Sky to lead broadband growth
By Julian Clover

Sky is to positioned to post the strongest broadband growth among all telcos over the next few years, according to the IHS Screen Digest.

During 2011 Sky accounted for just over half of net broadband subscriber additions. At 51% this was ahead even of the incumbent telco BT that achieved 47% of additions.
Sky had begun the year behind BT, but according to IHS by the end of the year the broadcaster had pulled decisively ahead. Sky in the fourth quarter accounted for 68% of net broadband additions, compared to 45% for BT.

The gains came at the expense of competitor TalkTalk, whose total declined during the period.
“Sky currently has 9.6 million television subscribers in the UK, of which only 40% are currently triple-play customers,” said Jon Payne, broadband analyst, IHS. “This leaves 6.5 million customers to which Sky could offer broadband services. Consequently, there remains a huge opportunity for Sky to upsell its large and growing pay-TV subscriber base to broadband and telephony packages, as seen in Q1 2012, during which Sky added a further 212,000 new broadband customers.”

Both BT and Sky offer their customers access to Wi-Fi hotspots, a strategy that Payne believes will help further consolidate the two companies’ position in the market.
The problem that Sky and other telcos have is the relative inertia that keeps subscribers with their current providers.