Yesterday, the satellite pay-TV giant started offering millions of Sky Broadband customers free and unlimited access to thousands of WiFi hotspots in the UK-operated The Cloud, the company acquired by Sky in early 2011.
To mark the launch, Sky released hundreds of multi-coloured 'clouds' into the air across London at an event on the South Bank of the Thames in front of the London Eye.
Sky will provide the wireless internet at thousands of locations across the capital and in the UK, including restaurants and coffee shops (Caffé Nero, Pizza Express, Pret A Manger), popular retail outlets such as Westfield (Stratford) and Ted Baker stores, the City of London and a selection of Network Rail and London Overground stations.
WiFi hotspots from The Cloud will be accessible at no extra charge to all Sky Broadband Unlimited, Sky Fibre Unlimited and Sky Connect customers, enabling them to access unlimited internet on smartphones, laptops and tablets. It will also enable people with 3G mobile data plans to save on their monthly allowances by switching to WiFi.
Accompanying the Cloud WiFi launch, Sky has introduced a companion app for Apple iOS and Android devices, allowing people to automatically connect their device to the internet at different locations without having to repeatedly log in.
According to Ofcom data released last year, more than 50% of British adults have a smartphone, while ownership of tablet devices such as Apple's iPad is increasing.
Research by The Cloud has revealed that nearly a quarter of Brits (24%) claim to have used a public WiFi hotspot in the past week, rising to 41% in the past month.
Liverpool was found to be the hub of WiFi cafe culture, as Liverpudlians are the biggest users of WiFi in cafes and restaurants, while people in Edinburgh prefer to access wireless internet in pubs and bars.
Bristolians are the biggest streamers of video and TV over WiFi, with 16% doing so, while 25% of Brummies use WiFi for gaming and people in Leeds go wireless the most in outdoor spaces.
"Sky is dedicated to ensuring our customers can gain easy and unlimited access to our broadband services where and when they need them," said Lyssa McGowan, the director of communications products at Sky.
"We're delighted to be able to bring The Cloud WiFi Hotspots to our customers and extend the Sky TV and unlimited Broadband experience beyond the home.
"With a one-off registration process, they'll automatically connect to the network, which takes all the usual hassle out of connecting to WiFi."