Sky is set to become the first broadband provider to offer free internet access for all customers at speeds of up to 20Mb/s, the satellite TV broadcaster claimed today.
There's a catch: to qualify for the free package, called Sky Everyday Lite, users must be Sky TV subscribers and signed up to the firm's Sky Talk phone service. Downloads are capped at 2GB a month.
The package will be made available on 1 June.
On the same day, Sky also introduces Sky Unlimited, a £7.50-a-month package that is, it claims, truly unlimited - there will be "no usage caps, fair use policies or traffic management".
Sky "maintains its commitment to being the only major ISP not to... ‘traffic shape’ speeds on any of its network products, giving its customers consistent, reliable broadband anytime of day", it said.
Traffic shaping is the process of monitoring a user's download activity and throttling back bandwidth if certain applications, such as BitTorrent file-sharing or video streaming, are used repeatedly. Other ISPs, including 3, O2 and Virgin Media, do this for certain subscriber groups. Providers who do claim that their measures affect very few users. ®