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Sky to let Be Broadband customers use their own routers

Router

By Barry Collins

Posted on 10 May 2013 at 15:41

Sky will allow Be Broadband customers to continue using their own routers - even though it doesn't extend that courtesy to its own customers.

Sky bought Be Broadband and O2's landline business from Telefonica earlier this year. That left many Be Broadband customers fearing that they would be forced to use Sky's own-brand router, which Sky effectively forces on its own customer base.

However, in a letter sent to Be Broadband customers, Sky explains that it's planning to support third-party router equipment. "We are also aware that some BE customers would like to keep using their own routers and certain features such as Static IP, which is why we're working hard to develop support for these important features on Sky's network," the company writes.

The letter may be an attempt to stem the tide of defections from the O2/Be customer base since the Sky takeover was announced in March. Figures released earlier this week showed the two ISPs had lost more than 40,000 customers since the end of 2012.

Sky Broadband refuses to issue server login details to customers who want to use their own router equipment. Many customers instead use Windows software to extract the login details from the Sky router, and use them to operate their own equipment, although this isn't supported by Sky and breaches its terms and conditions.

This month's PC Pro - on sale Thursday 16 May - compares the performance of ISPs' own-brand routers with third-party models. It doesn't make pretty reading for Sky.

(Thanks to PC Pro reader Colin Brooks for the tip-off.)

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User comments

So this is applicable to both Be and o2 BB customers? I'm currently on o2 and would prefer to continue using my existing router.

I'm already annoyed my upload speed will take a hit moving to Sky as it is...

By EddyOS_2K9 on 10 May 2013

Sky

I was thinking of moving to Sky broadband at the end of my current contract, I was not aware that sky insisted on you using their on router, for that reason I WILL not be switching to sky, unless sky change their terms and conditions so I can use my own.

By Chrisfjr1300 on 10 May 2013

Sky - how generous

How kind of them to let me keep using my own tp-link router. The only reason I had to buy my own router was because the thompson ones that Be supplied were crap (I went through three of them)!

By spideryman on 10 May 2013

Switching Broadband

Having been a BE Customer for 3 years. I have receive the "Information Pack" from Sky. It doesn't seem we get any benefits for staying with Sky. What is everyones top tip for a decent provider. Excluding BT !

By Pluggy31 on 10 May 2013

Alternative Provider

I also wasn't aware of sky's requirement to use their own equipment, glad I didn't just swap to them.

Pluggy31, I've recently been researching alternative providers after having issues with BT moving me to carrier grade NAT. I can't yet vouch for them but I decided on Xilo for my broadband, I should transfer across next week. Reviews seem consistently good and they only have a 1 month contract term so if they do turn out bad I can easily move elsewhere, price for their LLU package is also similar to BT/Sky but you get a static IP and no traffic shaping. Only catch is they don't offer unlimited during peak hours, and there's a £40 + vat fee for LLU.

If money's not an issue then Zen consistently get highly praised.

By Samo42 on 10 May 2013

Sky are probably doing this just to avoid the expense of issuing new boxes otherwise I wouldn't be surprised if they forced people to use their ones.

That was one thing I did like about Be as being able to use my own router was handy since it was rubbish (G wifi for example), when I joined Sky though (special offers) I ended up using their router only for Modem/DHCP/Switch but still had my own router because it was better for other things e.g. Gigabit ethernet, wifi, usb, etc.

With BT Infinity I continue to use my own router (RT-N66U) for similar reasons including VPN support, handy when travelling.

What's funny though is that I was considering moving to Be/O2 from sky before they purchased it.

By tech3475 on 11 May 2013

I wonder if Sky will be migrating the Be/O2 customers to a MER connection. That will severly limit their router options if they do...

I'm not getting the router hate aimed at Sky to be honest. The new one is fine, it's only missing 5GHz that I'd like so I just added an extra AP. It's not something that 99% of customers would need/want.

By MagicBoyUK on 12 May 2013

@MagicBoyUK

There are typically three reasons I've seen:
1. They want to use a superior router, for example the current modem doesn't have a USB port IIRC.
2. They don't want to have this plugged in just for the modem. This would have been a pain for me at the time if not because I used the extra ethernet ports.
3. They don't like being FORCED to use it.

I know an official reason is that it simplifies diagnostics, although this argument is flawed in that people could just plug in the router when there are problems as I have done in the past for Be/BT and the times I did have issues they did little to help and their automatically updated firmware has caused issues in the past again IIRC.

By tech3475 on 12 May 2013

I'm with Sky and had a cisco router

I've been with Sky for quite a while and used to have a CISCO router attached. When I was having problems the tech support even tried to help sort out problems WITH the CISCO router connected. So I think a lot of the sarcasm leveled at Sky is unwarranted.

By keithh on 12 May 2013

@keithh

Except Sky OFFICIALLY don't support the router, which is where the problem lies, especially when as you pointed out third party routers may otherwise work.

By tech3475 on 13 May 2013

@Pluggy31

I've been with PlusNet for years and have no complaints. I know they are now officially part of the BT empire but you wouldn't know it to deal with them. I use my own router, chose my own user name and password and have always had a static IP address, as I run my own mail server from home.

By jgwilliams on 13 May 2013

Sky/02 router

As a current O2 customer Sky have sent me a letter informing me I will be able to use my own router with them - time will tell.

By Tyro63 on 13 May 2013

Sky/02 router

As a current O2 customer Sky have sent me a letter informing me I will be able to use my own router with them - time will tell.

By Tyro63 on 13 May 2013

Get your Sky adsl username and password

This website actually gives you the username and password for your sky adsl account. You need to put some information in from your existing sky router. Sky ADSL technical support do NOT have these details. They're pre-programmed into the router and the sky adsl authentication servers.
https://www.cm9.net/skypass/generate.cgi

By deltahw1 on 16 May 2013

Get your Sky adsl username and password

This website actually gives you the username and password for your sky adsl account. You need to put some information in from your existing sky router. Sky ADSL technical support do NOT have these details. They're pre-programmed into the router and the sky adsl authentication servers.
https://www.cm9.net/skypass/generate.cgi

By deltahw1 on 16 May 2013

Get your Sky adsl username and password

This website actually gives you the username and password for your sky adsl account. You need to put some information in from your existing sky router. Sky ADSL technical support do NOT have these details. They're pre-programmed into the router and the sky adsl authentication servers.
https://www.cm9.net/skypass/generate.cgi

By deltahw1 on 16 May 2013

Get your Sky adsl username and password

I tried the above site and it told me that I was not authorised to use it!! My problem is my Sky router will not power my smart tv for catch up programme has anyone any ideas

By freddy56 on 14 Nov 2013

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