Sky has announced that it plans to buy up O2 and Be Broadband from Telefónica UK.
This would will see current O2 and Be customers migrated to Sky’s network where they’ll be able to benefit from FTTC (Fibre to the Cabinet) speeds up to 80Mbps and take out Sky TV and Sky Talk pay-TV and fixed-line phone bundles.
Sky would also become the UK’s second biggest ISP, leapfrogging Virgin Media and sitting behind BT in the UK’s broadband league table.
Currently, Sky has 4.2 million broadband customers. O2 and Be’s combined subscriber base stands at 580,000, which would give Sky a grand total of 4.78 million.
Sky Fibre will be available in areas where Openreach has upgraded exchanges and street cabinets with FTTC technology, currently available in 13 million UK premises. Sky Unlimited, the top tier ADSL-based service, is available in 84 per cent of the UK.
Jeremy Darroch, Sky’s chief executive said: “Sky has been the UK’s fastest-growing broadband and telephony provider since we entered the market six years ago. From a standing start in 2006, we have added more than 4.2 million broadband customers. The acquisition of Telefónica UK’s consumer broadband and fixed-line telephony business will help us accelerate this growth.
Ronan Dunne, chief executive of Telefónica UK also sees the move as a natural fit, adding: “Sky offers great value, totally unlimited broadband which includes unlimited fibre services. As we focus on delivering best-in-class mobile connectivity, including next generation (4G) services, we believe this agreement is the best way of helping our customers get the highest quality home broadband experience from a leading organisation in the market.”
Telefónica stands to earn £200 million from the sale of its UK broadband assets, which would be helpful when their 4G rollout kicks off in earnest later this year.
Pending Ofcom giving this the go-ahead, it’s expected that O2 and Be customers will join Sky’s network by the end of April 2013.