Let’s talk about one of the things that Philippines is in dire need of improving: internet. Of course, everything that I’m going to tackle here today is solely based on our experience and maybe a few standpoints from the people we know. First off, if you’re looking to read about PLDT internet, you won’t find it here. I can personally attest to how crappy their connection is with the DSL and all, but I haven’t experienced their Fiber connection yet and quite a number of people are pretty happy with it. However, I am going to talk about Converge and Sky internet here because A- our most recent (current, actually) internet experience are with them, and B- I think its apt to make a comparison between the two given many fellow Filipinos are highly interested in getting either of the two or are wondering what internet provider is best in the Philippines.
I made a comprehensive review of Converge in my previous blog: Converge ICT: Ditch or Switch? You can read all about it there. Trust me, it’s updated. I will also make a summary of everything after I talk about Sky hereinafter.
Sky (One Sky Fiber Broadband Unli Plans)
Sky offers many different bundles and plans for broadband, cable and both. You can check out their broadband plans here, but to give you an overview, they have these (as of March 2019) for their “Fiber Broadband Unli Plans”:
up to 5 Mbps
up to 10 Mbps
up to 25 Mbps
up to 50 Mbps
up to 100 Mbps
Our experience with Sky:
We set up our internet connection for this other property with Sky (reason will be divulged later on during the comparison). We’ve been with them for a month now and this is our experience so far… Also, like our blog about Converge, we will be updating this part every now and then.
Just like what we signed up with Converge, we got the Sky “Fiber” plan for 25mbps. Notice the quotation marks I use when I mention Fiber with Sky? That is because their connection is not an end-to-end Fiber service but Fiber-powered. This means that they use a combination of fiber and coax.
If you’re a techie person, you probably know about HFC, FTTP, FTTN, etc. But simply put, this is how fiber-powered connections work:
“HFC uses both optical fiber cable and coaxial cable to carry broadband content. Fiber optic cable carries much of the load, running from distribution centers to hub locations near businesses and residences. From here, existing coaxial cable can be used to bridge the last mile to individual subscribers.” – an excerpt from Fios by Verizon
In all fairness, they do have this disclaimer on their flyers and website. This is an important thing to note because I think having an entirely Fiber connection makes a huge difference.
As per Kuya Installer 1, Sky is already working on making all their connections pure fiber. This has been an ongoing project since February 2019. Let’s see how that goes.
General connection: ★
Whew. Where do I start? This part is probably very subjective to your location and I don’t know, luck? My brother is in QC and he has Sky 10mbps fiber-powered plan and he’s already happy with it. He only does the usual internet use like social media, Netflix and probably Google, too, and he’s the sole user in his condo unit. My sister is also in Dumaguete and she’s okay with Sky. We, on the other hand, along with some other people scattered across Manila (You can check Twitter and see how many people are actually complaining. Will post a few screenshots of other people’s experience with Sky later on), are VERY disappointed. In fact, we’re already being generous with this one star.
Sometimes I think maybe it’s just because we’ve gotten used to how fast Converge’s connection is and Sky’s SUPER INTERMITTENT and EXTREMELY LAG connection is just a temporary hiccup, but no. The first days with Sky were kind of okay. It’s like having a PLDT connection all over again: several chokes a day, almost 48 years to load a page (48 years is just a common Pinoy expression, fyi to those who doesn’t know), and we don’t even have internet connection on some parts of the house. As days passed by, the connection got even worse to the point that it affects my online work! I’ll discuss further on the next sections of this review but this one I can say: Signing up with Sky is not disappointing. It’s regrettable.
Netflix and iFlix are great with Sky. 1/10 times, you have to wait for a few minutes for it to load which means you may have to pause your movie and pray it’s not the climax. Sheesh. Youtube, so-so. It’s actually pretty good, too, but then sometimes its picture goes super blurry and it would also take time to load sometimes. I mean, come on, Youtube???
For streaming via other streaming sites like Putlocker, I only tried it once and all I can say is WHY. Why did we sign up with them?
Well, this explains why the connection is super sucky (for someone who signed up for a 25mbps fiber-powered plan):
The upsetting part is, we are supposed to get 25mbps, more or less. But why are we getting these results?
The best one we got is 24.4 mbps for the download speed and that is during “good hours” (not days). Plus, it’s still very intermittent (I swear this is not an exaggeration. If you don’t believe me, you are welcome to visit us.)
Most of the time, we’re pretty much stuck with less than mediocre speeds: 13 mbps as the usual and 0.75 as the worst. We even suffer from less than 5mbps. Thanks a lot, Sky.
Since this is not a pure fiber connection, it’s expected that download speeds are immensely higher than the upload speed. Funny thing though is that the upload speed we get is nothing short of ridiculous. It’s like we’re back to having 5mbps PLDT DSL connection! You can’t really blame us for giving half a star, yeah?
My husband is a gamer and he hasn’t been playing that much now — thanks to Sky. He previously rated Converge with 3 stars because of its occasional hiccups (very minimal, quite frankly) but now that he’s tried playing with Sky, he admits he never appreciated Converge more than now. The first thing he said about this is that the connection is very inconsistent and there is too much lag. He gets disconnected all the time even when he’s the only one using the internet and even when he plays during dawn when everyone else is asleep.
Multiple users: ★★
We could be a little more generous on this and that is why we’re giving 2 stars. While one TV is on Netflix, one laptop is on general internet use (Google, WordPress, etc.), one phone is on Youtube and another phone is on Facebook or Instagram, we are all able to enjoy these together. However, sometimes one or two devices gets “no connection” (It’s usually the one using Youtube. Social media and WordPress come next. Netflix goes last.)
Customer service: ★★★
This is the best thing about Sky. This and their installation timeframe. They are very quick to respond to your complaints and inquiries whether you call their hotline or send them a tweet on Twitter. I can’t say they’re able to resolve your issues, though, and that is why I’m giving only 3 stars. I haven’t tried calling their hotline yet but I’ve contacted them through Twitter and they respond very quickly. They’re also courteous although let’s admit it, they’re just giving us spiels. The reason I give them credit for their customer service despite not being able to rectify the problem is because I’m happy I’m able to reach someone from them very easily and they try to attend to our concerns right away. I complained last Saturday and they sent their tech people that following Monday. The downside, though, is that their tech people never really did anything to resolve the issue. They checked with their tools and did a reset outside and that’s it. They said they found no problem with the “parameters” (whatever that is. Techie readers would probably know.) so they will just file a report for our concern. Lol. Great. I know those “reports”. We’ve had several non-rectified “reports” from PLDT before, too. But anyway, that’s just our experience. Bottomline is, at least you get to talk (or in my case tweet) to someone about your concerns right away.
Very fast. We applied through their website on a Friday and an agent called me just after 2 or 3 hours. We sent the requirements Tuesday the next week and asked the agent if he could expedite our application because I really need it for work. Lo and behold, the installers came 3 days after (Friday morning)! Kudos to our agent for being so prompt.
The 2 installer guys were courteous and one of them explained to us that the modem of Sky is honestly very weak and that is why we need routers so we can connect to the internet on other parts of our house. I really liked their honesty on that.
This is the modem and the coax connection:
If you want to apply for a Sky internet connection, sign up here.
These are the requirements you need to comply:
◉ At least 2 valid IDs (i.e. Passport, GSIS , SSS, UMID; Supporting IDs are PhilHealth, PAGIBIG, company ID)
◉ Proof of billing (i.e. Meralco, Maynilad, Manila water, Sun, Smart, Globe, Insurance plan-must be current and no unpaid balance; if renting, notarized lease of contract can be used as a substitute to proof of bill)
If the proof of bill or lease of contract is not under your name, the following supporting documents are needed:
◉ an authorization letter and valid ID from proof of bill or lease of contract owner
◉ barangay certificate with your name and address,
◉ proof of residency or proof of tenancy from building admin (for buildings and condo)
A fee of P999 is required upon installation. I’m not so sure though if that’s the case with other bundles or plans. It’s better to contact them to clarify these things. Also, I was told by the agent that if you are switching from another provider, the installation fee can be waived (either waived or paid in increments? Please talk to them about this, too, because I forgot already) PLUS your monthly plan will have a 50% discount for the first three months!
The question now is, is it worth signing up with Sky? Or is Converge the better option?