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Standard User em_x
(newbie) Mon 23-Nov-20 16:24:25
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BT or Sky in London? Does living near an exchange help?


[link to this post]
 
I asked my next door neighbours and they're happy with BT and get 40-50mb/s.

However, Sky have a really good Black Friday deal on their Superfast package which is promising 65-75 mb/s for £25. The same speed range will cost me £31.99 on BT's Fibre 2 deal. A similarly priced package on BT is their Fibre 1 package at £26.99, but with only 46-50 mb/s.

The only thing stopping me from choosing Sky is that I'm seeing more complaints around slow speeds and spotty connections on online review sites. I also don't know anyone that's with Sky broadband. Most of my friends are on BT or Virgin (which I can't get in my area). I'm leaning towards BT and paying a bit more, as they seem to have less complaints online.

I live about half a mile away from my local exchange (Openreach), and my local cabinet is only one street away, if that helps! We only have FTTC available on my street, no FTTP. I'm on a very sad ADSL 10 mb/s connection right now with less than 1 mb/s upload speed, which makes me lag terribly on group Zoom calls for work (one of my main reasons for wanting to switch).

Thank you to anyone who can help!

Edited by em_x (Mon 23-Nov-20 16:33:54)

Standard User CJT
(experienced) Mon 23-Nov-20 18:58:24
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Re: BT or Sky in London? Does living near an exchange help?


[re: em_x] [link to this post]
 
Hi there em_x

You can get an idea of what speeds you could expect via this link it should just work with a landline number depending who you are currently with, or use the address checker.

I am not one to recommend BT as recently I have had a shocking service with them, so I am leaving for someone else. However SKY are generally good if you have a decent connection.

Always worth asking what their "get out" options are if they have any.

CJT.

On BT Broadband up to 80 Mbps...

But NOT for much longer!

Previously on NOW TV Broadband up to 38 Mbps
Standard User ian72
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Tue 24-Nov-20 08:49:43
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Re: BT or Sky in London? Does living near an exchange help?


[re: em_x] [link to this post]
 
The "quality" of the line is mostly down to physics and so BT and Sky will be similar from that respect. Support is also probably not that much different between them - depends on who answers the phone as to how good the support is. If you also have Sky Q then having a Sky router may have some benefits for you but I haven't used Sky for broadband so don't know if it is that much.

In the end the big ISPs don't have that much to differentiate them really - they have some included add ons that might swing it for you - for example I am currently using BT mobile as I can get an EE based mobile service for a low price due to deals from having BT broadband and on Halo 1. Sky do package deals as well so might work better for you depending on whether there is anything else you want.

In the end most people get a decent service with either of them - but some people don't. It will be pot luck as to whether you end up in the latter group with either supplier.


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Administrator MrSaffron
(staff) Tue 24-Nov-20 09:50:38
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Re: BT or Sky in London? Does living near an exchange help?


[re: CJT] [link to this post]
 
Both BT and Sky have their lovers and haters, they are the two largest providers so while not loved by some they are obviously doing something reasonable well.

In terms of connection speed should be no real difference and if close to the cabinet even if either one did have slow downs at peak time you should see speeds much better than ADSL2+

Choice is really, price and the added extras, if you have Sky TV boxes going the Q router and then Sky Q tv boxes may be a good way to link various rooms

The author of the above post is a thinkbroadband staff member. It may not constitute an official statement on behalf of thinkbroadband.
Standard User em_x
(newbie) Tue 24-Nov-20 11:39:50
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Re: BT or Sky in London? Does living near an exchange help?


[re: MrSaffron] [link to this post]
 
Thank you so much! It's good to know that being close to a cabinet means potentially better speeds regardless of ISP provider.

I've only switched ISPs twice in the last 20 years, so it still feels like quite a new and daunting experience for me. Especially when reading all the online reviews and seeing they're mostly 90% complaints for the two biggest but highly rated ISPs in the country.

It gets even more confusing when they say "I was with Sky, and now my connection is so much better with BT" or "I was with BT, and now my connection is much better with Sky". It makes it really hard to make that final decision.
Standard User em_x
(newbie) Tue 24-Nov-20 11:42:47
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Re: BT or Sky in London? Does living near an exchange help?


[re: ian72] [link to this post]
 
That makes a lot of sense. Now I'm wondering why Sky is only charging £25 for 65-72mb, while BT is charging £26 for 45-55mb. Do you "get what you pay for" when it comes to broadband contract prices? Does paying more mean getting a better and more reliable connection?

In terms of the add-ons, the Sky package looks the best so far, but I'm just concerned why it's so cheap! Haha.
Standard User ukhardy07
(knowledge is power) Tue 24-Nov-20 11:48:04
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Re: BT or Sky in London? Does living near an exchange help?


[re: em_x] [link to this post]
 
There are major issues with the firmware on the Sky Hub supplied currently, effectively DHCP does not function as it should. The fix has been pushed back since September, it is very frustrating. If you have a lot of devices, proceed with caution with Sky.

https://forums.thinkbroadband.com/sky/4666027-issues...
Standard User em_x
(newbie) Tue 24-Nov-20 11:54:49
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Re: BT or Sky in London? Does living near an exchange help?


[re: CJT] [link to this post]
 
My VDSL ranges from 80-67mb/s downstream, with 20-19mb/s upstream, and a downstream handback of 60-64.2mb/s.

My FTTP on demand is 330mb/s downstream, with 30mb/s upstream.

However, both Sky and BT said I can't get more than 74mb/s download speed and 20mb/s upload speed with them when entering my address and landline number on their website.

Does this mean I should get a fair connection on both providers, regardless of who I choose? (Apologies if I'm asking silly questions. I've only ever changed ISPs twice in the last 20 years. 😅)

And thank you for the "get out" option tip as well. Great point to note!
Standard User em_x
(newbie) Tue 24-Nov-20 12:01:26
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Re: BT or Sky in London? Does living near an exchange help?


[re: ukhardy07] [link to this post]
 
Thanks for this! This is a really good point. I have 5-10 devices usually connected so this might be an issue.

I've also heard that BT's hub might have the better tech as well? Are there any keywords or terms I should be looking for in each ISP's hubs to make a better judgment and decision on their hub quality?
Standard User CJT
(experienced) Tue 24-Nov-20 12:13:10
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Re: BT or Sky in London? Does living near an exchange help?


[re: em_x] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by em_x:
My VDSL ranges from 80-67mb/s downstream, with 20-19mb/s upstream, and a downstream handback of 60-64.2mb/s.

My FTTP on demand is 330mb/s downstream, with 30mb/s upstream.

However, both Sky and BT said I can't get more than 74mb/s download speed and 20mb/s upload speed with them when entering my address and landline number on their website.

Does this mean I should get a fair connection on both providers, regardless of who I choose? (Apologies if I'm asking silly questions. I've only ever changed ISPs twice in the last 20 years. 😅)

And thank you for the "get out" option tip as well. Great point to note!


80/20 is the maxium your line will handle, but in reality you will get closer to 74-76 mb/s probably. In reality also, I doubt your average person would notice.

You should get a similar speed service from most providers, but there are other factors to take into account, which I find very technical. Probably one for one of the more experienced users to explain.

CJT.

On BT Broadband up to 80 Mbps...

But NOT for much longer!

Previously on NOW TV Broadband up to 38 Mbps
Standard User ukhardy07
(knowledge is power) Tue 24-Nov-20 12:17:21
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Re: BT or Sky in London? Does living near an exchange help?


[re: em_x] [link to this post]
 
All I can say is I was on BT with around 35 devices connected (smart lights, alexa, google home, etc). It never had a problem. With Sky if I reboot, the first 5 or so devices get an IP, around 12 hours later DHCP kicks in and allows approx 15, within 48 - 72 hours all my devices have an IP assigned. Provided I don't reboot / get a powercut I am then okay... That being said, had an electrician around yesterday and work laptop has not yet got an IP. Workaround is a static IP, but my smart lights cannot be assigned static IPs and currently the bedrooms have not got IPs so they don't work. Crazy TBH.

The boosters (part of their whole home wifi) seem to slow my speeds down to around 35Mbps, despite all being linked with a solid (approx -55 to -60RSSI) signal on 5GHz. On BT, their whole home WiFi didn't slow my speeds at all, I was getting 74Mbps on speedtests with 2 boosters in the same location.

Customer service wise, definitely had a better experience on BT, when I had a fault they auto compensated me, with Sky, they're umming and arring back and forth whether I get compensation for this issue as they see "some" data throughput... Sure, the few devices that work have data throughput, but overall I do not have a working connection so I expect compensation. The Exec team have agreed £4 discount which doesn't nearly cover the issues faced.

I am looking into switching ISP if they do not issue a firmware update soon. I am working with the trials team to test the proposed fixed firmware, it was promised last thursday, then friday, then saturday, and on Sunday they pulled it until they get further info... So it's not even in trial currently, let alone rolled out to mass market.

Another issue they had which was quite bothersome, their calls over internet (effectively you plug your phone into their router not the phone socket). This was broken for months as their time server got messed up on the same firmware which broke DHCP. It told my Panasonic handset that the time was one hour out, this meant if someone called, my handset didn't ring as it thought the call was at a different time. Instead it just showed a missed call for an hour out. Sky actually did not fix this, instead the daylight saving that just occured fixed it as the time now aligns.

https://www.ispreview.co.uk/index.php/2020/08/isp-sk...

Overall - not impressed. It all feels very basic, and I question their internal testing. On the other hand, TV has been perfect.

Edited by ukhardy07 (Tue 24-Nov-20 12:20:32)

Standard User ian72
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Tue 24-Nov-20 14:10:45
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Re: BT or Sky in London? Does living near an exchange help?


[re: em_x] [link to this post]
 
Just to clear up your FTTP On Demand - that is a product where you can pay to get FTTP run to you but costs are well into the £1000's for install and then you have to take a business product for at least a year. Few providers do it - the most popular seems to be Cerberus but you need a big wallet in most cases to get it - unless you really really need more than 80Mb/s then it isn't relevant to you.

There are also other providers than BT and Sky. There are over 200 providers out there and others might provide better value or services. Whilst BT, Sky and TalkTalk are the big providers there are loads of others with products that could suit - but you could spend the next month investigating them all....
Administrator MrSaffron
(staff) Tue 24-Nov-20 14:25:51
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Re: BT or Sky in London? Does living near an exchange help?


[re: em_x] [link to this post]
 
BT tends to add other things into the bundle that add value but do have a small price impact.

The BT 80/20 product varies between £29.99/m and £31.99/m depending on when you buy
The Sky 80/20 product is £25/m to £27/m on same criteria.

One reason for the lower price is those further from the cabinet with Sky will be put on a slower and cheaper for Sky product.

Another reason is the network for Sky from exchange to the Internet is cheaper than what BT use.

Another reason no big provider survives if they price service more than the big old provider that is BT. Have had both on a longer slow line and no real difference between the two. Wi-Fi did improve over the years as new routers appear and that is why lots of people who switch after years of using old hardware see the new provider as a lot better.

The author of the above post is a thinkbroadband staff member. It may not constitute an official statement on behalf of thinkbroadband.
Standard User 4M2
(knowledge is power) Tue 24-Nov-20 21:16:48
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Re: BT or Sky in London? Does living near an exchange help?


[re: em_x] [link to this post]
 
Re BT checker:

In reply to a post by em_x:
My VDSL ranges from 80-67mb/s downstream, with 20-19mb/s upstream, and a downstream handback of 60-64.2mb/s.


Realistically you should see a minimum downstream line rate of ~60Mbps once a stable line rate has been established after 10 days of a WBC FTTC service. I assume your neighbor is running throughput speed tests and getting 40-50Mbps with BT retail?
Standard User RobertoS
(elder) Tue 24-Nov-20 23:32:39
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Re: BT or Sky in London? Does living near an exchange help?


[re: 4M2] [link to this post]
 
Don't forget we have no idea of the neighbour's setup. For a start, they are probably talking about speeds received over wifi.

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Standard User 4M2
(knowledge is power) Wed 25-Nov-20 01:04:36
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Re: BT or Sky in London? Does living near an exchange help?


[re: RobertoS] [link to this post]
 
Yes I totally agree but one might like to give the neighbour benefit for providing a plausible estimate from an optimized setup within their property smile
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