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Plusnet Usergroup » All Users - The Open Forum » Announcements » What has happened to Broadband Plus at peak times?
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Author Topic: What has happened to Broadband Plus at peak times?  (Read 3831 times)
Plusnet Staff

Posts: 1980

« on: February 12, 2007, 06:40:28 pm »

During the past fortnight we have made a number of changes to our Broadband network. These changes were aimed at ensuring a fair experience for all our customers. For various reasons it has taken us longer than we would have liked to announce these changes, and for this we apologise.

We plan overall capacity based on the contribution to network costs from customers on each product.
These calculations are based on averages with usage levels being set to manage the higher usage customers to keep the overall usage within the designed range. Based on current customer numbers and pricing Broadband Plus is paying for approximately 18% of our network.

During December and January Broadband Plus was getting 25-30% of network at peak times because too much traffic was going through gold queues due to (quite natural) changes in usage behaviour – specifically increased use of web-based music and video download sites.

The impact of this was on all other gold and silver traffic which manifested itself particularly in gold drops at peak times and poor silver speeds at whenever the network is busy. So simply speaking Broadband Premier wasn’t as good as it was supposed to be and Broadband Plus was too good.

Since the beginning of February we have managed the network to ensure that Broadband Plus customers have access to the correct share of the available bandwidth by giving Premier and Plus dedicated bandwidth. The result is some slow-downs due to contention when the network is busy on Broadband Plus. When product contention kicks in we take steps to ensure that all users of that product can get a fair share of the available bandwidth. This means that slow downs are more apparent to higher usage Plus accounts at peak times. Remember that the busy times on the network change from day to day and are not necessarily just within 4pm-midnight. This has recently resulted in many forum posts by some customers however there has not been a mass in-flow of tickets and calls into the CSC.

Now Broadband Premier is getting a better service than Plus which is exactly as it supposed to be. However even lighter usage Plus customers are getting slowed down more than we would wish at peak times. So basically the design assumptions for Broadband Plus no longer work.

The problem that has been exposed here is that the underlying costs of supplying broadband have historically change in steps, and are expected to carry on doing so, but usage growth is linear.

Therefore we are going to double the build capacity per customer for Broadband Plus. We will do this by utilising the extra central capacity that comes online in March 07. A result of this will be that we are choosing to take a lower percentage profit on Broadband Plus until new BT IPStream pricing comes into effect May 07.

There are no changes to allowances and Plus customers can still use up to 4GB at peak times, however the design principle around our fixed cost products mean that contention is likely to apply at peak times. If you are a Broadband Plus user you should expect to see some level of slowdowns at peak times in these circumstances even after the new capacity is added.

You can see the graphing on our portal to compare the different product experiences http://www.plus.net/support/network_performance/broadband/

We also plan to provide more information on our intended product refresh for May by the end of this week.

Discuss this announcement here.

Kind Regards,
« Last Edit: February 12, 2007, 07:03:16 pm by bpullen »


Posts: 126

« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2007, 05:20:46 pm »

So it's crap performance all round until March for BB+ users, is it? How about sweetening the deal with a credit on their account, considering you got the figures wrong?
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