NZ Sky TV customers to get refund for satellite failure

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Saturday, April 1, 2006

On Thursday night, a failure of the Optus B1 satellite affected the Sky Pay TV network and also caused a blackout of other satellite-based systems. Sky TV subscribers will get a refund for the inconvenience.

The satellite was down from Thursday evening to Friday morning. It also covers international emergency service and air traffic coordination. However, thanks to backup services, no serious effects were caused.

Satellite experts and astronomers questioned Sky's explanation that the solar eclipse had hampered attempts to get the service back up and running – the eclipse happened nearly 24 hours before the outage, and thus the satellite should have been in a different area of the sky. A spokesman of Sky TV said the problem occurred because the eclipse happened at the moment the sun was required to charge the satellite's batteries for a routine realignment.

The pay TV company is considering paying compensation to advertising customers as well.

Related Wikinews

"Optus B1 outage leaves all New Zealand Sky TV digital subscribers without service" — Wikinews, March 30, 2006