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Sky Fibre Unlimited broadband review

Wednesday, November 4th 2015

Sky Fibre Unlimited is the mid-level fibre optic broadband package available from Sky. With download speeds of up to 38Mbps, it might not be the fastest fibre broadband package in the west, but the truly unlimited usage means you can download as much as you like, whenever you like, without penalty.

But is this Sky package right for you? To help you decide, here is everything you need to know about the Sky Fibre Unlimited broadband package, from price, speed and usage, through to the router you’ll get and the cost of installation.

Cable.co.uk overall rating
3.4

Sky Fibre Unlimited boasts download speeds of up to 38Mbps, an unlimited usage policy, no traffic management, and access to thousands of wi-fi hotspots around the UK. Negatives include the performance of the free router and lack of inclusive calls.

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Speed & usage

Rating

4

As a fibre optic broadband package, Sky Fibre Unlimited has a higher download speed than comparative standard broadband services (also known as ADSL). The 38Mbps Sky fibre speed is ideal for streaming video (both HD and SD) and for playing online games, even though it isn’t the fastest fibre optic speed obtainable.

Upload speeds affect how quickly you can post photos and videos to social networks like Facebook and YouTube. On Sky Fibre Unlimited, uploads clock in at up to 10Mbps. This is fast enough for posting photos and videos without having to stare at a loading bar for hours waiting for files to transfer.

It’s uncommon for your home connection to reach the speeds advertised by your broadband provider, and it’s unlikely that you’ll see downloads of 38Mbps with Sky Fibre Unlimited. Some things that affect broadband speed include: distance from the local exchange, traffic on the line, the condition of the copper cables leading from the cabinet to your property, and the position of your router at home. If you’re experiencing slow broadband at home, check out our guide for tips and tricks to improve download speeds.

As its name suggests, Sky Fibre Unlimited is a truly unlimited broadband service. You won’t be charged for excess use and downloads and uploads won’t be slowed due to traffic management. For those who like to stream music, movies and videos, this is a great benefit.

Advertised download speed Up to 38Mbps
Average downloads (off-peak) Not available *
Average downloads (peak) Not available *
Advertised upload speed Up to 10Mbps
Monthly usage limit No
Traffic management No
Static IP No
Minimum contract 18 months
Router Sky Hub
Public wi-fi Yes
Prices from £30 per month
Info

Scroll horizontally for more information.

What you can do with it

Advertised

Actual

*Average speeds for Sky fibre broadband not available from Ofcom at this time.

Call plan

Rating

3

Sky Fibre Unlimited doesn’t include any free calls. You’ll get the pay-as-you-talk call plan as standard, where you’ll pay for each call at a rate of 9.5p per minute to UK landlines and 12.7p per minute to UK mobiles plus a 15.9 per connection fee per call.

However, there are other three call plans to choose from if you’d rather not pay-as-you-go. Choose from Evening and Weekends Extra (+£4), Anytime Extra (+£8) and International Extra (+£12) for inclusive calls to UK landlines and mobiles for up to an hour at a time. The inclusion of mobile minutes is a major advantage as many broadband and phone packages don’t offer this.

You also get a handful of call features thrown in for free with this call plan, including standard voicemail, caller display, and automatic number withhold. Other call features, such as anonymous caller reject, are charged monthly. Line rental is included in the monthly advertised price.

Extras

Rating

3

Extras aren’t usually the first thing you think about when picking a broadband package. However, a good selection of bonuses can make all the difference to your broadband experience, especially if you’re likely to use them on a regular basis.

First with Sky Fibre Unlimited is Sky Broadband Shield, an advanced parental control system. Sky Broadband Shield gives you the power to select and filter the type of content that is visible via your home broadband connection. You can set automatic filtering categories based on age, or you can manually customise what is visible for stricter, more targeted control.

Everyone on Sky Fibre Unlimited gets access to thousands of Sky wi-fi hotspots around the country for no extra cost. These wi-fi hotspots are compatible with laptops, smartphones and tablets, and allow you to browse the net when you’re out and about without affecting your mobile data limit. Locations that feature Sky wi-fi hotspots include Caffè Nero and Pret. You need to use your Sky iD username and password to sign in.

Sky broadband packages are generally good value for money across the board, and Sky Fibre Unlimited is no exception. It’s not the cheapest fibre plan on the market, but it isn’t bad for the entry-level fibre optic speed and range of extra features.

Fibre broadband is generally best for large families or heavy broadband users. While cheap, it’s still more expensive than Sky’s up to 17Mbps unlimited standard service, which may be better value for money for light and moderate users. If you don’t intend to use the internet much at all it may be worth considering a capped product, such as Sky Broadband Lite.

By being truly unlimited, this Sky fibre optic broadband package increases in terms of value for money, especially amongst heavy users who may download thousands of gigabytes in a month. The majority of broadband providers maintain some level of traffic management on their broadband networks. By remaining free of fair usage policies, Sky strides ahead of the competition – though truly unlimited broadband products are often more expensive than capped and managed alternatives.

  • Broadband
    Max download speed38Mb
    Max upload speed9.5Mb
    Monthly usageUnlimited
    Home Phone
    Daytime calls9.50ppm
    Evening calls9.50ppm
    Weekend calls9.50ppm
    Pricing & Contract
    Set-up cost£59.95
    Contract length18 months
    First year cost £527.83

    £38.99
    per month
    includes line rental

    0800 840 5394 0203 151 2395
  • Broadband
    Max download speed38Mb
    Max upload speed9.5Mb
    Monthly usage25GB
    Home Phone
    Daytime calls9.50ppm
    Evening calls9.50ppm
    Weekend calls9.50ppm
    Pricing & Contract
    Set-up cost£59.95
    Contract length18 months
    First year cost £407.83

    £28.99
    per month
    includes line rental

    0800 840 5394 0203 151 2395

The Sky Hub router comes free with Sky Fibre Unlimited. It’s a handsome bit of kit, unobtrusively small with a sleek, black design. There are four lights on the router’s front to show your connection status. The top light indicates whether the Sky Hub is receiving power, the light with the smiley face shows if the Hub has an internet connection, and the third one down shows if wireless is engaged. The final light tells you if your Sky+HD box is connected to the router for catch-up and on-demand streaming on your TV.

The reverse of the Sky Hub features four 10/100Mbps Ethernet connection ports. For wireless connections, the Sky Hub is a single band 802.11n 2.4GHz router permitting several wireless connections at a time. The router also has a power-saving mode that automatically engages when not in use. It’s not quite as good as the routers offered by some competitors, such as BT’s Smart Hub and Virgin Media’s Super Hub, with only single band wireless (instead of dual band) and an absent USB port for printers and similar networked devices.

Standard set-up is usually £59.95, charged as a one-off fee. While the Sky Hub router itself is free, you do have to pay £6.95 for it to be delivered, and you’ll have to be at home to accept the delivery.

Sky Router

Overall Rating

3.4

Sky is one of the premier providers of broadband in the UK, so you’d expect it to perform well. Luckily, Sky Fibre Unlimited doesn’t disappoint, and presents a great choice for those looking for an affordable fibre broadband package. Its download speed is good, and the unlimited usage is ideal for downloaders. Plus, as a nice aside, Sky customer service is currently rated very highly by Ofcom.

A few negatives include the dated – though aesthetically pleasing – Sky Hub router, the lack of free calls and the standard set-up fee.

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