Moving to Sky

After years of swearing blind I would not contribute to Murdoch’s millions (despite buying The Times) by going back to Sky, I am sure he will be happy that I have succumbed.

There were two main reasons; firstly I could get what I currently had in Broadband and Phone terms and add the Satellite TV for the same money – the TV was effectively free.  The second reason was that I live in Scotland. Not so bad you might say (and normally I would agree) but as an Englishman in Scotland there are a couple of drawbacks. The one that sent me to Sky was when the England Football match was on ITV England but not on STV. That was a disadvantage too far.

The law of unexpected consequence kicked in in two ways – Static IP and my own domain name. I have been with PlusNet for years and was very happy (except for the price – ‘pays yer money and takes yer choice’).  I had a 2.5 Mb connection but only 3Gb bandwidth allowance. With David looking at more video on the Net and with iPlayer this bandwidth was just not enough even with it being unmetered overnight. What PlusNet did give me was a Static IP Address.

I have run my own mail server (Mailtraq) for many years and delivered most of my mail by MX i.e. directly to the next mailserver. Incoming mail by SMTP would not work because of Sky and a dynamic IP address, but I knew that Mailkeep would solve that and I thought I could use the Sky Smarthost to send the mail – wrong.

The mail setup at Sky is outsourced to Google and they want you to use the Webmail client. If you want to use a PC client (Thunderbird for instance) you can only send email from your Sky email address and if you do not, they munge the headers and make it appear it has come from the sky address so that is where replies go to.  I have had my domain for years and had no intention of changing that.  No bother I thought I would just continue to send mail by MX from my mail server. Wrong again. Many organisations block mail sent directly from a Dynamic IP address so I was scuppered again.

I was running out of ideas when I came across some discussion on this problem on the Skyuser Forum.  These guys had solved it by setting up their own mailserver (smarthost) for Sky users to use.  Brilliant.  I now have outgoing and incoming to as many domains as I want.

The morals of this story are – if it looks too good to be true it usually is, and beware the law of unexpected consequence! Having said that, I have a service that is much the same as before but I now have England Football matches (oh and 24) for the same price as I was paying before.

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