

As a BT broadband customer you’ll get free and unlimited access to public Wi-Fi at 5 million UK hotspots. All Sky unlimited broadband packages include unlimited access to public Wi-Fi at Cloud hotspots, but bear in mind that there are currently just 10,000 of these throughout the UK – fewer than the BT alternative.

When you sign up for BT Infinity, you’ll be able to watch BT Sport online entirely for free. This is a great benefit for sport fans, as you can watch football matches without having to sign up for a subscription TV service.

The BT NetProtect Plus security package is provided free to all unlimited BT Infinity customers, and features anti-virus, firewall and content blocking controls.

Sky updated their security software in late 2013 to roll out their Broadband Shield package – free for broadband customers. It gives consumers the option of blocking categories of content or alternatively filter sites by age. The limits that are set are then applied to any devices that use the home connection, whether it's a PC, laptop, smartphone or tablet.

Summary

Sky and BT offer similar service with some notable differences. No matter who you go for you’ll receive impressive speeds, good equipment, and competitive prices, but if you’re still not certain, take a look at the comparison table below to see the two providers side by side.

Download speedsUp to 300MbUp to 76Mb
Upload speedsUp to 19MbUp to 19Mb
Usage options20GB & unlimitedUnlimited
Fair usage policyNoNo
Traffic managementNoNo
Static IPNoNo
Minimum contract18 months18 months
Public Wi-FiYesYes
Prices from£8 per month →£7.50 per month →
BT
Download speed
Up to 300Mbps
Upload speed
Up to 19Mbps
Usage options
20GB & unlimited
Fair usage policy
No
Traffic management
No
Static IP
No
Minimum contract
18 months
Public Wi-Fi
Yes
Prices from
Sky
Download speed
Up to 76Mbps
Upload speed
Up to 19Mbps
Usage options
Unlimited
Fair usage policy
No
Traffic management
No
Static IP
No
Minimum contract
18 months
Public Wi-Fi
Yes
Prices from

Comments (19)

mark
2 days ago

Went from BT broadband to infinity since going on infinity the wirless connectio drops after 2 hrs had 2 engineers out know sending a third out to try and solve it but before going on to fibre optic had no problem with wireless network paying for fiber at a speed of 77.46 mb but running a speed test with BT whosale speed is betwen 38mb and 42 mb speed is fluctuating all the time. Told BT in wireless side on mobile before fiber was ok then as soon as I went on fiber the smart phone had to reboot. after 3 hrs lost connection told bt and they said no you should not have to reboot phone told bt if it damages 2 phones and a laptop then will cost them all they could say it was because of the hard wire speed fluctuating but said was not guaranteed a wireless connection that stupid but told them why ask me to buy one of their dongles if the wirless is **** 4 weeks now. Trying to phone them is a nightmare

Darren
9 days ago

I called Sky (my provider) at length last year and complained about the lack of coverage for a service both they and BT constantly advertise.

Sky explained (a senior manager at that who called me back) that the government had given the contract for upgrading the infrastructure solely to BT Openreach.

I am pleased to announce, that finally, at long last, a company contracting for Openreach have laid cable from the exchange to our box and it should come online in 4 to 6 weeks

Mark
20 days ago

What you should know is that both Sky and BT use the same equipment as BT Openreach engineers are used for both providers, also TalkTalk, EE, Plusnet etc all use BT landline also. If your speeds are slow with one, they wont be much different to another, Mainly comes down to the router to detemine that. If your on the equivalent package on BT and move to Sky or vise versa there will be practically no difference in the speeds, if you have the same router on either provider theres no difference. Sky is cheaper than BT and the customer service is alot better than BT. Openreach are a nightmare and half the engineers are contractors brought in by BT and half of them are hopeless but dont get me wrong there is alot of them that do what they are supposed to. Placed an order with sky, Openreach call out...oh your Bt landlines not finished yet...opps...hopeless, Call Sky, they contact Openreach and say that you would think they would be aware of this as it is their infrastructure used. To you saying about who has access to fibre in the UK, that is just passed 60% not 93% etc and Openreach are putting 2.5bn into upgrading the infrastructure in the UK which is to have around 95% of the UK covered by the end of 2015.

BT was always bad experience for me and Sky brilliant, tho I know people can have good or bad from one or the other but in my experience Sky have been alot better.

aj
26th February 2014

Had it UP to Here with SKY and BT dragging out this roll out claiming they have 93% connected to fibre but all they can offer me is standard Broadband at the moment. Fed up of the lies on Open Reach wa8 widnes cheshire area saying accepting orders yet when questioned they go....."OH your cabinet not been upgraded yet you can buy basic broadband until then!!!spend more money for years and wait for it to roll out like Xmas,

Come on BT get your Act together Yes Traffic shaped Virgin media can offer 100Mb/s cable why cant you in my area

disgruntled customer.

Lyndon
26th January 2014

don't beleave what bt broadband tell you once you recive bt infinity and after a while about a year later the broadband speed goes down as we had it installed and we had loads of faults with it we had to reset the box 3 times a day every day and still bt would not send out an engineer to fix the problem or send us a new modem box that's why now we have left them for virgin media ,.......

Alan
20th January 2014

Sky s broadband is completely hopeless. Worst speeds, very poor signal from the hub , constant lies about fixing the problems, lengthy waits to get hold of someone, no follow thru with same person if you do happen to find someone who cares. The TV package is great, but avoid broadband and telephone with this lot.. They re a joke. And they lie about nearly everything

david
10th January 2014

as a previous BT customer i would say "stay away" bt for me was horrendous, after moving from o2 broadband to bt unlimited my speed dropped by half, I had constant disconnections numerous openreach visits offering no answer to my woes, it was only after my own investigations that i realized that my o2 broadband was LLU and that this often results in better speeds, bt agreed to let me out of my contract without penalty and I joined sky fibre, what can I say quite awesome 40meg down 10 up, as I am less than 300 meters from my bt cabinet, no drops in connection £10 a month for 12 months and the contract is only 12 months, so options to move or renegotiate a new deal, plus it's unlimited and not throttled

Jeff
2nd January 2014

Useful comments from the above. I'm pretty fed up with my EE standard broadband performance, which advertises between 8 - 18mb speeds but I have never had faster than 6.5 - more usual to get between 4.5 - 5, or dropping down to 2, not ideal for watching on demand TV. So I'm shopping around for a viable fibre higher speed setup. For me it seemed to be down to either Sky or BT Infinity, but I think it's going to be BT, mainly because of the above reviews, but also the more comprehensive free wifi hotspot access. I'm in mid Sussex and will update this forum in due course.

leslie
1st December 2013

if you like speeds all over the place form 5 to 25meg and numerous call to the provider telling you to rest all routers to get the speeds up only for them to drop off the next day then take sky. i had plusnet fiber who is bt before sky and got a constant 29meg and now hassle I also had sky broadbrand before and that was pissh ill not be making the same mistake the third time.

Liz
16th August 2013

Thanks Eddie! I've booked BT Vision! The only problem I now have is routing the wretched cable from my study where the phone line is to the lounge...am going to need about 50 metres of cabling (not sure how the hell I'm going to hide it though!) to go over doors, round corners etc. Should be fun trying to fit it myself lol!

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