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Sky experiments with near gigabit fibre network in Basingstoke

Sky is connecting customers in Basingstoke to 150Mbps speeds as part of a fibre broadband trial. 

The trial is taking place across a small number of roads in the Hampshire town where over 12 months, customers will be able to get FTTP (Fibre to the Premises) broadband from Sky via a company called Love Digital TV.   

Sky says that customers using its experimental fibre lines could get download speeds of up to 950Mbps. 

Amazing-stoke: Sky subscribers in selected areas can tap into super speedy services
Amazing-stoke: Sky subscribers in selected areas can tap into super speedy services

Scheme will also have to be Sky subscribers and will also get half price Sky subscriptions, according to the publication. 

Sky also stressed that its an experimental service and that it’s not guaranteed to work 100 per cent of the time. Because of this, trialists are being advised to keep their regular broadband service as a back up. 

Another interesting feature of Sky’s Basingstoke fibre trial is that it’s using Sky’s own network – not FTTP lines from BT’s network arm Openreach. Light overhead cables, similar to the ones BT has deployed in Superfast Cornwall, are being used to connect customers homes to Sky’s national network. 

If you were hoping to call up Sky tomorrow and place a pre-order for FTTP you might want to hold up. Regardless of the results of this trial, Sky almost certainly won’t launch a nationwide fibre service in 2014. 

A Sky spokesperson told Recombu: “This is a small scale trial designed to help us better understand the potential for this new superfast broadband technology. It’s one of a number of different projects we’re looking at to test technologies that could help us extend the efficiency and effectiveness of our network.” 

Basingstoke isn’t the only place in the UK Sky is looking to the future. The UK’s second biggest ISP is taking part in another FTTP-based trial with TalkTalk and CityFibre in York

FTTP is only available in a handful of areas on the Openreach network and ISPs including Zen Internet, Plusnet and BT have trialled and launched FTTP services delivering speeds of up to 330Mbps. 

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