Sky Broadband can't decide whether they're throttling or not

2 October 2009

Bitterwallet - Sky BroadbandIf you're a Sky Broadband customer then keep an eye on your inbox in the next couple of days; Sky are making pretty bold promises as well as changes to their services. For example, did you know that Sky is the only broadband provider that doesn't throttle its service at peak times?

"...however you use the internet, you can be sure that in Sky network areas, we don't slow our broadband speed down at peak times - unlike other providers."

Which is great news, except it completely contradicts Sky's own usage policies:

"To ensure we provide a sustainable quality broadband service to our customers, we continuously monitor and efficiently manage the Sky Network as a whole. To do this, during peak times (from 5pm to 12am each day), we may slow down the speed that all Sky Broadband Connect customers can get on certain applications which we consider use up a lot of bandwidth..."

"We will monitor your Sky Broadband usage during peak times from 5pm to 12am each day. This is when the majority of customers use the network and when speeds could be affected by the excessive usage of a minority. If we consider that your usage is excessive during peak times we may slow down your connection for the rest of the day so that it has less affect on others."

Gotcha, Sky. By saying your customers can do whatever they want and you'll never throttle their service, what you really mean you will throttle the service if you don't like what they're doing. Clear as mud. Sky are also telling customers that they can expect to be automatically upgraded to a more expensive tariff if they exceed their broadband allowance more than once in six months. Of course you can always drop back down to the lower tariff if you behave yourself, but it might cost you:

"We will charge you fair and reasonable costs for your usage (and any reasonable administration costs) in excess of your Usage Cap."

It'll be interesting to see what administration costs Sky put in place for straying a MB or two over your allowance. After all, if they can automatically upgrade you surely they can automatically downgrade you? Regardless, they're getting serious about it - from November customers are encouraged to monitor their own usage online at

TOPICS:   Broadband


  • Marc
    I think you've got this wrong. Sky say the won't throttle in "Sky Network" areas, ie. where LLU has taken place. However, they do throttle those on the Sky Broadband Connect service (which goes through BT's equipment at the exchange). Whether or not they make this distinction clear at the time of ordering is another matter... But nevertheless, what you've quoted them as saying doesn't contradict.
  • Gunn
    Whenever I see the word unlimited I always look for the fine print. Take the recent Tesco mobile adverts, unlimited calls and texts for £30 a month, sounds great, except fine print says £500 fair use policy applies, right so it's not unlimited. ftw!
  • I p.
    “We will charge you fair and reasonable costs for your usage (and any reasonable administration costs) in excess of your Usage Cap.” The robbin' bastards tried to dick me for 35 quid, cos the modem was faulty on my skybox. Got it back after an irate phonecall to "Daisy" in Mumbai.
  • el t.
    The above post is 100% accurate. The 3 broadband products on the sky network are not subject to any throttling - Base, Everyday and Unlimited Packages. The connect package which utilises the BT network is, due to renting the equipment off BT. Cmon Bitterwallet get your information straight before posting stuff like this.
  • CompactDstrxion
    Sky Broadband Connect != Sky Broadband
  • Jase
    Helps if I actually paid for my Sky Broadband...
  • KB
    "Sky Broadband Connect != Sky Broadband" No, it's a rebadged BT product of which they have very limited control over, but please continue to chat crap without any knowledge of what you are talking about.
  • Jase
    for non-coding people != means does not equal
  • chip
    May does not equal will.
  • Paul S.
    If there are two different broadband products, then I think it's fair to say Sky are misleading their customers. The email was sent to a Sky Broadband Connect customer, but it begins by making the statement about never throttling the service. Outside those customers who recognise that != is something other than a typo (who probably don't use Sky Broadband services anyway), there probably aren't many who are aware of the distinction.
  • Flash
    "For example, did you know that Sky is the only broadband provider that doesn’t throttle its service at peak times?" There wrong right there Beunlimited is not throttled/capped etc. Sky have really gone of the boil lately in all aspects of their business infact it's hard to tell the difference between them and BT.
  • Eoin L.
    Traffic Management is the worst business move ever made by Sky. I have had sky for 6 months and after three weeks tracking my connection speeds of using I can confirm that my connection is dropping like clockwork from 5pm to midnight. It effects my ftp, vnc, onlinegaming, VOIP, POP, website traffic, streaming. etc It seems everyone in northern Ireland is subject to sky connect package at the moment. This seems unfair, this seems like madness from a business point of view. Anyway I called Sky (08442-41-41-41) with the results from the BT speed checker, they said that there was nothing they could do, but get them to agree that they are actually traffic manage your connection from 5pm to midnight. & say that you don't want to be traffic managed! Then I asked for My MAC code, note, this is not the MAC Network Address on the sky router but a Migration Access Code, or something like that, provided, by sky, so that you can move back to BT, or another supplier. Moving back to BT is the only option in NI, if you are a 21st century Internet User, who relies on a constant level of internet connection. To work from home, connect with people, socialize or research. Use the internet for University school work, multiple household users, server hobbyists, and all the rest... Here is a list of some of my speed results ( Can provide screen shots). In the Mornings the results are fine....well....acceptable 11:00am on 25th March 5198 kbps Around afternoon the results take a nose dive. 5:21pm on 30th March 454 kbps 4;21pm on 5th April 89 kbps 4:43pm on 18th April 614 kbps 7:32pm on 20th April 456 kbps Right Now! 22:22pm April 1000kbps So I went to the BT website and just ordered my new "option 1 package", it was easy I used their website to enter the mac code from sky and then they absorbed the line and I am getting my New Un "Traffic Managed" line installed on 11th may. possibly earlier. Other notes are that when you call sky and request a mac code, usually from their cancellations dept, it takes 24 hours for the sky systems to generate a mac code. You should leave it two days and then phone up and get the mac code write it down and then you can leave the sky broadband connect package. Sky may have their hands tied here, having un-bundled exchanges, but there is alot of bullshit being talked on the internet and by sky customer services. I feel cleansed now that I have finally left Sky Broadband and cant wait to start using a steady connection. Eoin Lennon
  • Tino
    Eoin are you saying that not all BT packages are traffic managed? Im not getting that from my research, seems BT throttle all their packages, please correct me with evidence if im wrong! Tino

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