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#147635 - 30th Jan 2007 6:39pm Sky Broadband - Ongoing Review Of The Service ****
MattLFC Offline
Wiki Master

Registered: 14th Aug 2004
Posts: 22315
Loc: Moreton/Beirut/Mobile
Right guys, as you may already know Sky have launched their broadband service a few months ago and it is now enabled on most Wirral exchanges (can't confirm which ones at the moment as samknows is offline).

Anyway, it is exclusive to Sky Digital customers (don't worry, new customer can take up the service too, and it might work out as good as, if not cheaper then, having a broadband supplier on its own, never mind the fact that you have Sky TV with it.

There are millions of companies in the broadband market nowdays. I personally have been using Virgin.net for the last year and had nothing but excellent service from them, but I am now out of contract and have decided its much cheaper to get Sky Broadband.



++Why Sky???++

So whats so special about Sky Broadband, and why am I going to jump from a service that is both ultra reliable and fast I hear you say. There are a few reasons for my decision to move:

- Cost; I am paying £17.99 per month for Virgin 2Mbps with Virgin - this would be totally free with Sky as I already have Sky Digital and have no intention whatsoever of getting rid - I love Sky+ too much.

- Infastructure - Virgin has both its own network and it also peers with NTL (as NTL are owned by Virgin) so they have an excellent network and the reason it is very reliable - but Sky have an even stronger network. BSKYB bought a company called Easynet about 18 months ago. For people who have never heard of Easynet, they are the biggest independent corporate telecoms provider and have been BT's strongest competitor in the corp market for many years. Because they were previously corporate only, their infastructure is as solid as a rock. They also own multiple data centres across Europe, as well as thier own huge IP Transit backbones, and all in all it makes them one of the largest telecoms companies in the world. The Cruisewirral server is located in the Easynet data centre in Amsterdam wink

- Sky's Reputation - the sole reason Sky are as big as they are in the television market is due a mixture of sensible investment, in depth market research and very strict product research and development ethics. Cable television is not "really" worse then Sky, it "should" actually be better. But the cable companies of the UK are years behind Sky due to their stupid ruthless investing (which has proved almost fatal to the cable tv industry on more then one occasion), a complete lack of market research (eg. cable companies only ever targetted area's where the masses were nothing more then "working class" or unemployed, because they thought this was the way to get customers), and the fact that every product they have released has been a riddled with bugs and problems and is years behind Sky, with the exception of the excellent cable internet services.

So hopefully Sky will have put as much development into Sky Broadband as they have with everything else they have launched in the past and it should be on the same high quality level as their other services.



++Overview of the service itself++

To get Sky Broadband, you have to have Sky Digital at present. The minimum package is priced at £15.00 per month. But don't go mistaking this for something similar to the crappy "base" packages that cable companies offer. The £15.00 per month package includes to "tv packs" which means you can have all channels like all the UK channels, all the Discovery channels etc, basically anything that isnt Sky Sports or Sky Movies.

Once you have Sky Digital, you can then choose a Sky Broadband package, provided your exchange is LLU'ed by Easynet (I will confirm these asap).

The packages are as follows (fee's are payable monthly as an additional service on your Sky bill:

Free with all packages:
- Sky Wireless ADSL2+ Router (actually a Sky branded Neatgear DG843GT worth about £70 online)
- McAffee Personal Internet Firewall and Anti Virus (i probably wont use, but its good for people who dont have protection)
- 10 @sky.com POP3/IMAP email addresses

- Free - 2Mbps/2GB Usage/£40 one time activation fee
- £5.00 - 8Mbps/40GB Usage/£20.00 one time activation fee
- £10.00 - 16Mbps/Unlimited Usage/£Free activation

Now I have personally gone for the 8Mbps package. My reasons for this are that whilst 2Mbps is more then fast enough for me, the usage limit is a bit too low, and although probably never implemented unless you take the pi$$, id rather have a better amount. I didnt even think about the 16Mbps package as its just a numbers game nowdays, nobody will ever need 16Mbps speed, the package will only be handy for families with more then 3 pc's online and users who use a LOT of bandwidth.

The service is based on the ADSL2+ technology, This means that it can operate at upto 24Mbps as opposed to the 8Mbps of standard ADSL. However, there are three reasons that Sky may be holidng off a 24Mbps service. The first is, they are simply realistic and don't believe anyone needs such a speed. The second is they have researched and found that many customers of the other three UK companies offering 24Mbps have a lot of customers who get nowhere near these speeds, so by limiting it to 16Mbps, customers are more likely to achieve the desired speeds. The thrid reason could be that Sky are keeping 8Mbps reserved for a future IPTV service, similar to their Homechoice service offered in many parts of london.



++Now to the ongoing review of the service itself.++

I telephoned Sky last week to order broadband. It was Thursday night. They asked me to phone up Virgin and get a MAC (migration authorisation code), so that I could transfer the service on my phoneline to them, so they can enable Sky Broadband on my line. They also debited the £20.00 activation fee from my credit card.

I did this, and credit to Virgin, they had no problems with giving me this code (a lot of companies make it hard to get the code in the hope they can hold onto you). They said I would get it in about 5 days via email. The very next day (Friday) the code arrived. So I phoned up Sky on the number they gave me, the woman took the code and confirmed it was correct. She then arranged the delivery of the free Sky Broadband box. She then gave me a few useful direct numbers for customer support and technical support etc and another number should I have problems on the activation date. The call was answered straight away, no waiting around, another positive.

Today I recieved both the Sky Broadband and the confirmation letter of the service activation. The box is of excellent build quality and very stylish indeed. It also includes 3 microfilters, an ethernet cable to get you started if you dont have wireless on your PC and the usual other bits and pieces you expect with a router. It also included the Sky Broadband CD which contains the McAffee internet protection software.

I am now just awaiting activation of the service, so I will update the review when it is activated.

Any questions fire away!

smile

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#147643 - 30th Jan 2007 7:03pm Re: Sky Broadband - Ongoing Review Of The Service [Re: MattLFC]
jonah Offline
Forum Guardian

Registered: 29th Nov 2006
Posts: 3992
Loc: 1313 Mockingbird Lane, I live ...
matty i beeen goin round in circles over which broadband to choose as my contract with bt is up, we also payin 17.99 a month but just didnt no were to start, all u ever get off bt is tech talk and i didnt understand it, sky were very helpful with info but u have just put it all into plain english for me and the mrs and ive just made up my mind thanks to u. am goin for the same as u matey.thanks for ur help in makin up my mind :-) :-)
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#147647 - 30th Jan 2007 7:19pm Re: Sky Broadband - Ongoing Review Of The Service [Re: jonah]
MattLFC Offline
Wiki Master

Registered: 14th Aug 2004
Posts: 22315
Loc: Moreton/Beirut/Mobile
No problemo matey, glad its been of some help already hehe!

Can't wait for service to be activated, will be interesting to see how it pans out.

I like the way that instead of just going like other ISP's and leasing L2TP's (basically the net connections themselves) from BT and then selling them on to end consumbers, they have invested billions of pounds into the purchase of Easynet and taken time getting the network and infastructure ready (it was almost a year from the announcement of the broadband service till it actually launched). They seem to be doing things right (as is usually the way with Sky), and with their infastructure they should be able to offer one of the best internet services in the UK.

smile

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#147660 - 30th Jan 2007 8:07pm Re: Sky Broadband - Ongoing Review Of The Service [Re: MattLFC]
Mark Offline


Wiki Master

Registered: 9th Nov 2003
Posts: 20958
Loc: Wirral
Tried today with orange, but they want to make my
uncle wait 30 days + 10 days to clear.
(See other topic 44 Days to Leave ISP (Orange) )

Holding out for sky.
As he has a package already he can have Sky as follows.

Free - £40 Activation
£5 - £20 Activation
£10 - Free Activation

There are caps and bandwidth limits but unsure
what they are now.
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Wow Wirral History is coming along Great! Wirral History

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#147673 - 30th Jan 2007 10:09pm Re: Sky Broadband - Ongoing Review Of The Service [Re: Mark]
MattLFC Offline
Wiki Master

Registered: 14th Aug 2004
Posts: 22315
Loc: Moreton/Beirut/Mobile
Even more credit to Virgin then hehe!

See the first post topic for the details of the packages and pricing info:

Originally Posted By: MattyC
Free with all packages:
- Sky Wireless ADSL2+ Router (actually a Sky branded Neatgear DG843GT worth about £70 online)
- McAffee Personal Internet Firewall and Anti Virus (i probably wont use, but its good for people who dont have protection)
- 10 @sky.com POP3/IMAP email addresses

- Free - 2Mbps/2GB Usage/£40 one time activation fee
- £5.00 - 8Mbps/40GB Usage/£20.00 one time activation fee
- £10.00 - 16Mbps/Unlimited Usage/£Free activation

Its sensible for Sky to cap, if its unlimited users will take the pi$$! If people take the pi$$, it increases costs (you now understand about bandwidth costs Webby hehe) and causes probelms for users in the long term.

I forgot to mention, the Upload speeds are as follows:

2Mbps - 256Kbps
8Mbps - 448Kbps
16Mbps - 448Kbps

Hope that helps. smile

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#147675 - 30th Jan 2007 10:23pm Re: Sky Broadband - Ongoing Review Of The Service [Re: MattLFC]
MattLFC Offline
Wiki Master

Registered: 14th Aug 2004
Posts: 22315
Loc: Moreton/Beirut/Mobile
Right, here are the confirmed exhange details:

Already Enabled
- Arrowebrook
- Birkenhead
- Bromborough
- Claughton
- Mountwood
- Rock Ferry
- Wallasey

Not Yet Enabled
- Caldy
- Eastham
- Heswall
- Hoylake
- Irby

As you can see from this list, Sky have been making a lot of progress LLU'ing exchanges, due to massive investment and the experience of Easynet. Something which other providers are struggling to do, mainly due to cost.

For anyone who is not sure what exchange they are on, you can check using your telephone number here.

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#147701 - 31st Jan 2007 1:41pm Re: Sky Broadband - Ongoing Review Of The Service [Re: MattLFC]
MattLFC Offline
Wiki Master

Registered: 14th Aug 2004
Posts: 22315
Loc: Moreton/Beirut/Mobile
Right, got some more informatin through today frm Sky. One letter contained my password, which will be required the first time I use Sky Broadband.

The second letter contained my activation date. It is scheduled for the 6th February, although the letter does also advise me that due to high demand for the service, it may take upto 3 extra days to become to active, which is fair enough, at least they let me know this prior to any longer then expected wait.

They have also advised me that I will not charged for the service until it actually cmes live.

So far, still very happy with the way they are doing things. When I got Virgin, the information prior to the service activation was a tad disappointing, they sent out 3 little booklets and that was it, not much use to be honest.

smile

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#147704 - 31st Jan 2007 5:07pm Re: Sky Broadband - Ongoing Review Of The Service [Re: MattLFC]
AX_125 Offline

Forum Guardian

Registered: 10th Nov 2003
Posts: 3791
Loc: Home
Think i will be going back with Tiscali when my home BT connections are sorted.
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#147707 - 31st Jan 2007 5:36pm Re: Sky Broadband - Ongoing Review Of The Service [Re: AX_125]
Mark Offline


Wiki Master

Registered: 9th Nov 2003
Posts: 20958
Loc: Wirral
Orange have just told me that there is a 5 month wait due to the demand,
i told him to get his facts right before lying to customers.

I'm having a nightmare leaving orange (Family friend).
_________________________
My Avatar images are all from the Wirral Gallery.Click Me
Wow Wirral History is coming along Great! Wirral History

we get +200 new members a month now smile

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#147723 - 31st Jan 2007 7:10pm Re: Sky Broadband - Ongoing Review Of The Service [Re: Mark]
MattLFC Offline
Wiki Master

Registered: 14th Aug 2004
Posts: 22315
Loc: Moreton/Beirut/Mobile
Lol, sounds like whilst they may have a new name, their still France Telecom at heart grin

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#147949 - 5th Feb 2007 1:35pm Re: Sky Broadband - Ongoing Review Of The Service [Re: MattLFC]
txt3rob Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 16th Mar 2004
Posts: 308
Loc: Irby
the joys can only do 2mb from ours wonder if they will let us have the 8mb package limit but only supply 2mb?

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#147969 - 5th Feb 2007 6:10pm Re: Sky Broadband - Ongoing Review Of The Service [Re: txt3rob]
MattLFC Offline
Wiki Master

Registered: 14th Aug 2004
Posts: 22315
Loc: Moreton/Beirut/Mobile
The 8Mbps package from your house will probably be the ADSL1 based "connect" service Robbie.

This means you will get the fastest speed your line can go, upto a maximum of 8Mbps.

smile

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#147998 - 5th Feb 2007 11:01pm Re: Sky Broadband - Ongoing Review Of The Service [Re: MattLFC]
AL Offline
Forum Addict

Registered: 26th Jan 2004
Posts: 1730
Loc: Wirral
Got to agree that sky broadband is quality got the mid package for my mum and its fantastic so easy to use and setup compared to wireless routers of old hey webby????!!! Only thing i needed to upgrade was the wireless adaptor on one of the laptops as it wasnt up to speed with the router. Also the customer service from sky is great.

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#148004 - 6th Feb 2007 9:24am Re: Sky Broadband - Ongoing Review Of The Service [Re: AL]
MattLFC Offline
Wiki Master

Registered: 14th Aug 2004
Posts: 22315
Loc: Moreton/Beirut/Mobile
Well its supposed to be activation date today, however Sky have kindly advised me in advance that it could take upto 3 extra days due to the high level of demand for the service.

Ill report back if it comes live today.

smile

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#148013 - 6th Feb 2007 11:57am Re: Sky Broadband - Ongoing Review Of The Service [Re: MattLFC]
MattLFC Offline
Wiki Master

Registered: 14th Aug 2004
Posts: 22315
Loc: Moreton/Beirut/Mobile
Right, I lost connectivity on my Virgin service so ive just rebooted my old router and the connection has been read as 8Mbps now, so I am now running on the new Sky Broadband router.

Connectivity is a bit touch and go atm, but this is to be expected straight after the change.

Seems to be settling down as I am typing this (the internet status light isnt flashing like it was), so hopefully it should all be ready to go now!

WORD OF WARNING - Don't install the McAfee crap that they include unless you want your PC to be bogged down... I installed it to have a look and increased my RAM usage in XP from around the 79MB level (ive highly optimized it to get it this low) at idle to over 175MB and added about 11 processes.

It slows the computer down to crap and also increases the initial load and initilisation time of Windows by 10 times! There is plenty of antivirus and firewall software on the market that dont do this, even freebies arnt this bad.

Uninstalled now though and running sweet.

smile

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