Sky TV Fees Could Be Going Up By 10%

Sky TV Fees Could Be Going Up By 10%

Sky Logo Colour

Sky Logo

The satellite giant Sky has revealed it will be increasing its monthly fees by up to 10% which is due to start in September of this year, this will affect millions of Sky TV users. A message on Sky’s website saying, “Sky TV prices will be increasing on the 1st of September. In accordance with their standards terms, your Sky TV package may rise by up to 10% in the minimum contract term”

Sky has said they will be writing to all its customers next month with more details. It’s believed that the rise will be a lot less than the reported 10%. Last year Sky increased their prices by 2.5%. The move comes as Sky plugs a two-year free broadband offer for all of their Sky Sports Customers. This is in a bid to prevent households switching to rivals BT or TalkTalk. This is likely to mean Sky having to take a hit on the cost.

Sally Francis, of, said: “An up to 10% price rise is quite a substantial one, especially when some of Sky’s Packages can cost upwards of £70 a month. “Customers should be given plenty of warning about the increases and should be offered a way out if their package becomes unaffordable.”

Sky have said: “We work hard to keep any price rises to a minimum, and always ensuring we continue offering grate value, We will be writing to all our customers in July telling them about any changes.”

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21 More Torrent Sites Blocked By ISP’s

21 More Torrent Sites Blocked By ISP’s

Torrent  Blocked By ISP

Torrent Blocked By ISP

Its good news for copyright holders as they have won a significant ruling in the High Court, that orders UK ISPs to block 21 major file-sharing sites.

The decision marks the BPI’s biggest victory to date. The music industry trade body managed to block only 4 of the file-sharing sites till this point.

The 21 sites blocked by a recent court order includes nine torrent sites and 12 sites that would link you to sites that were hosting pirated films, TV shows, music and software. The BPI said it had contacted the site asking them to remove the copyrighted content, but took it to court when the request was ignored. “We asked the sites to stop infringing copyright, but unfortunately they did not and we were left with no choice but to apply to the court, the judge considered all the evidence and declared that ISPs should not allow access to the sites,” BPI CEO Geoff Taylor said, Only the biggest UK ISPs are bound by this high court ruling so BT, EE, Sky, TalkTalk, O2 and Virgin will have to comply. Previously the BPIs biggest success was to force ISP to block access to The Pirate Bay, which was one of the world most popular file-sharing torrent sites.

Mr Taylor said the blocks had “significantly reduced the use of these sites in the UK”. At present it is difficult to access the top 10 most popular torrent sites in the UK but not impossible.

Critics have argued that the blocks are ineffective as freely available software can enable people to gain access to the blocked sites again. Earlier this year The Pirate Bay launched PirateBrowser, which is a web browser that will easily circumvent the ISPs blocks.

Below is a list of some of the court orded blocked sites: –

  • 1337x
  • Bitsnoop
  • TorrentHound
  • Extratorrent
  • Monova
  • Trorrentcrazy
  • Torrentdownlaods
  • Torrentreactor
  • Torrentz

Surely one of the best way to stop people downloading films, music and software would be to make the online version cheaper than its media based counter part, after all they want us to download stuff or use the cloud, so why does it cost so much? After all the cloud based services or downloadable versions should have less over heads as they don’t need to burn anything to disk, have a special printers to print on to the disk, print a cover, have a case to put it in, then ship it to the store. So are the big company’s trying to tell us it costs the same to make a physical copy and then ship it to a store as it does to have one master copy and sell copy’s of that on line or make it accessible in the cloud? I am Sure people would be more inclined to pay a few more pounds for a proper copy than a pirated one. Why is it then films can cost more on line than their media based counterpart? Illegally downloaded copy’s only exists because company’s want too make to a bigger profit. So would it not make more sense to make them a lot cheaper and sell more than keep it the way it is and sell less?

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ISPs Now Want to “Educate” You to Stop Downloading Illegally

ISPs Now Want to “Educate” You to Stop Downloading Illegally

Stop Downloading illegally

ISP’s Now Want To “Educate” You to Stop Downloading Illegally

Most of the big broadband providers are going to start sending out “educational” letters to there customers who are downloading films, music, software and television programs illegally.

Sky, BT, TalkTalk and Virgin Media have teamed up with copyright holders like the Phonographic Industry, to form the Voluntary Copyright Alert Programme (VCAP). Regulators will send up to four letters to households where they have been shown downloading illegally. With each successive letter the household receives will be written in increasingly severe language, the letters will warn the household the effects that digital piracy is having and how it is damaging the companies making the products.

The aim of the letters is to make people think about their illegal actions and the effects it is having, but there will be no criminal punishment for repeat offenders who just ignore the letters. The VCAP scheme is a softer approach to the Digital Economy Act, which was passed in 2010. The act proposed that people downloading illegal should have their Internet connection slowed down or even terminated.

ISP should also block all sites associated with piracy. At this time, it only been partially implemented, due to strong opposition from the ISPs.

ISPs can track illegal downloading by monitoring traffic on file-sharing sites; they then match copyright-infringement reports with their customers IP address. ISPs can’t reveal the identity of someone that is caught downloading because an IP address can only be tracked to a household and not an individual. The VCAP scheme is 75% funded by the entertainment industry and copyright holders, and the rest coming from the four major ISPs. More are expected to join the scheme soon. ISPs have a total of 2.5 million letters to send out.

BT, Virgin and Sky have all outlined their support for the scheme. A BT spokesman said the company is “committed to supporting the UK’s creative industries by helping to tackle the problem of online piracy while ensuring the best possible experience for its customers”.

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Court Blocks File-Sharing Websites

Court Blocks File-Sharing Websites

UK’s biggest Internet service providers must block sites to stop illegal downloading

The High Court has ordered BT, Sky and Virgin Media to block three more file-sharing websites in order to try and stop illegal downloading.

The UK’s biggest internet providers must stop users from accessing the following file-sharing sites: Fenopy, h33t and Kickass Torrents. Copyright holders are becoming increasingly aggressive in their attempts to shut down the file-sharing websites.

Online freedom campaigners said the blocks are “an extreme response” to illegal downloading.
Previously the High Court has ordered The Pirate Bay and Newzbin2 which were major players in file-sharing to be blocked. However the impact of this is questionable. Figures from then British Phonographic Industry (BPI), which brought the blocking cases to High Court, shows illegal downloading is still popular.
In the first half of 2012, 345 million music tracks were illegally downloaded through file-sharing service Bit Torrent.

By comparison, combined sales from places like iTunes, Amazon etc.… for the same period totaled 329 million. The BPI admitted the number of illegal downloads would be higher if other websites and services were taken in to account.

Court-ordered blocks on file-sharing sites have been shown to be ineffective. Several websites make it possible to dodge the blocks by using a proxy, which allows users to surf the web anonymously.

Do you think blocking file-sharing sites will work to stop illegal downloading?


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BT Extends Super-fast broadband

BT Extends Super-fast broadband

What Happened?

BT Infinity

BT Infinity has arrived

BT have said it that it will be converting 99 more exchanges to fibre broadband, this is good news as it will extend its super-fast network to 1.2 million more homes. – A total of 19 million premises.

This is all part of BT’s effort to offer super-fast speeds to at least two thirds of the UK. Most homes will receive BT’s fibre-to-the-cabinet broadband (FTTC), This is were fibre runs from the exchange to the street-side cabinet and then copper cables from the cabinet to your house.

Half the homes to get fibre broadband will benefit from the upgraded exchange. The other half are in “infill” areas with Street-side cabinets that BT have not yet run fibre to, despite upgrading the exchanges over the last few years.

This has created a broadband divide in neighbourhoods as some streets are capable of receiving super-fast speeds, and others are not.

BT hasn’t said when the exchanges and cabinets are going to be upgraded, but the work will be happing over the next year, and finishing before Spring 2014. The full list of areas due to get fibre next is available on BT’s website.

How will It Affect You?

If you are one of the lucky ones living near an exchange set to get fibre you will be able to receive speeds of up to 80Mbps. It’s also good news for customers near street-side cabinets that have been overlooked. If fibre has hit your neighbourhood but not your street, this is a clear message from BT that you won’t be permanently left behind.

What Do I Think?

I am glad to see BT is not forgetting about areas that didn’t receive fibre broadband during the first few rounds of upgrades. However, BT should have explained to its customers the complexities of delivering broadband better. If a few streets within a area don’t get super-fast speeds, BT should tell the locals exactly why they have been missed and when they can expect to catch up.

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