If you thought that fibre broadband in the UK started and ended with Virgin Media and BT’s networks, think again; Magnet Networks will be launching 100Mbps broadband services in the UK, bundling in Sky TV for good measure.
It’s not just Sky Sports and Sky Movies options with a smattering of flagship channels either; Recombu Digital understands that it’s the full retinue of Sky TV channels. So that’s FX, SyFy, Sky Atlantic HD, the lot.
Initially rolling out to Wembley City and the Greenwich Peninsula in London, Magnet Networks CEO Mark Kellett claims the move will “make us the only player in the UK providing Sky over fibre.”
We’re waiting to hear back from Sky in the UK on channel packages and
how prices might compare.
Magnet Networks: ‘We’ll add 30,000 UK homes to our network a year’
To clarify, Sky isn’t launching TV services over cable, but in new build homes where fibre is supplied by Magnet Networks, there’ll be the option to get Sky TV delivered over cable (rather than via satellite) along with your broadband.
In terms of deals, it’d be as if you were paying Virgin Media for your broadband and Sky for your TV.
Magnet Networks is planning to add some 30,000 UK homes a year to its network and is mulling the possibility of using dark fibre networks which could serve up to an extra 1 million.
Speaking to Silicon Republic, Kellett said “We have major plans to deploy fibre services to the home in the UK at a rate of approximately 30,000 homes per annum – that’s direct fibre to the home.”
No mention has been made of which dark fibre provider will be teaming up with Magnet Networks. But City Fibre Holdings recently announced a joint venture with Fujitsu which will see an extra 1 million UK homes getting connected to FTTH lines, which sounds like a shoe-in to us.
We’re expecting a further announcement from Magnet Networks later this month on this so stay tuned.
Update: In a call to Recombu Digital, Magnet Networks CEO Mark Kellett told us that Sky TV package pricing will remain the same as it is with Sky and “you’ll be able to order directly with Sky or with us.”
You’ll either be able to plug in your existing Sky+ HD box or watch on an OTT (over-the-top) basis – i.e. channels streaming over your net connection, doing away with any kind of set-top box hardware.