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Plusnet staff go the extra mile for charity

August 28th, 2014 at 15:00 by Chris Parr

Leeds to Sheffield 36 mile walk

Over the bank holiday weekend, 23 staff took part in a walk between our Marlborough Street office in Leeds and our Sheffield office on Pinfold Street. The walk was the latest fundraising event for our charity of the year, The Jane Tomlinson Appeal.

The challenge pushed the group to their limits as they passed through Tingley, Midgley, Silkstone Common, Deepcar, Warncliffe Side and Oughtibridge heading back to Sheffield. The draining walk comes just a few weeks after a 500 mile cycle ride between Plusnet and Paris.

Plusnet HR Manager, Andrea Kilgour commented “Plusnet staff are always keen to engage in charity activities and have this year gone to extraordinary lengths to raise funds for The Jane Tomlinson Appeal, our Charity of the Year and we are all very proud of their contributions.”

The walking team

This latest fundraising event has added an extra £1000 on top of our continued charity fundraising for The Jane Tomlinson Appeal.

Siobhan Curtis, Legacy Manager at The Jane Tomlinson Appeal said: “It was great to see so many Plusnet colleagues taking on the challenge this weekend. Whether they walked 36 or 18miles it is a great accomplishment and something they should all be really proud of. The support the team across the business have shown the Appeal is fantastic and it’s great that so many have taken on a personal challenge this year in support of the Appeal.”

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You love Netflix

August 21st, 2014 at 12:00 by Dave Tomlinson

Netflix

Netflix launched in the UK just over two years ago with quite a fanfare.

In that time we’ve seen Netflix traffic grow at an incredible rate. Netflix now battles it out with YouTube for most usage on our network. This isn’t surprising when you see that one in ten households have signed up to Netflix.

That’s more than 3 million UK households now subscribed to Netflix and puts it far ahead of their rival, Amazon. That means roughly 1.5 million households have signed up in the last year according to recent analysis. Although the price of Netflix has recently increased, from £5.99 to £6.99, we’ve continued to see an increase in the use of Netflix across our network.

Netflix vs YouTube

 

Netflix and YouTube both use large amounts of bandwidth across our network, although their usage patterns differ. The shape of the graph means we can make some assumptions on who is watching and when.

The graph below shows that Netflix peaks higher than YouTube and is watched later in the evening, whereas YouTube contributes more overall traffic without the significant peak. You can see that YouTube starts ramping up its usage during breakfast time, most likely when people are getting ready to go to work and school. Whereas Netflix spikes much higher in the evening, most likely once the children have gone to bed.

Netflix vs YouTube

 

What are we doing for future growth?

The end of summer into the start of autumn are a busy time for an ISP. The new Premier League football season is starting, new episodes of popular TV shows starting such as Doctor Who and big software updates like the upcoming iOS8 from Apple. Combine this together with the nights starting to draw in it means that people are doing more online. With this in mind we’re continually increasing the bandwidth on our network and have added a significant amount recently.

Don’t forget that Christmas isn’t far away either, and whilst most pople won’t be buying 4k Ultra-HD TVs this year, there is always a jump in sales of consoles, tablets and similar devices. This gives more ways for everyone to enjoy the content, and there are plenty more Netflix originals like the new House of Cards season to ensure that streaming continues to rise.

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Plusnet take part in Sheffield CycleBoost

August 19th, 2014 at 12:30 by Chris Parr

Sheffield Cycle Boost

Plusnet are one of the companies joining in with this year’s Sheffield Cycle Boost scheme.

The scheme is coordinated by local cycling companies on behalf of Sheffield Council thanks to grants from the Department for Transport under the local inMotion project.

Read on to find out more about how Plusnet got involved…

Sheffield Cycle Boost offers local companies the free load of high quality bikes for staff to try cycling to work for three to four weeks. The staff taking part can also take advantage of Dr Bike sessions which provide a check-up for your bike alongside personalised cycling courses, these cover everything from commuter safety through to maintenance skills. Cycling experts will even accompany cyclists on their first ride home.

Staff were able to test out their new bikes after collecting them recently.

Collecting the bikes

Plusnet were the first company in Sheffield to take part in the scheme back in 2012 and this year are going the extra mile by providing the staff taking part with free breakfasts, to refuel after their ride in to the office.

Plusnet CEO, Andy Baker commented:

“Plusnet welcome the opportunity to be part of the CycleBoost 2014. Cutting congestion and improving fitness is beneficial to all, and being able to offer heavily discounted rates for Plusnet staff on bikes and cycle equipment will be really well received.”

The Cycleboost scheme is part-funded by the Local Sustainable Transport Fund, branded locally as Inmotion! Inmotion! was established following a successful bid for £24.6 million from the Department for Transport’s ‘Local Sustainable Transport Fund’ to help boost South Yorkshire’s local economy.

Do you cycle to work, or would you like to? What tips have you got for those starting out on two wheels?

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Plusnet to Paris cycle challenge

August 7th, 2014 at 09:00 by Chris Parr

Plusnet to Paris cycle challenge

Hot on the heels of the Grand Depart, four Plusnet staff set off from our Sheffield office on a gruelling cycling challenge, riding from our offices in Sheffield all the way to Paris. The route had them covering the 500 mile journey in just five tough days.

Paul Summers, Andy Moores, Katy Stallabrass and Luke Allen set out early on a Tuesday morning and cycled 100 miles each day, finishing at the Eiffel Tower on Saturday.

All of the team are cycling enthusiasts but none had taken on anything like this before. They’ve all been training hard over the last few months to make sure they made it to the finish line. The 500 mile route wasn’t going to let them off easy, with Andy suffering a crash partway through the challenge. After some running repairs, to himself and the bike, he was soon back in the saddle peddling towards Paris.

Andy Moores, Quality and Technical Training Manager commented:

The ride was the hardest challenge I have ever done, the torrential rain was especially bad but knowing that everyone was behind us and that the money we were raising was going to such a great cause kept us going. On a couple of days we didn’t finish riding until 9pm but was all worth it when we got to the Eiffel Tower at 6pm on the Saturday night. We all agree it’s been an honour being able to raise money for the Jane Tomlinson Appeal……and we’d do it again!”

The Jane Tomlinson Appeal was chosen by Plusnet staff as their charity of the year for 2014 and we’ve been raising funds throughout the year with a mixture of different fundraising activities.

The route the team followed can be seen below:

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