Tag Archive for Sky Broadband

Stop buggering about with my internet!

Bloody buggering Sky, I swear there’s a conspiracy to piss me off.

Two months ago they buggered up my internet connection and then buggered up my phone fixing my broadband.Cartman Pissed Off I spent several days arguing with them over the phone that the problem was at the exchange, not my equipment or my phone, the micro filter or the socket.  Eventually I got through to someone sensible in their higher level support department who did the unthinkable and didn’t follow the step by step instructions that clearly had no relevance at all to the problem I had and eventually got the problem sorted at the exchange.  I managed to figure out the problem despite being in a hotel on a training course but it took several days of phone calls for Sky to catch up with all their gadgetry.

So they fixed my broadband by moving my line from one switch to another and in the process paired my phone up to god knows where, but it wasn’t my phone line!  As compensation fro dicking me around entirely unnecessarily, ballsing things up twice and costing me quite a lot of money in phone calls they knocked a fiver a month off my bill for a year.  Which they also cocked up, resulting in my getting billed for two half price phone lines instead of one.

Anyway, they sorted all that out and everything was fine until yesterday when we got back from a week’s holiday to find that the internet wasn’t working.  There was no heartbeat light on the micro filter (I bought an expensive filter a while ago which tells me when it’s connected to the exchange) and the data light on the router was red which kind of suggests that there was no connection to the exchange.  So I did some tests, including trying a spare router which they sent me when there was nothing wrong with my router two months ago.

Eventually they figured out that there was a problem and phoned me back to tell me they’d fixed it.  So I asked what was wrong and what they’d done to fix it.  There was a pause and a reluctant explanation: they’d done some tests on the line and discovered that it will only support 10mbit/sec so they’d reduced the connection to 10mbit.

Interesting.  So my line has supported a connection at over 20mbit/sec for over a year but suddenly, in the space of a week, my line has mysteriously degenerated to the point where it will now only support half the data rate it did before I went on holiday.  Is there an explanation?  Well, the maximum speed is calculated from the distance from the exchange, the line quality and the quality of the wiring at home.  All of which I know and that’s how I know their maths doesn’t add up.  According to Kitz, at 900m from the exchange with 13dB downstream attenuation, I should be be able to connect to the exchange at 22mbit/sec with a throughput of just over 20mbit.

Kitz ADSL Speed Calculator Result

As the crow flies I am less than 400m from the exchange so the actual length of cable is probably somewhere between the 0.4km distance from the exchange and the 0.9km they estimate.  Regardless, the LLU speeds quoted above are pretty much spot on what I’ve been getting for over a year and nothing has changed.  The router is still plugged into the master socket with no extensions and a high quality micro filter.

Anyway, they said that it will take up to 24 hours to put the speed back to 20mbit (5 minutes to reduce it, a day to increase it … hmmm).  Needless to say, 24 hours later it’s still connected at 8mbit – not even the 10mbit I was told yesterday that my line could support.  Not a happy bunny as you can imagine so I phoned again, went through the same conversations and had another promise to put my connection back to 20mbit.

I pay for 20mbit, my line supports 20mbit, I expect 20mbit!  I suspect another battle may be in the offing, let’s see what happens tomorrow.

Internet Broken … arrrrrrgh!

It’s amazing how much we’ve come to rely on t’interweb in our household.

Mrs Sane phoned me at work yesterday to say she couldn’t get on the internet so I popped home at lunchtime to see what the problem was.  I checked the modem status page and it said the ADSL link was down so I phoned Sky Broadband up to report the fault.

The flunky on the phone insisted on me powering off the modem and powering it back on again for the 5th time on the basis that it was on her list as the next thing to do.  She then asked me to check the wire from the micro filter to the modem was in securely so I unplugged it and … the phone went dead.  Which shouldn’t happen.

The phone would only work again if I unplugged the micro filter and plugged the phone directly into the phone socket so I called back and told them it looked like the micro filter was faulty.  So, after work, I went to PC World and bought a spangly new micro filter that had been reduced from £20 to £15 and got the manager to give me a 10% discount because the packaging had been opened.  This micro filter isn’t your normal dangling bit of wire from the socket, it sits flush to the socket, has two phone sockets as well as the modem socket and it has a surge protector so it should be reliable (it also has a couple of blue LED status lights that flash when it’s connected which is a nice touch).

Anyway, I plugged in the new micro filter and got the same problem with the phone.  Unplugging the wire from teh modem to the micro filter gave me the phone line back.  Unplugging and plugging it back in to the modem a few times cured that problem so it evidently wasn’t the micro filter that was at fault but still no internet.

Another phone call to Sky Broadband and after a lesson in teaching my granny how to suck eggs, I was transferred to the department that deals with technical problems for people who have Sky phone lines.  Half an hour on hold listening to the same 3 minute loop of terrible hold music and an irritating Scottish voice inviting me to take up all the wonderful services that I already have and I eventually got through to someone who told me that they will check the line to make sure there isn’t a problem with it before they start looking at whether it’s the router that’s at fault.  Fine by me as it’s quite likely to be a line fault but not fine is the warning that it can take up to 48 hours to diagnose a problem with the line so we could be without internet access for over 2 days.

I did pop on the internet a couple of times by hooking up my mobile phone to my laptop but as well as being unbelievably slow (we’ve been spoilt with 20mbit broadband that’s capable enough to handle 2 laptops and a desktop connected to the internet at the same time without any drop-off in speed) it was eating through my 500mb monthly data allowance like nobody’s business.  So I’m reduced to retrieving my emails and checking Twitter on my mobile phone while Mrs Sane can’t do her online banking or online bill payments which needs to be done around about now.

Cheap, fast broadband has made life so much more convenient but at the cost of making living without it so much more inconvenient.