Sky is currently trialling a self-install service for its Sky Fibre product with selected customers.
Sky Fibre, which uses FTTC (Fibre to the Cabinet) connections, currently requires a visit from a BT Openreach engineer. Setting up FTTC broadband in the home can be tricky and right now it’s not a simple case of plugging a router into a modem and turning everything on.
Openreach has been running a series of trials that could make setting everything up yourself a possibility and Sky has been involved in this.
Speaking to ISP Review, Sky spokespeople have confirmed that it’s the first UK ISP to move beyond the closed trial phase and start trialling FTTC self-install with customers:
“Sky has become the first ISP to begin trialling wires-only fibre (self-install) with Openreach.
“Self-install on fibre has the potential to provide a better customer experience by removing the need to stay home for an engineer which is why we are supporting this initiative with a Sky Hub that replaces the Openreach VDSL modem as well as being a wireless router.”
BT’s forthcoming Home Hub 5 is a combination VDSL modem and router which promises gigabit speeds around the home. BT insisted however that there was no link between this and the self-install trials.
An engineer visit normally costs £80 and requires somebody to be at home. Self-install would mean that you wouldn’t have to pay for an engineer and you could set everything up at your convenience.
The main advantage of paying for an engineer is that everything would be set up correctly. When the self-install trials were first mooted, Openreach warned that a self-install option could result in reduced speeds compared to an engineer installation.
Sky hasn’t yet commented further on how the trials have progressed, other than responses from customers have been positive. It’s not been revealed how many people are taking part in the trial or where it’s happening but we understand that new customers can be expected to be added in the trial going forwards.
If the Openreach trials are successful, it’s thought that ISPs could offer customers a self-install option by the end of the year.