Sky Broadband launches new Wi-Fi guarantee add-on – but is it worth it?
Sky has launched a new add-on to its broadband packages that promises a minimum speed throughout your home – but for many, it won't be worth it.
It costs an extra £5/month for its 'Boost' package, and new and existing customers will be locked into a new contract for a minimum of 18 months to guarantee 3Mb speed in any room in the house. Though 3Mb is technically enough for streaming (Sky Go, Netflix etc), it's a fraction of its standard 'Essentials' package, which has average speeds of 11Mb.
Sky joins BT in charging for its version of 'Complete Wi-Fi', while other providers offer similar Wi-Fi guarantees for free on all their packages, such as Virgin's 'Intelligent Wi-Fi' and Vodafone's Minimum Speed Guarantee.
What is Sky Broadband 'Boost'?
Sky says it aims to guarantee reliable Wi-Fi in every room in your house. It's worth noting that this doesn't include any exterior buildings, such as separate garages, sheds, annexes etc, so if you've a separate office that's suffering from weak Wi-Fi, Boost won't help you. Sky won't improve your basic broadband package speed, this is determined based on what package you've signed up to (standard, superfast fibre etc). The Boost package is all about getting a minimum speed throughout your home.
Here are the key elements of Boost:
- Sky's latest router. Customers will receive one of its brand new routers, which it claims to be up to three times faster than its old version.
- Wi-Fi boosters. If you experience less than 3Mb speed in any room when using Sky's own online speed checker or via the MySky app and report it to Sky, it will provide you with one of its plug-in boosters which extends your router signal. If you still need help in identifying speed issues, it will send out an engineer for free.
- Daily line checks. It will check your line every day between 12am and 5am for any issues that may affect your speed. It says it will text you if it needs to fix anything.
- Sky Mobile customer? If you experience an unplanned broadband outage that occurs for more than 30 minutes between 7am-11pm, you can get an additional 2GB of data added to your account.
- Sky Broadband Buddy. Access to its 'Buddy' app that lets you set filters and control screen time by pausing access and setting time limits.
What if I still can't get the minimum speed? If it is unable to provide you with 3Mb throughout your house, you'll get the money you've paid for Boost back and still get to access it for the rest of your contract, meaning you'll keep its newest router and any Wi-Fi boosters it may have installed. But don't expect a refund on any of your standard package.
Is it worth it?
If you're someone that gets under 3Mb speed right now in rooms where you regularly use Wi-Fi and are determined to stick with Sky, it may be worth getting the Boost guarantee. Though tying yourself into a new 18-month contract at £5/mth represents an extra £90 investment, so buying your own Wi-Fi boosters could work out cheaper (see how to Boost Broadband Speed).
And remember, 3Mb is not actually that fast, not enough for HD or 4K streaming for instance, so if you have a need for serious speed around your house, it wouldn't be worth stumping up an extra £5/mth as it won't guarantee the speeds you need.
And of course, if you're already getting at least 3Mb speed in every room you need Wi-Fi, there's no real reason to sign up to Boost.
Check to see you're on the best deal first
If you're already with Sky and your original contract has ended, you could already be paying more than you need to if you've moved onto a rolling contract. As signing up to Boost will lock you into a new contract, check the market to see if there's a cheaper or faster alternative. See our Broadband Unbundled tool to compare the best deals in your area and our Haggle with Sky guide if you're happy to stay with Sky.