back to article BSkyB broadband growth chopped in HALF

BSkyB saw its broadband customer growth halved in the company's third quarter, for which it partly blamed its takeover of O2's home broadband network where as many as 30,000 subscribers quit the service. The pay-TV giant said that operating profit tumbled 8.5 per cent to £910m for the nine months ended 31 March, after the …


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  1. tentimes

    Smart consumers

    They realised quickly what total shite Sky 'Broadband' is. Other consumers take note.

    I made the mistake of picking them about 4 years ago. Like the many others that complained bitterly on the forums I was inflicted with a year of woe. I would pick up the phone sometimes and there would just be a dead tone. Other times we would go weeks with intermitent phone and no broadband. When you got through to educationally sub normal apology drones on the phone it was obvious they couldn't work a toaster, never mind understand what this new broadband thing was.

    And the standard excuse was "Oh, BT Openreach are sending an engineer round to look at it - it's out of our control". So basically BT has a sly way of making sure other services are uncompetitive.

    So, I gave up and went back to BT. Since then all has worked, which beats it breaking down at least once a week.

    1. JDX Gold badge

      Re: Smart consumers

      Ours has been fine since we switched nearly a year ago. For staying with Sky BB they gave us a free Sky dish and box and a year's free subscription to a decentish package!

    2. Chad H.

      Re: Smart consumers

      I had good service from sky for about a year.

      But just at the end of my contract period, something weird started happening. My normal nice steady constant sync of 6Mbps shot up to 9-10Mbs - can't complain about that - problem was it would then disconnect every hour or so, becoming infuriating to use. At best it would drop sync, at worst I guess their shitty router was locking up as it needed to be factory reset to rework.

      Complained the first time, after a few weeks the decided there was a line issue, and OR did something to make it go away. Sync back down to the regular rate; service reliable.

      2-3 months later it started happening again. Kept contacting them for 2-3 months whilst they made excuses. First contact was tehy cant do anything because "they started monitoring the line", the time this monitoring started? Would you believe it was the same day as the problem seemed to start. Kept emailing saying at least tell me what is going on, would just keep emails saying "we're looking into it" never giving an explanation.

      Got fed up, sent em an email saying "If you do not at least tell me what you think the problem is in 30 days I will leave". Just got back the form "we're looking into it, please dont leave" email.

      I remain convinced they were doing some sort of experimentation on the line.

      Because I had fallen into the trap of a Sky LLU line, the only real option was to go to BT as only they would take away the shitty sky line for free... But at least the service works properly now.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Smart consumers

        > First contact was tehy cant do anything because "they started monitoring the line", the time this monitoring started? Would you believe it was the same day as the problem seemed to start.

        Ah, the infamous DLM...

    3. Vince

      Re: Smart consumers

      "They realised quickly what total shite Sky 'Broadband' is. Other consumers take note."

      Actually as it happens, my experience of Sky Broadband is entirely positive - quite the opposite of what I expected, it's fast, reliable and doesn't have any limits or shaping rubbish.

      ...and lately that Static IP thing has been heard of... only rDNS and such to go...

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Smart consumers

      After having non-stop problems with Virgin media for years I switched a couple of years back to Sky and have had a faultless, low latency connection ever since. Their customer service has been top notch too.

      With so many ex-o2/BE customers having problems or slower speeds after switching to Sky, it's something that needs to be looked in. There appears to be a higher percentage of people with issues who switched compared to other types of customers. From the evidence so far, it appears to be mostly those on DSL rather than Fibre.

      When BskyB brought out the o2/BE broadband customers were instantly up in arms and saying they would switch and it appears many have kept to their word. I never did understand why so many were upset over it in the way they were besides the ones who said they didn't want to put money in Murdochs pocket. That said, there's been something very off about the whole o2/BE to Sky customer thing.

    5. wolfetone Silver badge

      Re: Smart consumers

      +1 from me.

      It's all well and good people saying "I've been with Sky and they've been fine". That's fair enough, but the original poster effectively reproduced my experience when being with Sky about 2 years ago. The internet for the 18 months we were with them was fine, but when the internet stopped working Sky were USELESS. A full month went by with zero internet and continuous phone calls to their customer support centre. Usual bullshit of "BT OpenReach" blah blah "Engineer coming tomorrow" blah blah "don't know why the engineer didn't turn up" blah blah. Useless. Furthermore, I know I'm not the only one to have this shoddy service when things went wrong. Also remember, when the internet is down, you're still paying for the service no matter how much you protest as, aparently, it's not their fault but BT's fault.

      I switched to BE Broadband, and for the 18 months I was with them they were perfect. The minute the internet switched to them it worked. The internet didn't go down ONCE when I was with them, and they were more than happy to support my 3rd party router. The only reason I left BE Broadband in the end was down to them being bought by Sky.

      Since then I've moved out of my parents home and have to fend for myself. The girlfriend forced us to use Tesco Broadband for the ClubCard points (no joke - this was the selling point). But, in fairness to them, their service is acceptable for the money they charge. No installation cost as long as you take out a 12 month contract. Their router however is nasty.

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Smart consumers

      Sounds like its more to do with people just dont want to give Sky their money rather than the actualy service available from Sky.

      1. Benchops

        Re: Smart consumers

        Well as an O2 migrator I was ready to switch when it was first announced over a year ago. However, offered a year's free broadband I stuck with it, resisted Sky's sly attempts to get me to switch early (before the legal transfer), and stayed on the O2 hardware for a year getting excellent service.

        The actual switch to Sky servers (or perhaps the renaming/domains of the O2/BE servers, except that I needed to adjust some configuration in the router so I suspect a hardware change) only happened a month or so ago. Very importantly I have said no to switching my phone line to Sky so now have Sky broadband without having to have them kill my phone line (which is still with BT, with Primus as CPS and an Orchid Dialler rerouting some calls). So far so good, although with BT Openreach FTTC arriving at my exchange at the end of the month I might just go back to who gave me excellent service before I switched to O2 (who had LLU equipment at the time and thus faster speeds).

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    My be broadband pro got migrated to Skys hastilly created "pro" service.

    Dropped a couple of mb/s in the process, now have to lock the dns to skys (well until I put in a local dns/dhcp on a VM) streaming is also inherently less stable.

    I'd have ditched it in a heartbeat but we're planning on moving soon so I cant take out a new contract and those with short contracts would baulk at my bandwidth usage (VPN/backup/file transfer on top of normal lovefilm streaming/iplayer etc).

    I loved everything about Be, Sky has so far been everything I thought it would be, i.e. garbage. Oh and they messed up the charging and billed me a surcharge for not having the sky llu and router, thanks Sky, prats!

    1. Simple Si

      Another BE customer that will also be jumping ship

      Had similar problems being forced from migrating from Be there's Pro serivce with mutliple IP's and being told officially at two weeks notice that the new Sky Pro service will only have one static IP. There was a Sky email to say that bridge mode will work under a new configuration on the old Be there modem, but sadly there support staff have not provided all the necessary steps to complete this set up.

      I plan to move away once I source an alternative provider that can provide multiple static IP's.

      1. Valdearg

        Re: Another BE customer that will also be jumping ship

        I'm with PlusNet who offer multiple static IPs providing you give good justification for them (I'm sure you can!). You can get 4/8/16 blocks.

        I have their unlimited fibre option and have been pretty content really.

    2. Wild Bill

      No time like the present

      I jumped ship from Be to Plusnet after the Sky buyout, despite knowing I was going to be moving in a few months. I checked with Plusnet and they give one free address change per year so I decided to get out asap. The move went totally smoothly and I'm very glad I didn't stay with Be. Might be worth you checking whether you can change address with whatever new provider you're planning to use.

    3. BlartVersenwaldIII

      Looks like a lot of Be refugees here; I'm one too.

      After being given a platitude of what turned out to be empty promises, sky said they wouldn't touch the BeThere network - and a month or so ago I got a letter saying that I was actually being migrated to Sky shortly. I gave a quick gander at their forums and saw a bunch of people who'd had the same inflicted on them in the previous month or so, and a deluge of complaints. Mostly not due to the service (although I'd already noticed a slight 5-10% drop in line speed and a significant increase in latency) but with things like the "we're going to charge you X quid a month because you don't have a Sky phone, don't have a Sky TV plus a 50p debit card transaction fee for every bill". MAC request went off ten minutes later.

      Despite three chases, Sky sat on the MAC for two weeks before they would even acknowledge the request, and I think only then pricked up their ears when I told them I'd already contacted OfCom. After being given the run around that basically consisted of "you can't request a MAC because you've only jut ordered Sky broadband and we can't cancel a service before we provide it to you" with the implication that I was being immensely stupid, I eventually found out that the people managing the transition were called the "Olympus team" - and lo and behold they were actually aware of what was happening to Be users.

      So I have to explain why I want a MAC, yadda yadda... and after telling them exactly what I thought of their service, I was told that since my migration date was only five days away, the MAC wouldn't work since Sky were going to be removing the equipment from the exchange on the 17th - my broadband would be down, my phone line would be down and I'd have to get my phone and DSL reprovisioned from scratch. All I needed to do was pay Sky some money and they'd keep me on for a month.

      Bollocks to that, I thought. Got the MAC and waited dutifully for the 17th when my line would go down. Came and went. Then on the 22nd my new XILO LLU line came up, syncing back at 21Mb/s and latency to germany back down into the 30-40ms range. Total downtime? Took about 30mins for me to notice the connection had dropped and reconfigure my router. Had one of Sky's customer retention staff been telling porky pies perchance?! Say it ain't so!

      Reading more tales of people who've had their statics ruined, I'm relieved I jumped ship. It was bad enough they were telling people they'd have to use the sky-supplied router, but locking DNS servers...?! Utter scum.

      Incidentally, dunno if my XILO connection is classified as business-class (it certainly isn't priced like it is) but is has absolutely no content filtering or port blocking that I've detected so far. And no usage limits or throttling of encrypted or video streams. Not shilling, but it's like the Be of yesteryear.

      In a nutshell, not surprised Sky are seeing such a high migration rate from O2/Be customers. Their handling of this has been a crock of shit, verging on a crook of shit at times.

      1. Gordon 10

        Happy punter

        A happy ex-BE sky user here. Tried to jump ship to virgin and after they were total cockwombles I ended up getting an ex-BE deal with sky. Jumped from DSL to fibre with a years free line rental - so had the added pleasure of telling BT to shove it tootoo all for cheaper than my old BE package excluding the BT charges. Their dedicated BE switching team up in Scotland somewhere did a brilliant job of swapping me over with nary an issue. Couldn't recommend them highly enough.

      2. Roland6 Silver badge

        Self inflicted losses

        Sky didn't help themselves by firstly having no real 'story' to engage the O2/BE customers other than those who may have wanted the Sky residential package and secondly not providing a credible story once it 'discovered' the differences in the O2/BE service (to Sky's) that many of it's subscribers were using. So helped to create the impression that O2/BE was a sinking ship.

        This basically meant that those customers who valued their internet service, took to their feet; certainly I helped several to move before the local BE POP (node into which the backhaul from individual exchanges is consolidated) went up in smoke, after which the transfers out became a flood. This incident and the protracted outage also made it much easier to sell to businesses on the need to have sensible backup to the ADSL.

        The other contributor the the reported losses must be the wind up of BE/O2 Wholesale at the end of February and hence Sky's exit from the wholesale market, resulting in many of those customers moving to competitive wholesale services (mainly BT and TalkTalk). [Aside: BlartVersenwaldIII which Xilo service offering are you using as I see they use BT, TTB and C&W? ]

        1. BlartVersenwaldIII

          Re: Self inflicted losses

          > [Aside: BlartVersenwaldIII which Xilo service offering are you using as I see they use BT, TTB and C&W? ]

          I went with the C&W backend as I trust Cable and Wireless more than I trust TalkTalk; I was a Bulldog subscriber back in the day. A friend of mine just around the corner from me (but connected to a different exchange) jumped ship to Xilo as soon as the sale was announced (he jumped for reasons of not giving Murdoch money, I was prepared to give them the benefit of the doubt until shenanigans started) and had gone with the C&W service first and gleefully notified me that TPB was no longer blocked, so I figured that was endorsement enough.

          According to the Xilo rep I spoke to, they have more control over the TTB equipment so are able to offer advanced line profiles.

          Fibre/VDSL was tempting but in the end BT services were ignored because a) I've dealt enough with BT and know they'll give the resellers just as much runaround as their customers in the event of a problem and b) there doesn't seem to be one of them that comes without usage limits; I don't hammer my connection much (it's a very rare month I'll go over 100GB) but I don't want overage charges, slowdowns or dropouts hanging over my head like the sword of damocles.

          Reading these comments and the Sky forums, there are too many people who've lost the ability to do things like watch youtube during peak hours, so at present it feels like I've made the right decision. Sky's network seems drastically oversubscribed in certain areas and they don't seem to acknowledge this at all, and they're definitely using throttling for sites like youtube.

  3. Haku

    Like rats from a sinking ship.

    Once I heard that Sky had bought O2 which included BE, the ISP I was with, I jumped ship sharpish, just like many other satisfied BE customers.

    My monthly internet bill has increased about 30% due to the ISP I went with, but my donwload and upload rates have increased fifteen fold from around 5mbit/1.1mbit to a speedtest verified 79mbit/18mbit...

    1. Anon5000

      Re: Like rats from a sinking ship.

      That is because you moved from a DSL service to a fibre to the cabinet product. Totally different to what you had before where the distance from the exchange played a part in the speed. It's likely that any FTTC isp you go with now will give you those exact same speeds.

      1. Haku

        Re: Like rats from a sinking ship.

        See icon ------>

        Sky actually did me a favour, but I wasn't going to go with them because it would've meant having to change my line rental over to them, taking away phonecall packages that currently get used.

        Also, there are more BTWIFI hotspots out there I can use than there are Sky wifi hotspots for those users. If I look at the hotspot finders for those services and put my hometown in, I see 9 businesses in the down center for Sky and the BT one reports 2 businesses in the town center and over 2000 residential homes.

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    broadband customer growth halved

    I always find this panic about "less growth" quite ridiculous. As if the numbers of their (happy ;) customers could grow for ever and ever, i.e. embracing all of us, happy UK residents, and then expanding, forever. How about halving their ACTUAL customer base?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: broadband customer growth halved

      "I always find this panic about "less growth" quite ridiculous."

      Not so much a panic, but a concern. When a takeover or asset transfer deal is one, the companies agree a valuation based on the customer numbers, projections of churn etc, almost always resulting in a valuation based on a growth scenario. As you say, this can't go on for ever, but the valuation models probably project it forward for a few years, so when the forecast numbers turn out to be optimistic, it means that Sky's shareholders are losing money.

      But in the grand scheme of things although everybody knows that most takeovers are bad for customers, and bad for the acquiring company, M&A remains wildly popular in boardrooms up and down the land. It's a useful diversion from the thorny problems like delivering good customer service, good value, and a product that works. Why enter the world of pain that is frontline delivery, when you can w@nk around with investment bankers, spending millions of quid on other people's money so that you can claim on your CV to be the brains behind the "successful acquisition and integration of <insert company name here>". Look at Notsirfred Goodwin - why address pressing problems of culture, performance and risk in your core business, when you can earn a fat bonus by outsourcing and offshoring huge numbers of home market jobs, and big it up acquiring dodgy foreign banks?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Leave... All the more bandwidth fro me :)

    I think it is good news that people are leaving as it frees up capacity for me. SKY quoted me 22Mbit when I ordered fibre (not that big a jump from the 15Mbit I was getting on DSL), but since it was installed, I have been getting a constant 30Mbit service and paying no more than I did for the DSL because the quoted speed was not as much as it would have been expected to be (I did threaten to cancel the order & got the £50 fibre activation refunded).

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    My ADSL got migrated to Sky from the BeThere systems on 15th April, its been bouncing up and down like a £5 hooker ever since. Spent 5 hours on the phone to their support and had 2 visits from OpenReach engineers.. in the end the OpenReach engineer put the fault down to incompatibilities between my router (Billion 7800N) and Sky's hardware.

    Now in the process of harassing BT on a daily basis to get my postcode added to the FTTC database (I'm on an FTTC cab, but it won't take my number or postcode).

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Skyte-shyte

      What I want to know is where can you get a £5 hooker from these days?!?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Skyte-shyte

        Brechin !

  7. James Boag

    no sympathy

    Look your giving money to Murdoch. Your are funding his evilness

    as as for 02 Well come on guys who sponsored big brother.

    I personally delete all emails from either domains automatically.

    I want nothing to do with people so shallow that they will fund these

    sort of organisations.

    PS remember that paying tax directly funds Governments !

    1. Chad H.

      Re: no sympathy

      What a coincidence, I want nothing to do with someone so shallow as to judge someone by their ISP.

      1. Tromos

        @Chad H. Re: no sympathy

        Except maybe in the case of AOL.

    2. Dr Stephen Jones

      Re: no sympathy

      Do all Murdoch-hating Guardian readers have a mental age of 9?

      I don't care much for any businessman, it's how good the service is that decides whether they get my money or not. I'm not marrying them. Perhaps you need to go for a walk.

  8. Lee Duckworth

    Nope Nope Nope

    Got changed over from Be to Sky about a fortnight ago, speeds are severely reduced and I have received surcharges for not having sky TV or sky talk. So this was over pretty much from the moment it started.

    Got my MAC yesterday (after an hour of phone calls, and them for some retarded reason having one of my old debit card details rather than my current (for the last 6 months) card) and have now ordered BT Infinity with all the trimmings.

    RIP In Peace Be, FU Sky.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Nope Nope Nope

      > RIP In Peace Be, FU Sky.

      Indeed. I am only now beginning to appreciate just how good Be were. Sure, they were expensive but they gave me an internet connection that was a rock solid 18m all day and every day.

      I now get less than 2m at peak times with Sky. I get 16m off-peak, so it's unlikely to be my kit or my phone line. Sky's network is so overloaded that it grinds to a halt between about 5pm and midnight. Using Youtube feels like being on dial-up.

      I can't fault Sky's customer services people though; they were professional and polite to what must have been yet another pissed-off Be customer and I had my MAC within 10 minutes.

      1. Lee Duckworth

        Re: Nope Nope Nope

        I didn't think it was that expensive, maybe nowadays with Infinity for like £5 more, but back when I got it (2008 I think) a 24meg line (That really nearly made the full 24 too), 1 meg up, static IP addy for less than £20 was fantastic.

  9. Caaaptaaaain kick arse

    Where they going?

    Hope it's not Virgin Mediocre

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Top Tip

    If you cancel sky, keep all the documentation, for ever. After cancelling, and being fully paid up, the good people at sky set a debt collection agency on me more than a year after I'd cancelled. No reminder letters or calls from sky, silence for over a year, then multiple calls from debt collectors. I didn't owe them anything, but it didn't stop arseholes phoning me continuously, at all hours trying to get a month's subscription. Then, when on the phone to sky straighten them out, they tried to sign me up again to a tv package. Had a temper loss. They eventually apologized and promised an 'internal investigation that will remain confidential'. What that means is, they'll do nothing, and try it on again and hope to get an old lady who'll be scared into paying them. They are beyond shite.

  11. danielwalewis

    I too was migrated was with BE, with many years of faultless service.

    As soon as I heard Sky were taking over, I called to cancel but settled for a year paying half price, as I was reassured it'd be at least a year before I was actually migrated. I was with Sky before BE, and it was pretty terrible.

    I got my MAC code and moved to Andrews and Arnold. Paying twice what I'd pay for Sky once Sky's initial promo price finishes.

    Nothing as such against Sky, I'd rather just pay a bit more for a real premium service where they are pro-active at dealing with issues rather than reactive.

  12. WonkoTheSane

    Waiting for fibre

    Another one here who got moved over from Be last month.

    I'll be staying with Sky for a while as I'm on an "exchange-only" line (no cabinet for fibre gear - BT aren't allowed to put it in actual exchanges!). "Superfast Cymru" have assured me that they will be providing either a new cab or FTTP soon.

    No new contract (meaning I can leave at 1 month's notice), using my own router (Billion 7800DXL) with Google's DNS server.

    So far, no problems (touch wood!).

    1. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: Waiting for fibre

      Superfast Cymru are putting in BT lines...

      Personally, I would migrate to a BT Wholesale customer ISP such as Zen who operate ADSL on a rolling one month contract and hence will upgrade you as and when FTTC/FTTP becomes available - which you should get plenty of notice of if you periodically pass your street cabinet, as you will see the new cabinet being installed then it is just a matter of monitoring the status of your exchange on the BT wholesale availability checker.

      1. WonkoTheSane

        Re: Waiting for fibre

        All the town's cabinets (a couple of dozen I think) have been upgraded, but as I already stated, there is no street cabinet for me, I'm connected directly to the exchange.

        I will indeed be migrating to Zen or similar once fibre gets to me. Samknows reckons FTTP here by Xmas.

  13. Eradicate all BB entrants

    An ex Be user ......

    ..... as well. While Be were good I did have issues, such as the woeful DNS and a particularly frustrating bouncing router. Despite reporting both issues to Be neither were ever resolved and I had to fix it myself (OpenDNS and manual config of router).

    I switched to Sky fibre just after the buyout with the deal they were offering and have not had any trouble since. It's, fast (40Mb/10Mb), cheap (£15 due to other package discounts) and I avoided the filter crap by being signed up before it was introduced.

    I was a Pipex user when they were bought out by Tiscali and believe me, your stories pale in comparison to that utter clusterfuck.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: An ex Be user ......

      > I was a Pipex user when they were bought out by Tiscali and believe me, your stories pale in comparison to that utter clusterfuck.

      I went through that too, but got lucky.

      Shortly after the buyout Tiscali decided I was a "problem user" and kicked me off their network, for which I am eternally grateful...

  14. ifekas2

    Sky hopeless

    We have had to migrate a couple of our sites that were on Be Unlimited due to the Sky migration fiasco.

    First Sky ask us to update the firmware on our modem/routers as we use them in bridged mode. Fine, we had to get someone out to each site to do this but it wasn’t the end of the world.

    Then the week or the migration Sky notify us that the static IP address is changing. This was more of an inconvenience, but at this stage it was too late to migrate to another ISP. In the letters they did not even state which site the static address related to.

    On the day of the migration we were expecting downtime, but not for the service not to work, and Sky’s support was a joke. To get ‘Pro’ support you had to first join the queue for the normal support, then queue again for the ‘Pro’ support, which meant on one occasion being on hold for an hour and 20 minutes. The normal support advice was useless and misleading. For example we were told said Sky doesn’t support static addresses.

    Anyway, it is then that we learn that only one static IP address is supported by Sky. Since our modems are configured in bridge mode and we use the connections for VPN, we can live with that limitation.

    However, even that service wouldn’t work. We could get an internet connection with the Sky router, but that doesn’t support bridge mode. We tried the BeBox v1 and v2 models, but couldn’t get them working, and we also tried third party modems.

    The Pro support were helpful but said that the Be Box v1 would never work, they were tweaking the firmware on the V2 model, but most of the time they couldn’t get that to work, and although they had promised that customer supplied routers would work, they were having difficulty with that too.

    I was told that the majority of customers migrations worked fine, but that static addresses were something new to Sky, but why had they done no testing beforehand; and if Sky could not support what we wanted and had with Be Unlimited, at least have the courtesy of letting us know.

    We have now migrated our connections to other ISPs – Virgin Media and 186k who at least understand the concept of a business level of service and static IP addresses. The Sky fiasco has wasted a lot of our time, and caused unnecessary downtime. Thankfully, with difficulty we managed to re-route the traffic through other connections.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    > blamed its takeover of O2's home broadband network where as many as 30,000 subscribers quit the service.

    Soon to be 30,001.

    Their support sucks. Despite the fact that my broadband is registered at exactly the same address as my Sky subscription they have failed to link the 2 accounts together. When I raise a ticket it takes at least a week for their support to respond. Phones calls haven't helped. Simply not good enough.

  16. James 47

    Migrated from Be too

    And to be honest I've not noticed any difference once Sky sent me out a new router. My old Be one started dropping once I got my new static IP. It's not that bad. The 'no Sky TV' fee is a bit cheeky.

  17. D@v3

    my 2pence

    I used to be with O2 before the takeover, was very happy with the service. I'm now with Sky, still happy with the service, haven't noticed any change in line speeds and if anything I am using it more than I used to with more streaming, and downloading free games from Xbox twice a month.

    At the time of the 'merger' (about a year ago?) I was given (what seemed like) a friendly offer from Sky. I think it went something along the lines of this.

    If you leave O2, and sign up with us, we'll get your sorted toot-suite leave you on the same package, and give you half price for a year (or a years free TV {not interested}). You can on the other hand, stay with O2, until all the messy merging has gone through, can't be sure how long it's going to take, and we can't be sure what will happen to the state of your connection in the mean time.

    Fibre sounds appealing, but I don't think I can get it in my area, and being in rented accommodation, the new installation (from speaking to colleges) could be more trouble than it's worth. Besides, 1 person can only use so much bandwidth when they are at work most of the day.

  18. phuzz Silver badge

    I'm surprised by how many people jumped ship when Be was sold to Sky.

    We left when they got bought by O2.

    1. Roland6 Silver badge


      January 2013: Details of possible sale 'leaked': BE/O2 had 560,000 subscribers

      March 2013: Deal confirmed: 519,000 subscribers.

      End of June 2013: Business transferred to Sky: 400,000 subscribers

      [Above figures reported by ISP Review]

      End of February 2014: BE/O2 Wholesale business shutdown

      End of March 2014? Migraqtion of BE customers to the Sky platform complete

      I would be interested in the numbers still with Sky, given the speed of decline I wouldn't be surprised if the number was circa 150,000, but then given they only lost 30,000 in the last quarter they may have retained 300,000 subscribers...

  19. Robin Bradshaw

    Im not impressed either

    Due to my lazyness and it not going shit until they migrated be a few weeks ago I stayed where I was, but it looks like I will be jumping ship soon, I was very unimpressed with them updating my router and as far as I could tell locking the DNS options, I dont appreciate having to use the telnet interface to reconfigure the DNS especially as a the tg585 telnet shell is arcane and strange, or as I ended up doing backing up the config editing it to remove all their administrative backdoors and reloading it.

    Then to top it all off youtube doesnt work in the evenings without either degrading to a jumble of coloured blocks or severe buffering if you try to set it to a sane resolution (the no bandwidth in the evening was both pre and post fixing the router settings).

    It all worked flawlessly for years with BE, even if the bebox is a bit shit.

    1. WonkoTheSane

      Re: Im not impressed either

      "Then to top it all off youtube doesnt work in the evenings without either degrading to a jumble of coloured blocks or severe buffering if you try to set it to a sane resolution"

      The best trick I've found to deal with this problem, is a freeware java app called JDownloader.

      It monitors your clipboard & parses downloadable files, so all you have to do is open your youtube clip & copy the URL. JDownloader then wibbles through the page & offers to download the highest resolution version of the clip it can find.

      I consider it to be the restoration of the "buffer all before playing" option that youtube removed a while back.

  20. Daveycoder

    Sky cancelled my Be account without telling me!

    No wonder their subscriber numbers are down - they don't seem to want to keep the existing ones!

    In short, yesterday my internet went off - contacted Sky to see what was going on, and found out two things:

    1). I should have received a letter or e-mail telling me that the switchover was happening. The CSR could see that nothing had been sent but couldn't see why...

    2) No new account had been set up on the Sky system when my Be account had been cancelled!

    (Of course, all this was solvable by getting a nice shiny new 12-month contract with Sky which would take two weeks to install). Looking on the Sky forums, I don't seem to be the only one this has happened to. Of course, as I was running my own webserver/mailserver/etc on a static IP this is no longer possible for the next couple of weeks - but not to worry. Sky "are sorry about the inconvenience". Awesome! I feel much better now.

    What sort of migration doesn't count the number of 'active' customers on one side (Be) and the number of new customers on the other(sky) and check that they're the same? Anyway, hello PlusNet...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Sky cancelled my Be account without telling me!

      There are rumours that on the o2/Be exchanges that weren't also Sky exchanges customers either got shunted onto the execrable Sky Connect service or have had their "contract vacated"....

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Allright so far, but it's free !!!

    Sky is noticeably slower than O2 on a BT line, I'll now find out how much worse it is with a Sky line.

    So far with a BT phone, there have been no problems as, although it is slower it's OK for the streaming I use it for.

    The advantage is that it's free. I hav'nt paid for broadband since May. When Sky announced the deal, O2 offered free broadband for 12 months, so I stayed. I eventually switched to Sky who repeated that offer, therefore extending the original free period. I hadn't switched my phone and that is now going to be free for 12 months as well.

    Eventually I'll have to start paying something and will likely move at that point.

  22. greengo

    Sky broadband aka buffering

    For those thinking about joining Sky or have migrated from Be read the post below and many others, Sky dont care about you just your money

  23. Agincourt and Crecy!

    Bailed and bailed

    As soon as O2 gave me the notice of what was happening I checked both BB and Mobile contracts. Both were due for renewal and both MAC and PAC were requested at the same time.

    Been really happy with BT ever since and my FTTC product goes in next week.

    On the mobile side, I went to Three and in the places I go I get unlimited data at up to 25Mbps and that's before their 4G rollout while my contract id a couple of pounds less than it was with O2.

    I suppose I have to thank O2 for selling their BB product to Sky, I had dumped them for Freesat when my TV deal was increased in price for the umpteenth time and I find their sister company News International to be reprehensible (they just named a 15 year old arrested for murder using the loophole "he's not been charged yet").

    I have never looked back since.

  24. dbisping

    Since the Sky Migration been having slow youtube access etc, thought it was just being unlucky but a bit of kicking around seems this is common problem.

    Anyways it's now 30,002, MAC code obtained and switching to Plusnet, their initial customer service has been first-rate, even calling me back to let me know they could change the router delivery address

    Just got to do the same for the Office BE connection (also now on Sky) now

  25. James 100

    Residential-only, for business customers...

    What baffled me was their determination to shift my "Be Pro" *office* line over to their *residential-use-only* Sky packages. I phoned, and was told "oh, just ignore that bit, we don't mind business use really". Thanks, that's reassuring... I'd asked previously what the Sky takeover meant for business customers, but never had a sane reply from anyone there.

    The switchover did actually go smoothly (Be service dropped, I reset the router, everything came back up fine) - except it dropped again later that day, and got a different IP address. Not the static one Sky had assigned, not the static one we'd had from Be, but some other address entirely. In our case, it's not a huge issue (no servers there, it's really only static because that was included in the Be service), but irritating. No reverse-DNS control, either, which is also a pain.

    We'll probably jump ship to IDnet in a few weeks, since FTTC reaches this exchange next month. (I was tempted by Zen, but still no IPv6, in 2014?!) A&A would be ideal, but Home::1 is the only tariff the company would go for, and of course isn't available for offices.

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