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Author Topic: Sky in talks to invest in Liberty Global fibre network  (Read 731 times)

adslmax

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Sky in talks to invest in Liberty Global fibre network
« on: September 02, 2019, 12:27:46 AM »

Quote from: Financial Times
Sky is in talks over a potential investment in a new full fibre network to be built by Liberty Global that would substantially raise pressure on BT in the UK broadband market.

Liberty Global appointed LionTree, the investment bank, to find partners for a new joint venture company that will build a full fibre network to millions of homes outside the most populated areas of the country. It formally registered the group as Liberty Fibre Ltd with Companies House last week.

Virgin Media, the UK’s second-largest telecoms network, and which is owned by Liberty Global, would be the anchor tenant for the business. In recent weeks, Sky has also opened talks over participating in the joint venture both as an investor and a customer, according to three people with direct knowledge of the negotiations.

The discussions between Liberty Global and Sky over the new network are at an early stage, the people said. Sky is in separate talks over a wholesale deal to use Virgin Media’s existing cable network which covers half the country.

Sky was acquired by Comcast, the US cable company, for £30.6bn last year and has been seen as a potential kingmaker in UK broadband. It piggybacks on BT’s network to provide broadband to 6m customers and is moving away from using satellite dishes and towards fibre lines to deliver television services to its customers. It does not plan to build its own network, however, meaning it can throw its weight behind those that are.

BT, TalkTalk and a host of smaller players including CityFibre — which is co-owned by Goldman Sachs — and Hyperoptic are also investing in full fibre networks. A wholesale deal with Sky to serve its millions of customers would help to justify the cost of building new fibre networks.

The media company has written to smaller rivals in recent months to explore potential co-investment and wholesale deals. That move, alongside the Virgin Media talks, will raise pressure on BT’s Openreach to strike a deal with Sky as it presses ahead with an acceleration of its full fibre plans.

A deeper tie-up between Virgin Media and Sky would represent the latest twist in the long-running relationship between American billionaires Brian Roberts, the chief executive of Comcast, and John Malone, who controls Liberty Global. They have dominated the US cable market for decades.

Liberty Global will apply to Ofcom for “code powers” — the necessary approval to start building networks in the UK — in the coming days and expects to start laying new fibre by next summer, according to a person with direct knowledge of the timetable.

Sky and Liberty Global declined to comment.

[Moderator edited to add an acknowledgement of the source.]
« Last Edit: September 02, 2019, 12:45:41 AM by burakkucat »
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burakkucat

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Re: Sky in talks to invest in Liberty Global fibre network
« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2019, 12:43:11 AM »

Max, you have quite clearly quoted an article from the Financial Times, verbatim, but have failed to give credit or acknowledge your source.
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adslmax

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Re: Sky in talks to invest in Liberty Global fibre network
« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2019, 12:50:14 AM »

Sorry should have quoted from FT.
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kitz

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Re: Sky in talks to invest in Liberty Global fibre network
« Reply #3 on: September 02, 2019, 08:48:14 AM »

Quote
Sky is in talks over a potential investment in a new full fibre network to be built by Liberty Global that would substantially raise pressure on BT in the UK broadband market.


Hmm, how many 'talks' over potential investments would that be now then.   
Haven't they already been there with just about every other network supplier at some point over the past few years with talks of  'investment' in fibre networks which actually surmounted to nothing.
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Bowdon

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Re: Sky in talks to invest in Liberty Global fibre network
« Reply #4 on: September 02, 2019, 10:35:42 AM »

So am I reading it correctly that the new venture would be using full fibre instead of the DOCSIS 3.1 network?

I think Sky are shortchanging themselves in the future because I suspect we'll eventually get TV channels over via fibre lines and the old aerials will eventually go (freeing up more frequencies). Sky need to establish their own network, or one they have the most control on, so they would be ready for the change.

Doesn't Sky own NowTV? I was under the impression that was Sky's experiment to see the validity of allowing Sky channels to be broadcast via broadband?
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adslmax

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Re: Sky in talks to invest in Liberty Global fibre network
« Reply #5 on: September 02, 2019, 11:29:24 AM »

I got NowTV and it was awesome, no problem on my smart tv (no buffering at all) with PN fibre 80/20. I was surprise NowTV was no contract and you can choose entertainment only or cinema movies only or even with both entertainment & cinema movies with prepaid voucher from Tesco but for Sky Sports (it so expensive) but if want all entertainment, cinema movies and sky sports then better off with Sky TV (work out cheaper than NowTV as there is offer £30 a month for all these for new customers who still have old Sky+ HD box and viewing card but will be locked in a 12 months contract with a one off fee of £10)
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j0hn

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Re: Sky in talks to invest in Liberty Global fibre network
« Reply #6 on: September 02, 2019, 06:36:16 PM »

So am I reading it correctly that the new venture would be using full fibre instead of the DOCSIS 3.1 network?

Virgin already use full fibre for new parts of their network.

To keep tv boxes/modems/support/packages the same they use RFOG.
The fibre is simply converted to coaxial at the property.
It's easy to change this to GPON or similar at a later date.

Sky's new owner (Comcast) already uses RFOG on parts of  their own cable/HFC network.
I'd be surprised if they ditched the RFOG deployment anytime soon.
It's capable enough of delivering all the packages Virgin sell and can reduce OPEX quite a bit.
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CarlT

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Re: Sky in talks to invest in Liberty Global fibre network
« Reply #7 on: September 03, 2019, 11:40:20 AM »

So am I reading it correctly that the new venture would be using full fibre instead of the DOCSIS 3.1 network?

It should be made clear I think that this new venture is separate from Virgin Media as is required to avoid Ofcom's wrath.

It's an entirely new thing and will not be an RFoG / DOCSIS network. It'll be a PON network of some description. I frankly wouldn't be surprised if it were an EPON network as EPON supports provisioning via DOCSIS - https://volpefirm.com/epon/ - and is a great choice for wholesale networks. GPON doesn't really have standardised provisioning methods which is why Openreach don't mix ECI and Huawei OLTs and ONTs while with DPoE it's standardised.

That it makes it far easier for the anchor tenant, Virgin Media, to provision services over it is of course just a bonus.  ;)

I think people would be surprised if they knew how many of VM's TV channels are now delivered via IPTV over DOCSIS rather than broadcast. It makes no sense to deliver over broadcast when each addressable area is only 32 premises as with an EPON split.
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