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BT Infinity vs Sky fibre broadband

Monday, November 17th 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.

At a glance

  • 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
    -
    £15
    Upfront Cost£36.95
    Contract Length12 months
    Line Rental p/m£16.99
    Average Monthly£35.07
    First Year Cost£420.83
    Lifetime Cost£420.83
    See deal →
    or call 0800 380 0064
  • 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 12 mths)
    £10
    Upfront Cost£36.95
    Contract Length18 months
    Line Rental p/m£16.40
    Average Monthly£31.79
    First Year Cost£353.75
    Lifetime Cost£572.15
    See deal →
    or call 0800 840 5394

Speed & usage

BT Infinity speed and usage

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 a reasonable number of consumers is up to 76Mbps. With these speeds, the provider estimates that you'd be able to download an album in around four seconds, and a feature-length HD movie in around 10 minutes.

Sky fibre speed and usage

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 speeds76Mb
up to
76Mb
up to
Upload speeds19Mb
up to
19Mb
up to
BT
Download speed
Up to 76Mbps
Upload speed
Up to 19Mbps
Monthly allowance
40GB & Unlimited
Fair usage policy
No
Sky
Download speed
Up to 76Mbps
Upload speed
Up to 19Mbps
Monthly allowance
Unlimited
Fair usage policy
No

Package comparison

BT Infinity packages

There are three BT fibre-optic broadband packages; BT Infinity 1 (up to 38Mbps with 20GB 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 £16.99 each month. 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 £16.99 each month.

Compare BT Infinity broadband

Sky fibre packages

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 £16.40 per month line rental.

Compare Sky fibre broadband

Are Sky fibre and BT Infinity available in my area?

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Customer service

BT customer service

Industry watchdog Ofcom last released complete broadband customer satisfaction statistics in December 2013, and found that BT had an average satisfaction rate of 63%, same overall rating as 2012. So there hasn't been a huge change, but it did score lower than average for offering compensation or a goodwill payment.

Sky customer service

In comparison to BT, Sky had an average customer satisfaction rate of 71%. An 8% increase to previous year. Sky scored above average in a number of areas, including the ability of it's advisors to understand an issue and identify the problem. This means that, on the strength of the Ofcom report, Sky are more successful when it comes to keeping customers happy.

Technology and equipment

BT Home Hub router

The BT Home Hub 5 features smart power-saving modes which switch the device to an electricity bill pleasing low energy consumption mode when not being used.

It also searches to find you the least congested Wi-Fi channel so you can get the quietest connection possible where you are. You'll get multiple simultaneous connections, either via Ethernet ports or Wi-Fi. BT also make a point of highlighting how the Home Hub fits through average letterboxes when delivered.

Sky Hub router

The Sky Hub is taller and deeper than the BT alternative, but almost half the width. Like the Home Hub, it also boasts a power-saving mode which reduces the amount of power used when not in use, will automatically scan for the quietest Wi-Fi channel and let you connect either wirelessly or via an Ethernet cable.

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Extra features

BT Infinity has free public wi-fi, BT NetProtect Plus

As a BT broadband customer you’ll get free and unlimited access to public Wi-Fi at 5 million UK hotspots.

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. In addition, 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 fibre has Cloud hotspots and Broadband Shield security software

All Sky unlimited broadband packages include unlimited access to public wi-fi at Cloud hotspots, but bear in mind that there are currently just 20,000 of these throughout the UK – fewer than the BT alternative. 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.

So, is there a clear winner?

Not when factoring broadband alone, no. Bring TV into the equation and Sky is light years ahead. Even on just broadband, at first glance, the up to 300Mbps headline speed could make BT an attractive option – but the lack of widespread availability means the majority of consumers won't be able to benefit from these ultrafast connections. This aside, the only thing to really separate BT from Sky is a small difference in price and the presence of 20GB and unlimited options. Keeping things simple, Sky fibre broadband is unlimited, so you can make the most of up to 76Mbps speeds without worrying about data usage. Since it's carried on the BT Openreach network, you should find that if you can get BT Infinity, then you can get Sky fibre too.

And don't forget, Cable.co.uk now produces in-depth broadband reviews of every major UK broadband package, so check them out if you need more information.

Compare BT & Sky fibre broadband→

Comments (37)

Kevin Chadwick
1 day ago

Previously I was talking about BT's speed being more reliable than SKY's because they prioritise users who use less if you like such as at peak times. If you want speed reliability and the best customer service and get TV elsewhere then zen are clearly the best.

Darren G.
3 days ago

Having been a happy Sky Fibre customer for 2 years, I got tempted with BT's offer to switch to their services. I looked on top cash back website, they were offering £100, and BT offering £125 Sainsbury's voucher, so I thought its money for nothing!! Using the same lines and virtually the same equipment.

I ordered BT Infinity 2.

One of the worst mistakes in my life.

I ordered this on 02/01/2015, today is 27/02/2015, and today Sky have been allowed to take my services back. BT didn't even have any background work done for the switchover! BT then told me they had cancelled my phone line and this would allow me to go to Sky. So every time I rang BT they told me my phone line didn't exist. I rang Sky and they told me they could clearly see BT still had hold of my line. BT then denied this for over 1 month every time telling me it will take 24hrs, and 48hrs, then someone actually found it!! Shock horror.

So then BT said to cancel my line they would do something in the background so they could see it on their system, but this could take up to 5 days more.

My phone line got cut off at last, great I thought. Then a BT bill landed for £70. This was a charge so they could see my line!! I went crazy on the phone. After speaking to the so called order management team over and over again to the point where people who had previously promised me things and constantly lied to me I spoke to again and told them the truth, they were liars.

The result was I got a full refund, but I had to threaten them with legal action. I still cant believe they tried to charge me for their own incompetence.

The whole foreign call centres are an absolute joke, I have been constantly lied to and was getting laughed at down the phone!! I did speak to some decent English people who tried their best but simply did not have any technical knowledge to look into my case.

BT had placed Z Tags on my line and then R Tags!! Nobody in the organisation can actually tell me what these are,

BT never once called me back as promised. NOT ONCE.

To be brutally honest if I could have met these people from the foreign call centres, I would have been involved In a fight. These people cannot spell customer service let alone provide it.

Because I had placed the order with sky approx. 5 times, they realised something was sadly wrong. They gave me a direct number to a team of people and directly to 2 people who cover this line 7 days a week. These people on this team were a god send. They rang me each time there was something worth knowing to keep me updated, and unlike BT I didn't have to tell the whole story each and every phone call to a different person. This team knew everything.

BT had then unregistered my property from the Openreach network!! So sky had to send documents away to re-register my home before they could even start talking internet!!

Finally I can now order my internet with sky again, and believe me it is the best piece of advertising Sky will ever need.

Ive still got two weeks to wait for my Sky internet, this will take it up to approx. 10 weeks since I ordered it with BT and 8 weeks since BT promised to take over my line.

Richard
22 days ago

BT Retail customer service is probably the worst customer service you'll ever deal with. Remember BT Group, the parent company of BT Retail and Openreach, make their money from selling access to the network to other suppliers- they can't be bothered investing in good customer service for average everyday citizens. Sky on the other hand boast of their customer service, and I have to say I haven't been able to fault them. I had a fault (slow Fibre) and rang in, did the usual troubleshooting i.e. connected my Hub to the test socket and found I was only getting 22 meg wired. Sky booked Openreach who said the cab was badly wired by "some dumb c***". I said to the guy "well, that's your colleague". Don't think that sank in well as he then gave me his speech about possible charges incurred as he had 'worked on' my internal wiring (he disconnected an old extension socket). I told him Sky assured me they don't pass the costs of this mechanic (as 'engineer' they certainly aren't) to their customers, engineer said BT do lol. Hope that helps people choose between the Biggest (BT) and the Best (Sky).

Alan
22 days ago

BT have constantly cold called me to sell me infinity. I eventually and reluctantly agreed. The worst thing I have ever done! I have had a terrible connection since 15th December 2014 with disconnection every 10 minutes or so, despite being promised 68 Mbps it was last working at 17Mbps that was until they diagnosed that the ECI fttc cabinet is broken and for the last 2 weeks I have had no Internet connection at all. They refuse to re connect me on ADSL as I'm now on an 18 month fibre contract. So I can have no Internet at all because they connected me to faulty equipment which it seems they have no intentions of fixing. I eventually got them to agree to re connect me on ADSL which they said would take 8 days, the day arrived and still no ADSL, I called them to be told they had cancelled this order for ADSL due to technical reasons and that I'm still on an 18 month contract for fibre. Talking to BT is like talking to a brick wall. I'm still paying a lot for an Internet connection which they are not providing me with. Can't wait to go to Sky.

Vikki
17th January 2015

Had the same experience as the last reviewer with BT. Tried to switch from Sky and had TWO orders rejected, the first was rejected after one day, the second the night before activation. Both times BT had set up Direct Debits and the second time they posted a router to my address. Each time I was told it was because my phone line was not with BT but BOTH orders were placed as a new customer requesting a Working Line Takeover. I was told that someone would call me the next day to help me place the order. That was 8 days ago. BT did however phone me 2 days ago to say they had tried to debit my first payment but that I had cancelled the Direct Debit. They wanted to know why. Absolute shambles and shocking lack of customer care. We have gone with Sky instead.

Martin
17th December 2014

Just had the worst experience when trying to switch from Sky to BT Infinity 2. Promised install/activation date was 16th December, i called on the 15h to make sure everything was ok and still on track, only to be told that my line had been rejected by Openreach, but nobody had contacted me. After numerous calls to BT call centers, in India, i was told it would be a further 2 weeks and that i would have to cancel my services with my current provider. This meant been without my phone and broadband for a good few days. I decided to cancel the whole order and go to Sky Fibre Pro, BT customer service is an absolute disgrace, Sky on the other hand have been absolutely superb. SKY ALL THE WAY!!!!!

Tacky
27th September 2014

Paul in answer to your question regarding wiring, it is better to have wiring straight from the window junction box where the line connection comes into your home to your router, depending on the distance to your local exchange you will have almost full speed to your PC, that of course depends on your Wi-Fi card 2.4 or 5ghz. If you use wired phones and not dect phones then there will be a loss in speed because the incoming bandwidth will split to the old wired cables and the speed will drop. Regards Tacky

Arron lowley
26th September 2014

Sky fibre all the way, my mum got it and the speeds were always around 37meg wireless and wired, low latency around 16ms and online gaming on my pc was a bliss. Now I live with my girlfriend and her bt fibre is shocking, can't do more than one thing at once because of the dreadful packet loss and high latency. Drop outs because of the rubbish home hub 5 and not to mention the poor wireless range. I think they still apply p2p throttling. Bt also lie to you and tell you there's a fault and the engineer comes and he/she can't find a fault, how misleading is that. If anyone has the right mind go with sky fibre or virgin media, you won't be disappointed.

Paul
12th August 2014

Currently with Sky broadband looking at changing to fibre but don't know which both sound the same and by sounds of it pointless getting 76mb as computer runs 2.4. I have friends with BT who say its great but the customer service seems dire. Sky on the other hand are ok. Does changing the wiring within the home when with BT really help as signal on copper wire from exchange so already degraded, unless somehow cleaned which I doubt!

Dave
3rd August 2014

Changed from sky to bt infinity on change over day their engineer turned up and told me he couldn't connect me and I would need an open reach engineer and bt would call me straight back by the next day I phoned them as they didn't call.they then told me after many many calls to India it would be three weeks at the earliest,but to keep me going use btwi hotspots so I kept trying to connect with no luck kept calling different bt dept in India all told a different story and never ever made promised call back then found out from the first English girl I got to speak to I can't use my wifi until broadband connected then found they had made a mess of my package and when it was connected I'd have to pay more even though it was their fault they wouldn't correct it.Bt are the worst company you can ever have the disspleasure of dealing with it's like talking to politicians you can ask all you want but they'll never give you an answer!!!.

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