back to article BSkyB mulls UK Online closure

BSkyB is considering closing UK Online, an ISP brand it acquired when it bought Easynet. The broadcaster says it hasn't yet decided what to do with UK Online's subscribers, but The Register understands the leading option is to shift them over to Sky broadband packages. An announcement is expected within the next month. UK …


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    I use UK Online and have had near faultless service from them for many years. HUGE data allowances (much more than I can use) for very good value.

    Can anyone else tell me where I can get a good quality ISP paying £20 a month for 8MB broadband with a (theoretical) 750GB cap? I definitely don't want to be forced to sign up for SKY's expensive and shit TV.

    1. Andy 17
      Thumb Up

      Try Be's Unlimited package..

      £17.88 per month from the unlimited package (and by unlimited they mean the ISP definition and not the dictionary definition).

      Been with Be several years now and no problems to report other than the godawful web site redesign.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I hate to...

      ...defend Sky, but looking at overall cost, it's not a bad story.

      At the moment you're already paying line rental, so let's exclude that.

      You're then paying £20pcm for 8MB broadband with theoretical 750GB cap. The cheapest Sky package is £19 and the unlimited broadband is £7.50 - that's £26.50 with the TV and you're upgrading to 20Mbit from 8. And that's with the "expensive and shit tv" option.

      Looking at their site though- - it has a "Add £2.50 without Sky TV" thing at the bottom of the "unlimited broadband and free calls" option - that'd make it £10 a month (still excluding line rental). In broadband terms though, you could half your costs, upgrade to "up to 20meg" from 8, and still be on the same data network operated by the same people.

      Isn't that a no brainer?

    3. Paul Boocock (UK)
      Thumb Up

      Re: Damn!

      Try Now owned by O2 and offering unlimited broadband (yes, its actually unlimited).

      8mb is £13.79 and 24mb is £17.88.

      If you have an O2 phone contract, you might find its worth going with O2 for your broadband, same network after all and it's a little bit cheaper.

  2. dotdavid


    I used to use UKOnline a while ago and never had any problems with them. - I would avoid Sky like the plague, they even force you to use their own awful wireless router to connect to their so-called service.

  3. Peter Clarke 1

    Cost Cutting

    Is Rupe getting short of a bob or two? Sky Sports (sorry, Soccer with a little bit of other stuff) News moving off Freeview and closing this as well

  4. Bill Cumming

    Agreeing with

    I'm on UKOnlines Pro LLU package!

    I get a steady 13Mb broadband and I've never hit any usage limits!

    Great fast customer service.

    It will be a sad loss if UK Online closes and i'm forced on to Sky's packages...

    Thumb Up


    It's always a pain in the arse when you have to search for a new ISP, so thanks for your advice!

    Will check out the Sky packages (not keen on being forced to use their router though - how can they enforce that?) and BeThere.

    My only question about BeThere is throttling and the like - the godawful crap that is peak times and so on, that I fled my last ISP because of.

    I'm not anything like a bandwidth hog, (175GB per month rare and absolute max) but if I need (want) to download the latest episode of [insert high-quality American TV programme name here] and watch it in 15 minutes I just want to get on with it and not have to check my diary or update a spreadsheet with past download amounts. Or even give it a second thought.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      I've never had problems at peak times with BeThere nor any throttling and I am a bandwidth hog.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    Is there nothing that these bastards won't ruin? Leave UKOnline alone already!

    There's no way that will I ever stay if my account gets moved over to Sky.

  7. dotdavid

    Regarding the router thing with Sky Broadband, they use custom router firmware and have some kind of secret username and password combo hardcoded into it that you need to connect with. There are tools around to extract the info so you can use your own router but Sky do "reserve the right" to disconnect you if you do that, plus they're likely to blame any network problems on your "unsupported device" if they find out.

    The router I had experience with wasn't bad (a rebranded Netgear DG834, although they've moved on to another brand now) but they removed the external aerial resulting in awful wireless range. I guess if you're in an area with not much wireless interference it would be OK, but I objected on principal to having devices that I was unable to fully control connecting to my wireless network.

    1. Kent Brockman
      Thumb Up

      forced to use router...

      technically yes, but I have 'extracted' my user name and password to enable me to use the router of my choice for years now without any ill effects.....

      1. Hoe

        Just phone them up...

        Kent, just phone them up with a general BB query, then and only then that I am aware of they will spot your blatant misuse of their service and cut you off, holding you ransom to your subscription fee in the process.

        Then when you complain that you replaced the router with a model with wireless (I know the Netgear they provide is supposed to have it, but let's be honest I have phones which are better at wireless than that box!), they will throw the book at you, only through multiple letters of complaint you will get your service reconnected and a lot of hair lost.

        Don't get me wrong I work in IT Support so I see their angle, they don't want people phoning them with issues they don't have with their line just because they have a dodgy router or are unable to set it up correctly, however there is a simple solution to this, advise users they are unsupported using anything other than Sky's hardware, though if you want to replace it they can.

        What amazes me is that Apple and Sky have not had babies yet, after all they are all seemingly from the same backwater inbred, ASBO touting family.

        Or maybe it is just that they all just went to the same school, forget the name, some famous Austrian guy went their years ago, founded by Napoleon and subscribed to by Stalin and Del Boy!

  8. .thalamus

    New signups

    They haven't been accepting new customers to UKOnline for about a year now.

    I tried to sign up with them when I moved, but was told that they couldn't process new signups.

    This was just a matter of time I guess.

    Word of warning though, the SKY 'broadband' service is poor compared to the UKOnline service, so I wouldn't advise staying if you do get switched over.

  9. Hoe

    Only 1 solution...

    To me a Fibre Line with Virgin media is the only viable option, Sky insist you use their Router and threaten to cut you off if you don't!

    Sky also refuse to provide you with your Router's configured username and password, meaning the only way you can acquire it is unofficially, people moan about Apple and rightfully so, but this media giant is the worst of the lot and always has been.

    After all, these are the guys who want to charge us a subscription to be able to access their newspapers online sites, god you could be mistaken for thinking they were readable let alone paying a subscription for it!!!

    Maybe this is the Darwinian process of the modern day, those who subscribe to daily mail online get an instant price on their head!

    Still having said all that what other options are there, Virgin Media offer the best BB but in very limited areas, their TV is good but not up to scratch compared with Sky IMO, Online TV still doesn't have the quality.

    To sum up I would say the following...

    SKY: Best TV Service, average BB Service at best.

    VIRGIN: Avarage TV Server, best BB Service.

    Price wise you can do the maths yourselves sorry, but the phrase 6 of 1, half a dozen of the other springs to mind!

    For me it has to be Virgin BB which then tends to dictate the rest too, plus I would rather give my money to Satan himself than the Murdoch's, though it is not like most my Virgin fee is not going there anyway.

    But hey, no monopoly here people, move on quietly...

  10. Chris Collins 1

    oh dear

    if they move customers to skybb then many will leave. Ukonline is closer to easynet's own dsl service then to skybb, reasons why below.

    ukonline has no DLM (line management) vs sky's aweful DLM, DLM is a killer on long flaky lines, like my own.

    ukonline has SRA vs sky's no SRA, again SRA is great for long flaky lines. (allows resync of speed without downtime).

    Ukonline has a support SLA, vs skybb consumer level tech support.

    Ukonline is currently managed by easynet, my payments go to easynet, easynet staff deal with my queries, i think there would be a legal issue by simply trying to shift customers over. Especially now easynet will be a seperate company again.

    I can get a upload sync on my long line of 1216kbit, not possible on sky's own config.

    No BE on my exchange so most likely outcome if they try to move me to skybb is I would cancel the service along with phone line and just use my VM cable service.

  11. irrelevant

    double trouble

    I'm a UK Online customer, since before the Sky takeover, AND a Sky BB customer, on two phone lines. Mostly because the carp telephone lines around here only give me about 5Mbps each and we are very heavy users... Traceroute shows me that they connect to the same kit at the exchange and access all sites via the same routing thereafter! Indeed, I've had the sky router connected into the "wrong" line and it worked just fine...

    As it happens, I don't use the sky router any more, due to issues with a firmware update breaking access from routed subnets. I *officially* got given the passwords to set up my own router!

    I wonder if Sky will be able to cope with having two broadband subs on one account... they couldn't manage to set the one broadband on the second line without changing my contact number to that one first..

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