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Greedy Sky admits: We crippled broadband with TOO MANY users


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Old 23-01-2013, 20:07
Satellite John
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http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/01...apacity_after/

Greedy Sky admits: We crippled broadband with TOO MANY users

Overloaded Unlimited package actually rather limited
By Anna Leach • Get more from this author

Posted in Broadband, 22nd January 2013 12:43 GMT
Sky has confessed it has overloaded its broadband service by putting far too many Brits onto its network. The media giant told The Register that it has run out of capacity in certain corners of the UK, which has knackered its users' internet connectivity at peak times.

Subscribers to Sky Broadband Unlimited in Doncaster, North Wales and Bristol have complained of connections grinding to a halt especially in the past three months. This is despite the company promising "we'll never slow your Unlimited broadband down, even at peak times".

One user of the ADSL service went public to report that his or her download speeds dropped to 2Mbps:

I have had around nine months of continuous good service. Since the end of November I have had this dramatic speed loss during peak periods. This can drop from the usual 13-14Mbps download to as low as 2Mbps.

Others posted screenshots of broadband speed readings showing even worse drop-offs. This guy was bumped to a download speed of 0.8Mbps from an off-peak speed of 16.8Mbps.

One particularly frustrated customer in Doncaster had this to say:

Internet is completely unusable, so this is the THIRD night in a row that I am unable to fulfil my contractually obligated working from home via the internet, so a third night's overtime lost. Not only is this a pain, it's actually losing me wages.

Stressing that the network freeze has only hit certain bits of its British network, a spokesperson from Sky gave us this statement:

Following a combination of an underlining increase in network traffic as well as an especially high rate of new customer additions, we are aware of capacity issues in a limited number of exchanges.

The company has promised to build in extra capacity at choked-up phone-line exchanges: "We are aware of the issue and are adding new capacity to those exchanges as soon as we can. We apologise to all customers who have been impacted by this issue."

Folks can check if their nearby exchange is affected by the cock-up, and when the media giant (2012 profit: £970m) plans to upgrade its capacity, on the servicestatus.sky.com website. ®
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Old 23-01-2013, 20:50
fmradiotuner1
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My speed has normally been really good don't know why but tonight its going ever so slow.
Been having trouble with youtube the last few weeks but tonight all sites are taking forever to load.
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Old 23-01-2013, 21:27
moox
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Perhaps the person who can't work from home should have bought a business grade internet connection, or even better, two business grade internet connections from separate ISPs?

If you're paying nearly nothing (or nothing at all) for some low grade consumer connection you can hardly complain because you can't use it for commercial purposes, particularly if you regularly or completely work from home.

Other people have to spend a ton of money travelling to work, far more than a proper internet connection from a quality ISP would cost.
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Old 25-01-2013, 02:11
Jittlov
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Perhaps the person who can't work from home should have bought a business grade internet connection, or even better, two business grade internet connections from separate ISPs?

If you're paying nearly nothing (or nothing at all) for some low grade consumer connection you can hardly complain because you can't use it for commercial purposes, particularly if you regularly or completely work from home.

Other people have to spend a ton of money travelling to work, far more than a proper internet connection from a quality ISP would cost.
Working from home doesn't mean that you need a superfast connection, most of the time any domestic connection of average speed will do.

If Sky are having problems providing even that, then they are to blame, not those who work from home.

It was said years ago that Sky's policy on offering truely unlimited broadband, while commendable, would bite them on the arse one day, and it has.

Am I right in thinking that they don't even throttle Torrents during peak times?
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Old 25-01-2013, 04:08
BigBmad
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I can't speak for recently but from Aug 2010 to Sep 2012 I had Sky Broadband in the Manchester area. Up to 6 people were using the connection at once and I can't remember having any speed problems.

Whereas back home in Newcastle I have Virgin Media and that really is a nightmare, never mind slow speeds it just doesn't work at all sometimes in peak hours.I guess it depends on the area but Sky certainly ain't the only ones guilty of this
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Old 25-01-2013, 12:15
The Lord Lucan
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I love the sensationalism of this article. They stated a limited number of exchanges are being upgraded... which is the same for BT they are adding capacity to many exchanges and normally it's slightly behind the curve (ie consumer demand is higher than it can cope with) before the upgrades arrive. Virgin also have over utilisation issues in many parts of the country with cable... Why not cover that??
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Old 25-01-2013, 12:34
ShaunW
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I love the sensationalism of this article. They stated a limited number of exchanges are being upgraded... which is the same for BT they are adding capacity to many exchanges and normally it's slightly behind the curve (ie consumer demand is higher than it can cope with) before the upgrades arrive. Virgin also have over utilisation issues in many parts of the country with cable... Why not cover that??
Greedy Sky, Knackered, Cock up I love the language of these leftie journalists.
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Old 25-01-2013, 13:04
el_bardos
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Working from home doesn't mean that you need a superfast connection, most of the time any domestic connection of average speed will do.

If Sky are having problems providing even that, then they are to blame, not those who work from home.

It was said years ago that Sky's policy on offering truely unlimited broadband, while commendable, would bite them on the arse one day, and it has.

Am I right in thinking that they don't even throttle Torrents during peak times?
Relying on a consumer product for your job without having a backup of some sort is asking for trouble and not what they’re designed for, and the whole reason there’s a separate business grade of products available. That’s not just about speed, its reliability, SLA’s to fix things if they break and guaranteed minimum levels of service.
Moox is spot on when he says the guy relying on the connection for work should have got a more appropriate service.
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Old 25-01-2013, 13:45
R410
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I wonder if this is the problem my neighbour was having then. He was complaining about internet speeds. Ran a test in front of me and got 6mb.

So glad I do not have internet via a phone line.
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Old 25-01-2013, 13:54
d'@ve
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I wonder if this is the problem my neighbour was having then. He was complaining about internet speeds. Ran a test in front of me and got 6mb.

So glad I do not have internet via a phone line.
Sky problem exchanges checker: http://servicestatus.sky.com/serviceupdates

And I don't think any of the main Internet providers are immune from this kind thing, least of all Virgin Media. It mostly depends on where you are. You (VM) and me (BT) we are lucky to be in 'good' areas. For now...
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Old 25-01-2013, 13:56
SallyAmy
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Oh god I feel really sorry for anyone affected , I have just swapped my bb/TV/phone from virginmedia to Sky. Our service is fantastic we get 78mb fibre optic pro from Sky it's been perfect.

But we were affected by over subscription when on virginmedia and after 8 months or promised fix dates and 60mb broadband sometimes going as slow as .5mb we canceled. So I just hope Sky are more proactive in fixing the affected exchanges/cabinets than virginmedia are or those customers are screwed.
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Old 25-01-2013, 13:58
SallyAmy
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I wonder if this is the problem my neighbour was having then. He was complaining about internet speeds. Ran a test in front of me and got 6mb.

So glad I do not have internet via a phone line.
So your in a virginmedia area and your nieghbour is also, it's amazing how many people in virginmedia areas choose sky isn't it. All my neighbours also choose sky.
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Old 25-01-2013, 14:03
ShaunW
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So your in a virginmedia area and your nieghbour is also, it's amazing how many people in virginmedia areas choose sky isn't it. All my neighbours also choose sky.
Not surprising if your a gamer like me, wouldn't touch Virgin (I'm in a area) with a barge pole, too many hidden clauses in the small print.

Also wary of BT with their P2P policy.

This latest problem aside, with Sky you get what it say's on the tin.
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Old 25-01-2013, 18:14
BigBmad
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Oh god I feel really sorry for anyone affected , I have just swapped my bb/TV/phone from virginmedia to Sky. Our service is fantastic we get 78mb fibre optic pro from Sky it's been perfect.

But we were affected by over subscription when on virginmedia and after 8 months or promised fix dates and 60mb broadband sometimes going as slow as .5mb we canceled. So I just hope Sky are more proactive in fixing the affected exchanges/cabinets than virginmedia are or those customers are screwed.
I am in the exact same scenario.Been going on for about 3 years this with VM. Luckily I have been at uni most of the 3 years but I have told my mam if there is no change in the summer we are switching to sky.
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Old 25-01-2013, 18:26
Giovan
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Not surprising if your a gamer like me, wouldn't touch Virgin (I'm in a area) with a barge pole, too many hidden clauses in the small print.

Also wary of BT with their P2P policy.

This latest problem aside, with Sky you get what it say's on the tin.
A 5 year old could get round BT's P2P policy.

When I had BT broadband, I noticed my utorrent downloads were crippled to 5kb/s between 5pm and 11pm. I won't post the details but about four clicks within utorrent's menus had the speeds back up to 900kb/s.

Same with the piratebay block. 2 clicks and you are away.
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Old 25-01-2013, 18:28
1andrew1
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Greedy Sky, Knackered, Cock up I love the language of these leftie journalists.
I don't know about the political affiliations of the journalist concerned but I find it rather biased and the language is not what I would expect from this type of website. "Sky has confessed" "putting far too many Brits onto its network". "has knackered" seem more akin to a lads' mag than a technical website.
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Old 25-01-2013, 18:31
Giovan
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I did have cause to ring sky broadband the other day because my sync speed is lower than it should be and the guy started talking about contention in the exchange and that the more users they had the slower it would be.

I did point out to him that that was nothing to do with the sync speed, but it sounded as if they have a script to read to certain people who complain.

I haven't noticed any slowdown. My connection is always maxed out and I get throughput close to my sync speed nearly all the time.
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Old 25-01-2013, 18:44
Kal_El
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Is this a joke? "Dropped to 2Mbs"?

My parents had Sky Broadband after bad experiences with Virgin. From day one the service was abysmal, and despite numerous phone calls and visits from "engineers", the speed never tops 80Kbs. Basically little faster than dial up. So poor in fact that they don't charge for it. You couldn't make it up.
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Old 25-01-2013, 18:46
Giovan
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Is this a joke? "Dropped to 2Mbs"?

My parents had Sky Broadband after bad experiences with Virgin. From day one the service was abysmal, and despite numerous phone calls and visits from "engineers", the speed never tops 80Kbs. Basically little faster than dial up. So poor in fact that they don't charge for it. You couldn't make it up.
This is about the unlimited offering. Not the 2mb freebie.
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Old 25-01-2013, 19:00
R410
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So your in a virginmedia area and your nieghbour is also, it's amazing how many people in virginmedia areas choose sky isn't it. All my neighbours also choose sky.
Their choice. Although technically it is his parents' decision as they are the ones who pay the bill.

Hardly amazing. I don't want to pay for two products (phone line and broadband) just for broadband.
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Old 25-01-2013, 19:27
platelet
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I love the sensationalism of this article. They stated a limited number of exchanges are being upgraded... which is the same for BT they are adding capacity to many exchanges and normally it's slightly behind the curve (ie consumer demand is higher than it can cope with) before the upgrades arrive. Virgin also have over utilisation issues in many parts of the country with cable... Why not cover that??
It's the Register. A tech news site with the tag line Biting the hand that feeds IT. They don't discriminate, they slag of virgin as well.

Greedy Sky, Knackered, Cock up I love the language of these leftie journalists.
Yeah El Reg, that well known communist propaganda machine
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Old 25-01-2013, 22:32
moox
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Working from home doesn't mean that you need a superfast connection, most of the time any domestic connection of average speed will do.

If Sky are having problems providing even that, then they are to blame, not those who work from home.

It was said years ago that Sky's policy on offering truely unlimited broadband, while commendable, would bite them on the arse one day, and it has.

Am I right in thinking that they don't even throttle Torrents during peak times?
I didn't say that a consumer connection wouldn't work, just that you can't really scream blue murder because it's down or severely degraded and so you can't perform commercial activities using it.

The difference between the likes of Sky and most business grade ISPs is that they'll never let things go this bad, and if they do, they get fixed quickly. Plus they often let you pay for enhanced levels of support from BT, so if things go down at BT's end they can send people out in hours rather than days.

As I said before, the cost of a good quality internet connection from a reputable business-oriented ISP is going to be far lower than what most people will be paying just to travel to work - so if you work from home often/always there's no excuse to use some of the money saved on not travelling to pay for it.

Sky are not in the right here, I agree, but the person who is complaining about not being able to work / lost business in my opinion has no right to complain. It's a consumer connection with no guarantees on speed, performance or reliability.
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Old 25-01-2013, 22:38
moox
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I wonder if this is the problem my neighbour was having then. He was complaining about internet speeds. Ran a test in front of me and got 6mb.

So glad I do not have internet via a phone line.
Sky's problems are not due to the typical distance issues involved with ADSL, it's due to a problem somewhere in their network.

This is a problem that could affect Virgin or a mobile broadband provider or any ISP regardless of if it's delivered over a phone line or not. Indeed, Virgin are very well known for having congestion and overutilisation issues.
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Old 26-01-2013, 23:29
noise747
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At least they admit it, which is more than some ISPs do.
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Old 27-01-2013, 03:00
Hugh_
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Their choice. Although technically it is his parents' decision as they are the ones who pay the bill.

Hardly amazing. I don't want to pay for two products (phone line and broadband) just for broadband.

You probably do pay for a phone line , when I had virginmedia broadband and phone line (50mb) was £37 but broadband (50mb) on it own was heavily "taxed" for want of a better word and cost £35.
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