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Sky dismisses network strain ahead of O2 and Be migration

In an effort to reassure O2 and Be customers, Sky says it has "moved quickly" to sort out slow broadband problems where they arise.

Sky says it has "moved quickly" to solve sluggish network issues when they've cropped up, dismissing concerns that its network could struggle under the weight of the O2 and Be Broadband customers the provider snapped up last week.

Having acquired Telefonica UK's broadband business (which includes O2 and Be Broadband), Sky is set to become the UK's second-largest broadband provider, and plans to move existing O2 and Be customers onto its own network.

That rings a few alarm bells, however, as Sky recently admitted that its network was already struggling under the weight of new customers. When we asked if its network could handle more subscribers, Sky seemed confident those issues with sluggish service were local issues, and were being handled.

"On the rare occasions where temporary congestion issues have arisen in specific exchanges," a Sky spokesperson told CNET UK, "Sky has moved quickly to upgrade them with extra capacity."

O2 and Be customers will be understandably miffed at having to pack up and move over to Sky, although no changes are expected to take place until later this year. On its blog, Be says migration is unlikely to be "much before the end of the year".

Be, which has a reputation for providing a number of useful services for technically-minded broadband fans like static IPs and line bonding, has seen customers expressing ire on its site. "Disaster," one writes, while another says, "Well done in ruining your excellent brand image."

It's unclear exactly how the shift will take place, though it seems unlikely that Sky will offer all the high-tech options for hardcore surfers that Be currently sells.

Sky wants to reassure broadband addicts by making mention of its high-speed fibre service -- something Be doesn't offer -- and promising "totally unlimited broadband with absolutely no usage caps or traffic management policies".

"Traffic is not shaped at any time," Sky said in its statement, "on any application, by Sky on its network."

Are you an O2 phone or broadband customer or a Be broadband subscriber? Are you open to moving to Sky, or are you worried you'll be charged more? Will you take the opportunity to change to a different ISP? Let me know in the comments, or on our Facebook wall.