New Sky Hub router allows you to install Sky Fibre yourself

Don’t like the idea of having to wait around for hours for an engineer to switch you to fibre broadband? Sky’s new router makes it only the second major provider with whom you can make the switch in your own sweet time.

Have you ever found yourself sitting at home waiting for a guy to turn up to install your broadband? Did the provider give you a four-hour window in which he'd visit, only for him to show up at the last-minute? Irritating, isn't it?

Thankfully, if you're switching to Sky's fibre broadband, Sky Fibre, this won't be the case any longer. Why? Because the provider's new Sky Hub wireless router allows you to install Sky Fibre yourself. Neat, huh?

With the old Sky Hub, which came out about a year ago, you needed an engineer from Openreach, the division of BT that looks after the national telephone and broadband network, to come round and install a modem - essentially the doodah that turns what comes down the phone line into what you see onscreen when you're online - to get Sky Fibre.

The new Sky Hub has the modem built in, which means, if you sign up to Sky Fibre, Sky simply post you the router and some other bits, and all you have to do is plug it into your master phone socket - where the phone line comes into your home - and into a power socket, switch it on and you're more or less good to go. Engineer appointments be damned!

Lyssa McGowan, director of communications products at Sky, said: "At Sky we are continually looking to improve the products we offer and the service we provide - and the new Sky Hub is testament to that."

The new router, which is worth £69 and comes as standard with all new Sky Broadband Unlimited and Sky Fibre Unlimited packages - no word on whether you can get it if you already have Sky broadband as yet, also has all the fancy features the old one has, like:

  • Sky Smart Signal - This basically means it uses 'smart' technology to scan for interference and automatically switch you to the strongest wireless channel, meaning your Wi-Fi is less likely to slow down or drop out.
  • WPS - It has a WPS, or Wi-Fi protected set-up, button, which, allows you to connect your laptop, smartphone or tablet to your Wi-Fi without having to faff around with passwords, providing your laptop, smartphone or tablet is WPS-compatible.
  • Simple set-up - As well as removing the need for an engineer to visit if you're signing up to Sky Fibre, the new Sky Hub doesn't require installation CDs or anything like that - it's more or less plug and play.
  • Environmentally/energy bill-friendly - The new Sky Hub is actually even more green and economical than the old one, because, as well as automatically switching to low power mode when you're not using it, it combines two devices in one, so uses less energy, hence it's kinder when it comes to your bills.

You'll need an engineer to install fibre broadband with almost all the other major providers that offer it. With EE, Plusnet and TalkTalk you'll need an Openreach engineer to install a modem, while with Virgin Media you'll need one of their engineers to feed a cable into your home, which can take a couple of hours.

If you're thinking of switching to fibre broadband, you now have two choices if you want to do it without having to take time off work to wait for an engineer to come round. BT's newest router, BT Home Hub 5, also has a built-in modem, which means you can now install BT Infinity on your tod too.

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