First there was Sky TV, then Sky Digital, and later the mighty Sky+. Today, Sky is to join the growing ranks of 'free' broadband suppliers with the launch of its Sky Broadband service this afternoon.
Three broadband products are being made available when the service launches in August: Sky Broadband Base, Mid and Max. All three products are available to any Sky digital customer covered by Sky’s expanding broadband network. All three ship with wireless routers.
Sky Broadband Base is free to Sky digital customers covered by the Sky Broadband network. It offers download speeds of up to 2Mb and a 2GB monthly usage allowance.
Sky Broadband Mid costs costs £5 per month, and offers download speeds of to up 8Mb and 40GB of usage. Sky Broadband Max costs a competitive £10 a month and offers download speeds of up to 16Mb, unlimited downloads and free installation.
Carphone Warehouse started the free-broadband bandwagon rolling earlier in the year with is all-in-one £20.99 TalkTalk service. This was followed by others, including mobile-phone operator Orange's service for 18-month pay-monthly mobile plans of £30 and above. ISP PlusNet also has a range of broadband and free-calls services available from £20.99, with a 1-month tie-in period. This is available to more UK customers than the TalkTalk or Orange deals.
Sky Broadband also offers PC users a year’s free subscription to the McAfee Internet Security Suite, worth £49.98. Mac users receive 12 months of free McAfee Virex protection.
Advance registration for Sky Broadband begins today. Sky will invest around £400m at the operating profit level over the next three years to develop its broadband business.