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Bandwidth cap

leng
Grafter
Posts: 78
Registered: 06-12-2007

Bandwidth cap

This month I will be stuck with a very large excess usage charge.  This is partially my fault - the email notifications were going to the wrong place so I missed the warnings.  However, the real problem is that I had not realised that uploading is counted as well as downloading.  In the old days of copper this really didn't matter - uploads speeds were so slow that you really couldn't do too much damage - but now my upload speed is 8Mb plus.  Unfortunately I left a torrent client running in the background for several days forgetting that it was set to restrict daytime downloads but not to stop daytime uploads.  The results are not pretty.
I do not blame plusnet for this particular contretemps.  It is my fault that the warning messages went astray.  However, if PN offered an unlimited tariff I would be on it and would not be expecting a heavy bill at the end of the month.  I note that BT are now offering a genuinely uncapped tariff - although the will apply traffic shaping if you exceed their "fair-use" limit which I believe kicks in at about 300Gb.
I've been with PN for a number of years and have been generally very satisfied with their service.  Unfortunately, unless PN steps up to offering an unlimited bandwidth tariff I will have to seriously consider changing my provider.  Please note that I am not generally a heavy user - in the previous 3 months my usage was about 6Gb, 13Gb and 30Gb from an 80Gb limit (I'm on an old tariff).  However, I do have occasional peaks (generally associated with the acquisition of new tech-toys) and I really don't want to have to worry about being massively surcharged on the rare occasion that I do have heavy demands.
5 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 26,657
Thanks: 884
Fixes: 10
Registered: 10-04-2007

Re: Bandwidth cap

Why didn't you set a limit on your extra monthly spend - you'd have had slow speeds for the rest of the month but no hole in the pocket (or having realised your mistake could have bought just one 5GB block to keep you going).
https://portal.plus.net/data_transfer_watch/
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
   Why I have left Plusnet (warning: long post!)   
Broadband: Andrews & Arnold Home::1 (FTTC 80/20)
Line rental: Pulse 8 Home Line Rental (£13/month)
Mobile: iD mobile (£4/month)
leng
Grafter
Posts: 78
Registered: 06-12-2007

Re: Bandwidth cap

Yes, I could have done that but think you miss my point.  I have accepted that the overspend is my fault.  If I hadn't made changes to the way I handle email I would have received a warning.  If I had noticed that upload data counts to the cap (which is not standard practice for all ISPs) I would not have left the bittorrent client running.  If I had set up the client differently it would not have uploaded as much during the day.  If I had set the cap as you comment I would have chewed up my allowance this month but not been surcharged.
However, with more and more stuff going into the cloud the amount of data flowing both up and down a broadband link can only go on increasing.  I am not a heavy user.  Most of the time I could get by on the value package if it were not for the speed restrictions on one or two traffic classes.  However, I do not want to look over my shoulder at the data usage meter all the time.  I would be quite happy to pay plusnet what BT are asking for unlimited usage, or even a little more to allow for past good service, but I really do want the option of purchasing such a product.
I detailed the problem both as an explanation of why I want an unlimited package and as a warning for anyone else who might get caught in the same trap.
vultura
Grafter
Posts: 251
Thanks: 4
Registered: 22-05-2011

Re: Bandwidth cap

Having moved from BT I can't say I'd want anyone to go to them who is a medium/heavy user.  
I found the traffic management too intrusive in the last few months, downloading files at 5 or 6 k per second is not use to me.  I wasn't hitting the 40Gb account limit either.
Edit: Forgot to mention PN don't count upload/download useage from 12am to 8am.
leng
Grafter
Posts: 78
Registered: 06-12-2007

Re: Bandwidth cap

Yeah, most of my big downloads took place overnight - the traffic shaping on p2p makes that more or less mandatory.  However, they don't appear to shape the uploads and that was what bit me.  I notice a fairly prominent warning has appeared that uploads do count against your limit - I'm pretty sure that has not been there for very long (witness teh repeated questions as to whether uploads count which have appeared in these forums.
Thanks for the warning about BT.  They would not be my first choice but it is difficult to find a genuinely unlimited tariff.
Community Veteran
Posts: 4,833
Thanks: 117
Fixes: 24
Registered: 14-07-2009

Re: Bandwidth cap

Quote from: leng
I notice a fairly prominent warning has appeared that uploads do count against your limit - I'm pretty sure that has not been there for very long...

Once in a blue moon I download large files from a bit-torrent site.  When I first did this, which might have been about a year ago, I looked into the ramifications on usage and had no difficulty finding that uploads as well as downloads count against your allowance.  Of course "very long" is relative.  Maybe a year is not very long in leng's terms?