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    My Parent's Sky broadband - the start of a saga

    This is a discussion on My Parent's Sky broadband - the start of a saga within the Sky Broadband help forums, part of the Sky Broadband help and support category; My parents decided to switch from BT to Sky broadband. At first glance this could be construed as a reasonable ...

    1. #1
      Crash Override's Avatar
      Crash Override is offline Sky User Member
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      My Parent's Sky broadband - the start of a saga

      My parents decided to switch from BT to Sky broadband. At first glance this could be construed as a reasonable idea since it unifies their bill, no more BT Phone / Broadband then Sky TV bill, reasonable call package, all a one stop shop.

      Then comes the fun.
      1 - The router.

      I honestly thought that nothing could be worse than their original router - a BT Homehub mark 1. A device I strongly suspected was valve operated given it's inordinately long powerup cycle and it's inexplicable size. Let me explain to anyone who hasn't seen the BT Homehub Mark 1 - it is a bit larger than an average hardback book (Those things with paper in them people used to read before the kindle went on sale) and about as useful as a hardback book when it comes to delivering internet. Average speeds were just over 1.2mbit when it decided to work, which was less often than your average politician keeps their campaign promises. BT's excuses are generally 'it's static buildup, unplug it, wait a couple of minutes then plug it back in' quite how something with no moving parts ends up with static buildup when left unattended in a room on an insulated surface with no static generating equipment around it is beyond me, but hey, I only took physics at GCSE and A level, but continued reading pretty much to degree level, plus studied some quantum theory, so I could be wrong here. (Strangely the Netgear DG834 I replaced it with was not similarly affected by 'static' and got 8mbit on the same phone line once I consigned the homehub to electronic heaven.)

      Anyway, I digress, this forum and this thread is about Sky broadband.

      I honestly thought there was nothing worse than the Homehub Mk1. I was wrong, and the homehub loses it's title as worst router to - the Sagemcom brick.

      Pro's for the sagemcom brick - it's black and shiny.
      Con's for the sagemcom brick - it's black and shiny in a light coloured room, and it's about as useful at delivering broadband as a lead brick is as a flotation device. It's uptime record is just over an hour. it's lower end record is just under 4 minutes.

      With wireless on or off, (Makes no difference, nothing has managed to connect to the wireless since it was initially powered on anyway) with or without uPNP the modem falls over more often than Heather Mills McCartney got laughed at in court over her claims against her former husband.

      Cue the inevitable phone call to sky support (Nice, they use a non-geographic number so you are forced to pay for the call) Work your way through the IVR to be connected to an offshore callcenter where someone with a very strong accent called 'warren' is available to help.

      Now, I don't have a problem with outsourced callcenters when the individual you speak to can find their posterior without the aid of both hands and a map. The conversation genuinely included this gem -

      'The router doesn't route. It does not allocate a DHCP IP address via wired connection and the wireless doesn't stay running long enough to allocate an IP when the router IS working. The router is basically a black plastic doorstop, nothing more'

      'I see sir, Would you mind telling me what colour the router is?'

      'Black'
      This was a high point in the conversation. The rest was me trying to explain at each and every step of his script that I had already done that, I have installed and designed networks for a living, I happen to know what I'm talking about.

      30 minutes into the script - err, conversation 'I am escalating your call to level 2 support, expect a call back in between 24 and 72 hours'

      Point to mention, if my parents don't manage to get full speed off this connection I would LOVE to know why not. They are close enough to the local switch (Exchange) that I could run an ethernet cable direct. Their A-B line length is under 100ft and is a single unspliced length of cable. If they can't get full speed I doubt anyone can. Hell, use a reasonable gain antenna and I could connect to the switch via Wifi.

      So, now, I wait for the call from a level 2 tech who is most likely going to say 'you know, you're right, the router isn't working, we'll send you another out' at which point, reading the posts on here is likely to result in circling back to the top of this thread. I will however keep you posted as to results as they occur (Or fail to occur as the case may be)

      If I end up with a third router (Call me pessimistic but I have yet to see an ISP supplied router on ADSL that's worth using) I'm tempted to say 'since you seem incapable of supplying a usable broadband connection I think it's safe to class the contract for the supply of broadband as broken by sky, therefore no penalty should apply for leaving in favour of an ISP that WILL allow the user to supply a router' (Yes, I know at this stage I am only on the first router, but it's hardly a good start really is it?)

      I am going to draft a nice letter to their complaints dept which will be delivered by recorded delivery stating that at this time I am dissatisfied with their broadband product and am classing outages caused by their supplied equipment as failure to deliver a contractually agreed service, and that while I am willing to allow them fair chance to correct the issue, continued failure to deliver indicates a contract breach on their behalf and that not only do I not expect to have the time my parents are without an internet connection to be classed as part of the 'x months free' introductory offer but any phone call charges incurred contacting their help line should be refunded as the charges were incurred as a result of their equipment's inability to perform as advertised. This way I satisfy the requirement of allowing them to correct the issue.

      (The letter will be drafted by me but will come from my father who is the account holder and be signed by him)

      Suffice it to say I am less than happy. (I'm the guy who has to drive 12 miles to try to sort out their broadband issues when they go wrong, who spends the time on the phone trying to get past level 1 support to someone who knows what they're doing. Who has to tolerate things like
      Me - the ethernet cable works, it says 100mbit connection, the router isn't passing a DHCP IP address

      'Warren' - Could you try connecting to the test socket behind the BT faceplate?

      Me - Already tried that, doesn't make a difference because the problem is the router isn't passing a DHCP IP address, nor does it work with a static IP assigned to the PC

      'Warren' - Have you tried turning the router off and back on again?

      Me - yes, no difference

      'Warren' - If I could get you to connect to the test socket behind the BT faceplate?

      Me - you asked me that already
      While being asked by their parents not to get sarcastic on the phone...)

      There should be an extra option on the IVR (Interactive Voice Response) menu - 'If you know what an 'any' key is, press 4 and we will divert you to level 2 support'


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    3. #2
      IWasNotTheEnemy's Avatar
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      Re: My Parent's Sky broadband - the start of a saga

      1. Post router stats, without them this post isn't too helpful - How to get your router statistics
      2. When you say it's the same in the test socket, what do you mean? Dropping off constantly?
      3. You have to go through the scripts with Tier 1 as they are there to weed out the simple issue from the ones that actually need more in depth help.
      4. Sky Broadband is a consumer product that doesn't have an SLA - a fault is fixed ASAP but no time frame is ever given. You might get the money back for the calls (which are free on SkyTalk) but I doubt you'll get anything for the subscription
      5. What FW is the router running on?
      -------------------------------------------



      Useful Sticky: - How To Obtain Your Router Stats, BT Speed Test, Check For Test Socket

    4. #3
      Crash Override's Avatar
      Crash Override is offline Sky User Member
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      Cool Re: My Parent's Sky broadband - the start of a saga

      Quote Originally Posted by IWasNotTheEnemy View Post
      1. Post router stats, without them this post isn't too helpful - How to get your router statistics
      Router stats are fine for a sub 100m cable to the exchange. It's not so much the router-Sky connection that's borked as the router-anything internal. (I assume, when you can't access the router it's hard to tell if the WAN side is as messed up as the LAN side)

      2. When you say it's the same in the test socket, what do you mean? Dropping off constantly?
      When the router gives up, it's on the LAN side, connecting the WAN side to the test socket has no effect. IP renewal results in a 169.254 IP rather than the expected class C 192.168.0.XXX IP. The gateway ceases to be, the connection to the router is no more. Flushing the DNS Cache, rebuilding the TCP/IP stack or resetting winsock - hell, even rebooting the PC (I tried 3 computers and 4 ethernet cables to be sure) makes no difference, the router simply ceases to route.

      Now, a router without a WAN connection will still assign a DHCP IP to the LAN side. This one doesn't. Link shows active 100mbit fdx but no traffic. Pinging the router by IP results in 100% packet loss. Assigning a static IP and default gateway makes no difference. The router is nonresponsive until rebooted at which point you get MAYBE 4 minutes.

      3. You have to go through the scripts with Tier 1 as they are there to weed out the simple issue from the ones that actually need more in depth help.
      I know, but there should be an option to fast track the script, you explain clearly some of the tests done, such as above, and the next question is 'have you tried turning the router off and back on again' The comment about 'it's a black plastic doorstop' was immediately followed by 'What colour is the router' which intimates that the Tier 1 tech didn't actually listen to the response.

      4. Sky Broadband is a consumer product that doesn't have an SLA - a fault is fixed ASAP but no time frame is ever given. You might get the money back for the calls (which are free on SkyTalk) but I doubt you'll get anything for the subscription
      SLA - not referring to an SLA - but if they are contracted to supply broadband and their equipment is not capable of doing so, just as my parents are contracted to pay the monthly bill and adhere to the T&C / AUP, If sky can't get their side working then that becomes a failure to deliver a service under the sales and supply of goods and services act which is a statutory entitlement and not able to be bypassed by contract terms. I AM however required to give them a fair chance at rectifying the problem which I am more than prepared to do. If they can't get a working connection up though I am going to assist my parents in leaving sky at the earliest opportunity rather than have them pay for something that doesn't actually work until the contract expires. Aside from that the subscription is as follows, Sky supply broadband, Parents pay for it. If Sky aren't supplying, why should someone be paying? SLA would entitle my parents to compensation beyond the subscription cost to cover such things as loss of earnings etc, I'm just looking to make sure they pay for a service.

      5. What FW is the router running on?
      In all the boredom I forgot to check, as the unit is under a month old I would presume the current one, but as it doesn't work for more than 4 minutes I can't easily retrieve that information at this point, next time I'm there I will do so though and post the information here.


      To put it into perspective - here's the approximate routing path showing the equivalent distance from house to exchange.




      If they can't get a reliable internet connection on that length of cable...

    5. #4
      Pengwern's Avatar
      Pengwern is offline Sky User Member
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      Re: My Parent's Sky broadband - the start of a saga

      Out of interest, does the router look like a mini-version of the Sky+HD set top box???

      If so, your issues sound vaguely similar to mine, with the new Sagemcom 2304n router.

      Failing to issue IP addresses via DHCP. If an address was assigned it was failing to route anything.

      Sky have finally released a firmware update which they are pushing steadily to all 2304n routers. It seems to fix the issue.

    6. #5
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      Re: My Parent's Sky broadband - the start of a saga

      Sounds like you have the dreaded firmware issue.

      Check if it's version 5.14.6.1 - if not, this is probably why the router keeps playing up. If the router LEDs are not responsive to any ethernet or modem cable being unplugged then you will know for sure that it is locking up.

      You will need to disable wifi on the router setup page to prevent this from happening until the firmware update is received. I would contact sky and ensure that this has been raised.

    7. #6
      Crash Override's Avatar
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      Re: My Parent's Sky broadband - the start of a saga

      Wifi off makes no difference (It's not like anything could connect to it anyway)

    8. #7
      IWasNotTheEnemy's Avatar
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      Re: My Parent's Sky broadband - the start of a saga

      So you've asked for help yet don't do anything we ask?
      -------------------------------------------



      Useful Sticky: - How To Obtain Your Router Stats, BT Speed Test, Check For Test Socket

    9. #8
      Crash Override's Avatar
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      Re: My Parent's Sky broadband - the start of a saga

      Quote Originally Posted by IWasNotTheEnemy View Post
      So you've asked for help yet don't do anything we ask?
      Not quite, posting router stats would be a result of me making a 24 mile drive which I haven't had the opportunity to do yet, and I've already tried the wifi off idea. Not so much a case of 'not doing what you ask' as 'already done one part and am 12 miles away from being able to do the other part, which will require a 24 mile round trip overall to report on'

    10. #9
      timc's Avatar
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      Re: My Parent's Sky broadband - the start of a saga

      If it's not the router's firmware then you've possibly got some malware/virus on the PC. I had exactly the same issues & returned 1 router as faulty but the new one showed the same symptoms & I finally tracked it down to one particular PC on my network that when switched on managed to lock the router within a few minutes.

      Can't honestly remember exactly what I did to fix the problem as it was 15months ago & my memory isn't quite what it used to be.

    11. #10
      Crash Override's Avatar
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      Re: My Parent's Sky broadband - the start of a saga

      Quote Originally Posted by timc View Post
      If it's not the router's firmware then you've possibly got some malware/virus on the PC. I had exactly the same issues & returned 1 router as faulty but the new one showed the same symptoms & I finally tracked it down to one particular PC on my network that when switched on managed to lock the router within a few minutes.

      Can't honestly remember exactly what I did to fix the problem as it was 15months ago & my memory isn't quite what it used to be.
      I can pretty much discount malware / virus. My father's computer is running avast and is scanned regularly by Spybot Search and destroy and Malware Bytes Anti Malware. To be on the safe side though I did try a couple of other computers of mine, one running Windows 7 and another running Ubuntu Linux.

     

     
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