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back to article Sky falling: 119,000 Brits flee O2, Be after Murdoch broadband gobble

One in five O2 and Be broadband subscribers abandoned the home internet service after it was bought by BSkyB - according to figures shown to the City this morning. At the end of last month, BSkyB's total broadband customer base stood at 4.9 million having gobbled up about 400,000 subscribers following its acquisition of O2 and …

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WTF?

Thats where my £1.50 increase went - to the shareholders

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Increase? Oh the thing that you phone up and complain about, threatening to drop services so that they discount you to a decent wad of cash per month.

The do it again next year. It costs them more in the long run for me each time they put the price up as I get discounts on what I have or just drop the ones I threaten to. When you want it back later you can get it cheaper.

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Yup

Got my MAC through yesterday. Still not seen anything from them on how they are going to deal with the features that BE offer but SKY don't. After requesting my MAC I was offered half price broadband for a year but I would have to start a new contract with them for 12 months. No thanks.

Forums are full of people saying they are leaving and as they are now SKY customers getting calls from them asking to migrate over early and lose the extra features they went to BE for.

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'Whiff of octogenarian media lord sends 1 in 5 running'

Er, you would need to know the quarterly changes in the number of customers before the deal was announced before one could make a reasonable conclusion as to the effect of the Sky takeover.

No doubt some people will leave O2 solely because of Murdoch, but Sky's large customer base suggests most people don't care.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: 'Whiff of octogenarian media lord sends 1 in 5 running'

No doubt some people will leave O2 solely because of Murdoch, but Sky's large customer base of Sun Readers and big Brother watchers don't care.

There fixed it for you

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Facepalm

Re: 'Whiff of octogenarian media lord sends 1 in 5 running'

I think 100,000 people leaving from an estimated subscriber base of circa 500,000 shows the effect pretty clearly. Let's not forget that Be subscribers were there because Be broadband was actually good, and when you had a problem they weren't afraid to speak tech with you if you wanted. I was with O2 for a while at university because it was very cheap if you had a phone contract with them.

Both O2 and Be had something to differentiate them from the market, and hence their subscribers have already shown themselves to be a far more savvy bunch than the usual crowd- and losing 20% of your userbase even when you're offering a fair few sweetners just shows that Sky didn't do their homework properly. That's a disaster. Sky is seen to be run of the mill, poor customer service offering a mediocre product - definitely a step down from Telefonica's offerings.

If I had a MAC right now I'd be looking at someone like Andrews&Arnold (recently quoted in the Cameron Censorship fiasco article as they'll give you active choice - you can have uncensored internet, or you can go to hell) - they must be rubbing their hands with glee at all the potential customers.

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Gimp

I wonder what the churn was on wholesale connections...

I had a Be Wholesale line with Andrews & Arnold - at the time, Be was the only way to get ADSL2+ on my exchange, and there was no sign of Infinity. As soon as I heard that Be was heading to Sky, three words went through my mind...

Eject ! Eject ! EJECT !!!

I immediately placed a regrade order in with AAISP and switched back to a BT connection. Sure, I could have waited, but I've seen what happens when small ISP's get taken over by crappy corporates, and it isn't pretty.

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Re: 'Whiff of octogenarian media lord sends 1 in 5 running'

When people signed up for O2 or BE, Sky was one of the alternative options they could have considered. For whatever reason, they chose not to sign up with Sky. It probably wasn't due to price, because Sky is generally cheaper, so it would either be because they hate Rupert Murdoch, or O2/BE offered something that they felt was worth paying extra for.

The fact that many people did chose Sky does not tell you that O2 customers don't care about Sky, because existing Sky customers had different priorities when chosing to take that route. One Sky customer I know chose Sky broadband because he already uses them for their TV product, doesn't use the internet that much, but needs a cheap basic service that will do the job with the minimum of fuss. He's very happy with Sky, but it is a very different target market from people like me who chose O2 because they offer things like static IP addresses, and the best performance and customer services available without spending stupidly large amounts of money.

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Go

Re: 'Whiff of octogenarian media lord sends 1 in 5 running'

quote: "No doubt some people will leave O2 solely because of Murdoch, but Sky's large customer base suggests most people don't care."

I left o2 solely because of Murdoch. Just sayin'

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No need for a Mac

Not sure why you appear to think you need a Mac to use Andrews & Arnold. They'll support you WHATEVER platform you use. And they'll support you extremely well, too.

(Very satisfied customer of many years standing).

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WTF?

Re: No need for a Mac

Im assuming you were joking. He meant MAC as in Migration Authorisation Code not apple mac.

You were joking right?

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Meh

Re: I wonder what the churn was on wholesale connections...

As far as I was concerned, there should be no effect on Be wholesale connections with AAISP. I've got dual-WAN bonding with them over Be connections. For the last month or so, I have had issues, where I had none before, so perhaps the wholesale service has degraded too. I had thought about migrating to the Talk Talk wholesale, but I'm moving house to another city next month, so I'll deal with it then.

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Bronze badge

Re: 'Whiff of octogenarian media lord sends 1 in 5 running'

I use Be for the office line - no changes yet, beside a few messages saying "you have now been assimilated, but nothing is changing yet besides the name on the invoices". It certainly doesn't help that they've done such a lousy job of communicating with customers about what they have planned - assuming, that is, that something IS planned, beyond "let's buy this ISP, it's got lots of customers we could have".

I would have said the recent network congestion problems could be a much more potent reason to switch - after all, we generally picked Be for the performance in the first place - and still no sign of IPv6 either. Moreover, there was a disruptive network upgrade being rolled out; I had a few emails from Be amounting to "at some point in the next year your line will stop working, at which point you will have to upgrade your router firmware and do a funny dance to get it working again". Being the sole broadband service in that office, carrying two VoIP trunks as well, that was almost reason enough in itself to switch ISP (at least that way, I'd know and have some control over the switchover date!)

It's a shame, in multiple ways: Be were a fine 'power user' performance ISP, and somehow I doubt Sky will do a good job preserving that. Still, it could be worse: I was a Nildram customer once, and watched in horror as they got Borged by TalkTalk and their Chinese censorship machine, of all people.

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Trollface

Re: No need for a Mac

Apple Lawsuit (TM) incoming in ...

3....

2....

1...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: 'Whiff of octogenarian media lord sends 1 in 5 running'

It's pretty obvious that Turdoch will either reduce the quality of service or ramp up the price. He's a greedy two faced person at times. His recent comments caught on camery covertly demonstrate that.

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AOD

Re: 'Whiff of octogenarian media lord sends 1 in 5 running'

I too recently jumped ship from Be, as luck would have it shortly before the $ky announcement.

Had several happy years with them without a single days outage. Despite the connection not being that fast (typically syncing at around the 12Mbit mark) they provided the service they promised to and had excellent support for the very odd occasion it was required.

The network migration was actually reasonably painless, the trickiest part was the reflashing of their router which otherwise hadn't been touched in terms of firmware since joining. I seem to recall it involved a direct cable connection with a static IP address and the sacrifice of a small mammal to the deity of your choosing.

They never really got their fibre plans together (which makes sense now) so once the CAB at the end our road was finally Infinity enabled earlier this year, we jumped over to Plusnet and are enjoying the 76Mbit connection hugely. This happened literally a week or so before the $ky announcement which when I read it, I recall thinking "Phew!".

Now,normally Be would ask you to return their Speedtouch router after leaving, but when I called them post migration to confirm where to send it back to, they advised "no need to do that any more sir since the recent announcment regarding $ky".

A class act, even to the end and a shining example of how to treat customers.

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Coat

No suprise really

I was looking for an ISP for my new location and as I had used Be before I looked at what Be had to offer and was about to sign up when the news of the Sky deal broke. So now I just hotspot from my phone instead.

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Mushroom

Sky can get stuffed

After Sky more less said "Sorry but your 20Mbps line is running at 1Mbps as it's been oversubscribed and there's absolutely nothing we can do about it!", lucky I was able to go to Beardy's mob and get a fibre line that runs at the speed I was promised it would.

Sky can go take a running jump, hopefully with one of their over subscribed lines tied round their neck!

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Re: Sky can get stuffed

"...able to go to Beardy's mob and get a fibre line that runs at the speed I was promised it would."

I think you may find that instead of fibre you have coax.

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Re: Sky can get stuffed

That's a point, does anybody actually have fibre to their home? So really all these adverts about fibre are misleading, as it's really only to the exchange, or local distribution box, if you are really lucky.

Me, I won't touch any Murdoch products, and enjoy baiting the sky muggers in shopping centres, even 40% is too much for me.

I get 8Mbs from an overhead wire, but then the telephone exchange is at the end of my garden, so the BTWiFI is pretty good too. With no cable I doubt anyone could offer me a better service

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Happy

Re: Sky can get stuffed

I don't care if Virgin's service comes down old loo roll tubes, I can't think of anywhere else we'd get a 100/10Mb connection.

Of course, it's generally on the limit of being oversubscribed (forget iplayer at peak times), but it's worth it when I buy a game from Steam, and it's downloaded in less time than it would take to walk to the shops. (I've seen 13MB/s from Steam).

And I prefer beardy to old aussie pants.

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MJI
Silver badge

Re: Sky can get stuffed

I like telling them about Freesat.

I chatted for ages to a Sky salesman trying to sell me their PVR. After the call he was an expert in Freeview PVRs.

I even tried Ondigital (IDTV subrscription)

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Re: Sky can get stuffed

Yes. KCOM (Kingston Communications) are rolling out fibre to the door by default across their network. It's happening where I live right now. And if you want to pay them for it they'll gaurantee 100 Mbps (not 'up to'). Of course we don't have much choice of provider round here.

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Still have two accounts with BE

The only reason I've not changed is where the two accounts are, neither have access to fibre yet, so there's little point moving away, but it'll be a cold day in hell when I switch to Sky's telecom service, and as soon as fibre is available... Sayonara Rupe.

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Trollface

Sky Fall

I guess its true, the smack down on benefits is impacting Sky's bottomline.. from broadband to Sky TV when you have to pay for it yourself instead of it being paid for you, maybe you take a look whether its worth the money or not.....

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Thumb Up

This is the kind of news restores your faith in your fellow (wo)man.

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Static IP

The deafening silence from Be/Sky as to whether my static IP service would continue has forced me to move to another provider and I've needed to make similar arrangements at a few other sites. Got my MAC through earlier this week and got a migration date to a new provider. FTTC is available but I just don't need that faster speed for the higher price.

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Alert

Re: Static IP

makes me wonder if the entire purpose of Sky buying Be was to get it's grubby paws on a bunch more IPv4 address space. Everyone on static IPs gets turfed off and they re-purpose the space as dynamic IPs and laugh at everyone else who is running out of IPv4 space

Probably easier and less troublesome than CGN.

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Re: Static IP

why not just go IPV6?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Static IP

I'm in a similar situation. I run my own mailserver so I raised a ticket with BE asking if port 25 would be blocked when everything moved to sky. I got the following response:

I can confirm that there are no plans of blocking port 25 for static IP customers.

So far it still works.

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Bronze badge

Re: Static IP

I don't think Sky offer IPv6 either.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Static IP

We have 3 services with BE - bonded, Pro, and Value.

Last month I called to cancel the bonded service, was offered 50% off. We decided to stay because the cancellations guy told me they have *no* ETA for migrating Bonded customers to Sky - there just isn't an equivalent in the Sky portfolio. Similarly our 4-static-IP BE Pro is safe for the moment... BE Value will be the first to be migrated, but after the non-cancellation discount we are paying £7/month for it!

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I was with Bethere for years before leaving and going to sky. I left early to jump on a deal and what a mistake. Sky Broadband is worser than having your eyes replaced with hot toffee apples. I spent two months complaining about a poor service only to get a phone call from sky and listen to a guy explain to me for 15 minutes how my bill worked. My batteries then ran out thank god.

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Anonymous Coward

We haven't moved across yet.....

but already have £20 in compensation owed us due to their aggresive sales teams and abusive staff (hint put the phone down 1st then swear sweetie).

Hopefully they will keep the O2 lot and sack these muppets.

Just waiting for a good BT offer to connect me to that big green box just up the road from me.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: We haven't moved across yet.....

THe O2 lot have either been sold off to Capita and reassigned, in the process of being reassigned, or have taken VR to get away.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: We haven't moved across yet.....

Boo hoo. That lady said a baaad word and now somebody owes me money. Did you tell you mom too?

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i phoned o2 to get my mac code cos my £20pm home phone and broadband offer had finished and they had put the price up by 8 quid, so they offed to drop it again by 7 quid which still i thought was ok.

Then they offered to put me through to sky to see if they had any offers reluctantly i agreed & the sales guy said he would make me an offer i couldnt refuse !

He said home phone and broadband for £14pm and free sky HD tv for a year & free dish install included. & then he said if i pay upfront its 120 for the year so a tenner a month

being a cheapskate i accepted & my torrent downloads now come down at full speed rather than seemingly being throttled by o2 & my internet access seems fine for gaming etc

I dont watch the sky tv much, cos i think its a bit crap. But i'm not paying for it so....

I recon i got lucky for a change

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Anonymous Coward

gaming on sky

I've never had a problem with Sky broadband it's always been v.reliable for me in my town. As to your luck with the offer, the great thing about Sky is you can always phone up and game their system for an offer. If we're not getting free Sky sports for 6 months then we are getting free broadband for a year. In the past 3yrs our monthly bill has never been lower.

I may not agree with Rupert's empire but unfortunately we haven't found anyone that can beat sky on price at the moment.

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its worse than just this for sky. im currantly counted as 3 tv customers. 1 for a free sky package i got as my sister worked there, and 2 for now tv. there getting no money from me, and infact im costing them money as they are giving me free playstation plus for 3m and lots of content

they are managing to hide the fact the customers are leaving hand over fist by giving now tv away for free and mixing the customers into the overall customer base.

look deeply into there figures and there is somthing horribly wrong in sky

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The package via your sister is a staff benefit which helps with staff retention, so I wouldn't read into that too much. Many companies do the same.

Regarding Sky being in trouble, I recommend reading the article, in particular the section covering turnover and profits.

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Gav

Left months ago

I jumped ship as soon as the news of the sale came through. Fact it's a Murdoch outfit was reason enough to leave. The fact it was mediocre Sky broadband put a cap on it.

The very nice lady I spoke to at O2 was practically throwing money at me in order to convince me not to leave. It sounded like they already had a pre-prepared and well used script to handle the situation. I could have had free broadband and mobile for a year. I was almost tempted.

I would advise those of you remaining on O2, and happy to sup with the devil, to give them a call. Threaten to leave and there's no knowing how good a deal you may get. They're desperate.

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Re: Left months ago

" It sounded like they already had a pre-prepared and well used script to handle the situation. "

It sounds like those cunning devils have a retentions department with staff trained to try and make you stay. Thanks for the tip off.

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Re: Left months ago

When I called Be to end my subscription I got much the same 'oooh and here's another thing we can do for you' routine. By the end I think they were practically offering to put up another satellite if I stayed. But I let them down gently by saying I didn't want to pay money to some of the worst people on Earth.

Now with Xilo and very happy indeed.

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Nothing going on here really

BT infinity rollout is providing a better value mainstream alternatives. All six people I know that had Be connections now have FTTC connections and are paying less.

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Re: Nothing going on here really

I agree.

From what I understand a large part of Be's market was reliable hi speed connections for power users. With the spread of FTTC that market is now mainstream and available very cheaply.

O2 customers got cheap BB through their mobile phone contracts and the service was provided for customer retention, but their BB had a seriously bad reputation so I'm not surprised about falling numbers. I suspect they were falling well before the spread of FTTC and before the purchase by Sky.

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Going, going, will be gone

Will be jumping ship after FTTC gets rolled out in my local area, unfortunately, it's been delayed for over 2 years now :(

Will have to bite the bullet and go to BT otherwise, it's SKY, Stalk Stalk, Tiscali or AOL.

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... off its own *bat*

Please get your cricketing cliches right.

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I went when I moved

I recently moved - told sky/o2 I wouldn't be taking their service with me. Didn't seem to interested in fighting to keep me once I said I had no wish to deal with them. Took out BT infinity as ADSL was only ~4Mb - not massively impressed - o2 was more reliable using iplayer at peak times. Hoping for a small FTTC provider to emerge once my 18 months are up...

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They are offering great deals at the moment though

For example my mother was offered Unlimited Fibre, phone line with free calls and tv including free sports for £25 a month. Yesterday their Orangutan turned up to fit it:

- Nah, can't get TV reception

Okay, I'll just take the Fibre and landline then.

- Oh, unfortunately the exchange has somehow now miraculously oversubscribed.

Okay, bye, bye.

- Wait, but we can offer you the same package as you had before at the same price.

Bye bye now.

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Anonymous Coward

I was a BE customer and took Sky up of their offer of unlimited broadband up to 20mb, free Sky HD with the entertainment + pack, phone line with evening and weekends pack, with free HD box etc. for a total of £14.50 a month. which even includes the line rental.

it was too good of an offer to pass up.

getting 14mbps which is the same as BE.

No problems as of yet.

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