UK ISP Sky Broadband Offer Free Upgrades for Unsecure Routers

Internet provider Sky Broadband has responded to this week’s introduction of the government’s new network security laws (here) by emailing customers with older Sky routers to warn them that their device “no longer receives service and security updates.” The good news is that those who receive these letters might be in line for a free router upgrade.

One of the measures under the new Secure by Design rules, which started being enforced from 29th April 2024, is that manufacturers and retailers must be “open with consumers on the minimum time they can expect to receive important security updates” from their smart / connected devices (e.g. broadband routers, phones, TVs, game consoles, smart doorbells etc.).

Suffice to say that this represents a new challenge for many broadband ISPs, particularly larger players with a base of legacy customers. Such customers will often still be using the same router and other network hardware that was bundled alongside their package some years earlier. Naturally, this isn’t such an issue if the internet provider is continuing to keep that kit up-to-date, but that’s not going to be the case for every device.

The first example we have of how ISPs are responding to this comes courtesy of ISPreview reader Rob, who kindly shared a copy of the email he just received from Sky Broadband. The ISP makes it expressly clear that the router he’s using, which we understand, is an ER115 (Sky Q Hub) for ADSL and FTTC lines, will no longer be receiving security updates.

The message makes reference to a new page on Sky’s website (here), which clarifies some of the key points and appears to offer customers who receive the letter a free upgrade to a more modern router. But for some reason, they’re only giving customers a month to take advantage of this.

Sky’s Router Offer Q&As

When do I need to register for a replacemet hub by?
You need to register for a new hub by 3rd June 2024.

Why do I need a new hub?
Your current hub no longer receives (or from 2025 will stop receiving) service and security updates so we’d like to offer you a new hub.

What do I need to do once I’ve registered for a new hub?
You don’t need to do anything. We aim to send out a new hub to you by 17th June 2024. Once you receive it, follow the instructions included in the box to set it up and reconnect your devices.

Who is eligible for this offer?
This offer is only available to existing Sky Broadband customers with a hub that no longer receives or (or from 2025 will stop receiving) service and security updates. You must have received an email from us about this, be the primary account holder and are authorised to make changes to the account.

However, there is a slight contradiction in the small print at the bottom of the page, where it gives a date in the past (12th April 2024) for when the offer must be consumed – that’s clearly an error. The small print also confirms that the “upgrade [is] available to recipients of the email only. Must be an existing Sky Broadband customer and currently using a Sky Hub 3 or earlier. Claim for a new hub must be received by 12 April 2024. ”

Sky can sometimes get a bit weird with their router naming conventions (i.e. sometimes using different names for identical or nearly identical kit), but for the avoidance of doubt the Sky Hub 3 is also called the Sky Q Hub – in fact the latter is exactly what Sky used on their website (here). We think Sky should also include the model number on the above page.

Overall, this is a positive move from Sky, which are being open and transparent with their customers about the realities of their hardware support. But we suspect that they won’t be the only ISP to introduce such a promotion, particularly as all providers now face the same obligation.

Finally, it’s interesting to note that Sky says “no longer receives (or from 2025 will stop receiving) service and security updates,” which might indicate that the Sky Hub 3 / Q Hub won’t be the only router to go this way in 2024.

Recent Posts