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UPDATE Eutelsat and Skylogic Scrap Unlimited Tooway Satellite Broadband

Wednesday, July 24th, 2013 (1:08 am) - Score 7,433

Satellite operator Eutelsat (Skylogic) appears to be feeling a strain on its broadband capacity after it began advising ISPs in the UK, and we assume the rest of Europe too, that their current top-end unlimited usage package would be withdrawn by the end of August 2013.

Broadband satellites operate with only limited capacity and so it was no surprise that, when the new 20Mbps capable Tooway™ Absolute service first launched in January 2013 (here), it was also accompanied by a warning. This explained how the package would only be available to “the first 20,000 customers across Europe“.

As a result the withdrawal, which was spotted by Thinkbroadband, could thus either be taken as a sign that the hugely expensive package (costing around £80 a month) has been very successful or that Eutelsat’s KA-SAT and related spacecraft are beginning to feel a strain on their capacity (possibly both).

A Statement from UK ISP Rural Broadband said (here):

It has been announced by Skylogic that at the end of August they will no longer be providing the Unlimited service. This has been replaced with the XX-Large service which has a data allowance of 50GB.

We have already changed our prices to reflect these changes.

NB: At present there are no plans to change the Unlimited service that is currently being provided to Tooway customers.”

Eutelsat’s latest KA-SAT spacecraft has a total capacity of 90Gbps (Gigabits/sec) and initially aimed to serve more than a million people. Now this might seem like a lot but it has to serve connections right across Europe and only began by offering speeds of up to 8Mbps, which have since been raised to 20Mbps.

We had initially delayed this article in the hope of getting a statement or clarification from Skylogic but unfortunately none has arrived. But we will update again if that changes.

UPDATE 29th July 2013

It took awhile but Eutelsat finally responded to confirm the ending of their unlimited solution.

A Spokesperson for Eutelsat told ISPreview.co.uk:

I can confirm that the Tooway Absolute service will no longer be offered to new customers from July 30th in the UK and Ireland and from September in other European countries, where it has been available. Services for existing Tooway Absolute customers will continue as normal.

The Tooway Absolute service has always been marketed as a short term opportunity and has been a great success. The new Tooway XXL service package offering, with a monthly data allowance of 50GB per month, will be its permanent successor.”

Leave a Comment
18 Responses
  1. Thats a shame, your recent article on satellite was interesting, with the lattency it really needs everything else going for it as a technology. Throughput restrictions limit its appeal massively.

  2. Avatar Stuart Jordan says:

    I have the very expensive (£80 per month) ‘Unlimited’ package from Tooway bought through broadbandwherever. This promised download speeds of up to 20Mbs and upload speeds of up to 6Mbs with no data limits.

    Since the beginning of June, the service has become unusable between the hours of around 5pm and 1am, with the download speed dropping to an average of 0.15Mbs (over a 99% reduction in advertised speed). This, when coupled with the high latency and jitter that is inherent in satellite connections, effectively cuts off the broadband service during this time.

    Complaints to the Broadband Wherever eventually elicited the response that because I am a ‘high data user’, that I, along with all other ‘high data users’, was being lumped together into a separate IP pool section of the service to fight it out over the bandwidth available in that pool. They do not specify what constitutes being a high data user, but their basic online monitoring tool indicated that I had downloaded 36Gb over a four week period, 6Gb more than their cheaper XL product data limit. I do not consider this to be excessive. This new traffic management policy was implemented without any notification.

    In my opinion the Tooway unlimited product has broken the Advertising Standards Authority rules which states that: “by advertising a product as being “unlimited” you must not mislead the consumer by imposing limitations that restrict or limit a service in a manner contrary to the average users expectations of an “unlimited” service. Provider imposed limitations that affect the speed or usage of the service must be moderate only and must be clearly explained in any marketing communication”.

    I feel that a product that is unusable between 5pm & 1am is an unacceptable restriction and it comes as no surprise that the product is being withdrawn.

    If BT or any other standard Internet Provider implemented traffic management policies as draconian as Tooway/Satlogic there would be uproar and I’m sure the government regulators would have something to say about it, but it seems that with the company being based in Italy, they can get away with whatever they want.

  3. Avatar Ben Haines says:

    Glad to see this picked up by the press.

    A large number of users have been battling with their respective resellers for a month now trying to get some information out of Tooway and it has been very challenging.

    Search twitter for #nooway for some of the conversation and information we are unconvering.

    I agree with Stuart above, the way the product was advertised and the actual performance certainly don’t match up and must be braking some advertising standards.

  4. Avatar Lee Phillips says:

    I too am on the tooway absolute. I have been told that I exceeded the download limit of 60gb over a 4 week period. ALL downloads regardless of time of day count towards this limit. Basically it’s a steaming pile of…. and I am looking to cancel. Do not touch with a barge pole.

    1. Avatar Shan says:

      I too signed up for Tooway Absolute package and was told that I was considered as a heavy user exceeding the download limit of 60gb over a 4 week period.
      I called up to cancel but was told to do it by email. Emailed them but had to chase them twice reply I received yesterday was:

      Thank you for you your e-mail.

      I can confirm that you account has NOT been cancelled.

      We will discuss your account internally and will get back to you with the best way to proceed on you account.

      Please feel free to call us on 0800 073 1102 if you have any questions or need to talk to someone in our support department.

      Have you cancelled yours yet?

  5. Avatar Gazg5 says:

    I also have the Tooway Absolute package with the same issues. I have contacted them on several occasions and have been fed the same pile of s*** response that everyone else seems to be getting.

    This service is basically the biggest scam since the 100 million Som I was informed I’d won on the Uzbekistan Lottery……….

    Anyone reading this who was thinking about getting Tooway please don’t… you have been warned.

  6. Avatar Jules says:

    I have the same problem I am now sat in bed writing this reply nursing a shit speed of 0.12 mb per second. I won’t go into to much detail but I am super rural and when I first had this package over a year ago and it’s always been 75% of the time ok and always had a descent download speed. But the problem reared it’s ugly head when moving to the now defunct unlimited 20mb package… 3 weeks in it was ace but then the throttling started and now I get 0.12mb per sec 95% of the day. It’s crippling my business. I now have to get in my car an go to a fucking Internet cafe just to upload content to my clients… Thinking of going back to BT 500kps download for £15 per month better than paying Bentley robbing bastard walker £65 a month for fuck all. Ps I don’t usually swear and I apologise but I am so pissed off
    🙁

    1. Avatar Gazg says:

      Swear away matey I too feel your pain. Also thinking about going back to 500mb with BT.
      Have you tried to cancel as yet?

    2. Avatar Gazg says:

      Sorry 500kps. 500mb in my dreams…………..

  7. We are with Tooway through Avonline. We run small business in a rural office and when BT struggled to get a high speed connection into our office we bought into Avonline. Hugely stressful. The get nowhere near their advertised speeds, the latency is unbelievable and generally you don’t know hour by hour whether your connection will be there. It’s an expensive disaster.

    And to cap it off the support teams are pretty useless, don’t bother ringing them, you’ll spend most of your time on hold and then they’ll tell you to reboot your system and turn your computer on and off. If that doesn’t work they’ll tell you a lie about the weather in Italy affecting the connection.

    Stick with dial up, keep your hair and teeth.

  8. Avatar jonny says:

    Im a satellite installer that runs my own business, i have completed necessary training to install sat broadband and have 3 quotes to do this weekend, but after reading this i am now totally unsure if i should!?
    Last thing i want is customers ringing me up in the middle of the night blaming me because i said ‘its your best alternative’

    surely not all customers have experienced these problems , there would be outrage surely?!

    How can the service intend to grow if it seems that the more people that use it the worse it gets?

  9. Avatar Donny says:

    Hi Guys
    I too have had all the ridiculous excuses from broadband wherever – I live in lancashire on the “west” Coast but was informed that the satalite had gone down over the east of the uk – I told them I’m in the west so that shouldn’t affect me but they replied that Lancashire is the east coast…when comparing it with Cornwall – I asked them what they considered Humberside or Lincolnshire to be…no answer. The latest I’ve been told is they won’t refufund me because they aren’t allowed a refund from too way? So I simply rang my bank and did a direct debit indemnity claim on the basis that I have paid for a service that doesn’t exist. All payments ever made back in my bank with 24 hours…my bank automatically get it back from Boradband Wherevers bank who automatically take it back from BB Wherever. They can argue it out with their bank instead. Good luck.

  10. Avatar George says:

    I run my own rural broadband company and have done for 10 years looking after people on very long lines and have recently had more clients than ever join me complaining of misselling of the tooway satellites unlimited packages.They find even with a lot less advertised speeds two lines bonded gives them better more consistant results

    I run a tooway satellite as a back up as well as two copper lines which I bond together, The satellite was ok when I first got it I was even able to run my voip system through it
    However even though im not a big download user for the last couple of months its been all but usless voip wont work and now for the last week or so pages barely open im seriously considering ditching the satellite

  11. Avatar Johan says:

    Well *that* sounds not good to a sat internet installer as I am.

    I am not in the UK spots though, but in southern France, near the Spanish border, and my Tooway
    10Gb does about fine for the moment, while I plan to switch to the 20Gb subscription soon, – I hope that won’t make me a “heavy data user”, because I want to continue using VoIP, and have decent response time (latencey) and download speeds :-(.

    Having had an IP redirection set-up on a customer site that can’t be reached any more since august other than with a expensive pro account, I will switch that customer to SES-Astra Ka-band service. I’ll closely watch the proformance compared to Tooway…

  12. Avatar Sabri says:

    Hi

    if you look to use tooway absolute from bentley walkers you will get a dial-up speed, of course with unlimited downloads.

    Regards,

  13. Avatar Lena Johnsen says:

    Hello,

    i have had the Absolute for some time now without any problems here in Sweden.
    I first tested the broadbandspeed with an ordinary Broadband measure
    It will give you the wrong speed.
    You have to measure it with tooways own mesuerer that take consern of the long
    way to the Sattelite and back again. (responsetime) I have a very stable connection
    20 down and between 5,5. – 6,5 upplink. I can send videostream in Medium HD
    to livestream without problems.

  14. Avatar David Hurst says:

    Like many here I am experiencing the throttling of speeds down to unusable levels. I got 20Mbps down and 6Mbps for about 2 days. Now it averages between 1Mbps and 3Mbps, sometimes dropping as low as 0.1Mbps download (about a third of a dial up analogue modem).

    I am on the Tooway XL package with is 30Gb per month, but the most I’ve used is 24Gb, and have been under 20Gb every other month. I submitted a complaint to the MD and received a very nice reply, but ultimately was told I am in the top 3% of heavy users…

    If I’m the top 3% then it’s only because nobody can use the bastard service in the first place. You cannot actually use your monthly allowance without being throttled.

    I think the whole thing is an epic mis-sell and a con.

    I’m paying over £100 per month for this, a crappy 0.5Mbit landline connection, and a sporadic 3G connection (which often out performs Tooway). It’s hopeless.

    Invest your money in a high powered 3G antenna, or bonded ADSL instead.

  15. Avatar Daniel says:

    Like many here I am also on the absolute deal and have been having speed and connectivity issues since August 2013.

    I have spent countless hours on the phone with my ISP technical support team to solve the connectivity issues and it is only today 20/11/2013 that I have been informed that the issues are related to Skylogic.

    My ISP Eurona has informed me that if you are considered a heavy user by Skylogic, they place the mac address of the skylogic modem on a black list, which means that the speed is shaped and you will suffer drop-outs (disconnections) , which they call micro-disconnections.

    I am very unhappy to say the very least as nowhere in Absolute contract does it mention any traffic/speed shaping based on usage.

    I would like to think that a number of unsatisfied customers will report this to the telecommunications ombudsmen and Skylogic will be forced to honer the contracts or compensate their Absolute customers, since I am sure there will be a number of them that lime i have purchase the equipment out right.

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