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Sky buys O2 and Be Broadband: What’s happening next

Sky announced that it had formally acquired both O2 and Be Broadband. This means that if you’ve got O2 or Be Broadband, you’re now technically a Sky customer. 

Later on this year, Sky will begin the process of migrating O2 and Be Broadband lines onto its own network and moving people onto Sky Broadband contracts. This process is expected to start this Autumn, with customers to be contacted about two months in advance, and the migration finished in Spring 2014. 

That’s what’s happening in a nutshell. 

But there’s plenty of other questions to be answered too, like what’s going to happen to your o2.co.uk and be.co.uk emails and what will happen to your discounts that you get by being an O2 Mobile customer. 

We don’t have all the answers, but this if you’re an O2 or Be Broadband customer please keep checking back as we’ll have this feature updated as and when we hear more. 

Sky buys O2 or Be Broadband: What’s happening next
This is the Sky Hub, the wireless router that comes included with Sky Broadband. You don’t get a free iPhone. Sorry.

 

I’m an O2/Be Broadband customer. What’s happening?

You’re now essentially a Sky customer and at some point you’ll be moved on to the Sky Broadband network. 

Until this happens, you’ll continue to be billed by either O2 or Be. 

Likewise, if you’re experiencing any technical problems with your service you should contact O2 and Be technical support, not Sky. 

How will being moved on to Sky’s broadband network affect my broadband speeds?

As Sky’s network uses ADSL2+ technology in theory you shouldn’t see much of a difference in your quality of service. Ofcom’s latest figures show that Sky’s average maximum download and uploads are a little slower – roughly 1Mbps slower – than O2/Be speeds.

Will I be able to get fibre-based broadband with Sky?

When you move to Sky you will have the option of signing up for Sky Fibre if it’s available in your area, at either up-to-38Mbps or up-to-76Mbps, using BT’s FTTC (Fibre to the Cabinet) technology on the Openreach network.

In all likelihood, as with ADSL2+ broadband, you probably won’t get this top speed. This is because as with ADSL, your speed is dependent upon your location. How far away you are from a connected street cabinet (as opposed to the exchange) will determine the actual speed you get.

Read our guide ‘What is FTTC aka Fibre to the Cabinet and what does it mean?’ for a fuller explanation of this.

I’m an O2 Mobile customer. Will I still get my money off each month?

Until you’re migrated to the Sky network, you’ll still be able to get the same monthly discount that you enjoy now.

As an O2 Mobile customer, will I be able to get a discount on Sky Broadband?

Not in the same way that you do with O2 Broadband. Sky has spoken of special introductory offers for O2 and Be Broadband customers who are moving on to the new network. There’s no word yet on exactly what these offers entail or how money you’ll save.

What will happen to my o2.co.uk and Be emails?

You’ll still be able to access your o2.co.uk and Be email address, but on O2 your storage will be reduced to 20MB. You’ll have the option of moving over to Sky’s Yahoo-based email service once you’re a Sky Broadband customer. The Be email service will remain open until Spring 2014, when it will close and Be email addresses will no longer operate.

Will I still be able to use O2 WiFi?

Whether you’re an O2 Mobile customer or not you’ll be able to use O2 WiFi. When your broadband service is moved over from O2 Broadband to Sky’s network, you’ll become a Sky Broadband customer and you’ll then be able to enjoy unlimited Sky WiFi access. That’s quite a good swap, as Sky WiFi uses the widely-available hotspots from The Cloud.

What about Sky WiFi and The Cloud?

Provided you sign up for Sky Unlimited Broadband, Sky Connect and Sky Fibre, you’ll be able to sign up for Sky WiFi as well.

Sky WiFi is a public WiFi network run by The Cloud. If you sign up to one of the above Sky packages, you’ll be able to use Sky WiFi on an unlimited basis. The Cloud is available to everyone, but if you want unlimited access you’ll have to pay a fee every month.

Will there be any disruption to my O2/Be Broadband when I’m being moved to Sky?

Sky says that it’s working closely with O2 and Be Broadband to minimise disruption. Before you’re due to be moved over, Sky will send out an information pack and ‘talk through the seamless process’.

As is the case when you switch broadband providers, there will be some downtime when equipment at the exchange is being switched over.

Existing O2 and Be routers will work, but Sky will only replace them with a Sky Hub wireless router.

As is the case with the best laid plans, things could go wrong so be prepared…

Latest news for Sky’s takeover of O2 Broadband and Be Broadband:

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