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Plusnet Usergroup » All Users - The Open Forum » Announcements » Introducing Broadband Your Way
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Author Topic: Introducing Broadband Your Way  (Read 44429 times)
ianwild

Posts: 3979


Not to be confused with Mike, Wildmind.

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« Reply #15 on: April 11, 2007, 11:00:02 pm »

Hmmm, I agree with Oldjim. I thought this was a great opportunity to tweak the product - I could either save a couple of quid a month, or get some more data down the pipe during 'working hours'. I guess that'd be okay if I was happy to sit and watch paint dry. The transfer speeds as marked for option 1 and 2 are pathetic. And why would I want to pay more per month to get the speeds I'm getting now?

Or - and here's the worry - is traffic shaping being applied to *all* accounts as we speak?

Absolutely - Traffic management has been in place for 18 months, and we've not hidden from that. It's changed a lot through time and it's the fact that customers haven't understood what the grander plan is, what they can expect, and why we do it that must go down as one of our greatest failings.

What product are you on now out of interest?

Ian

Regards,

Ian Wild
PlusNet Support
ianwild

Posts: 3979


Not to be confused with Mike, Wildmind.

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« Reply #16 on: April 11, 2007, 11:03:25 pm »

Hmmm, I agree with Oldjim. I thought this was a great opportunity to tweak the product - I could either save a couple of quid a month, or get some more data down the pipe during 'working hours'. I guess that'd be okay if I was happy to sit and watch paint dry. The transfer speeds as marked for option 1 and 2 are pathetic. And why would I want to pay more per month to get the speeds I'm getting now?

Or - and here's the worry - is traffic shaping being applied to *all* accounts as we speak?

Absolutely - Traffic management has been in place for more than 18 months, and we've not hidden from that. It's changed a lot through time and it's the fact that customers haven't understood what the grander plan is, what they can expect, and why we do it that must go down as one of our greatest failings.

What product are you on now out of interest?

Ian

Regards,

Ian Wild
PlusNet Support
Laser

Posts: 44

« Reply #17 on: April 11, 2007, 11:12:43 pm »

Yes - The table showing the comparison of BBYW with Plus and Premier speeds should be published tomorrow.
Ah, thanks. Should be interesting!

Quote
The speeds listed are what we'd expect to be able to deliver, but you are not going to get faster for File Sharing / Binary Usenet / FTP at this point.

Frankly, I don't buy that only those applications benefit from a faster connection.
Hm, perhaps we are at cross purposes. Are you saying that most web downloads (e.g. driver software, programs, virus killer updates, etc) will NOT be restricted, and that only certain web SITES will be restricted?

I can understand P2P being throttled, although sub-512k is a bit of a joke. Same for FTP speeds if regular external site maintenance is a desired use.

Quote
having seen the speed average usage is growing across the board on uncapped networks, I'm convinced the reasons why our approach is better will soon become apparant, even if they aren't to everyone now.
I am entirely in agreement that some sort of QoS controls need to be in place instead of a free-for-all. It just needs to give the Q to the particular S that the customer wants. Part of the point of  the (old) PAYG product was you could more or less have what you wanted all the time because it was being paid for.

At least you've kept the free overnight bit! tongue
ianwild

Posts: 3979


Not to be confused with Mike, Wildmind.

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« Reply #18 on: April 11, 2007, 11:25:45 pm »

PAYG is certainly a different product to BBYW...

In terms of FTP, regular site maintenance on an FTP site other than ours frp, a residential connection is pretty rare, and the speeds don;t make that impossible. The problem is, FTP is a protocol heavily used by leechers too, and we had to make a call on this. The exposure from FTP to us is pretty big if left uncontrolled.

And can you just try asking your question about sites versus downloads again - I think I understand what you mean, but it's late and I'm tired, so some clarification would help!

Ian

Regards,

Ian Wild
PlusNet Support
Matt_2k34

Posts: 387

« Reply #19 on: April 11, 2007, 11:37:07 pm »

All i can say is nice responses ian;

having looked through everything several times the "5 star" product should be more to my taste,

Downloading dragons den episodes from the BBC used to take me hours, i havent done any for a while... Hence the worry about 8am - 8pm peak, as i know what my line is like  rolleyes

to be honest, at the moment i just want to see what peoples reactions to the products are.

35 - 50p for the services is alot cheaper than i would of thought ! so apologies there...  smiley

We shall see what happens, although i do feel it is a pity the old products are no longer sold. (bb+ and bb premier)

-----------
=)
Ultra

Posts: 777

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« Reply #20 on: April 12, 2007, 03:11:03 am »

Overall, I'd say PN has finally "got it right".  It will remain to be seen how close to those upper speed limits users get, but as a past BB+ user, I'd have jumped at the new option 2 offering, given there is a larger allowance, free overnight traffic, and not blocking peer-to-peer or Usenet binaries, compared with the struggle to use Usenet that I had two years ago (I could d/l 50+ GB a month, just got nowhere with Usenet).

Perhaps the most important thing, and something missing from BB+, is that there is clear information about how fast/slow certain protocols might be at different times. 

For me, BB+ Usenet binaries were either 'slow' or 'dead slow' (timeouts even in the hours of 02:00 to 05:00).  I expect a number of people quit PN before this new account could come into play, which is a shame, but BB+ was outflanked by competitor ISP products, in all honesty.

If someone is using Usenet or peer-to-peer, they might just need to learn a bit more 'start it and leave it run' if they only want to run it from 1600-2200 but outside those hours, things should be peachy, IMHO Smiley
godsell4

Posts: 397

« Reply #21 on: April 12, 2007, 08:22:59 am »

PAYG is certainly a different product to BBYW...

It is, and for those users who understand what they are doing, PN no longer offer the product.

So PN bucks the system whereby the Best Products are not available to New Customers!

SW.

BBYW1/10GB
Oldjim

Posts: 1014

« Reply #22 on: April 12, 2007, 09:07:58 am »

PAYG won't be withdrawn, but the fact is that it's not a product design that would work if you put everyone on it.

Ian
Ian,
That really doesn't make sense - PAYG 14.99 2GB included isn't a viable product design but Option 2 14.99 8GB included is.
Lets ignore P2P etc and just look at normal browsing.
In my case the vast majority of my usage would be at full speed on either product so why is PAYG 4GB included at 16.49 less viable than Option 2 8GB included at 14.99
Laser

Posts: 44

« Reply #23 on: April 12, 2007, 09:23:53 am »

And can you just try asking your question about sites versus downloads again - I think I understand what you mean, but it's late and I'm tired, so some clarification would help!
OK, thanks Ian. I was just having some difficulty clearly understanding the terms like "download server". I am coming round to the idea that you may mean certain servers that specialise in supplying high bandwidth downloads, perhaps like YouTube, as opposed to pretty much any server from which one may be downloading.

Going back a week or two, there was much discussion about "bursty" transfers, and a lot of unresolved arguments about whether higher transfer speeds help or hinder that burstiness. In terms of an average person trawling around the web, downloading emails, etc, what will he see? Everything is a "download", but what about updating a printer or camera driver from the manufacturers website? (e.g. 50MB file) Or a game demo from a games review site like IGN? (e.g. 200MB file) Or a movie trailer? etc.

One of the aspects that I can't quite get my head around with the new product line-up is the way that a user who has paid for just 1GB, and therefore is unlikely to have the use-pattern to be detrimental to the network, is throttled nearly to death, yet a user who has stated up-front his intent to download a lot of stuff is given license to do so at high speed during peak time. Were the 1GB user to pay for more, he would be paying way over the odds per GB by comparison, yet still receive the poorer speed.
Ultra

Posts: 777

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« Reply #24 on: April 12, 2007, 01:30:58 pm »

Lets ignore P2P etc and just look at normal browsing.
You cannot just "ignore" anything, because (elsewhere) questions were raised on the lines of "PAYG seems to solve the problems people have had with throttling, so how about lots of people switching to PAYG...  how would it cope..."

AFAICS, the problem for PN would be very much down to either an influx of heavy users or a transfer from Premier of heavy users who could push most traffic overnight, but also run heavily during the evenings, on the basis there's hardly any limiting.  That would have an immediate impact on other users too.

Now, I'm a bit curious about whether the 0000-0800 "unaccounted" time slot will work out, my guess is that the really heavy users who want binaries via Usenet or peer-to-peer will time their traffic only to use that slot, and many may switch away from the Premier account.  People with some other ISPs might ignore the PN wish for BBYW 1 + 2 for light use/ browsing etc, BBYW 3 + 4 for heavier use and go for the 14.99 BBYW Option 2 account (the way BB+ became the highest account for new use in some of the past 18-20 months, if not the last 4-6).

The overnight traffic will be limited by the contention of users, so if it gets very congested, and they cannot get their 90++ GB a month 'fix' in 'free' time, the heaviest would have options to either shift to another ISP or pay for extra allowance and run 24x7 rather than pushing the load into 8x7.  Remember these would likely be paying 14.99 a month 'because they can'. 

Around 18 months ago in some other place (perhaps the PN forum) I remember someone, perhaps still a regular, saying about getting 30-40 GB a month on a 14.99 account (when it only included 1 GB).  Clearly (to me, and those in the know) this was because the bulk of traffic was overnight, which suited his arrangements, while evenings were spent commenting in a very favourable light about PN while others were moaning about having traffic slowed down.   From time to time I commented that this was surely the PAYG account, and traffic had to be confined to overnight, which would not suit everyone's needs (it struck me that this would be the case if their usage was not simply downloading to view / listen / use later) because it was far from clear from the user's posts.

You're a lighter type of user, you want to ignore overnight because it doesn't fit your needs, but when it comes to 'sustainable' for PN, they see a broader range of usage and people looking to return to getting 'unlimited' access for 'peanuts' which is how PAYG and even BBYW Option 2 might be viewed, by those who not only 'can', but 'will' shift the bulk of data in the free, overnight slot.  It was the argument raised a few years ago, when "unlimited" was no longer being offered, as network congestion and very high traffic meant that "all you can download" could not work or an ISP could go bust.

Frankly I can see some other options (no quota, but no traffic 0800-1800, for a monthly fee of about 18 quid, from another ISP) might prove more attractive, if webspace and umpteen (probably unused) 'extras' doesn't come into the equation.   The account I'm using with another ISP offers 20 GB during their 'peak hours' (6 hours a day) for 14.99 so I'm on an account which may be unsustainable in the long run, if I was to be pushing traffic all night and much of the day, and while the higher (30, 40, 50 GB) options are competitively priced, every ISP must be 'banking' on the fact there are maybe 90% who rarely use more than 5 or 10 GB a month, and they have enough customers paying a regular fee which covers their overall traffic costs. 

Some ISPs have had radical rethinks in the recent past (Newnet and Zen, I think) where the fees were changed significantly, and quotas introduced despite past 'unlimited' service.  It looks as though a number of others (not necessarily those using LLU, of course) will also be changing their pricing structures, because everything is evolving, not least because of Joost / 4oD / etc.

A year back, when "up to 8 Mbps" was first being widely offered by ISPs using BT Wholesale, NewNet was quick to switch their top account from being 'unlimited' to having a 100 GB limit (see "8050U" account listed back on 01 March 2006.  They've now moved from 100 to 60 GB and dropped the price a bit (puzzling about what the Home B account actually costs now, as the 32.95 is listed as annual fee divided by 12, but anything other than DD has a 5% surcharge).
« Last Edit: April 12, 2007, 01:40:13 pm by Ultra »
Oldjim

Posts: 1014

« Reply #25 on: April 12, 2007, 03:20:47 pm »

@Ultra,
If you are going to quote me please don't be selective to justify your point.
I was specifically referring to my situation as an average PAYG user who doesn't normally use much , if any, P2P during the paid period.
Anyone using P2P on PAYG to any extent will schedule it during the overnight free period just as they would on the new Option 2 product.
This then leaves the period between 8.00am to midnight where 8GB on Option 2 is sustainable but 2GB on PAYG is not when both have the same price and similar speeds if only used for normal browsing, .
This is the point which PlusNet have, as yet, failed to give a clear answer to.
In fact I basically agree with the premise you are putting forward with respect to heavy users and I don't understand the rational of these new products at all. The previously quoted costs by PlusNet reps just do not tie in with the new products. If we remember the row a few months ago when heavy throttling was introduced on BB+ if the user exceeded 2GB. How on earth is 8GB sustainable when the bulk of the usage will still be in the evening peak period.
morrisinc

Posts: 109

« Reply #26 on: April 12, 2007, 06:42:13 pm »

Hi

Can someone from PN advise on how the new products effect LLU provided users.  I'm on LLU - can I switch to one of these new ones but still use the LLU line?


Phil
ianwild

Posts: 3979


Not to be confused with Mike, Wildmind.

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« Reply #27 on: April 13, 2007, 11:48:38 am »

Hi

Can someone from PN advise on how the new products effect LLU provided users.  I'm on LLU - can I switch to one of these new ones but still use the LLU line?


Phil

Yep.

Ian

Regards,

Ian Wild
PlusNet Support
ianwild

Posts: 3979


Not to be confused with Mike, Wildmind.

WWW
« Reply #28 on: April 13, 2007, 12:15:48 pm »

@Ultra,
If you are going to quote me please don't be selective to justify your point.
I was specifically referring to my situation as an average PAYG user who doesn't normally use much , if any, P2P during the paid period.
Anyone using P2P on PAYG to any extent will schedule it during the overnight free period just as they would on the new Option 2 product.
This then leaves the period between 8.00am to midnight where 8GB on Option 2 is sustainable but 2GB on PAYG is not when both have the same price and similar speeds if only used for normal browsing, .
This is the point which PlusNet have, as yet, failed to give a clear answer to.
In fact I basically agree with the premise you are putting forward with respect to heavy users and I don't understand the rational of these new products at all. The previously quoted costs by PlusNet reps just do not tie in with the new products. If we remember the row a few months ago when heavy throttling was introduced on BB+ if the user exceeded 2GB. How on earth is 8GB sustainable when the bulk of the usage will still be in the evening peak period.

The most important point to bear in mind when thinking about the new design is that BBYW is based on future pricing - Ie the costs we expect to pay BT next year. There is a significant reduction in those costs from today, and until they are applied by BT we'll be taking the hit. We can do that now where we couldn't before for reasons we've already explained. I'm working on a more detailed blog article to explain all this further.

I'm really struggling to understand your point about PAYG here to be honest, The problem is that if *everyone* wanted to use 2GB at full line rate in the evening, that would cost us a hell of a lot more than those customers pay us. If everyone uses 8GB in a more bursty fashion and does not need a guarantee of no drops on the protocols that drive high demand, that costs us less to deliver and we can do it economically.

I know it's hard to get your head round, but the key thing to remember is that our costs are not driven by GB usage from customers, but by the concurrent demand for usage at 'peak' (Ie a notional second in time when our network is busiest). Remember, it only takes 20 customers downloading at top Max line speed to fill an entire 155Mb/s pipe, the wholesale cost of which is currently 1000 a day.

What we are expecting in the next six months is that the take-up of interactive media / streaming / 'rich content' is going to keep grow even faster than the speed it has in the last six months. We need to be in a position to make sure that traffic has priority, because it's when those things don't work that we would be faced with an impossible situation to solve and a lot of very unhappy customers.

Does that help make what we are going any clearer?

Ian

Regards,

Ian Wild
PlusNet Support
Laser

Posts: 44

« Reply #29 on: April 13, 2007, 12:53:19 pm »

What we are expecting in the next six months is that the take-up of interactive media / streaming / 'rich content' is going to keep grow even faster than the speed it has in the last six months. We need to be in a position to make sure that traffic has priority, because it's when those things don't work that we would be faced with an impossible situation to solve and a lot of very unhappy customers.

Does that help make what we are going any clearer?
No.  undecided

Streaming media-rich applications are going to be a non-bursty high-bandwidth load used primarily at peak time. And you want to prioritise that? Surely a few dozen customers using that facility will completely fill all the pipes? Wasn't that the argument why things like P2P have to be low priority?

And, to repeat a point made earlier, the heaviest users (on the option 3 or 4) are given even more opportunity to soak up peak time bandwidth, while the lightest users (opt 1) are heavily restricted.  huh

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