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SkyCable’s SKYBROADBAND – Welcome to connectivity hell…

What a freaking nightmare! How the hell did we end up with such an unreliable internet service provider? SkyCable pride themselves of being the country’s leading provider of the fastest broadband internet connection, well maybe they are… whenever they’re not experiencing frequent downtimes (as in the connection goes down several times a week! Give or take, I’d say my lousy SkyBroadband connection is down a total of at least 24 hours a week).

I remember about 7 or 8 years ago when our home here in the Philippines was still ‘wired’ to PLDT’s DSL service, the speed wasn’t that great… and at that time it was damn expensive. But I’m pretty sure things have progressed a lot since then. For the last several years I have already been accustomed to Singapore’s connectivity infrastructure. Where a 5MB home broadband plan is the lowest you can get and it only costs around 25-30 SGD (roughly less than a thousand pesos). Aside from our home broadband connection, I’m also subscribed to a 2MB mobile broadband plan with M1, the plan costs 10SGD (+/- 300 pesos) a month – tied for a year.

So when I came back to the Philippines for a long vacation the first thing I wanted to address was getting ‘wired’ immediately so I could go about my work. In my line of work as a web and graphic designer, I cannot be offline for more than 8 hours. Specially since the majority of people I work with are from different countries and timezones. So you can just imagine how easily I would experience withdrawal syndromes whenever my internet connection goes down for more than an hour.

When I got back here, the old PLDT myDSL service was jacked up and underneath it was a 256kbps-ish broadband connection with our cable TV provider.

256kb broadband connection… ridiculous isn’t it? I thought so too.

So I went ahead and had it upgraded to a more decent speed, I subscribed to the 1.5MB plan. And it costs about 999 pesos per month, thrice as much as my 2MB mobile broadband from Singapore. But what the hell, I’m not about to start bitchin’ on how things are back in SG compared to here in PH, I need to get connected anyway.

But alas, I never thought that SkyCable’s service is chock-full of sh*t. This is the worst ever. They’re always having ‘problems’ that the customer service officers couldn’t put a finger on. Like a script or a spiel that they have right in front of them, they just always tell you that “There’s a problem with one of our facilities at [fill in which of one of their 3rd rate facility is having a scheduled screw-up], but rest assured that we are working on it.”

DUH! TELL ME SOMETHING I DON’T KNOW. Like when the f*** are you planing to get me back online?!

“I apologize for the inconvenience that this is causing you, but I cannot give you an estimate when the service will be back up, because I honestly don’t know as well…”

Ain’t that dandy? Don’t you just love it when they don’t even know what’s happening or if they can even fix whatever it is that they are struggling with? And the worst thing about it is that they’re not even giving me any rebates for this fiasco.

For anybody looking into subscribing to Sky’s Broadband Plans, I WOULD SERIOUSLY DISCOURAGE YOU TO DO SO. The anguish of the entire experience is just not worth it. Their internet connection had me cursing like a drunken sailor, more than any difficult hell-spawned client ever had.

You will be better off with those Globe Tattoo plans. Now I’m not saying that Globe has everything perfect, I still consistently have difficulties activating the SUPERSURF unlimited surfing promo that they have. It’s like a cosmic joke, that you have to spend 2 hours subscribing to it before it actually lets you. And what’s up with the Tag-Lish system-generated replies? It feels like the system is being powered by Kris Aquino. But hey, at least you get to go online when you need to.

PS: I have blogged this using my Globe Tattoo mobile broadband stick, which I’ve bought so that I could stay connected whenever I’m outside. But lately it seems like I am online more and more with this (even at home) than with my terminally unreliable SkyBroadband.

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40 thoughts on “SkyCable’s SKYBROADBAND – Welcome to connectivity hell…

  1. momochii says:

    Superb blog post, I have book marked this internet site so ideally I’ll see much more on this subject in the foreseeable future!

  2. Lance Sison says:

    UPDATE:

    As of the 3rd of July my SkyBroadband subscription has been terminated. I just can’t take it anymore, their service is an epic fail.

    1. asset says:

      SKYbroadband is just simply shit.

      It is a company that should have at least the decency to forego their charge for all the days that they have not provided internet connection to their customers….a service which for the past 4 months has been ZEEEROOOOOO….None….zilch….none existent…unbelievable…but yes its true….we have been living without internet in our 2 condominiums in Makati and our house in Katipunan…we had to resort to buying a portable 3g wifi which greatly increased our expense. Our skybroadband has not provided already 4 month of internet connection???….It is just unbelievable to think that they could stomach to even pretend that they are a legitimate business when they are the biggest scam company ever created…when you call their customer hotline…they would employ all the delaying tactics and pretend that they are doing something…but believe me…even if you call everyday…no skycable personel would be sent to fix the problem…we have been doing that for 4 months and still no solution….So if you want the crappiest or non-existent broadband choose SKYcable….they will never fail to get your blood pressure up, they will also not fail in making sure that your business or school work will fail because you don’t have internet connection.

    2. Vera says:

      Hi there, as a new customer to from March this year, i have had notihng but trouble from them, total lack of customer service etc, i joined to get their tv package and thought ok i wanted a decent broad band connection as id been using a USB dongle so i signed up for the broad band add-on, the engineer/cable installer came out and installed the dish and set top box with no problems i asked him about the broadband/router etc and was advised that someone else dealt with that.3 Weeks later i received my 1st sky bill bearing in mind that i had no phone line a3125 worth of calls, a3102 worth of these were to the speaking clock, which had been made every 2 minutes for over 3 weeks!! I decided to call and enquire how id managed to drum up such a bill without a physical phone line my response varied from being called a liar to impossible’ as does not make mistakes’ (their response not mine), the weeks went on without any positive response from until i spotted a sky engineer outside my property, who had been called out by to make sure id been telling the truth about the phone line! i was furious and persuaded the engineer to come inside and clarify that there was no phone line in my property!.I received one courtesy call from a middle manager/team leader who promptly gave me a months free TV, i took this opportunity to cancel the telephone/broadband package as i write this my telephone package is still ACTIVE and im being charged a311 per month for an imaginary phone line.To summarise This company has hit rock bottom regarding my confidence in them.They really need to train their staff to do more than take credit card details and abuse customers!!

  3. Anthony says:

    You hit it right bro! After 1 years and about 6 months of anguish (I wonder how was I able to last that long!) in dealing with Sky Broadband, I’m terminating my subscription to Sky Broadband! I don’t put much weight on the speed (x MBPS)… I need something that is reliable… One that can bring me online whenever I want. The **** with 1.5, 5, etc. MBPS of Sky Broadband if I cannot connect most of the time. Unlike you, I primarily use internet for my online gaming… With Sky Broadband, my “online gaming” turned into online gaming less the “ONLINE” aspect. I wasted several thousands for this shameful service.

    1. Lance Sison says:

      1 year and 6 months! Wow, you should be awarded with a medal, a plaque, or something. You my friend, have the patience of a saint. Either that or you’re a masochist who secretly enjoyed every bit of anguish from SkyBroadband’s utter crappiness. I couldn’t last half a year subscribed with them. I didn’t even dare to play online through the Steam Network the whole time I was there because I know that their perpetually PMS-ing (laging may sumpong ;p) internet connection would just ruin the whole experience.

      Seriously dude, you’re better off with those higher-end 3G broadband plans from the Telco companies such as globe/sun/smart.

      Cguro if the PH gov’t got a hundred bucks from every ounce of affliction I had to go through with the whole SkyBB experience, it would be enough to cover this year’s budget deficit. Okay, maybe I’m exaggerating. But one thing’s for sure: I’m never signing up for SkyBB ever again.

  4. Have a look to SMART, it activates your supersurf plan as soon as you send the text, and speeds are decent in Makati.

    I have also Sky Cable at home, it’s a piece of crap. Connection unstable, speed variable, crappy cache system, websites filtered or blocked… and I’m unable to connect to any VPN to come around the issue!

    Wish I had some pesos to invest and launch a decent wired ISP in this country, the way we have in France: fast, reliable and affordable for everybody.

    1. I’ll try SMART next time I’m back there, I hope they’re reliable and speeds are good down south of Manila. I wonder when will PH ever catch up to other countries when it comes having to fast, inexpensive and reliable internet connections.

    2. BTW, I’ve tried the SMART 3G – via thethering from my iPhone’s connection. It was pretty decent, tried it last Sept… could be better though. Just hated the way their supposed ‘UNLI surfing’ ate up almost 1K of my prepaid load overnight just because I left the internet radio running for 6-8 hours (coz I dozed off while working). It was supposed to be UNILIMITED SURFING! DAMNIT! It wasn’t like I was downloading terabytes of stuff all night long.

  5. Jean Maruyama says:

    I certainly agree with you. Talk about BS, and all these service providers fill our ears with nonsense, while we certainly give them cash to burn. I’m surprised that we haven’t taken our complaints up to them. Ugh I swear, I will kill these bastards. Sorry just had to vent.

    1. Yeah Jean, some (if not most) of internet service providers in the PH are making sh*tloads of money from giving expensive, unreliable and half-assed connectivity to their subscribers. Only if we could get at least half of what they claim in their ultra-hyped-up TV commercials. It’s a really sad truth that we are paying so much for one the slowest internet connections in the world. No need to resort to violence though.. ;p

  6. m0n1ck3r says:

    Im just a newly Sky broadband Subscriber, I experience problems just like yours during my first 8 hours of usage, like cant open the website because of the IP address, cant download torrents. I believe it’s inevitable even you call the tech support it wouldn’t help so much to resolve your problems. I figured out someways to avoid this shitty problems. Take a look at this one http://picpaste.com/dl-fbxJmACQ.JPG

    I find someways to solve this problem myself, since I know the tech support can’t help me with this.

    Tunnel via SSH would help, Take a look at this image http://www.engadget.com/media/2006/03/ssh-tunnel-diagram-ht.jpg < This is how Tunnel works ( you can browse website that are prohibited by your ISP, especially in school and work areas where social networking is prohibited )

    http://torrentfreak.com/bittorrent-over-ssh-071014/
    Here's the link on how to configure SHH tunnel on Bittorrent

    http://lifehacker.com/237227/geek-to-live–encrypt-your-web-browsing-session-with-an-ssh-socks-proxy
    Here's the link on how to configure SHH tunnel on your browser.

    *****tip try to look for some free SSH access tunnel over the internet.

    1. @m0n1ck3r: I do hope that subscribing to SkyBB is working out for you. As for me, I would really like to stay away from subscribing again to their broadband services – well probably until the time comes when their services are, or at least close to being, at par with what they are advertising.

      Thanks for sharing your SSH tunneling workarounds which solved your IP address/connection issues with their service — though that probably wouldn’t have solved the connectivity issues I had with them back then.

      What I was fuming about a year ago was the fact that SkyBB was having actual server outages (the kind where their cable and broadband internet services would go down altogether) on almost a regular basis every week. Which to me is utterly unacceptable, since subscribers are paying for a fixed 24/7 connection plan(and not a metered data plan) where the monthly bill doesn’t get any lower if you decide not to use the connecion at all. And if you truly understand the value of your money — you should know that you’re paying your ISP a premium not only for the connection, but also so that their customer service/tech support would do their job and resolve your billing/tech issues so don’t you don’t have to find a solution yourself.

      **Something worth pondering about:
      The fact that this post is more than a year old yet people are still commenting about SkyBB’s crappy service could mean that they haven’t significantly imrpoved their service since I made this blog post. Have they actually improved on anything at all?

    2. m0n1ck3r says:

      Im just sharing ideas how to this problems, so the readers of this blog would have an idea how to solve their ISP problems on their own.

    3. Thanks for sharing, I’m sure it’ll come in handy someday.

  7. David Ross says:

    Hi, I’m quitting SkyBroadband but can’t email them as all their email address’s DON’T WORK. Hmmmmmmm. Perhaps you have one that does. thanks, David

    1. Call them instead, David. Better yet, go to one of their offices. Emailing them will get you nowhere, and for sure you’ll just get a ‘template’ reply.

  8. Abet says:

    Sigh. i thought i was the only one having this things. here’s the bang: my Sky BB got connected just two weeks ago and guess how many days the down times are? almost 6 days!! man am having thoughts of asking for rebates..

    1. Hi Abet, so sorry to hear that you’re going through the same shi*t I did more than a year ago. From my experience, you can go to one of their satellite offices (or company-owned payment centers) and confirm an outage report for the days their service was down and demand for a rebate for those days. What the customer service personel did (to calm me down and not to scare away those people who were queueing up that day in their office to subscribe to their services) was to make a pro-rated ‘discount’ for those days that they had a confirmed outage in my area.

      But seriously dude, if I were you. Just terminate your subscription with them and take your business to a more reliable provider. Consumer rights state that you can get a refund if the seller/provider is incapable of satisfactory delivering the goods/services that you paid for.

  9. mspiss says:

    SkyCAble SHIT!

  10. adrian says:

    I feel stupid! I should have read this post before! Well, it was all good during the first few months of use last year 2012 but about December 2012 till now, their network is all fucked up. It started with facebook not working at peak hours like 8pm to 12pm.

    Now that they fixed it by a month ago, many websites suddenly stopped working properly that I have to refresh the browser all day just to get to them. Yet, facebook and some websites load fast. Torrents work well that often reach max speeds as long as there are good seeders. It’s not a DNS problem where PLDT DSL usually has.

    Whenever their network is down, it usually takes 12 hours of downtime. Now that PLDT’s 999 plan is now 1.5Mbps, I will have to go back to them soon.

    1. Hi Adrian,

      Sorry to hear about your SkyBB fiasco, welcome to the club. Anyway, PhP 999 for a 1.5mbps wired connection sounds like a ripoff (I’m assuming that you already have a landline service in place). Why dont you just get one of SMART’s plans (I plan on hooking up with them when I’m back for my vacation). They’ve got PhP 999 Plan for a 7.2mpbs mobile broadband connection – just get one of those wifi-sharing devices so all of your gadgets can use the internet connection. Or if you’ve got money to spare, and you don’t download/upload shitloads of heavy stuff and you really need a fast connection; get the 4G / LTE plans. I would, the speeds are priceless (assuming they can deliver at least half of what they are claiming).

      Though you should always check their (or any provider’s) coverage in your area first. Coz last time I was there, SMART’s 3G coverage was really good down south of Manila (Sucat-Alabang-San Pedro), I’m not quite sure though if it’s the same further uptown.

    2. adrian says:

      Thanks for the advice on a wireless solution. I will do search and see what we could get. I believe we have good signals here in my location, in Las Pinas.
      As of today, many websites are too slow especially ebay, sulit.com, youtube, and it is only facebook and torrents that works as it should.

  11. kat says:

    Should have read this one also before subscribing to that BS broadbrand. I wonder if this could be reported to any government agency. Sigh, I can’t work because of this :(

    1. Hi Kat,

      Actually if you wanna take it that far, you can lodge a complaint with the Dept. of Trade and Industry (DTI) http://www.dti.gov.ph/dti/index.php?p=68

  12. Ern says:

    Hey Lance, you blogged about this in 2011 and it is still the same as this year. I had my subscription since the last two months. It was damned hell. It’s a miracle if you have a connection that last a whole day. I think SkyScam Broadband will never change.

    1. Two years have already passed and yet subscribers are still experiencing the same sh!+ that I’ve gone through with SkyBB. I guess they haven’t progressed that much in terms of stability with their service. They’ve been offering faster connection options to subscribers at ridiculous prices but they still haven’t addressed their issues with the basic fundamental of connectivity—which is being able to connect and stay connected!

      I hope you’ve called them up and asked for rebates for their downtimes. If you haven’t yet you should. And Ern, if ever you’re from somewhere down south (Sucat – Sta. Rosa), try SMART’s mobile broadband; Their coverage is quite decent in these areas. As for home broadband packages, I’ve yet to try any of the ones currently being offered in the market.

  13. brian says:

    hi guys! after a month of complaining i tried everything.. email, sms calling their hot line, for my unstable and most of the time no internet connection at all.. and then the billing came i only got 8 days rebate.. what the fu**! this SB is garbage!

  14. sha hassa ibrahim says:

    i am thinking of applying to enjoy skycable and internet connectinons with the company, but reading all the comments here and untold ones have me double thoughts of backing out or pursuing…

    1. hihi says:

      dont.even.try. that’s a warning for you. i’ve had a problem with sky a few hours after my modem got installed. and the same problem still bugs me: reliable connection. i’d be writing a blog about this too pending their supposed dispatch in my location. we’ll see.

    2. Hi Sha,

      Well to be fair, during the time when I was still agonizing over my SkyBB connection, I’ve read a few testimonials/blogs of people who were (amazingly) completely satisfied with Sky’s service. I dunno whether they were living just beside one of Sky’s satellite dishes or whether they were PR bloggers sponsored by Sky to make biased reviews. But just to be fair, there’s always the possibility that you may get good coverage, depending on your location.

      Try to ask around your area, I’m quite sure most of your neighbors and the surrounding businesses are already wired to different ISPs.

      I heard that recently they are offering a free 15-day trial, why don’t you take that up along with a trial connection (if anybody else is offering it) from another provider so that you can compare and test which ISP suits your location better.

  15. George says:

    Sky is horrible. The actual service is bad, but the customer service sends me over the edge. I’ve been in Cebu for two months. Using the same exact model modem and wifi router that I used in Manila, I can not get wifi to work. Had IT professionals help me. No luck. Said it’s something about Sky’s configuration. So, I resort to just using Ethernet and connecting the old fashioned way. It’s up and down. I’m constantly power cycling the modem. There are two phone numbers to call. The one listed on the side of the modem is always busy. The one on my bill disconnects after making me wait in the IVR for a minute. But it did give me a phone number to text. 0917 631 0000. When I text it I get a response back that it is no longer active. Need to now text 2331 so they can charge me 2.50 pesos per text. WTF? You can’t answer your phone and now you want to charge me to text you. I send 7 texts explaining everything and begging for a call. All I get is a text back the next day asking for more information. No apology. No acknowledgment of the torment they put us through as customers. I hate SKY. I really mean it. They couldn’t just pick up the phone and call a customer probably because they know there service is horrible so, what’s the point? I want PLDT Fibr in my village soon please!

    1. SKY now charges PhP2.50 per text for support?! Whoa, what the f*ck!? And to think that consumers in the Phils. are paying premium for not just the connectivity, but also for the tech support and customer service. How is the connection speed with PLDT’s Fibr internet back there? Is it worth the cost? I hope it’s all worth the extra dough that the people are shelling out. Right now (in SG) I’m subscribed to one of Starhub’s fibre internet plans which is at 200MBps (25MBps guaranteed minimum) that only costs less than PhP1.5K a month.

    2. George says:

      Not sure about the FIBR yet. I hear good things but I don’t have it. Problem is it is much more expensive than what you are paying for in Sg.

  16. Trenton Bersamina says:

    I’m having the same problem with Skycable BB too. There was a time that my cable internet service was down more than it was online. It probably lasted for 3 months or more. They couldn’t figure out what the problem was. They gave me one free month of subscription but I still think that it wasn’t enough to cover up for misery they put me through. The last time their tech visited me to fix the frequent disconnection problems (which happens every morning)their tech confidently told me they replaced this and that (cables and connectors down our block) telling me that the cables were corroded. As soon as they left the house my service went down again. Curse them I did so many times. But I think they’re already immune. Here is a tip that I discovered myself if you ever get disconnected again. Look at your cable that attaches to your modem supplied by Sky. Short the middle conductor and the metallic thingy(connected internally to the outside conductor) that you screw onto the modem. By doing so you are shorting the middle and the outside conductors of the cable which connects to their equipments/servers/nodes. Something gets reset somehow when you do this. 99% of the time my connection resumed when I did this. That fixed my problem, believe it or not. I no longer call them when I get disconnected. I do the fixing myself. However, they should have brainiacs in their tech support centers to figure this out, not us, their customers.

  17. Trenton Bersamina says:

    Additionally after shorting the middle and the outside conductor of the cable by letting them touch a common metallic object, thus shorting them, you may have to turn off the power to your modem to allow it to restart. Don’t short the conductors too long. Do it momentarily only, not prolonged.

    1. Hi Trenton,

      ‘Shorting’ their device sounds nasty :) though wouldn’t tampering with the modem void any warranties you might have with them? Besides, for the money you’re paying them, they should have decency to provide you, as a paying client, an honest and reliable service. I just feel that solving their connectivity issues on your own is like wilfully getting less than what you paid for.

  18. Anonymous says:

    I have been with SmartBro for 3 miserable years with an “unlimited” package (more later on that). Initially when I had connection problems, they would eventually repair them and I would get reasonable speeds. The past year PLDT has taken a more active role in administering SmartBro. I routinely deal with outages that last from a few moments to a day. Then, in addition, I suddenly experienced ridiculously slow speeds,as in web site log in would fail “due to lack of activity.” When I complained I was informed that I was exceeding my use allowance. ???? I explained I had an unlimited package and was told that there was still a cap on usage. “Then it is not unlimited.” Yes, it is but it has a cap under “fair use” agreement. We can throttle your speed if we determine you are on the internet too often. WHAT??!!!??? I am freaking retired, so I can spend hours checking in with family overseas, watching movies, letting my grandson watch cartoons, etc. That is why I opted for UNLIMITED. Well, the package is for a single USER, not single address. ?????!!! “This is nonsense, it is advertised as family oriented.” No, it is single user. THEN COMES THE INFURIATING PART! If I want “unlimited” with better speed and without the restriction (read DATACAP) then I should purchase the DSL “unlimited” account, at higher cost of course, but it also has a cap on use!!! So there is “unlimited” wireless and “unlimited” DSL but both have caps on usage, one is just more “unlimited” than the other. The really disturbing part is that SmartBro/PLDT appears to be the best or the lesser of evils might be more accurate.

  19. William says:

    I have been with SmartBro for 3 miserable years with an “unlimited” package (more later on that). Initially when I had connection problems, they would eventually repair them and I would get reasonable speeds. The past year PLDT has taken a more active role in administering SmartBro. I routinely deal with outages that last from a few moments to a day. Then, in addition, I suddenly experienced ridiculously slow speeds,as in web site log in would fail “due to lack of activity.” When I complained I was informed that I was exceeding my use allowance. ???? I explained I had an unlimited package and was told that there was still a cap on usage. “Then it is not unlimited.” Yes, it is but it has a cap under “fair use” agreement. We can throttle your speed if we determine you are on the internet too often. WHAT??!!!??? I am freaking retired, so I can spend hours checking in with family overseas, watching movies, letting my grandson watch cartoons, etc. That is why I opted for UNLIMITED. Well, the package is for a single USER, not single address. ?????!!! “This is nonsense, it is advertised as family oriented.” No, it is single user. THEN COMES THE INFURIATING PART! If I want “unlimited” with better speed and without the restriction (read DATACAP) then I should purchase the DSL “unlimited” account, at higher cost of course, but it also has a cap on use!!! So there is “unlimited” wireless and “unlimited” DSL but both have caps on usage, one is just more “unlimited” than the other. The really disturbing part is that SmartBro/PLDT appears to be the best or the lesser of evils might be more accurate.

    1. Hi William,

      I’m with you on this; ‘Unlimited’ plans shouldn’t be advertised as such. Transparency regarding pricing and usage caps should be a must and clearly conveyed to the subscribers. And not like what they’re doing now wherein if someone complains, their CSRs will point you to the obscure ‘fine prints’ that you’ve supposedly agreed on when you signed up for their services. You know what, I think what the PH needs is a new independent provider that’s not tied to any of the TelCo gaints PH has. How I wish we could get SG’s MyRepublic set up shop in the Philippines. Just look at their rates (https://secure.myrepublic.com.sg/pricing.php), so freaking decades ahead of what any Internet Service Provider PH has.

      Well, until then I guess all we could do is put up with the current ISPs’ crappy service.

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