back to article Official: Sky to buy O2 and BE's home broadband product in £200m deal

BSkyB has swooped in on the consumer broadband and fixed-line biz of Telefónica UK-owned O2 and BE with a proposed deal worth up to £200m. The Register exclusively uncovered in January that Sky execs had been spotted sniffing around O2's office. We also revealed that the mobile telco was effectively squeezing all it could out …


This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. Norphy

    I've just moved from BE to BT because BE aren't doing fibre, I'm no fan of BT but I'm even less of a fan of Sky. This announcement has made me pleased that I've moved. I'm glad that I won't be paying the Murdockian empire anything!

    1. Radio

      Same here

      Me too, fibre activated this afternoon on plusnet. O2 even offered me free broadband for a year to stay - I'm assuming they just wanted as many numbers on the books as possible. A lucky escape!

      1. Lee D Silver badge

        Re: Same here

        - Plusnet are owned by BT.

        - O2 is owned by Telefonica but used to be owned by BT and is now, as reported, owned by Sky

        - Sky fibre is provided by Openreach, which is a BT company.

        - Be offer LLU and are now owned, as reported, by Sky.

        From that you have two choices: BT or Sky, and both own (or have owned) brands that most people have blacklisted in the past (I used to be a long-term PlusNet subscriber until they were bought out). Personally, I wouldn't touch either any more. And why one company says they can't do things while another company (owned by the same company / a provider of the same connectivity) says they can just shows how great their business acumen is.

        For the flak they get from everyone else, Virgin haven't done me any wrong in four years. I don't think they'll do me any wrongs in the next year or so either - given that I have a SamKnows whitebox providing connection statistics to the UK/EU governments on the quality of my broadband connection.

        But, as always, you don't have a lot of choice unless you want to change ISP every year or so as they get bought out and subsumed into others from the same companies. All we need now is for Sky/BT to offer fibre services from Virgin and the cycle is complete.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Same here

          Don't worry, OFCOM will make sure the consumer isn't abused.

          /sarcasm off.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Same here

          Given that Sky and BT have between them over 50% of the broadband market, I'm not sure your statement that 'most people have blacklisted' them holds true. Wouldn't 'most' require that they have less than 50% of the market?

    2. McToo

      Sad day for me

      Been with Be for years, rarely had problems. The Bulgarian(?) helpdesk was a joy, you always got through to someone who knew what they were talking about and any problems were sorted out quickly. Since the demise of Nildram that really only leaves Zen and Andrews & Arnold as ISPs with a decent tech support line. Not even sure if A&A are still going. As I'm fed directly from the exchange, I'm not gonna get fibre any time soon, and although I've got Virgin TV, friends have had nothing but trouble with their Virgin Internet, and that's before we start talking about their DPI, so they're out. BT have managed to grab the 'holy pi** pot' of bad customer service with their Indian call centres so won't go near them. Like Norphy above, I wouldn't urinate on Murdoch or his minions even if they were ablaze, so I'll have to move before the Dirty Digger gets his hands on any of my readies.

      Bye bye BeThere, thanks for the years of great service, you will be missed.

      1. Chris King

        Re: Sad day for me

        Cancel the flowers, they're not dead !

        I'm with A&A and I'm affected by this as my line is a Be Wholesale connection. BT couldn't offer me ADSL2+ until last year, and the Infinity RFS date for my exchange has just gone back another three months.

        I'm seriously thinking about switching the connection back to BT, even though it means a possible loss of speed and forgoing Annex M - I've seen what happens to small ISPs when one of the bigger boys takes over, and it's NOT pretty.

      2. Davidoff

        BE support from hell

        Was with Be for three years. They are great if everything is fine, and minor issues like a incorrect invoice or a missing modem is solved quickly, but their Czech (not Bulgarian) support staff is completely clueless when it comes to even minor technical detail, and they are rather lying to their customers than actually looking on their own network. We were lucky that our previous house had a very good line (so Be was somewhat stable), but when we moved Be was unable to solve constant connection drops and low reconnects in 6 months. They sent out Broadband Engineers, who all checked the line, and confirmed it's fine. The modems have been replaced many times, even the BT socket had been replaced, and all the engineers said the only thing that is left is to look at Be's equipment in the exchange. To make a long story short Be did everything to shift the blame away from them, it can't be, their monitoring says its fine, they said they never got the results from the engineers (which was one of their lies because I was present when the engineers talked to Be support), and when they ran out of lies they said sorry but that's all they can do.

        I learned my lesson, changed to Zen, explained them the issue and said I'll move if they can gurantee me that they can find the problem. They said yes, they can, I moved, and after switching over I got a call from their support saying that the line should be fine as they found a defective line card. And the line has been stable for over a year.

        And unlike Be support Zen's support team are actual engineers (not hotline workers that know nothing about the stuff they read from their scripts in broken English), and are sitting in the UK.

  2. Gonebirdin


    I'm with Sky on fibre and I just hope that migrating that lot onto the Sky network doesn't impact my current service and slow me down due to over loading the network.

    1. Shasta McNasty

      Re: hhhmmmm?

      Didn't Sky's BB service just grind to a halt because it was over-subscribed?

      Here's a load more customers who will probably be "consolidated" on to existing Sky hardware.

      This will not end well.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: hhhmmmm?

      One of the best ISPs has just been taken over by one of the worst (with extra Murdoch badness bonus).

      Crap, it's getting really hard to find an ISP that gives a damn these days. Guess I'll have to start hunting all over again as soon as my 12 month BE contract expires, there's no way I'll put up with Sky's miserable service and ownership.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: hhhmmmm?

        "it's getting really hard to find an ISP that gives a damn these days"

        Your search starts here:

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: hhhmmmm?

          Thanks, it looks like Zen (although their data allowance is miserly), PlusNet or Zilo for me. Anyone use the latter? I hadn't heard of them, but they seem to be quite appealing.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: hhhmmmm?

        You will be able to switch from Be as soon as they schedule your migration to the Sky network. I signed up for the Be network for specific latency and redundancy, so when this takes place I will exercise my right to cancel the contract early.

        > After the Cooling Off Period, you may terminate your contract if we increase the Charges or change the Terms to your significant disadvantage

  3. robert_raw


    O2 used to be brilliant for me, Sky was not so great, I would be upset if i was still with O2

  4. Robert E A Harvey
    Big Brother

    hang on

    I thought we all knew Murdoch was the evil incarnate. How did this get approved?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: hang on

      It hasn't yet, that comes next.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sky's planned acquisition may upset some of the subscribers who are with O2 and BE.

    No shit Sherlock! And I'm one of them!

    I hate looking for a new ISP!!!

    1. Jason 24

      Re: Sky's planned acquisition may upset some of the subscribers who are with O2 and BE.

      Check out Andrews & Arnold, seen them mentioned in the comments on the Be post and it all sounds above board from reading their site, will be asking for my MAC in the next couple of months.

      I think they've missed the point that BeThere has technical users, not consumers, we happily pay a bit more because we know we get more bang for our buck and we need that extra bit of bang.

      Here's to hoping Sky have bought an empty network

      A Beer for BeThere, they served us well

  6. Tom 38

    Hmm. I was mostly all doom and gloom when O2 bought Be in the first place, but that worked out fine - Be was run as a technology testing bed for the mainstream O2 service.

    Somehow, I don't think that will happen with Sky. I think we'll all get shuffled on to the standard Sky broadband platform and forced to suffer their service. IIRC you aren't even allowed to use your own router with Sky - and I just got my Be router working perfectly.

    It's all very well saying LLU is irrelevant now we have fibre, as not everyone can get it - I can't, and I live in central London. I'm 100% sure I do not want to be on any BT provisioned service.

    I'm also fairly sure that Sky do not offer fixed or multiple IP, nor line bonding. Be have quite a few prosumer/business accounts, because of their technical expertise and price, I guess we will need to go to someone like Andrews & Arnold, which means using BT. Aaargh!

    1. Tom 38

      Just had email from Be linking me to details about the sale:

      It was in the news today that Be Un Limited is being sold to Sky.

      As you’re likely to have some questions about what this means, we wanted to let you know there’s information available right now here.

      There’s also a letter on its way that’ll tell you what’s happening and when.

      As your letter will explain, nothing is changing straight away and you don’t need to do a thing.

      Results in 404 - lol.

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        As you can see the customer service department has been successfully transitioned in record time.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        'Results in 404 - lol.'

        I got a 403 when I followed the link from my email, so maybe it's a countdown?

      3. Nelbert Noggins

        So translated to English the last line means

        Please, please, please don't leave...

    2. Rob

      Just to clarify I don't work for Sky

      I'm a Sky subscriber for my sins as it's the cheapest, reliable unlimited I can get at the moment.

      You can use your own router, there is plenty of info on the various forums to get it done as well.

      Sky have been moving all their subscribers over to fixed IP addresses it's part of the their network reorganisation, I was transferred over to the new system a few months ago, me and 3rd line support have been tweaking my speed for the last 3 weeks to get the maximum out of the line until BT lay fibre down our road (sometime next year I've been told). Once you get past the monkeys in the outsourced CS team and onto the Scottish tech support, life gets considerably easier.

      That's my experience so far anyway.

    3. fords

      Sky routers

      You can use your own router if you're a Sky customer, but they won't give you the ADSL login details and if you need tech support they won't support any router but their own. Happily a quick search will give you the instructions on how to pull the details from your router. When we discovered how crap our Sagem router was we switched to our own equipment with no hassle.

  7. Shardik

    Oh bollocks

    Please don't break it.

    Please don't break it.

    Please don't break it.

    Please don't break it.

    Having been on O2 (the BE part) for 4 years, for the money, it's been unbeatable. With mobile phone discount, I've been paying about 7 quid a month for 20Mb, totally unlimited, un-traffic-shaped, reliable internet.

    Will people on 12-month tie-ins be allowed to walk if it goes to shit?

    1. AlbertH

      Re: Oh bollocks

      Not "if" - it's "when"!

    2. Roby

      Re: Oh bollocks

      Same here. I've had no usage limits, no slowdowns, just fast, reliable internet, and it's cheap because I have my mobile with them. I suspect the first thing to change after Sky takes over will be the price going up, shortly followed by terrible slowdowns in the evenings. I've had Sky before and between 6pm and midnight it was sometimes like dial up.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So glad I am out of there

    Used to have O2 broadband but the speed was so flaky I migrated to Infinity at the first opportunity. Having not heard favourable comments about Sky customer service, etc I'm glad I did.

    BT have their faults but in general it does what it says on the tin and the speed is now good enough that a small drop off doesn't affect me so much.

  9. BiZ_R


    Yet another thing to contemplate now. I've had a policy of never giving a penny to Murdoch unless I absolutely can't help it. The last time was probably about 15years ago when I gave up cable TV.

    Bah. I expect I shall get carpetbombed with "offers" for the forseeable like the bad old days of AOL CDs and floppy disks.... <sigh>.

    Anyone got anything positive to say about MurdochBB vs O2? Beyond "O2 sucked and I went to Sky and it was awesome" I mean :)

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    it explains their current offerings...

    "Basic" broadband at £4.50 a month, with a £50 M&S voucher means over 12 months, the cost of the service to the end user is -£1.

  11. Victor Ludorum

    Thank f@&# for that

    I moved from Be to Virgin a year ago, because Be couldn't get BT (sorry, Openreach) to fix what appeared to be a dry joint or bad earth on my line, which just murdered my connection in damp weather. By the time Openreach got round to visiting, the problem had gone away... Fair play to Be, they didn't treat me like an idiot, and their (Bulgarian?) call centre were friendly without being condescending or complete script-monkeys.

    Several people I have spoken to have had nothing but trouble with Sky broadband. As soon as they move back to BT broadband, their connection speed mysteriously doubles...

    As far as I am concerned (and I think a fair few people on here would agree with me), the Murdochs have got more than enough money, and definitely more than enough power in the industry.

    Beer? Well, it is Friday...

  12. The Alphabet

    Having had multiple problems with Sky's customer service over just the TV package, this has just determined me to go and move away from Be to avoid being sucked in.

    How is the LLU market effectively dead when Be was a great example of a niche provider who served its core focus very well? Not everyone can get/wants fibre.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The LLU market is dead because the market price is now so low that ISPs can't make any money out of it - hence, I guess, this sale.

  13. anon1966


    Just moved house - Been a BE customer for years

    Will not be rejoining under the Sky Umbrella.

    BE the greatest alternative to BT

    Not anymore :-(

  14. Scott Mckenzie

    Bad news

    I was a Be user for years, had to move in October as we moved house and they couldn't supply us.... to be fair i've been with BT and they're ok, thankfully i've not needed help!

    This is terrible news though for a small company that had excellent customer service.

  15. Dr. Mouse

    I've been with Be since I moved into my own place a in 2008. Above all else, the support kept me there, plus the ability to have multiple static IPs and the speed advantage I gained.

    When I moved in with my girlfriend a few years ago, I stuck with Be even though it meant getting a second line (as she refused to get rid of hers, with Sky as it happens).

    Since then, I have actually found Sky to be a great (consumer) service, both from reliability and speed aspects and on the support front. It has impressed me enough that I have just cancelled my Be line and migrated to Sky Fibre.

    I know some will not be happy with this announcement, but from my own, single experience I have to say that Sky are my second favourite ISP, behind Be only in the technical aspects.

  16. Pat 11

    Where to go then?

    Would never knowingly buy a Sky product.

    Where to go then? I see you can get Plusnet Unlimited 16Mb for £5 a month and £10.50/m line rental (12m), reverting to £10 after a year. Are they OK? It's a lot less than I pay for BT and Be as it happens.

    1. BRYN

      Re: Where to go then?

      i've been with Plusnet for over 12 months, just upgraded to Fibre service. Excellent value, excellent customer service based in the UK.

      I strongly recommend them.

      1. Irongut

        Re: Where to go then?

        I think I read recently that they're part owned by Sky.

        I can't remember where tho.

        1. Captain Hogwash

          Re: I think I read recently that they're part owned by Sky.

          Apparently they're owned by the BT Group.

        2. jonathanb Silver badge

          Re: Where to go then?

          They are 100% owned by BT, but completely unlike their parent company in terms of customer service.

    2. STGM

      Re: Where to go then?

      Indeed, where? I'm not sure where I'll be in ~6-9 months so don't want a long contract, but there doesn't seem to be an alternative without paying an extra £10 or so a month (currently paying £24 for phone and broadband)

      Any suggestions that don't involve BT, Virgin or Plusnet? If not it's looking like Plusnet for me just now.

      1. Mattjimf

        Re: Where to go then?

        Talk Talk?

        I was looking at changing from Sky to O2 due to the cheaper package with phone discount and free 0845 calls (not available with Sky), Sky cut line rental in half for the year, cancelling out saving and saving having to get another new number (something about not being able to do an active line takeover).

        1. Dr. Mouse

          Re: Where to go then?

          Talk Talk?!

          I would strongly advise against. I have had several conversations with them over problems with my parents' broadband & phone. I would not touch them with a barge pole. They are arrogant, rude liars. Their philosophy seems to be "the customer is always wrong". They are (I can barely believe I am saying this) worse than BT.

          YMMV. This is only from my own, personal experience, but it is a very bad experience.

          1. Mattjimf

            Re: Where to go then?

            He was asking for suggestions that weren't BT, Sky or Virgin which Talk Talk fits into, as painful as it is to suggest it.

          2. Ploughmans Lunch

            Re: Where to go then?

            My brother was connected by Talk Talk late last year and is very impressed with them.

            They are improving a hell of a lot, but lets face it they were appalling with customer service for many years.

            Would I swap to Talk Talk? Maybe yes, I was with UKonline and transferred to SKY when they bought the former.

            Although I've had no problems with my broadband and the customer service has been good I do feel that SKY is getting too dominant in the market and we need more competition not less.

    3. phuzz Silver badge

      Re: Where to go then?

      BT Enterprise use PlusNet, which is very confusing.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Where to go then?

      We have business broadband services with both BE and PlusNet. BE have been a fantastic ISP, as others have posted their support guys really know their stuff.

      There is a black mark against PlusNet in that a while back there was a fault on the line that our service runs on, and despite them being owned by BT it fell to us to chase the latter - and only after noticing that PlusNet has done nothing about the support ticket for a week. It must be hot up in Yorkshire as PlusNet have a leisurely tropical pace but other than that their support is good and it's just that one incident that was unacceptably poor service.

    5. AlbertH

      Re: Where to go then?

      PlusNet is just BT under another name. The throttle the hell out of connections - migrate to BT and the speed triples.

      BT have clueless, incomprehensible script-monkeys on their hell desk, and PlusNet aren't any better....

  17. Nick Woodruffe


    Such awful news for a Friday. Started with Demon. Moved to Nildram which once sold became unusable. Moved to BE and am very happy with setup.

    Now looking for a new ISP. How much longer before we are left with no independent ISP?

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I've been on both...

    IME Sky broadband support between 9am and 6pm is considerably better than the Bulgarians* Outside those hours then best of luck to you as scrip-monkey land awaits.

    Be within the M25 seemed to be fine. Be outside the M25 seemed to be a lottery as to how many exchanges you got daisy-chained through. Either way their peering and international connectivity sucked - and as Telefonica ran out of cash is sucked harder. I remember a memorable instance of being routed through an overloaded link in the Canary Islands/South America to get to New York. Oh and no that wasn't a fault, it was Telefonica's cheapest route as they own the cable so it lasted for weeks.

    I switched from Be to Sky a year ago. The Sky connection works better than the Be connection did. Support is comparable depending on time of day. Connectivity is better.

    *I always felt sorry for these guys, they tried so hard but ultimately didn't have the tools/support to do much from 2000km away.

  19. Gavin McMenemy


    Well BE had become really flaky lately if you wanted to watch anything BBC related so this is the kick I need to leave.

    Like a couple of other people have mentioned - I have a zero tolerance policy when it comes to all things Murdoch.

  20. Anonymous Coward

    Crosses, wooden stakes and garlic at the ready

    Here comes Murdoch

  21. __________

    Anotherone looking for a new ISP

    We've been with BE for a few years.

    I think now I'm goign to have to consider BT, PLusnet or Zen

    Anyu other recommendations gratefully accepted, just not SKY (or Orange)

    1. phuzz Silver badge

      Re: Anotherone looking for a new ISP

      We've been with Virgin for a number of years (just plain faster than anything else) and they've been ok. It can get quite congested in the early evening, but from what I hear that's true for most of Bristol on any ISP.

      On the few occasions I've had to deal with their customer support it's been a pain, but again, same as most any ISP.

      I'm willing to forgive a lot for a 50Mb connection that got doubled to 100 for free.

      1. nexsphil

        Re: Anotherone looking for a new ISP

        Virgin are fine as long as you can live with the 75% speed reduction as soon as you start actually using the line. The high speeds are just marketing bullshit that only holds if you're a light user and live alone.

  22. Irongut
    Thumb Down


    BT keep putting back the dates for fibre in my area and our office has 3 lines from BE. The last thing we want is to be shunted on to the Sky network.

    1. chrisf1

      Re: Aaaaaaaaaaaargh!

      Seconded. BT appear to have handled my complaint over misleading dates for my area - next three months for over two year in that sparsley populated area known as south east London - by pulling the date entirely and giving a range of reasons as to why it might be someone else's problem. Inquiries lead to a run around of people in BT who seem unable to communicate with one another or access data. Attempts to use the BT website lead to pop up and a conversation that directs me to customer service because apparently they aren't customer services. They keep implying it may be my councils fault without actually confirming it - and that's plain nasty.

      Will saty with BE until the results of the takeover but owing to distance from the exchange its not brilliant at about 6mbps but BE have been reliable and helpful. At this rate I'll end up with an LTE mifi.

  23. Toothpick

    Would you Adam and Eve it.....

    Read about this on the BBC this morning and just read the last comment on here when I get an email from O2 saying "Have you heard?"

    I'm a bit pissed off at this because I've always found O2 to be reliable, good VFM in my opinion and have a constant speed. Any issues have been dealt with promptly by a UK based call centre and not some script monkey in Mumbai called Alan.

    I would rather pay for my broadband separately, rather than have these "deals" where you get TV, phone, BB and kitchen sink all in one package. I don't really want to give (more) money to the Dirty Digger.

    I can get BT infinity. Apart from having to deal with BT, any reasons why I shouldn't go with them?

    1. Dr. Mouse

      Re: Would you Adam and Eve it.....

      "Apart from having to deal with BT, any reasons why I shouldn't go with them?"

      Nope, but that's enough reason for me!

      "I would rather pay for my broadband separately"

      I don't really know why. I was (and still am for a few days) with Be, and was delighted when I could get a landline with them. It simplified fault finding no end. The landline provider couldn't just fob you off on the ISP, and vice versa, because they were the same.

    2. Chad H.

      Re: Would you Adam and Eve it.....

      They cost more, and insist on 18 month contracts.

  24. DannyRyan

    I chose O2/BE as my supplier over BT/SKY/VIRGIN for a reason.

    Looks like I will be moving to another supplier..

    I ponder how many others are thinking the same as myself?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Judging by the reaction on the BE forums you're far from alone, there's a stampede for the exits going on. My 12 month contract expires next week and I won't be renewing.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Should I stay or should I go now?

    I'm fairly sure that my usage levels are way above the average (200-300GB/month), therefore effectively cost the ISP more money than they take.

    So do I stay with Be* (soon to be Sky?) and effectively work out as a net loss? Or do I move over to a competitor of theirs (again, costing them money).

    I share the dislike for Murdoch, but equally... if I can hurt him and help his competition? ;)

    1. Davidoff

      Effectively cost the ISP more money than they take.

      "I'm fairly sure that my usage levels are way above the average (200-300GB/month), therefore effectively cost the ISP more money than they take."

      No, you aren't. What costs money is installing and maintaining the network, and that is independent on the amount of traffic that runs through it. The actual traffic costs your ISP close to nothing.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Effectively cost the ISP more money than they take.

        Sorry? The traffic costs close to nothing? That's just not true.

        The traffic has to be passed on physical things, and the more traffic there is, the more physical things your ISP has to lease or buy. The payments for those come from the subscriptions of customers.

        The price to customers will be based on covering those costs amongst them all. If customers use more traffic than expected, the costs to the business will be higher. Margins are minute in consumer broadband and it doesn't take much for profit to evaporate. We already see a lack of investment because the market price for broadband doesn't support making big investments unless you can wait 20 years or longer for it to pay back. It's hard to convince investors to give you money to buy stuff if you tell them they won't see a return for two decades.

  26. blofse

    Ahhh this is a good excuse...

    ... to move to a smaller ISP which does not block any websites!

    Good news, probably worse connection, but worth it for net neutrality!

    Nuke for the destruction that Sky taking over will cause to O2's customer numbers! Bye bye, RIP a great connection for years... now to take the plunge to find another.

  27. Adrian Taylor

    as a prosumer, whatever that means, i have been using BE pro since they started great service

    most crucially though is the fixed IP issue

    once BE have gone there are no affordable fixed ip services available in the uk

    correct me if i'm wrong

    im certainly not going to give the murdoch scum any of my money

    1. vmistery

      Plusnet offer a static IP for a small one off charge, I think its about £10. I have to have one for work and was in the same situation.

  28. frank ly

    I've said it before -

    "Broadcaster Sky ... told the City this morning that it planned to buy 02 and BE's home broadband, phone and fixed-line rental customers for £180m."

    - We are regarded as farm animals, to be bought, sold, milked and rendered.

  29. DRendar


    Be customer for years - best ISP I've ever been with.

    If I lose my static IP I will NOT be impressed.

    1. vmistery


      I left Sky for plusnet because Sky would not offer me a static IP. I never found Sky to be that bad though to be honest though other than that

  30. ISP

    Ditto on Sky can bite me!

    I might be outwith the M25 but O2/Be has been up until recently a great service with a 11mb/s speed and unlimited downloads (on an old non-traffic shaped deal). I started out with Pipex and watched that go downhill rapidly after it got bought by Tiscali. Dad had a similar experience with Nildram and his TalkTalk service now gives him no end of problems and long calls to a support line.

    Last few months I've noticed a few glitches creeping into the O2/Be service. Sites being mysteriously offline/slow. The only thing keeping me on O2 recently though had been the combined price with my phone discount so now both are up for review. I had meant to go GiffGaff + Be which would have saved a couple of quid per month but now it is open season.

    PlusNet fibre sounding good to me right now, I can see the FTTC cabinet from my window (about 200yds) so no worries there.

  31. Thalmus
    Paris Hilton

    So, BE and O2 customers are being moved to Sky's network?

    Wasn't there an article on here about month ago saying that Sky's broadband was suffering because they had already put too many people on it?

    Oh yeah, here it is

  32. StarratS

    Has O2 thought of other consequences ?

    Since I will be moving my broadband from O2 before the switch to Sky, the link to my mobile phone contract will disappear. This will encourage me to look at other networks when my current mobile contact expires. How many other O2 mobile users stayed with O2 because of the favorable BB deal ?

    1. esde

      Re: Has O2 thought of other consequences ?

      I decided to stay with O2 mobile, because of the Broadband when I last signed up to a new mobile contract last year.

      I will be leaving O2 broadband now, and will happily look elsewhere for mobile at the end of my contract, without the good Broadband service to keep me there.

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "O2 and BE customers will be migrated onto Sky’s fully unbundled network"

    What will happen to O2 and BE's existing network? Will it be ripped out and sold in pieces?

  34. Frostbite

    Oh bugger

    Noooooo, holy crap this is bad news, I've been an extremely happy O2 home broadband & phone customer for 3 years, can't fault them, everything was perfect.

    Sky will cock it all up for sure..........I'm off to ZEN

  35. Matt 24
    Thumb Down

    Well - ditched Sky years ago on TV, NEVER used the BB - been with Plus.Net (Force9 before PN bought it) for 12 years, really good, Sheffield call centers, no problems. May not be the fastest but good enuf for me.

    Was about to get a BB Q10 on O2, will have to wait and see what happens now. Like many, I really don't like Sky much.

  36. The Alphabet

    As soon as Sky changes its business strategy away from "acquisition mode" to "retention mode" the prices will go up and the quality will stagnate.

    That will happen exactly around the time if they manage to leapfrog BT and become #1 and build up a big enough gap.

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Of to BT....

    ...can belive I'm saying this, but refuse to pay Virgin (and about 5 others) about £30 a month for a basic 2mb package when I can get 70mb fibre for about the same off BT.

    Just missed the free Youview deal though, so no doubt I'll wait until BT leap on this as a chance to grab some share.

  38. Chris Priest

    RIP BE

    Yep, got the news this morning, will stick around for the moment, I am no fan of Sky either and I bet you can be sure that Sky won't continue BE's excellent routed subnet (Muti-Static) IP's on their network. Just got moved over to the new core network as well!

    Sadly despite my local exchange being FTTC enabled, I am an EO line, so no fibre for me for the foreseeable future :(

    BE worked well, great support and very few problems IMHO, Sky is overloaded at best, adding another 500,000 customers is suicide without shoring up their infrastructure (although the rate of calls to the BE cancellation department did shoot up this morning, so there may not be many left come the sale! :) )

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    While I feel forthe customers...

    I work for o2 HBB and I found out about this from the fucking email they sent customers. FUCKING SCUMBAG ARSEHOLES!!!!!!!!

  40. CaptainBlue


    Yes, I am now relying on a Personal Hotspot and 3 as I am in the wilderness that is Rotherhithe - directly opposite Canary Wharf - with a quaint 387kbps broadband offering from O2.

    Given that we can't get fibre-optic or other cable service here, I'm reliant upon the BT line and the crap line speed. With O2 at least I'm not paying much for it.

    Sky will no doubt offer more and deliver less whilst charging more...

  41. Richard 116

    Goodness me...'d think the world was going to end.

  42. Sarah Davis

    Awww FEK !!

    now I'll have to find a new reliable decent ISP !!.....

    Does anyone know of a reliable decent ISP in the UK ?

    BE weren't that great to be honest (though still better than most), and while their support always answered theur freephone support line quickly and they were always polite, they were also pretty clueless. I've been with them since they started in the UK. Initially it was a real struggle to get them to get their finger out. For the first 6 months they insisted I was 6Km from the exchange and 2Mbits was the best they could get me. I sent them a map showing I'm 1Km from the exchange and slowly, 1Mbit at a time, they eventually got me 18Mbits but that's slowed to 14 over the past 3 years and they don't have any idea why. Also for the past 3 years streaming any video (Iplayer, C4, Ted, etc) to any device (WiFi or Lan) gets interrupted every 20 minutes,... They've never been able to fix this,..their best suggested solution, update flash.

    Other than that, they were cheap, and never screwed anything up. I've tried BT, Virgin (when it was Blueyonder), and Talk Talk (who were just laughably the most incompetent group of morons I've ever had the misfortune to deal with). Sky is obviously not an option. Is there anyone else ?

  43. Patrick Bateman

    O2's email is sidestepping all the important questions...

    Like 'Can I opt out of the transition?' (I signed up for 12 months last month, can't believe I walked into this bloody elephant trap! Did not see Register article earlier in the year... I don't even want Sky to have my personal details on record!)

    Or 'Will I still get 600 free minutes of calls to EU countries as part of my package?'

    Or 'Will my monthly allowance change?'

    Or 'Will my connection be traffic-shaped?'

    1. PhilF

      Re: O2's email is sidestepping all the important questions...

      As a voluntary Sky customer the package I have (which I think is more or less a default package) gives me uncapped allowance and as far as I can tell the traffic isn't shaped. Sky are heavily pushing SkyGo as their media streaming service so they want their broadband customers to be streaming media, hence no cap and probably no shaping.

      I am on a small exchange just outside Sheffield and when I switched to the Sky LLU my speed doubled to about 6 meg from 3. Obvoiuosly if you are in the more densley populated south your experience may not be as good.

      1. Patrick Bateman

        Re: O2's email is sidestepping all the important questions...

        Well, I think I found the answer to the traffic-shaping question:

        Looks like Sky Broadband Connect, whatever it may be, is shaped, but Sky Broadband Lite and Unlimited are not.

        Still, I'd love to know what my opt-out rights are and what will happen to my calls to Europe. I can see absolutely nothing in their standard BB & Home Phone T&Cs about what happens if a new owner took over regarding the validity of the contract or data sharing.

        In hindsight, this also explains why O2 got rid of the £5 a month off offer they had for O2 customers, so now there is no ongoing advantage for mobile customers (besides the 12 months half price offer that we were suckered in with. I actually had O2 BB for 2 years, then moved into new place with GF and took out a new contract in HER name to get the offer. So it's her, the poor thing, who is going to feel the cold hand of Murdoch on her shoulder... I feel like I set her up!)

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: O2's email is sidestepping all the important questions...

          Your 12 month contract will be null & void unless Sky honour all conditions - which they won't, trust me on that.

          As to traffic management - Sky Connect (which is a resold IPStream service) has shaping and is best avoided like the plague, its only where Sky don't have capacity on their own equipment; for the LLU service there is no traffic shaping/management at all.

  44. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Been on the BE forum all morning, 14 pages of posts with nearly every single person vowing to move from BE as they don't want to be with Sky (mostly due to it being Murcock, but a fair few with horror stories about Sky's BB)

    And as far as im aware Sky do NOT offer static IP or line bonding

  45. SafetyNerves

    FAQs posted by O2, no mention of pricing

    So O2 posted some FAQs about the move - standard blah about keeping the router etc etc. But NO mention on prices! This is going to be one big Fail.

  46. Valarian

    Posted this in Be's comment section

    I've been a Be customer since 2006, I think - certainly as soon as the 24mb service appeared in my corner of London. I've suffered a grand total of ZERO issues from the day the connection switched from BT (with barely an hour of downtime, by the way - compared to BT dropping me for a week when I changed addresses previously and was ALREADY their customer).

    So, after almost 7 years of virtually flawless service at a steady 19mb with no traffic shaping and no Phorm, it comes to this - a sell-out to a media monolith who's track record for customer dis-service speaks for itself. I've recommended Be to anyone and everyone who'd listen to me in all that time, and now ... well, let's just say that Virgin will be gaining a fibre customer when I move this year.

    I have no interest in being a Sky customer - I have been in the past, and was never more pleased than to be able to repeatedly say 'no' to their salesdroid when I telephoned to cancel my subscription and was offered progressively cheaper/better services in a desperate attempt to keep me. You hear me, Sky? You couldn't PAY me to be your customer again.

    So long, Be. You were the best, and it was fun. But I'm not jumping this shark with you.

  47. Nelbert Noggins

    Double bollocks...

    I've been with O2 since they offered BB at my exchange.

    BT still say I can only have upto 512Mb if I'm lucky but O2 LLU gives me ~4.5Mb stable.

    While I'm well out of my tie-in I'm still on the original O2 unlimited offering and as they were more competitive than BT moved my phone line there as well as soon as the home phone came out so that's well out of its tie-in period.

    So now not only do I need a new BB provider I need to change my phone line as well.

    I have no options regarding Internet, my line has only been upgraded to ADSL 2+ in the past few months. We'll have colonised mars before there are any fibre or cable options here. 4G isn't a problem, but fibre or cable... I need a 10 min drive before I can have it.

    I'd already been looking at A&A to get IPv6 to play with and I could keep my O2 line, but the cost increase just for IPv6 wasn't worth it.

    But now... who knows. BT line speed is ridiculously low but I guess at least I'll have an internet connection which has a chance of working unlike a sky connection.

    Apart from what happens about the price from Sky, no doubt they would also try and put me into a fixed term X month contract and ignore my current out of tie-in status because they move me to a "different" service.

  48. Richard Armstrong

    What actually is the perceived problem with Sky fibre?

    Been with Sky BB for three years now, last 8 months on the Broadband Pro, previously a very happy ADSL customer.

    Yes I'm paying £30 a month now (first six months were free) but its a solid 80 down and 20 up all the time.

    Never had to call customer service cause its just worked out of the box on fibre - once Openreach had done their bit.

    Credit where its due!!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What actually is the perceived problem with Sky fibre?

      That Sky own it.

  49. 4ecks

    Title says it all !

  50. dotdan

    Good day for Zen

    This has got to be a good day for Zen - all those currently with BE for the decent support, reliable service, no traffic management, and static IP addresses with custom reverse DNS.

    I switched from BE to Zen a couple of years ago for a fibre connection and imagine many others will be following now, for Zen's ADSL if not FTTC connections.

    BE provided a router and asked you to use it if there were problems to diagnose. Sky provide a router and require that you use it. Zen are happy for you to use whatever you like.

  51. James R Grinter

    Smoother un-LLU process coming up?

    Maybe this is going to be the impetus for BT sorting out their 're-bundling' (moving back from an LLU'd line) process? There's going to be a lot of disgruntled Be and O2 customers wanting to return to BT.

    Having just gone through the hassle the other week, to return from an ex-Bulldog (C&WW) line, it would be about time...

  52. RWNW

    O2 Business plan?

    Telefonica seem to just be taking as much out of o2 as they can...

    I'd have thought that their own ISP would be a clever way to provide backhaul from 3g/4g hotspots in customers homes, and make sense of their smaller spectrum allocation. I also have my doubts about their available spectrum if mobile data growth continues. I'm currently with o2 for my mobile and it's a periodic cause of annoyance that they wait for the network to slow right down with congestion at peak times before sorting things out. (Orange after 7pm when they introduced everyday 50 anyone?)

    This typically means degraded service in the area for two or three months. A good smattering of hotspots would make a big dent in the load on the macro network... but to get the most out of it you need the box in any given house to share connectivity with all their customers in the vicinity. Given that most home broadband is subject to some sort of usage restrictions, something has got to give... The wife has a Voda suresignal box which only takes her off the macro network, yes we effectively pay twice for the data*, but I expect the box provides a signal capable of taking one or two of the neighbours... but I won't agree to them using my home broadband to provide their service to others unless they can find a way of compensating appropriately. If ISP and mobile telco are the same, it's easier to work around.

    I'm interested to see how the networks shape up on my own "value for money" metric when the 4g roll out gets cracking... I don't give a monkeys about the technology providing me a signal, just want one in the places I go which is reliable, and some sensible usage limits.

    *Ignore home wi-fi for the purposes of argument, the box was installed to give a useful voice signal at home.

  53. intermax

    O2 desperation

    O2 and BE's cancellation lines are now red-hot. O2 is offering a retention bribe of £100 off your mobile bill and 12 months free broadband if you sign a 12 month contract.

    No terms and conditions available yet - the offer was apparently only invented this morning. I asked what the penalty would be for leaving within the 12 months - if the cost is zero they can't charge you anything for leaving. Also, where's the consideration in the contract? No consideration, no contract.

    What will happen to the O2 broadband and BE staff get TUPE transferred to Sky. Does BE employ the people in Bulgaria?

  54. This post has been deleted by its author

  55. trafalgar


    I pay £22/month for 16mpbs+ and phone line, unlimited GB, plus static IP from Be.

    Any other providers can match that?

    The other issue is I'm in central London and can't get home fibre connections. I thought it would be best to fibre high density areas first so you have more customers?

This topic is closed for new posts.

Other stories you might like