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    UK ISP Sky Broadband Must Try Harder to Deliver a Better Router

    This is a discussion on UK ISP Sky Broadband Must Try Harder to Deliver a Better Router within the Sky news and announcements forums, part of the SkyUser Announcements category; UK ISP Sky Broadband Must Try Harder to Deliver a Better Router - ISPreview UK Over the past couple of ...

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      UK ISP Sky Broadband Must Try Harder to Deliver a Better Router

      UK ISP Sky Broadband Must Try Harder to Deliver a Better Router - ISPreview UK
      Over the past couple of years most of the big broadband ISPs have introduced new routers with modern features, such as support for the latest Gigabit capable 802.11ac WiFi standard, Gigabit LAN ports, IPv6, USB ports, 5GHz wifi and so forth (note: thereís some variance on these between ISPs). But not all have been as fast to keep pace.

      Admittedly this is perhaps not an issue that will bother advanced users, the bulk of which will be happy to shell out a little extra dosh for the latest hardware. Never the less most consumers do tend to go with what theyíre given and in Sky Broadbandís case, an ISP that also makes it tedious to find your connection password and thus to adopt third-party kit (Wireshark can help you here), that could be leaving customers at a growing disadvantage.

      At present Skyís most advanced kit is its Sky Hub (SR102) router, which was launched at the very end of last year and yet itís only redeeming feature is the addition of an internal VDSL [FTTC] modem (here). Otherwise the bog standard 802.11n / 2.4GHz (144Mbps maximum data transmission rate) wifi, 100Mbps LAN ports and limited web-based interface are well behind the competition.

      The Rivals


      By comparison most of Skyís big rivals have been offering 5GHz wifi for the best part of two years and Gigabit LAN (1000Mbps) ports have also become increasingly common. Itís also not uncommon to find USB connectivity (i.e. for storage and sometimes mobile broadband support) on the back of the latest kit and the most recent hardware from BT (HomeHub5), EE (BrightBox2) and TalkTalk (Super Router) has even added Gigabit 802.11ac wifi into the mix, which is very cutting edge stuff for mass-market hardware.

      Clearly some ISPs are taking the feature war seriously and recognising that this is fast becoming an important part of their product offerings, which will come as little surprise given the wider markets aggressively competitive tendencies. Meanwhile Sky, which is arguably one of the better rated big ISPs, seems to be falling further behind and itís a sentiment that many customers seem to share.

      The Future


      ISPreview.co.uk recently had the opportunity to put some of these concerns to Sky, which agreed that they were behind the competition in terms of key features. But the good news is that they are looking at new ways of enhancing their products, although sadly they wouldnít be drawn on any specific plans or details for future router releases.

      But there is another important question to ask, do any of these modern features really make a difference? For example, the benefits of faster WiFi are obvious but many consumers still use devices (Smartphones, adapters etc.) that donít support the 5GHz wifi band in 802.11n and very few are ready to benefit from the latest 802.11ac standard.

      Similarly itís good to have Gigabit LAN ports (this often also indicates a router with a faster chipset) but, setting aside the benefits to a fully wired local network, these days wifi is more common for home networks and in any case the only mass-market national ISP that can offer a fixed line Internet connection above 100Mbps is Virgin Media (there are a few niche Gigabit ISPs like B4RN, Hyperoptic etc. but the vast majority arenít covered). Meanwhile having a USB port can come in handy but many might not even realise what they can do with it.

      So in a way the differences may not yet be a critical issue for Sky but thatís not how marketing works. In a competitive market Sky needs to keep its eye on the ball before it rolls too far down hill and having kit thatís able to get the best out of a modern superfast broadband line is becoming increasingly important.


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    3. #2
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      Re: UK ISP Sky Broadband Must Try Harder to Deliver a Better Router

      All Sky need to do is take steps to make using a 3rd party router as easy as plug and pray.

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      Re: UK ISP Sky Broadband Must Try Harder to Deliver a Better Router

      And not only is the SR102 a complete pile of dogs wotsits the clowns at Sky Towers also charge £69 for that pile of junk when your old router, which was just as good, breaks down.

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      Re: UK ISP Sky Broadband Must Try Harder to Deliver a Better Router

      Quote Originally Posted by jrfer View Post
      All Sky need to do is take steps to make using a 3rd party router as easy as plug and pray.
      Whilst I do agree, the article is specifically comparing the routers which ISPs supply as standard to their customers.

      Most people will use the standard router irrespective to whom their ISP is as the routers will tend to be sufficient for their needs. Of course those of us who want to do more will quickly find that the standard routers aren't always capable of doing the extra things and we have to look elsewhere.

      Quote Originally Posted by pete.i View Post
      And not only is the SR102 a complete pile of dogs wotsits the clowns at Sky Towers also charge £69 for that pile of junk when your old router, which was just as good, breaks down.
      Don't forget the recently increased price for P&P too - £6.95.

      Compared to what was being shipped 5 years ago, the SR102 is fantastic. Unfortunately things have moved on several more steps than the SR102 is capable of dealing with and it would IMHO be nice to see things move a huge step forward.

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      Re: UK ISP Sky Broadband Must Try Harder to Deliver a Better Router

      Quote Originally Posted by pete.i View Post
      Sky Towers also charge £69 for that pile of junk when your old router, which was just as good, breaks down.
      I guess it depends how you look at it: are you paying for a complete service including hardware in your sub or just the provision of BB? I'm of the view that if you are in contract and the T&Cs say you have to use their equipment then they have to replace anything faulty. If you're not in contract then you can pay or walk*. I believe that Sky used to replace the router whether in or out of contract but they found that a very significant number of customers were saying their router was faulty so they could get the latest model for free. With the number of customers Sky has that was set to cost them many hundreds of thousands, possibly millions of pounds a year so they tightened up the policy.

      Maybe think of it as similar to a mobile phone contract? Do any of them give you a new phone if your old one packs in, except as a retention offer? And only then if you are a profitable customer.

      *retentions will almost always offer a router if you call their bluff - but in my opinion that doesn't do much for long lasting customer loyalty as the damage is done.

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      Re: UK ISP Sky Broadband Must Try Harder to Deliver a Better Router

      I have a sneaky suspicion that a lot of people were also selling their apparently faulty router on eBay when it was found that the actual problem was perhaps a line fault or something else unrelated to the router as well.

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      Re: UK ISP Sky Broadband Must Try Harder to Deliver a Better Router

      Quote Originally Posted by Saturday View Post
      *retentions will almost always offer a router if you call their bluff - but in my opinion that doesn't do much for long lasting customer loyalty as the damage is done.
      Unfortunately retentions offers have been severely retarded by Sky in recent times and the router offers are now £20, occasionally £10, plus £6.95 for next working day delivery (this cannot be reduced either, unlike previously).

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      Re: UK ISP Sky Broadband Must Try Harder to Deliver a Better Router

      Quote Originally Posted by Scubbie View Post
      Whilst I do agree, the article is specifically comparing the routers which ISPs supply as standard to their customers.

      Most people will use the standard router irrespective to whom their ISP is as the routers will tend to be sufficient for their needs. Of course those of us who want to do more will quickly find that the standard routers aren't always capable of doing the extra things and we have to look elsewhere.
      Quite right.

      I am afraid my comment was prompted by my experiences with the routers supplied by several ISP's including VM, Be and Sky. None of which I consider worthy of plugging into a mains socket.

      - - - Updated - - -

      Quote Originally Posted by pete.i View Post
      And not only is the SR102 a complete pile of dogs wotsits the clowns at Sky Towers also charge £69 for that pile of junk when your old router, which was just as good, breaks down.
      I would cancel rather than pay Sky £69.00 for an sr102 door-stop.

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      Re: UK ISP Sky Broadband Must Try Harder to Deliver a Better Router

      I wonder if you would be able to claim off your Contents Insurance against the cost of a replacement router?

      Sky Fibre Unlimited Pro: Connected at 80,000 kbps / 20,000 kbps
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      Speedtest: 17.15MB/s 0.97Mb/s Ping 31 ms

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      Re: UK ISP Sky Broadband Must Try Harder to Deliver a Better Router

      The SR102 is a £20 router at best
      jrfer likes this.

     

     
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