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Sky removes fair use policy
Tuesday 16 September 2008 10:47:21 by Andrew Ferguson

Sky who operate a mixture of an unbundled network and the BT Wholesale IPstream service where they have not put their own hardware into exchanges has rejigged the way usage allowances work on their products.

The Sky Max product uses ADSL2+ via Sky LLU kit to offer connection speeds up to 16Mbps and was previously subject to a fair use policy. This has now been removed which means we can expect to see marketing describing the product as unlimited in the near future. For an extra £10 a month on top of an existing Sky TV bundle this represents good value. Most other truly unlimited products are significantly more expensive, though how long the product will remain with no fair use policy depends a lot on how many people are attracted to the product who try to download 1000GB or more a month. People buying the Sky Max product should not expect performance approaching 1:1 contention levels, as this is simply not possible for £10 a month. If there are a handful of heavy users on an exchange people may see little or no congestion, but over time as the product becomes more popular this is likely to change.

The Sky Connect product which is what you can order for £17 a month if your exchange is not unbundled by Sky is due to have traffic management of some type applied in addition to the 40GB monthly allowance.

While no fair use policy applies, Sky has retained a section in the terms and conditions that all providers have in one form or another, and that is that they reserve the right to protect their network and maintain quality of service for all our users. Generally this is interpreted as a clause allowing them to act if you are found to be using their mail servers as spam relays or similar malicious behaviour, but it could apply to people that for example saturate their downstream capacity every hour of the day for months on end.


Posted by scarymonkey over 8 years ago
I trust the Sky backhaul and the UKOnlin backhaul from the exchanges are not shared, otherwise the heavy downloaders on Sky could seriously impact the speeds obtained on UKO connections
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
Long live LLU :)
Posted by chrysalis over 8 years ago
cost comparison
LLU backhaul = no FUP, no traffic shaping, £7 cheaper than BTw.
BTw = 40gig limit, traffic shaping, £7 more expensive.
Scarymonkey I wont be expecting sky's users to suddenly download more, the FUP was known to never be enforced so they downloaded as they wanted anyway.
Posted by mr_chris over 8 years ago
chrysalis... no, I wouldn't expect sky's users to suddenly download more, but I would expect a small but significant influx of heavy users to Sky. It's a very dangerous game they're playing, and I hope it doesn't go wrong for them.
Posted by CaptainW over 8 years ago
No-one has ever managed to tell me what size this is - Easynet's network is 320 petabit - can anyone here quantify this? Is this why they are able to offer this service? Due to the capability of their network?

Sky doesn't play these types of games lightly and clearly plan on making this quite a stormer - time will tell.
Posted by chrysalis over 8 years ago
mr_chris, they already had influx of heavy users, as its been passed around the FUP was never enforced and sky has always been a good isp for heavy users before this announcement.
Posted by chrysalis over 8 years ago
also remember they not on a level playing field with ipstream, people keep forgetting because ipstream isps cant do true unlimited then llu cant either, this is wrong. hence my comparison with skys ipstream product to show you the large difference in costs sky must be facing. They have the 2nd largest network in uk, so their network is bigger than one of VM and BT.
Posted by chrysalis over 8 years ago
captianw according to their website (easynet) they got 4Tbps capacity, over 4500km of fibre in uk. They have also finished some recent upgrades, which seem to be coincidental timing with sky's announcement.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
The easynet network wont bat an eyelid and everyone before this knew it was very rare for easynet, sky or ukonline to slap people with limitations anyway. Lets just face facts... LLU costs us as consumers less... Its faster, you get more for your money and support from many of them is pretty good.. Others can witter about costs as much as they like or preach how LLU will die or whatever new cult dribble they can come up with, at the end of the day though facts are facts and a consumer at this time is better off with SOME LLU providers.
Posted by CaptainW over 8 years ago
@ chrysalis
thanks for those figures but is that for UKOnline with it being on Easynet's website?
the sky website states on their teach in when Sky took them over that the network was 320 Petabit on page 15 here,
Posted by chrysalis over 8 years ago
captianw easynet list ukonline as a sister company, same with easynet connect, sky is the owner of course. All 3 services share the same capacity (but I expect segmented somewhat so one cant affect the other), sky, ukonline and easynet connect, easynet connect been for premium business services leased lines etc.
Posted by c_j_ over 8 years ago
4Tbps or whatever is irrelevant to any given customer. What's relevant to any given customer is the spare capacity at the narrowest point between end user and ISP. Typically that will be between exchange and Easynet backbone. Pre Sky, these things used to fill up to capacity from time to time, and then punters got unhappy. Spending money on more bandwidth from the exchange fixes that, but even for LLU operators, bandwidth isn't free (it's a lot cheaper than IPstream, because the LLU operators choose to serve only areas where bandwidth is cheap).
Posted by comnut over 8 years ago
Ok just answer a simple Q.. what do all these Peta bits, etc refer to???

or is it just like car maniacs boasting about engine capacity???

or just a numbers exercise, adding up the amount of customers speeds???

as c_j_ says, its rather pointless...
Posted by chrysalis over 8 years ago
c_j thats true yes, I was just getting the info for captianw, I expect the most likely point of congestion for sky customers is backhaul from exchange, which in easynet's case is nearly always gigabit, however if there is loads of exchanges clustered together they will be sharing that backhaul to the easynet POP.
Posted by comnut over 8 years ago
well now people are starting to change the full meaning of words (again)...

Network ('a collection of interconnected cables and devices') is now changing to be similar to 'TV network' (that is what the last posts are saying..)

Bandwidth should only apply to 'analog frequency spread' but has been hijacked from the HIFI world, to now mean speed...

you might be interested in this link!

quote: "In this Website we generally use key system, rather than PBX terminology"
also terms like CO (not company! :) ) SLT, KTS, KSU, and why 'dial' buttons??
Posted by CaptainW over 8 years ago
Thanks guys for explaining the way the networks works - I appreciate it but I still have no answer to what quantities this relates to.

i was expecting something like 1000Gb is 1Tb, now so many Tb = 1 Peta bit

is that perhaps right, or is there another range in-between Tb and Pb?

Thanks again everyone
Posted by comnut over 8 years ago
this has them all, including visualisations..
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