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Thursday, July 05, 2007

Surprise Sky Broadband Presentation Scheduled

BSkyB have surprisingly today announced a presentation about broadband for next week. This is just two weeks before full year results are planned.
The presentation will focus on a general update, including broadband and telephony after 10-months of operation, and priorities for the next 12 months.
Normally, Sky doesn’t do Trading Updates, so I can only suspect that Sky have some new products and/or services to announce. The original broadband launch was announced at this time last year (16th July)

Personally, I’m expecting Sky to announce:
  • a move into Full Unbundling for people on-net and Wholesale Line Rental for people off-net, thereby cutting the umbilical chord to BT;
  • connecting the Sky+ and the Wireless Router/Modem to allow long tail on-demand downloaded video viewed through the TV; and
  • more Sky branded online services with perhaps a link with the News Corp owned MySpace.
I’ve also been keeping an eye on the exchange coverage and Sky has been particularly busy over the last month. According to the invaluable Samknows, Sky unbundled 128 exchanges in June to take them currently to 1127 unbundled exchanges. It will be extremely close with Carphone Warehouse as to who has unbundled the most at the current moment. It wouldn’t surprise me in the least if Sky also plan to announce a slight expansion to the exchange coverage.

Also, if as I suspect, Sky have had a stellar quarter in terms of broadband net additions and account for over 50% of the total industry unbundled net adds, it will put the rest of the key unbundlers (Carphone, Tiscali, Orange and O2) under tremendous strain. I also expect an element of gloating with forecasts of having a larger broadband base than AOL with the 2007/8 year without having paid the £370m pricetag.