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PlusNet's new trial of "Œrealm"

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PlusNet's new trial of "Œrealm"

I have been sent an email from PN inviting me to join some sort of new connection system called "Œrealm". It does not say what it is, how it is different etc.

Question 1: What is it? What will it do? How will it benefit the user?

I am on what I think is a fixed 500 Kbps service (it can't be faster because of the long line to the exchange, (although the BT BB availibility site presently states that for my number I should now be able to get 1 Mbps.)

Question 2: Will the new Œrealm connection system work on my connection? Might it mess it up? (I am getting periods of very slow speeds as it is - I don't want to have any more aggravation.)

Extract from PN's email:

"In the future our next-generation network will enable us to provide enhanced services to customers. By taking part you will be helping us to further develop the network and prepare for upgrades across our entire platform. We‚re fairly sure that you will enjoy your experience on the trial but Œreal world‚ feedback is very important to us. Your feedback will help us develop our services further, so we will send you a voluntary survey later on during the trial. Our networks team is particularly interested in your experience with Œinteractive‚ applications such as Gaming or Voice-over-IP."
5 REPLIES
Liam
Grafter
Posts: 2,083
Registered: 04-04-2007

PlusNet's new trial of "Œrealm"

That looks like some funky copy / paste type issues there...

Here is the email, in full :-

Quote
Your username: {username}

Dear {real_name},

We recently emailed you about trialling our next-generation network. In the email we said we would let you know when we're ready for you to connect - and now we are! You may want to print this email out for future reference.

What do I need to do?
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Firstly, you need to decide whether or not you would like to take part. If you don't want to, no action is required and your connection will remain the same. If you know you want to try it out, or you’re interested, then read on.

Access to Broadband is provided by using a connection username and a password. Your connection username takes the format username@plusdsl.net, or username@plus.net, depending on when you joined us. The text after the @ sign in your username determines which network you connect to, this is called a connection ‘realm’. Both ‘@plus.net’ and ‘@plusdsl.net’ will ensure that you connect in to our network.

To connect to our new alternative network, we have setup a new connection realm for you to use. This is '@plusdsl2.net'. Therefore, if you do wish to trial our alternative network, all you need to do is change this connection realm in your login username. You change this from your current setting, to {username}@plusdsl2.net

** Don’t forget to write down your current realm before you change it, in case you wish to switch back at any time. **

If you use a router to connect to the internet, the connection username will normally be stored in the control panel of the router. If you use a USB modem to connect, then this will probably be set within the “Network Connections” section of the Control Panel in Windows.

If you are unsure how to change your connection username then please see the connection guides available on our Support Pages, here : http://www.plus.net/support/broadband/hardware/ Alternatively, please refer to the setup instructions that accompanied your connection hardware. Remember, if you do not wish to take part in this trial, you do not need to change your connection settings.

During the trial you will be able to connect as normal; your password will remain the same and your account details and billing will not be affected. You will even be able to switch back at any time by simply reversing the change. There are no extra charges, and we are confident that the trial network will provide for an excellent broadband experience.

What are the benefits of taking part?
------------------------------------
In the future our next-generation network will enable us to provide enhanced services to customers. By taking part you will be helping us to further develop the network and prepare for upgrades across our entire platform. We’re fairly sure that you will enjoy your experience on the trial but ‘real world’ feedback is very important to us. Your feedback will help us develop our services further, so we will send you a voluntary survey later on during the trial. Our networks team is particularly interested in your experience with ‘interactive’ applications such as Gaming or Voice-over-IP.

What are the limitations?
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The trial may not be suitable for advanced users who rely on the use of a Static IP address, as you will be assigned a dynamic IP when accessing the new network. If you don't rely on a static IP, or don't know what this is, then you are unlikely to be affected.

In addition, our new Broadband Firewall service is not yet enabled on this alternative network. It is always good practice to be equipped with Firewall and Antivirus software on your PCs at home, however, if this feature is important to you we would advise you not to make the switch.

Important - Changing Product, or Moving House?
---------------------------------------------
This trial is only available to Broadband Pay As You Go customers. If you change your product, including to our upcoming Broadband Your Way products, you will need to change your connection realm back to its original setting.

Additionally, your access to our trial network will be removed from your account if we move your broadband to a new home.

What if I have a fault?
-----------------------
In the first instance, you should switch back to using your original realm as the first step of the fault-finding process. From there, raise the fault to us via http://faults.plus.net as normal. If you are connected to your original realm whilst you run this fault checker, it will make it easier for us to perform the diagnostic tests.

Want to know more?
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If you want to take part, but need more help or information, please visit our Discussion Forums at http://forums.plus.net This trial is part of our strategy to developing our next-generation broadband network. Our "Plans for 2007" can be read on our website here : http://www.plus.net/features/news/plans2007.shtml


Kind regards,

Phil Webb
Director of Network Services
PlusNet

http://portal.plus.net


This email has been sent as it contains important information about your service from PlusNet. Please do not reply to this email, as this is an unmonitored address.

PlusNet PLC
Registered Office: Internet House, 2 Tenter Street, Sheffield, S1 4BY
Registered in England no: 3279013


Basically, it's a product based on BT's Central Plus offering. The 'Retail Internet Network'. This is the platform which BT Retail use to provide their internet service and it will eventually become a new product called Wholesale Broadband Connect.

We'll be working with BT Retail to help develop this network and, therefore, feedback from our customers on how the current implementation works is essential to us.

The best thing for me to say, really, is that you have nothing to lose by trying it out. Changing your connection username, as explained, is all you need to do. And if you notice any differences, then you can switch straight back.

The downsides are that you lose functionality such as the Broadband Firewall, Static IP, Surf option etc...
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PlusNet's new trial of "Œrealm"

But what's actually different about the product from an end user perspective?
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PlusNet's new trial of "Œrealm"

The PlusNet network you are then connected to is optimised for larger downloads and live streaming etc.

The current architecture of UK Broadband was designed when users mainly viewed static text based content and, as the internet has changed, so must the technology that runs it.

Users who have been transferred have reported better performance from gaming, VOIP, video streaming and file downloading- although it's important to mention that it won't make any difference to the connection between your home and the exchange.

As Liam says, you can move back at any time simply by changing the realm in your modem/router.
Liam
Grafter
Posts: 2,083
Registered: 04-04-2007

PlusNet's new trial of "Œrealm"

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Users who have been transferred have reported better performance from gaming, VOIP, video streaming and file downloading- although it's important to mention that it won't make any difference to the connection between your home and the exchange.


So far, we've had some feedback to the contrary of that, actually. We've had some reports that Gaming and VoIP (in particular) do not perform as well as when on our network. Presumably because we prioritise this above all other traffic to ensure the snappy performance and low latency required.
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PlusNet's new trial of "Œrealm"

That's an interesting point, I hadn't heard that- certainly spells out the case for traffic management doesn't it.