BSkyB passes 1 million broadband customers

LONDON (Reuters) - Pay-TV company BSkyB said it had signed up more than 1 million customers to its broadband service, drawing new subscribers to its overall offering and making it the UK’s fastest growing provider.

The company moved to a hybrid satellite-Internet platform last July to increase customer loyalty, offering broadband to anyone taking Sky TV, and around 30 percent of those customers taking broadband were new to the company, it said on Monday.

Sky said when looking at the most recent period for which comparable industry figures were available, its broadband offering was the fastest growing in Britain, ahead of Carphone Warehouse, BT Broadband, Tiscali and Virgin Media.

The company said its rate of growth underlined its transformation from a leading company in the 7 billion pound television marketplace to a challenger in the broader 25 billion pound marketplace for entertainment and communications.

Sky TV customers can choose from a range of options, including one with no monthly subscription fee, but the company said 70 percent of customers had opted for a paid-for option.

Analysts have widely welcomed Sky’s move into the broadband market as competition in television increases from the likes of Virgin Media and the free-to-air Freeview service.

Shares in BSkyB were up 0.7 percent at 656 pence at 9:30 a.m. on Monday.