Quite a few of the different broadband companies are now the same company. For example Tiscali and TalkTalk are the same company – and UKOnline has been owned by Sky for ages.

Normally it doesn’t really make any difference – it just means it’s a difference bunch of people making things awkward whenever you need to speak to them (ahem – sorry!). Normally you still can keep your Tiscali (or whatever) email address just as before.

But Sky have decided to close down UKonline completely. So if you currently have your broadband through UKonline, tough. You’ll need to get a new broadband connection and you’ll lose your email address. Nice of them.

The good news is that it’s not happening until January the 14th, so you’ve got a bit of a warning. But it’s a good idea to get things sorted well before, just in case it takes longer than it should.

Obviously Sky are hoping you’ll transfer your account to them but there’s no reason you have to – if they’re making you go through transfering it, there’s nothing to stop you transfering it elsewhere! Either way, the number to ring is 08442 410532 – then either ask to transfer to Sky or ask for “MAC code” which you’ll need to give to the company you want to switch to.

But a couple of things you should know – after January 14th, any emails sent to you at your UKonline email address will just be deleted, so it’s worth letting everyone know your new address in good time (including me so I can send you your monthly passwords!). Also, if you use webmail (see this article for more about webmail and what it is: http://www.pcinnercircle.co.uk/index.php/articles/webmail/ ) then all your emails in there will be deleted. So it’s worth going through them before, checking if there are any you want to keep and copying them. The easiest way is to click at the start of the text in the email, hold down the mouse button and drag it to the end, the right click and select copy. Then go into Word or OpenOffice and right click and select paste. It’s a bit of a palaver but at least you get to keep the text.

Watch this space for more advice on this – and you might want to look back at this article about choosing a broadband company: http://www.pcinnercircle.co.uk/index.php/articles/choosing-a-broadband-supplier/