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 …
Small print: Peak hours is now defined as 03:34am to 05:34am
Losing wages - I'd guess in the Tee's and Cee's there is something prohibiting commercial use.
I doubt it
I doubt working from home equates to commercial use anyway. Hosting a retail website probably would, but even then I doubt Sky would object. Mind you, you wouldn't get far with no static IP etc.
Tees and Cees
There is - a company I used to work for found that the remote access had "problems" when people were connecting through their Sky routers. On contacting Sky, they advised basically "tough - if your staff are using it to access a work VPN then that qualifies as commercial use, and we don't allow that on our home connections".
Re: Tees and Cees
Haha, okay, I stand corrected:
"Sky Broadband is for private use by you and members of your household only. It must not be used for any commercial or business purpose."
That said, I skimmed through O2's, Orange's, and Plusnet's T&Cs, and there was nothing like this in there, so maybe it's limited to shisters like $ky. Mind you, I never liked them anyway, so fuck em.
Re: Tees and Cees
Yeah I would like someone enforcing "prohibiting commercial use".
Basically it means "shite service, do not use for reliable ops"
Re: "It must not be used for any commercial or business purpose."
That's fairly broad - wouldn't emailing a CV for a job application be covered by that?
@MonkeyBot Re: "It must not be used for any commercial or business purpose."
>wouldn't emailing a CV for a job application be covered by that?
Being pedantic, I would apply the HMRC line regarding what is/isn't commercial/business usage (and hence an allowable expense). So emailing a CV for a permanent job isn't a business purpose, whereas emailing a CV for a contract is.
Similar distinctions apply to eBay and Amazon marketplace usage...
So we can presume that a large number of subscribers to domestic service providers are regularly breeching their T's&C's of service. I therefore conclude that Sky et al turn a blind eye to such usage until such time as it is drawn to their attention.
Re: Tees and Cees
The definition of business use is I think where they come unstuck. Does this mean that you can't, for example, use your Sky Broadband connection to trade items on e-Bay for commercial profit? Also, does accessing your employer's systems class as business purpose? I am not sure they'd be able to enforce this from a legal perspective. Although it'd probably cover them if you were hosting web-sites, VMs or other servers with access provided over the BB connection.
Did OK for a long while, but pants now.
SWMBO is addicted to Sky TV, so when we moved I signed up for their broadband: for six years or so it was cheap and almost perfectly reliable at 12-13Mbps, but since Christmas it dropped to less than 2Mbps. As it happens, BT Extra Wizzo Fibre has recently become available: so in a month or so I'll be able to moan about that instead.
Spawn of Satan because Murdoch. Yes, we're still paying him for the telly. Yes, I am ashamed.
My exchange isnt affected...
...apparently. However I've been having exactly the same issues, new BT connection due in just over a week now.
an underlining increase
Need your broadband to earn a crust?
Shell out the dosh for a proper business product. You get support and SLAs and all that boring but useful stuff that you don't need for torrents. Plus when it goes down the engineers tend to turn up in hours rather than days.
Here endeth the smugness.
Of course I no longer practice what I preach. Not since the pub got free wi-fi.
Re: Need your broadband to earn a crust?
In *lots" of situations getting business broadband would be the right move.
However, here I think the person complaining was talking about doing some overtime work so this makes me suspect:
1) he is an employee so doesnt have the "tax benefits" from shelling out on business broadband.
2) the work he would need it for is sporadic and far from guaranteed.
If these two are correct, then I would be very reluctant to shell out for the "business service" (which for me would be around £20 a month for a 24 month contract and still only provide around 7meg per second max).
I pay next to sod all for my Sky Broadband and get a steady 9-12Mbps for that price with the occasional blip due to line noise. Can't really complain truth be told.
I was really worried about it but it was so cheap as to be a virtual no brainer. Streaming is really good and it does get some hammer.
I use a VPN to work to do bits and bobs but I would never rely on it to be a business solution. The bloke in the article that does is an idiot.
My Sky broadband (FTTC) typically gets around 30Mbps off-peak. At peak times, it can be a bit slower at around 16-24Mbps, but still nothing to complain about.
There are a huge number of factors that can affect the speed of normal ADSL lines, but the quality and distance of the copper wires make a huge difference. Even the type of phone wiring in your home can affect your speeds more than you'd imagine. So whilst ISPs are sometimes to blame, it's often factors outside their control that can cause slow broadband speeds.
My parents have Sky Broadband (I advised them not to do it, but there you go) the best download speed they get doesn't even get to 2Mbps. Before you make the mistake of assuming they live in the sticks I can assure you that they live in a city centre complete with 1 postcode. Neighbours who aren't on Sky are reporting close to 8Mbps.
A friend was having trouble with his sky-issued netgear router a few years back, the 2nd one he'd been sent. And they wouldn't send out another. So he got a tech person on the phone who thought they were 'it' (like murdoch really), put them onto me, and I'd already done all the checks they went through before picking up the phone. My hate for anything to do with murdoch is great, so enjoyed verbally chastising said tech til they gave in. For my sins I'm stuck with KC (Hull-ite), and would far rather have a BT line with O2 broadband which no-one I know of has ever complained about.
' 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, '
Don't worry, just whine like a b1tch to your work IT Dept. Their problem. Our lot all do - apparently it is our fault they bought a free-with-your-mobile-phone package and live in the ar53 end of nowhere. We should drive round to your house,and fix your home wifi connection too.
Re: Just whine
We have exactly the same problem. Some user complains their connection from home is really slow, or VPN won't connect and it's somehow our fault even when no other user is having the same problem. The fact that their contract for home working clearly states that they can only work from home if they have the necessary connectivity does not seem to have any effect when they complain to their manager who complains in turn to the IT manager. Then some poor sod from the helpdesk has to make a two hour round trip to discover that they have an incredibly slow connection or worse still a router that does not allow VPN pass through connections. Every time that happens we have their manager on the phone saying that we should provide them with an ADSL router that works, even though these idiots get an allowance to fund their broadband. We've also found ISPs who don't allow VPN connections, but somehow that's our fault too even though it's made perfectly clear in the contract for home working that they must provide their own connectivity which allows VPN connections at a stipulated minimum downstream and upstream speed.
Re: Just whine
One of the big problems with deploying enterprise home working (to say 500+ staff) is the broadband connection. In the early days (ie. when broadband was just about internet access) it was okay for the company to impose it's choice of business broadband service provider on employees. However, once Sky, Virgin and now BT started offering additional services over their connection this became problemmatic and potentially costly. Basically typically a house had only one phone line and hence ADSL connection; installing a second line for more than a few staff quickly becomes a major challenge particularly for those who will infrequently work from home.
For several reasons I would like to see OFTEL require all added-value service providers (such as Sky, Virgin and BT) be obliged to use a subscriber's preferred broadband supplier whether that be a residential or business ISP. This would mean that an employee/subscriber could upgrade their Sky/Virgin/BT package to include business broadband.
Re: Just whine
Meh. IT departments just like to bitch. I've never really got a straight answer as to why my 70Mb/s FTTC connection can only suck data from our US based data centre at the equivalent of 9Mb/s. They got quite annoyed when I demonstrated that a test server set up by a colleague in the building next door was sending at the equivalent of 30Mb/s (pretty much maxing out the VPN pipe).
And Gawd help anyone trying to copy lots of small files. There's got to be something wrong with Windows networking. 1000 files of 1MB will come down at an average of 250kB/s. A 1GB file will come down at 1.2MB/s.
Anyway I solved my own complaint mostly. I zip the files onto a test machine (which curiously has no speed problems) then pull them from there. IT just closed the ticket and presumably went back to drinking coffee. I reckon there's a firewall or router somewhere that is running hot and they just don't care. Maybe that's what they brew the coffee on :-/
Re: Just whine
Why should they give a... ?
The internet is not a dedicated pipe between your house and the office n the USA.
Re: Just whine
> The internet is not a dedicated pipe between your house and the office n the USA
You work in IT don't you? You have that amazing inability to understand the complaint put to you while trotting out some random answer. Is it one of the Microsoft Certification courses? After all they are the experts in not quite understanding the problem but coming up with some random solution anyway.
Try reading it again, numbnuts: Two machines, both within a hundred metres of each other on the same campus. Nominally on the same LAN. One is in a data centre, the other is just some VM created for test purposes. The test machine maxes out my VPN, the machine in the data centre transfers at a third the speed.
What the fuck has that got to do with the Internet?
Re: AndrueC - Just whine
I almost up voted your response post ( Tuesday 22nd January 2013 20:31 GMT) before I spotted your name on it and had to reread to understand what it was you were getting at. My conclusion is that you have no real understanding of enterprise networks...
It is normal practise to only give access to significant bandwidth from systems within the datacentre, particularly if that connection is over a transatlantic leased line (£££'s). Additionally it is normal for only datacenter systems to actually have use of Gb Ethernet, whereas for general office access 100Mb is more than enough, but this traffic may well be shaped to ensure equal access particularly to core business systems and from other buildings.
Similarly for external VPN connections, these will be routed through a remote access server of some description and similarly traffic profiled to prevent a user hogging bandwidth (remember your company is paying for the pipe from the Internet to their VPN gateway). You may also find that the US VPN has a different traffic profile set up to the UK one.
As you point out one of the hosts is a test machine, which I suspect actually resides in the test network/environment and hence is subject to slightly different rules to your normal machine.
For your information, at a client where we were having to regularly take electronic delivery of updates to an enterprise application (multiple 300MB+ tarballs), we solved our connection reliability problem and download speed/time by using one of the servers allocated to us in the datacenter to drag the distributions off the US supplier's website and then copied it across the internal network to our 'portacabin' which only had a 10mb connection - so we could install it in our dev environment ...
So as you said "What the fuck has that got to do with the Internet?"
Re: AndrueC - Just whine
Reflecting on this point, there is one point which is to do with the Internet.
Back in the 1990's (pre-DSL) remote access was either expensive ISDN (64kbps or 128 kbps) or 56kbps dial-up modem. With these devices users understood that their access was limited and hence worked accordingly. Even after DSL it has only really been since circa 2006 that hotel WiFi has enabled mobile users to gain access at speeds greater than 56kbps. Hence I suggest that the typical current user thinks that because their DSL is 'high speed' then all associated systems access should be at similar speeds, which as I pointed out above isn't the case.
@Roland6 Re: Just whine
"Basically typically a house had only one phone line and hence ADSL connection; installing a second line for more than a few staff quickly becomes a major challenge particularly for those who will infrequently work from home"
Before the days of ADSL that's exactly what our company did - pay for second phone lines for all of us who had to sometimes work from home. It may seem overkill now that people usually use ADSL over a single phone line, but the fact is, it's no more difficult to get a second line now than it was then.. In fact, as I'm sure many (like me) have gone from 2 phone lines back to one, it should be easier in what were more congested exchanges...
Re: @Roland6 Just whine
I agree, in the mid 80's I had a leased-line installed to my home - for the MicroVax :))
However one of the challenges with enterprise mobile/home working is what Exec's regard as being okay for a few "key" employees becomes a major cost (and deployment) hurdle when trying to deploy to 500+ users where not all will be frequent users of the service.
The nice thing about the approach you outline is that there is no question that the second line is for business use (particularly if it is also locked down by a company supplied router/modem) and so can be expensed.
Looking forward (being hopeful), I would of thought we weren't too far off having multiple services delivered to the home over a single cable.
The Sky's the limit!!!!
And that limit is about 0.8Mbps
b-boom tish groan etc
Pointed this out ages ago to many who bang on about "but they're truly unlimited". Was the same pre-throttle days with NTL, and same with any contended broadband provider. Even with a dedicated line you're still going to hit a bottleneck somewhere down the line.
Thing I appreciate with ISPs is some plain honesty. Back in NTL days they just gave me cable whether it would actually work or not. Connection was unreliable, speeds poor. They'd shrug when you have problems and it was a constant battle with them. At least switching to a BT line they do a test and simply say "sorry you can't have X as your line is too crap". Got PlusNet via the line and they've been pretty honest and I can see a lot of detail about what goes on with their throttling. Throttling is not an evil if they're upfront about it and if I wanted to I can pay extra for unthrottled and just hit the contention instead but frankly I don't need it.
Friend of mine went with them. Sure, on paper it looked good: piss cheap and a no-throttling guarantee. There was one part of the advert that put me off, though: the word "Sky".
Sure enough, his router now drops off the net completely several times a day, and he's had several long outages.
Over here, on Titan ADSL, I've had one outage in 4 years (excepting their scheduled 3am upgrades that I happen to be awake for).
Lol this is the thing that all ADSL providers do.
They can put up to say 200 people on a router within the switch and instead they throw over 2000 on it, because they no that everyone will not be wanting the full amount of there bandwidth all at once.
Atleast with my Virgin connection I get my 100Mb all the time, it's just to bad I get crap gaming performance.
> Atleast with my Virgin connection I get my 100Mb all the time, it's just to bad I get crap gaming performance.
*Cough* - gaming is poor on VM because of the high jitter and guess what a prime cause of jitter is? VM is actually one of the worst ISPs for overloading its network.
The differential cost for a well-run ISP.
A previous employer demanded I claimed for [only] the cheapest provider I could get.
Three outages later and one reoccurring problem; I managed to get them to pay slightly more for an ISP that knew their arse from their elbow.
Surprise surprise, never had another outage.
The cost differential?
£10 a month.
Paris because she knows that's it's not the size of the pipe, it's how you use it.
Re: The differential cost for a well-run ISP.
A lot of women prefer a fat pipe it seems...
Re: The differential cost for a well-run ISP.
IF your employer requires you to work from home then you can claim the cost of a business broadband connection as expenses. If your employer doesn't permit you to expense the full amount actually paid out then you can include it in your tax return as an incurred expense that was reimbursed...
Naa. Got BT's business package and they still give you all the same grief you'd normally get as a residential customer. If you want tech support they put you through to India. My business address is directly opposite the BT exchange where all the engineers keep their vans. It would have taken them longer to drive over than to walk. Still took them 29.5 days to come and install the analogue line for the broadband to go on. They disconnected me twice for alleged failed direct debits and on both occasions wouldn't reconnect me for 29.5 days... that was until I shouted at them. The connection goes down occasionally and isn't even that fast despite being connected to the first cabinet right next to their exchange. Zen were better when I used to use them. It was just because BT disconnected my analogue line so I had to switch to BT to get my internet back within 5 days instead of the 29.5 days it would have taken for Zen to get BT to reconnect my line. In other words they stole my business from Zen by disconnecting me and then offering a solution of ‘why do you get a BT account’ – Not that I think Sky would be better. Zen have been good whenever I have used them. Not a bad word to say.
Re: business package
I agree with you on so many levels.
On a domestic package, Zen were excellent, when I asked them to build me a special product for an event, they delivered exactly what I wanted and they only cost a few quid more than other providers.
If I didn't have BT Vision they'd have my business now.
As an ex customer
I have to say I was surprised when I switched. I initially went with Sky because it came cheapest when bundled (I know, I know) and on my 8Mb line got a reasonable 6.5Mb. After the 1st year or so the speed during peak times was too slow to watch standard def iPlayer or youtube. I have switched to a certain Yorkshire based company with annoying adverts and on the day of connection I was able to stream HD youtube whilst downloading updates at the same time for the consoles.
During my time with Sky we tried tech support, tried new routers, filters, pigeons but nothing worked until we switched. After a while and midway through an email exchange their support guys just went silent and ignored any further emails.
I had put it down to them being over subscribed before Christmas so this article doesn't surprise me at all.
Note: I am not associated with either ISP and will point out that we pay quite a lot more for our broadband, something said new ISP doesn't make quite so obvious until you speak to sales, however I would rather pay more for something that works, than save £8-£10 and have it unusable.
Re: As an ex customer
"we pay quite a lot more for our broadband, something said new ISP doesn't make quite so obvious until you speak to sales"
Not sure what you are suggesting. Where there have been half-price deals and so on, they have usually been clear in terms of which accounts have been on offer. If you saw a half price deal (but found it was for an account which had a smaller limit for monthly traffic than you wanted), I can accept it may not have been obvious from a TV advert, but would still appreciate knowing what you saw/ heard and what was the impression you got, only to find different when speaking to sales ?
I'm not associated with the ISP either but have happily recommended them in the past to friends, relatives and clients (for both home and workplace use) with no complaints. Have just seen my bill drop when I switched to their (recently announced) unlimited account (which is, no hidden print 'fair usage' limits, and no throttling).
Re: As an ex customer
Alas, as a rural customer our internet costs more than the unlimited packages which I expect but it was not made clear when I tested my home number on their website that rural broadband increases the cost above the 8Mb normal price.
I would like to say that they did make a deal with me and we got a good price, but it was still slightly more than I was expecting from their site.
I will however happily refer others to them on the basis that my connection now works as predicted but didnt before.
Sounds like a suspicious confession.
Are they, by chance, publicising a problem now in order to prepare the market for the forthcoming 'solution' of acquiring Be There and O2 from Telifonica, adding that infrastructure to its own?
If Sky buy Be, I fear we'll witness a replay of The Pipex Scenario™.
Has everyone forgotten what "Contention" means? All broadband products have an associated contention ratio and even if Sky were offering 20:1 on their ADSL 2+ service, that would only 'guarantee' 1.4Mbps.
Large parts of the UK would be overjoyed to get 1.4Mbps - some people need to stop acting like spoilt brats and accept they can't have their cake AND eat-it.
That's very true but 'being a contended service' only means it doesn't have 1:1 provision. It doesn't implicitly mean the service is going to slow down at peak times. It's actually a balancing act an expensive ISP will arrange for just enough capacity to handle peak times at full speed (IDNet seem to manage that). It's still contended but at a level that users can't detect. As you move down the pricing scale the ratio does get worse and impacts more users for a greater time.
Have to agree...
Quote - (IDNet seem to manage that)
Yes, they do - I know it's contended, but it really doesn't feel like it - I never notice any appreciable slowdown.
I was considering a move to Sky (£45pcm for 200Gb isn't cheap), but I am a homeworker, and even though I have 3G Mifi as back up, as others have said, you get what you pay for...
There doesn't seem to be any capacity problems in Essex... my modem syncs at about 19Mbps with Sky and I consistently manage to max it out when downloading torrents and other kinds of data. No problems with streaming too... yet!
They have computers in Doncaster??
it really depends were you live...
when i moved house, i had to go with BT as there was not phone line. Bradband was quoted at 5 to 6mg in reality I was lucky to get 1.5 on a good day.Terrible service(regular drop offs), and high cost ( i moved from a virgin100mb location so more painful really). soon as contract expired figured if my broadband connection is going to eb crap why pay a lot for it, so switched sky. Never looked back. lower cost, reliable service, (no disconnects) and a line spped of average 3mb so it really courses for hourses.
I don't think that's the point. Corporates never guarantee anything or include anything in their T&Cs which would actually help the customer. Just a load of ar55 covering double-speak. In the case of these Sky customers they had something which was working as they expected... then service dropped off a cliff. Just because T&Cs say it's ok for Sky to offer crap service... does not mean it is ok.
Incidently, just realised I have Be There at home... it works fine... did not know Sky was about to buy them?
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