Feeds

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 of …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.

Page:

Mushroom

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!

23
6
Happy

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!

0
1
Unhappy

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.

12
3

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.

1
0
Bronze 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.

2
1
Anonymous Coward

Re: Same here

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

/sarcasm off.

3
0
Mushroom

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.

1
0
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?

0
0
Facepalm

hhhmmmm?

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.

4
0
Unhappy

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.

0
0
Silver badge

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.

9
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: hhhmmmm?

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

Your search starts here:

http://www.ispreview.co.uk/

http://www.thinkbroadband.com/isp/compare.html

0
0
Silver badge

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.

0
0
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.

https://www.bethere.co.uk/web/beportal/legal

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

0
0

O2

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

3
0
Silver badge
Big Brother

hang on

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

4
4
Anonymous Coward

Re: hang on

It hasn't yet, that comes next.

1
0
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!!!

11
0
Pint

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

2
0
Silver badge
Devil

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!

3
0
Silver badge
Facepalm

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.

https://www.bethere.co.uk/broadbandchanges

Results in 404 - lol.

1
0
Silver badge
Trollface

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

1
0
Silver badge

'Results in 404 - lol.'

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

2
0

So translated to English the last line means

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

0
0
Rob
Bronze badge

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.

1
0
Go

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.

1
0
WTF?

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?

6
0
Unhappy

Re: Oh bollocks

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

1
1

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.

0
0
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.

0
0
Coffee/keyboard

Ugh

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 :)

1
2
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.

0
2
Pint

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...

3
1

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
0
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.

0
0
Unhappy

:-(

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 :-(

1
0

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.

2
0
Silver badge

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.

0
0

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.

2
0

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.

0
0
Unhappy

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.

0
0
Silver badge

Re: Where to go then?

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

I can't remember where tho.

0
0
Bronze badge

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

Apparently they're owned by the BT Group.

1
0
Devil

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).

0
0
Silver badge

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.

0
1
Bronze badge
Facepalm

Re: Where to go then?

BT Enterprise use PlusNet, which is very confusing.

0
0

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.

0
0
Silver badge

Re: Where to go then?

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

0
0
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.

0
0
Unhappy

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....

0
0

Page:

This topic is closed for new posts.