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11 posts

Geek


#270386 6-May-2020 23:00
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Hi, (sorry for the essay)

 

We currently have Skinny Broadband which we have had for the last 5 or so years. Originally we got it at our old house in West Auckland, then when we moved we brought it with us to our current place on a hill in the Swanson area. 

 

Skinny has worked well from here for the last two years. Over the last 2 months, it has gradually gotten worse to the point that I need to reset the router 10-20 times a day. Usually, it will bootup and work great for 5 minutes or so before dying.

 

Initially, I thought well maybe I need to boost the signal a bit so I bought 2x4G aerials and placed them on the roof in a diagonal pattern ANT-205's, but really I'm unsure this was necessary as we have always had 3 bars on the router and 4 to 5 bars on the control menu. Now its a consistent 5 bars. What makes it stranger is we often have 40+mb/s upload speeds but now we getting 8 dropping to 1 or 2mb/s download speeds and often it cuts out completely.

 

I then started to think it was router related, I inserted my skinny mobile sim into the router which usually gets 10+mb/s on the phone and it was showing much lower 2 mb/s speeds on the router even with full reception. Does this indicate it is a router issue?

 

Now here is the catch, It turns out now even though I am an urban Auckland, I can see all of Auckland and have decent 4G reception I'm now out of zone for Skinny (when we moved we didn't bother to check as we were in the same general area, we plugged in and away it went), which means even though I have been using their service for the best part of 5 years trouble-free I cannot get a new router (which is 5 years old).

 

My current location does not have VDSL or Fibre and our ADSL copper down the road is in bad shape, im told it offers poor inconsistent ADSL, so I'm limited to few options that are much much more expensive than Skinny and often slower (although now anything would be more consistent). 

 

Questions: 

 

Does this sound like a router issue?

 

Are there any other things I can try before I give up on skinny?

 

Does skinny have any flexibility in these matters with proven reception and history?

 

I have tried to talk to skinny via there FB chat and was having progress after proving I had great reception and a good track record but due to a change of operator mid chat, he vetoed it completely without reason.

 

Any advice would be appreciated

 

Thanks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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200 posts

Master Geek

Subscriber

  #2478373 7-May-2020 07:57
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I would try once more to get some level of customer service from them and then vote with your feet it you don't get it. Nothing bugs customers more than inconsistent replies and it looks like that's what you've got here.

 

If you were to leave, what options do you have? Do you need to have 4G broadband or can you use fixed?


1015 posts

Uber Geek


  #2478418 7-May-2020 08:26
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from my experience Skinny are as flexible as a RSJ in this arena.

 

I would look for a second hand B315-607 ( or is it 608 I cant remember ) and put your sim card in it, I dont think the card and router are tied together but I could be wrong.

 

I had issues with mine after a while, the wifi died on it but I installed a unifi to fix that :-)

 

John

 

 





I know enough to be dangerous


 
 
 
 


1588 posts

Uber Geek


  #2478450 7-May-2020 09:31
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The problem is called congestion, it is caused by too many people drawing on one cell tower. Skinny uses excess bandwidth on underutilized towers for its Wireless offering. The reason you cannot get a new 4g connection at your house is because there is no excess capacity. If you raise this as a problem with Skinny you are likely to have your connection terminated due to you contravening your contract, ie you didn't tell them you were moving. The increase in congestion in the last two months will be due to more people working from home/school kids watching YouTube all day at home due to the 'Rona etc. Once the school kids go back to school you might get some speeds back.

5963 posts

Uber Geek


  #2478454 7-May-2020 09:44
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1eStar: The problem is called congestion, it is caused by too many people drawing on one cell tower. Skinny uses excess bandwidth on underutilized towers for its Wireless offering. The reason you cannot get a new 4g connection at your house is because there is no excess capacity.

 

This. Wireless is a shared resource with all the other users in the same area. Skinny won't let you have a connection in the area because there are too many already and it is affecting performance. Unfortunately, you're actually part of the problem moving to the area and not telling them at the time.


38 posts

Geek


  #2478469 7-May-2020 10:32
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Hi - I'm in exactly the same situation (and I'm located close to Waitakere Village). I experience multiple DNS issues and general problems with connectivity. The helpdesk have been 'helpful' but haven't resolved the issues.

 

 

I've tried different modems (B315s / B618s) and even got a new Skinny connection sim card as they thought it might be faulty. In the end, it seems like its just network congestion that is the issues - hopefully it resolves itself when we reach Level 2.

 

 




11 posts

Geek


  #2478470 7-May-2020 10:38
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Ok thanks that could make sense I guess, is the skinny router locked to a sim and CELL TOWER? If I reoriented the aerials could I snap to a different tower? It was bad before the lockdown. 

 

4G or satellite is the only option here, might have to go with Farmside or Connecta.

 

Its definitely irritating there is no customer loyalty with Skinny, with a new router and sim this issue would go away, we are not heavy users around 75 GB a month max, but instead, I will have to double the price with a 24month contract with the only viable alternatives. 


5963 posts

Uber Geek


  #2478474 7-May-2020 10:47
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jazzkiwi:

 

If I reoriented the aerials could I snap to a different tower?

 

 

Worth trying.


 
 
 
 


1588 posts

Uber Geek


  #2478605 7-May-2020 14:01
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jazzkiwi:

Its definitely irritating there is no customer loyalty with Skinny, with a new router and sim this issue would go away, we are not heavy users around 75 GB a month max, but instead, I will have to double the price with a 24month contract with the only viable alternatives. 



I suspect Skinny is more irritated with customers like yourself who refuse to abide by contract conditions, and actually compound congestion issues by moving to an already overloaded area.

The issue will not go away with a new router and SIM, it requires the cell tower to be upgraded for capacity, or an additional tower to be built. Skinny doesnt build out capacity, Spark does. Skinny simply is selling excess capacity on Sparks network. That's why Skinny is cheap. The issue goes away when people move away and choose an alternate provider with capacity.

There's no point in bugging Skinny support to try to 'fix' the impossible. If the reduction in congestion from people returning to more pre-covid times doesn't 'fix it, then your only recourse is to change providers.

309 posts

Ultimate Geek


  #2478645 7-May-2020 14:43
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jazzkiwi:

Ok thanks that could make sense I guess, is the skinny router locked to a sim and CELL TOWER? If I reoriented the aerials could I snap to a different tower? It was bad before the lockdown. 


4G or satellite is the only option here, might have to go with Farmside or Connecta.


Its definitely irritating there is no customer loyalty with Skinny, with a new router and sim this issue would go away, we are not heavy users around 75 GB a month max, but instead, I will have to double the price with a 24month contract with the only viable alternatives. 



Why not see if Vodafone will supply you with their fixed wireless product? May have better coverage/capacity in the area and will be cheaper than RBI.




Ant  Reformed geek | Referral links: Electric Kiwi  Sharesies  Stake


1128 posts

Uber Geek


  #2478653 7-May-2020 14:58
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jazzkiwi:

 

 

 

We currently have Skinny Broadband which we have had for the last 5 or so years. Originally we got it at our old house in West Auckland, then when we moved we brought it with us to our current place on a hill in the Swanson area. 

 

Does skinny have any flexibility in these matters with proven reception and history?

 

I have tried to talk to skinny via there FB chat and was having progress after proving I had great reception and a good track record but due to a change of operator mid chat, he vetoed it completely without reason.

 

Any advice would be appreciated

 

Thanks

 

 

actually, you're lucky you have any connection at all. Skinny are pretty strict on the terms and conditions of these connections.
The CSR who vetoed your request didn't do so without reason

 

see here

 

specifically. . .

 

* You can only use your Modem to receive the Skinny Wireless 4G Broadband service at the location you entered into the address checker when you signed up to Skinny Wireless 4G Broadband (the installed location).
* If we become aware that you are using your Modem at a location other than the installed location, we reserve the right to terminate your Skinny Wireless 4G Broadband service without notice. The reason we retain this right is that we need to be able to manage the network to ensure that all customers using the network receive a reliable a consistent service.
* If you are moving and would like to use your Modem at your new address contact us and we will let you know if you can continue to use the Skinny Wireless 4G Broadband at your new place.
* The Skinny Wireless 4G Broadband SIM was only made to be used in the Modem that it came with. It won’t work in another data device. It also can’t be used for calling, texting, MMS, or checking voicemail.
* The Modem contains a SIM card. You may not use this SIM card in any other device. It remains our property and you must return it to Skinny on request.




11 posts

Geek


  #2478738 7-May-2020 15:33
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antonknee:
jazzkiwi:

 

Ok thanks that could make sense I guess, is the skinny router locked to a sim and CELL TOWER? If I reoriented the aerials could I snap to a different tower? It was bad before the lockdown. 

 

 

 

4G or satellite is the only option here, might have to go with Farmside or Connecta.

 

 

 

Its definitely irritating there is no customer loyalty with Skinny, with a new router and sim this issue would go away, we are not heavy users around 75 GB a month max, but instead, I will have to double the price with a 24month contract with the only viable alternatives. 

 



Why not see if Vodafone will supply you with their fixed wireless product? May have better coverage/capacity in the area and will be cheaper than RBI.

 

 

 

As mentioned our cooper line down the road is horrendous which chorus refuse to improve so ADSL is out of the question




11 posts

Geek


  #2478745 7-May-2020 15:48
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1eStar:
jazzkiwi:

 

Its definitely irritating there is no customer loyalty with Skinny, with a new router and sim this issue would go away, we are not heavy users around 75 GB a month max, but instead, I will have to double the price with a 24month contract with the only viable alternatives. 

 



I suspect Skinny is more irritated with customers like yourself who refuse to abide by contract conditions, and actually compound congestion issues by moving to an already overloaded area.

The issue will not go away with a new router and SIM, it requires the cell tower to be upgraded for capacity, or an additional tower to be built. Skinny doesn't build out capacity, Spark does. Skinny simply is selling excess capacity on Sparks network. That's why Skinny is cheap. The issue goes away when people move away and choose an alternate provider with capacity.

There's no point in bugging Skinny support to try to 'fix' the impossible. If the reduction in congestion from people returning to more pre-covid times doesn't 'fix it, then your only recourse is to change providers.

 

 

 

Well partially true but in reality, I disagree, the amount we use data there would be next to no impact on the tower, more likely gamers, streamers and the fact that infrastructure is not keeping up with housing developments especially around the Swanson Sturges areas, we have been paying for a product for 5 years and its in a very similar location if not the same tower to the previous address, and it has been working fine with full reception up until a few months ago, to not entertain the idea of sending out a new modem is pretty poor IMO, most business would not do this, they would try to retain customers and look for solutions.

 

Yes a slow down in speed would be expected with congestion but not a complete failure and inability to connect to the network. If you say it is not the router can you please explain why a skinny mobile sim works faster in a cellphone than when put in the router, surely with better coverage this would increase the speed. Is it that the router is locked to a cell tower even with a different sim?


1128 posts

Uber Geek


  #2478749 7-May-2020 15:52
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as I understand it - mobile sims and broadband sims are routed over different backends - so the speed difference you are getting between the two is most probably meaningless and irrelevant. 




11 posts

Geek


  #2478783 7-May-2020 16:28
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interesting, so you can't compare a router speed test with a iPhone speedtest on the same website. Good to know cheers. 


5963 posts

Uber Geek


  #2478785 7-May-2020 16:28
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jazzkiwi:

 

to not entertain the idea of sending out a new modem is pretty poor IMO, most business would not do this, they would try to retain customers and look for solutions.

 

You seem to have missed the point that you are outside the area that Skinny will deploy this product in. The reason they won't send a modem to your address is they don't provide the product in that area. The reason they don't provide the product is because there isn't any spare capacity in the area, which is what this product relies on. Contrary to what you say, it is exactly about customer retention and maintaining a good user experience for the existing users. By adding (in their eyes) a new connection in an area already at or near capacity, it will degrade performance for everybody else.

 

jazzkiwi:

 

Yes a slow down in speed would be expected with congestion but not a complete failure and inability to connect to the network.

 

I'm sure @linux can provide a more detailed answer, but that's not quite how a cell network operates. You won't always get a gradual slowdown, you can get kicked off the tower completely.


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