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Sky re-brands NOW TV and introduces NOW Membership
by Paul Hill
Sky has announced that it’s re-branding NOW TV with a new name and look. From now on, the service will simply be called NOW and NOW Passes have been replaced by NOW Membership which begins at £3.99 per month, just like Passes. According to Sky, the new and less convoluted name aims to reflect the simplicity of the service.
Sky’s NOW service offers several NOW Membership offers refined for what you want to watch, they include Entertainment, Cinema, Sports, Kids, and hayu. Each of the Membership options can be enhanced with a £3 Boost each month which enables streaming across three devices at the same time in full 1080p HD and Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound.
Commenting on the re-branding, Marina Storti, Managing Director at NOW, said:
The re-branding will begin in the UK before being adapted and rolled out in Italy, Ireland, and Germany. In the UK, the re-branding has already gone live on the NOW website.
Sky Mobile allows customers to share spare data with others
by Paul Hill
Sky has announced that its mobile customers can now share their spare data with others who may need it. Sky Mobile customers only need to add a free Sky Mobile SIM to their account which they can then share with friends or family. The gift SIM can be topped up using spare Piggybank data.
With more people staying home and using their Wi-Fi connections, they’re building up more of their data than usual and accumulating an average 69GB in their Piggybank. To help customers use this data, Sky Mobile is letting them share it. The new gift SIMs will be free for 12 months but afterwards, the company will begin charging £5 per month to use them or customers can cancel.
Commenting on the offer, which is only available until February 25, Managing Director of Sky Mobile Paul Sweeney said:
To take advantage of the offer, head to sky.com/sharemysparedata and add a free SIM to your basket. When it arrives, follow the instructions on the packet to activate it. Afterward, you can use the My Sky App to add data from your Sky Piggybank to the new SIM which friends and family can take advantage of.
Sky Broadband announces new FTTP broadband packages
by Paul Hill
Sky Broadband has announced that it’s launching Sky Broadband Ultrafast and Sky Broadband Superfast, both using Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) which the company has been rolling out to homes around the country. Over three million homes currently have access to the new technology but it’ll become available to 31,000 homes each week and 7.3 million homes by March 2021.
New and existing customers in the supported areas will get an average download speed of 145Mbps and an upload speed of 27Mbps. The firm said this will eliminate buffering on streaming content and easily support multiple devices using the Wi-Fi at any one time.
Commenting on the new FTTP packages, Aman Bhatti, Director of Propositions, Sky Broadband said:
Sky Broadband Superfast is available for £27 per month on an 18-month contract and gives customers a download speed of around 59Mbps. Sky Broadband Ultrafast is available for £35 per month on an 18-month contract and comes with an average download speed of 145Mbps. If you’re interested in the new packages, head over to Sky Broadband’s website.
WhatsApp working on Expiring Media feature that deletes media files once viewed
by Rajesh Pandey
A recent report had indicated that WhatsApp was working on allowing users to link their account to multiple devices. A new beta of WhatsApp for Android now reveals that the company is working on bringing a lot more features to the platform.
WhatsApp is currently working on a feature that will allow users to send media messages that expire after a set time. Dubbed Expiring Media, the media sent by a user will automatically disappear from the recipient's phone once it is viewed.
WhatsApp already allows users to revoke sent messages, but this feature is different as it will completely disappear from the chat with their being no indication whatsoever that a media file was sent in the chat. As of now, it does not look like WhatsApp will prevent users from taking screenshots of expiring media files, though this can change in a future build. There's also no timer functionality so that sent media files expire after a certain time but they should be presumably coming in the future.
As of now, the Expiring Media feature is only found in testing in the Android version of WhatsApp, though it should make its way to the beta version of the iOS app as well before its public release.
UK: Broadband customers set to save money after Ofcom review
by Paul Hill
Broadband customers in the United Kingdom are set to benefit after the regulator Ofcom asked providers to reduce costs for out-of-contract customers. The regulator said that it agreed with BT, TalkTalk, and Virgin Media back in September to reduce prices for vulnerable out-of-contract customers. It has now secured commitments from EE, Plusnet, and Sky to do the same.
In addition, EE and Plusnet have joined BT, Sky, and TalkTalk in deciding to give all existing customers access to the prices that they offer to new customers. Ofcom estimates that the pricing changes will save out-of-contract customers a total of £270 million each year. Individually, vulnerable customers that have fallen out of their contract could save an average of £70 per year.
The new measures build on a rule change that was introduced in February where broadband providers were obliged to let customers know that their current contract was coming to an end. This information gives customers a reminder to take action and avoid the automatic price rise at the end of the contract. Typically, a contract lasts 12, 18, or 24 months so it can be difficult remembering when you entered the contract and when you should switch. This results in people paying the initial heightened bill before changing providers.
Despite the positive changes that have come from Ofcom’s actions, the regulator still thinks that providers can improve further. Ofcom said that there ought to be better identification of vulnerable customers, better support for vulnerable customers who have been out-of-contract for a long time, and additional help for those who are struggling to pay their bills.