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Fair Usage Policy

Community Gaffer
Community Gaffer
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Registered: ‎05-04-2007

Fair Usage Policy

I'm hoping that some of you may be able to help us, we are looking to speak to a couple of customers that have moved to us due to unclear FUPs (Fair Usage Policies) on other providers. If you have a story / experience you could share with us then please either reply to this thread or feel free to drop me a PM.
If this post resolved your issue please click the 'This fixed my problem' button
 Chris Parr
 Plusnet Staff
21 REPLIES
VileReynard
Seasoned Pro
Posts: 11,072
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Registered: ‎01-09-2007

Re: Fair Usage Policy

I hope there is no thought of instigating FUP's!!
Not that long ago, when 2Mbps was the fastest broadband you could get, "No Limits" meant No limits on downloads.
With the advent of "up to 8Mbps", many "No Limits" ISP's introduced a Fair Usage Policy (FUP) as an actual limit.
For example, my ex-ISP (Demon) now have a 50GB / month FUP - calculated on a 30 day moving average basis [they don't tell you what your current figure is until you exced it]. I don't think I ever came close to it - but it has high irritation value.
Further irritation is added by the use of Orwellian newspeak terminology like "Fair Use" - when what they really mean is "we'd like to make you pay more if you want high bandwidth".
However, that ex-ISP had bigger problems to worry about than FUP's - such as actually getting customer support...

Community Veteran
Posts: 1,112
Registered: ‎30-07-2007

Re: Fair Usage Policy

Hmmmm.... I must say that when I joined BB+ I did so because it was unlimited, albeit that over certain levels it was heavily managed, there was just something appealing about ‘unlimited’ on a budget price. Since then I have moved on to an account that has limits, but cool limits :-)
I actually think that Plusnet have it right in their current offerings, there really is no such thing as (cheap) sustainable unlimited, at least not at the moment. On current PN plans you know what your limits are and then with a little planning and effort you can have the benefits of unlimited overnight ‘free’ bandwidth.
I reckon that should suit most users. It won’t suit all, some folks require full bandwidth 24/7 and they need a different deal. But you know, although I don’t consider myself a bandwidth hog I regularly use more than most I imagine.
My max usage in a month so far has been 20gig (back on bb+), but I have often averaged 12 – 15gig since then. But to be honest I can see me using a lot more bandwidth with no problems at all, and this is the beauty or having defined rules rather than c*rappy FPU’s. If I wanted I could easily run up 100gig a month by scheduling DL’s overnight.
Unless you are an Uber downloader I can’t see why there isn’t a reasonably priced Plusnet account for you? If not it probably means your usage is WAY outside the norm and then you really do need an ISP who is dedicated to exceptional usage.
In case you are wondering I am not a plusnet fanboy, just a happy customer...
Community Gaffer
Community Gaffer
Posts: 17,667
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Registered: ‎05-04-2007

Re: Fair Usage Policy

Quote
I hope there is no thought of instigating FUP's!!

Don't worry on that! We intend to keep the products and the open and honest descriptions as they are. We are looking to do some research into FUP's on other providers, in particular customers that have had a bad time because of them.
If this post resolved your issue please click the 'This fixed my problem' button
 Chris Parr
 Plusnet Staff
juliasdream
Grafter
Posts: 260
Registered: ‎09-06-2007

Re: Fair Usage Policy

I have the feeling that Plusnet aren't moving ahead with the times.
With the pace of internet technology I find 8gb per month becomes very limiting and the next option becomes a bit expensive.
Although I like and feel I want to be loyal to plusnet I notice Talk Talk offer 40gb pm plus phone + evening/we calls for near to what I pay for plusnet option 2
Is there any chance plusnet will be reviewing their pricing/usage structure in the near future?
Or is there a catch with Talk Talk that I haven't spotted?
Community Gaffer
Community Gaffer
Posts: 17,667
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Registered: ‎05-04-2007

Re: Fair Usage Policy

With us you can download overnight and have it on your free usage so it doesn't count to your monthly allowance, I'm not sure whether TalkTalk have a free usage period similar to that.
With the current costs from BT Wholesale it's unlikely we'll be able to add more usage per account for the same cost until they lower the cost to us.
If this post resolved your issue please click the 'This fixed my problem' button
 Chris Parr
 Plusnet Staff
Community Gaffer
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Registered: ‎05-04-2007

Re: Fair Usage Policy

Just so we can keep this discussion heading in the intended direction Wink
Quote
I'm hoping that some of you may be able to help us, we are looking to speak to a couple of customers that have moved to us due to unclear FUPs (Fair Usage Policies) on other providers. If you have a story / experience you could share with us then please either reply to this thread or feel free to drop me a PM.
If this post resolved your issue please click the 'This fixed my problem' button
 Chris Parr
 Plusnet Staff
Community Gaffer
Community Gaffer
Posts: 17,667
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Registered: ‎05-04-2007

Re: Fair Usage Policy

Thanks James, pretty similar to what I was about to post.
It's just a bit of market research into FUP's really and whether people move ISPs because of unclear FUP's.
If this post resolved your issue please click the 'This fixed my problem' button
 Chris Parr
 Plusnet Staff
VileReynard
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Posts: 11,072
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Registered: ‎01-09-2007

Re: Fair Usage Policy

Quote from: Chris
It's just a bit of market research into FUP's really and whether people move ISPs because of unclear FUP's.

There's quite a long thread in demon.service [that's usenet] moaning about their implementation of a FUP. I would think that any search done on FUP in google or google groups would bring up a mass of anecdotal evidence.
Note that a FUP may not be the cause of a customer migration - it could just be a the last straw etc...

Ianwild
Grafter
Posts: 3,835
Registered: ‎05-04-2007

Re: Fair Usage Policy

Quote from: PunKrocker
I don't see other ISP's asking for info like this, in fact if we want to discuss usage limits et all within Plusnet forums it can be frowned upon ;-)

Other ISPs don't have a community like ours!
Just to be clear, for us to thrive and be able to keep offering competitive products we do have to constantly grow (It's thew nature of being an ISP!). To do that, we have to find good marketing angles to encourage customers from other ISPs to join us. The purpose of this exercise is to help explain to the general consumer why we believe our approach is better than that adopted by most other ISPs.
Of course, our product set is constantly under review and we work hard to be as competitive as we can. We are however tied down by the wholesale costs we incur - unlike other ISPs we can't lose money on Broadband as we don't subsidise it from other sources. I read the other day that Sky would lose three quarters of a billion on Broadband up to 2010 - That's a fair bit of cash, but you can be sure they intend to claw it back in one way or another.
Hope that helps explain what we are asking for here!
Cheers,
Ian
mcgurka
Grafter
Posts: 764
Registered: ‎09-10-2007

Re: Fair Usage Policy

I hold a business BB connection to plusnet, and have held connection for many years, and I have had absolutely no thoughts about moving away.
For comparison, I have virgin media 20Mb at my home, it connects at 20Mb, but during peak, i get about 512Kbit after traffic shaping, good example of overselling the network there.
Plusnet have a fair traffic shaping policy in place, although I do feel that some of the limits on lesser accounts may be a bit low.
The problem is that, people think they want higher speeds, they want higher traffic allowances.
I believe that the charges are £1 per gb over of data, which can represent a large chunk of cash for people and could end up paying for software, such as Linux Distros through bandwidth charges.
I know that bandwidth is expensive, as Im looking at leased line for my servers just now, but to charge £1 per gb is un-just.
Im not having a go at PN, you asked for my views. Ive always been a man of the 'Unlimited means Unlimited' stature. Thats the way broadband was meant to be enjoyed. Not by hitting your traffic limits.
Voip / Youtube / Break and other sites can quickly rack up traffic on accounts. A month or so back, we held a traning period where we had users in for a month to learn systems and gain experience. Our usage for that month. 257Gb. Thankfully, I have no limit in place, but just imagine if I had!
Thats all I can think of just now, but if anyone has any comments, or to talk further about this, just reply, or PM.
Cheers
James
Grafter
Posts: 21,036
Registered: ‎04-04-2007

Re: Fair Usage Policy

Hi McGurka,
Thank you for your comments.  I'd like to pick up on one of them in particular, the point that you have made regarding usage costs.
If you read our Broadband Blueprint you'll see how we design and price our products.
We charge 75p/£1 per additional gigabyte based on the costs that we pay as an ISP. The charges that we incur per 1GB of traffic are not dissimilar to the amount we charge and it's certainly not a rip off once you consider the costs that all ISP have to pay in order to give a service to their/our customers.
mcgurka
Grafter
Posts: 764
Registered: ‎09-10-2007

Re: Fair Usage Policy

no this is true, but is that taking into consideration if everybody was to use their full limits allowance, or is it using the additional allowance that other people do not use, as this would bring down the average cost per Gb to the user?
Ive read the blueprint, and noticed the following comment;
"Based on an assumed wholesale cost of 70p per GB, the table shows that the amount of budgeted bandwidth per product differs significantly between Broadband Plus and Broadband Premier. Broadband Plus is assigned roughly 1.5GB, whereas Broadband Premier is built for around 7GB per customer. (Both figures assume that usage is spread evenly across the peak period during the month"
Mostly, the fact that broadband premier is only built for 7Gb usage. I know you worked these out based on average useage, but it seems this may have a negative effect on users  who transfer more than 7gb.
I never said they were a rip off, i only said they were unjust. Any let me again state, im not having a go. Im voicing my opinion on the subject. As previously mentioned, bandwidth is expensive, i know that and I know customers ultimately must pay the price for it, but if i can draw attention to your current bb portfolio...
Option 1 - 1gb usage, so 75p-£1 of bandwidth
Option 2 - 8gb usage, so £6.00 - £8 of bandwidth (although the price increase should only by 5Gb)
Option 3 - 20gb usage, so £15 - £20 of bandwidth (although the price increase should only by 10Gb)
Option 4 - 40Gb usage, so £29.60 - £40 of bandwidth (although the price increase should only by 20Gb)
By looking at this, taking 9.99 as a base, and counting bandwidth only after that...
Option 1 - 1Gb Usage - £9.99 base
Option 2 - 8Gb usage, £14.99, £5 difference on 7Gb+ = £0.71/Gb + £0.75-£1 over
Option 3 - 20Gb usage, £19.99, £10 difference on 19Gb+ =
£0.52/Gb + £0.75-£1 over
Option 4 - 40Gb usage, £29.99, £20 difference on 39Gb+ = £0.52/Gb + £0.75 - £1 over
How come the price per Gb can drop to £0.52, when it costs you 75p - £1 to transfer a gb.
Once again, not having a go, you must make money, but you are selling bandwidth for less than it costs! Or maybe im wrong!
Please be nice to me!
phil
Grafter
Posts: 69
Registered: ‎05-04-2007

Re: Fair Usage Policy

Quote from: Chris
we are looking to speak to a couple of customers that have moved to us due to unclear FUPs (Fair Usage Policies) on other providers. If you have a story / experience you could share with us then please either reply to this thread or feel free to drop me a PM.

I can jump in with a bit more detail...
This is something I've been working on with Chris. For anyone that hasn't seen me on the board before - I'm Phil, and I field requests from journalists (amongst other things Smiley ).
I've been talking to someone from a national paper (exciting!) about our opinions on "unlimited" and its associated FUP. We'd love to hear from a couple of people that had experienced these FUPs first hand.
Purely voluntary, but the kind of thing I'm interested in hearing about is if a current PlusNet customer used another provider with so-called "unlimited", but quickly found out that the FUP was far too small to handle their day-to-day usage, and also what kind of communication you got when you reached the limits.
As above - Private Message Chris or post up against this thread if you have an experience you'd like to share with us. Cheers!
VileReynard
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Re: Fair Usage Policy

Quote from: mcgurka
...
"Based on an assumed wholesale cost of 70p per GB, the table shows that the amount of budgeted bandwidth per product differs significantly between Broadband Plus and Broadband Premier. Broadband Plus is assigned roughly 1.5GB, whereas Broadband Premier is built for around 7GB per customer. (Both figures assume that usage is spread evenly across the peak period during the month"
...
How come the price per Gb can drop to £0.52, when it costs you 75p - £1 to transfer a gb...

Because those are limits - not actual usages.
For example I pay for up to 20GB - but I might only use 10 - 15 GB. The price also covers different priorities on non-urgent traffic too.
It's complicated...