Plusnet unveil residential product refresh

~ unlimited broadband - from myth to reality ~

We report this morning in the wake of what could be Plusnet's most talked about product refresh ever, as "Unlimited" sees a return to the residential sales pages.

Three products are key to the new line-up - replacing the nearly-2 year old 'Broadband Your Way' product range.  Plusnet also become the first non-LLU ISP to introduce geographical pricing. This means keener prices are available to customers connected to the busier telephone exchanges - resulting in stiffer competition with LLU.  In quite a change to the 'norm' for Plusnet, the launch also sees the introduction of 18 month and 12 month commitments - and the removal of monthly contracts altogether.

Here's a quick run-down of the new offering :-

Plusnet Value - 10Gb included usage - "The UK's cheapest broadband"

£5.99 (price for first 3 months)
£5.99 per month thereafter (market 3 exchanges) - £11.99 per month thereafter (remaining exchanges)
Bandwidth intensive protocols rate limited (24/7 in some cases)
18 month minimum-term commitment
25p referral value

Plusnet Unlimited - Unlimited usage
£11.99 (price for first 3 months)
£15.99 per month thereafter (market 3 exchanges) - £19.99 per month thereafter (remaining exchanges)
Bandwidth intensive protocols rate limited during busy parts of the day - 24/7 2Mbps Rate Limit on VPN / SSH
18 month minimum-term commitment
50p referral value

Plusnet Pro - 15Gb included usage
£19.99 per month
(no market 3 pricing or initial 3 month offer)
All traffic prioritised as per current Pro product
12 month minimum-term commitment
50p referral value

Additional usage can be added to Value and Pro, but only in 2Gb blocks which cost £2 each.  All additional usage is post-paid, there is no pre-pay option on these new products.

The inclusion of an "Unlimited" product will likely come as a shock to some, as it did to us, because Plusnet have in the past been quite vocal on their thoughts regarding unsustainable "Unlimited" broadband being a 'myth'.  There is no "Fair Usage Policy" with Plusnet Unlimited but Plusnet do insist they can offer this sustainably.  With the management of bandwidth intensive activities such as P2P or Binary USENET, combined with the prospects of 21CN access in late 2009 / 2010, Plusnet are confident the product will perform well.  Only time will tell as to how the network will cope but Plusnet seem sure that the product will "do what it says on the tin" - with the 18 month tie-in - we certainly hope so!

More about market 3
The prices charged by BT Wholesale to Broadband Providers in the UK have historically been fixed by the regulator, Ofcom.  However, in some areas, Ofcom deem that there is now sufficient enough competition from other operators (those with their own equipment in the telephone exchange) to 'de-regulate' the pricing - meaning that BT Wholesale are free to negotiate their own pricing on an individual basis with each ISP (or rather - the other way round!).   These exchanges are known as "Market 3" exchanges.  You can find out if your exchange is a Market 3 exchange by using: Kitz's Line Checker at http://www.kitz.co.uk/adsl/adslchecker.php; www.samknows.com; or by using the updated line checker on the Plusnet website.  Because in these areas Plusnet have been able to negotiate reduced prices with BT Wholesale, they can pass additional savings on to customers connected to these exchanges. You can read more about this over on Kitz's website.

Product movements
Unlike the current Broadband Your Way Products which are based on monthly contracts and allow you to switch every 30 days, the new products carry commitments which may be restarted or carried forward depending on the change you wish to make. 

Product downgrades will involve the restart of the 18 month commitment whilst product upgrades will retain your existing agreement (and it won't restart).  So if you upgrade from Value to Unlimited or Unlimited to Pro, you will remain on your initial 18 month contract.  If you downgrade from Pro to Unlimited, or Unlimited to Value, however, a new 18 month commitment will start from the day of the downgrade.  Existing users who wish to switch to one of the new options will, unfortunately, be required to enter into the minimum-term commitment just as new users do.

It should be noted, though, that Plusnet will cover the cost of one free house-move under these commitments.

We look forward to hearing your thoughts over on the forums!

See also :-
Article last edited on Monday, 09-Nov-2009 14:05 PM