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Net Neutrality Blog

Plusnet Staff
Plusnet Staff
Posts: 12,169
Thanks: 18
Fixes: 1
Registered: 04-04-2007

Net Neutrality Blog

Latest Traffic Management blog has been posted here.
Hopefully it's quite an interesting one and a pretty big subject. Any feedback and comments welcome and we'd also like to throw this open to debate. A lot of people have different opinions on net neutrality so more than happy to discuss the opinions and how we see this.
11 REPLIES
atbs1
Grafter
Posts: 307
Registered: 14-04-2007

Re: Net Neutrality Blog

Hi Dave,
Your post and the article were interesting and I in broad princilpe can see what the Co. is trying to achieve.
My reservation is over my present contract verus the new BB products = what incentive is there for me to change?
I'm currently on BB+ paying some 19.99 per month, the new products - regardless of upgrading to 29.99 (option 4) are unsuitable for, I used to pay 29.99pm! The switch to a new product just means my download peak period is foreshortened imho that is a Downgrade for more money!
The arguement that the d/l free period 00:01 to 08:00 is I believe detrimental, because it means that I shall be leaving my pc on overnight - something I used to do until I contributed to the pc pro switch it off campaign. Therefore +net is directly encouraging and actively at that an un-ec friendly policy by promoting these new products. Leave your pc on all night is irresponsible for those that leave it unattended.
However, night workers, are able to turn on their pc's later and indeed might like to d/l between off-peak periods.  I'm a late day worker and having seen the saving on electric bills by turning of my 3 pc's earlier - do not want to schedule a re-boot and continue a d/l at 00:01!!
Perhaps you should re-consider your model plans and factor a cost in that does not discriminate against day workers on your new plans?
If you don't I could see a case against +net in the EC (discrimination) as well as being believably encouraging un-green! 
Ok, so let's say I change plans to option 4? Can I still buy additional Mb d/l? 
Community Veteran
Posts: 4,729
Registered: 04-04-2007

Re: Net Neutrality Blog

So you are asking PlusNet to abolish any free download period, because if the time does not suit, its discrimination?
PlusNet have not chosen the 00:01 to 08:00, that just happens to be the time that the network is quietest. And the charging system for wholesale is capacity based not quantity based.
So they allow us to use the spare overnight capacity for free.
I accept your point about encouraging leaving PC’s on overnight burning extra CO2.
Chilly
Plusnet Staff
Plusnet Staff
Posts: 12,169
Thanks: 18
Fixes: 1
Registered: 04-04-2007

Re: Net Neutrality Blog

Hi,
Ultimately there is a cost to be paid, the free overnight period allows the spare capacity on the network to be used up and allows lots of large downloads to be scheduled overnight which ultimately allows for lower cost products but the options are there to purchase extra usage if you don't want to download overnight. You can certainly pick Option 4 for example and choose to include more than 40GB of usage or buy more on a PAYG basis if you go over.
James
Grafter
Posts: 21,036
Registered: 04-04-2007

Re: Net Neutrality Blog

Hi there,
The new products are not and will not be suitable for everyone.  If you're on a product that suits your needs, then stick to it.  It's as simple as that Smiley
You would get 20GB between 8am and midnight for £2 cheaper than what you are currently paying.  Also, the 20GB would be unmanaged whereas restriction start on your Premier account from 13GB.
Community Veteran
Posts: 26,678
Thanks: 902
Fixes: 10
Registered: 10-04-2007

Re: Net Neutrality Blog

So it's discrimination that overnight is un-metered. In that case it's also discrimination that libraries, leisure centres, councils, many insurance and utilities phone lines, etc etc are closed overnight.
There is a simple fact that seems to have escaped your attention - most people sleep at night. That has implications for thousands of services, some are not available, some like electricity cost less overnight (Economy 7). PN has spare overnight capacity and can therefore do it for free.
Consider this also, by giving free overnight some heavy users schedule their downloads overnight. If they had to pay the same day and night there would be no incentive to schedule overnight which would lead to increased demand during the day. PN would have to get more capacity to cope and the costs for everybody might have to go up.
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)
Ianwild
Grafter
Posts: 3,835
Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: Net Neutrality Blog

Just to say, I completely see where you are coming from on the non-eco friendly argument. I too care deeply about environmental issues generally (As many of us do here at PlusNet).
On this one though, as Jelv has pointed out, it's not an arbitrary decision that we make overnight usage free. It's entirely about the economics. We don't pay for the broadband network by the GB, but instead must buy a finite amount of capacity which is filled by our customer's usage habits. The network is busy (and payed for) during the day and evenings, but overnight there is spare capacity that we have payed for but which doesn't get used because most people are asleep. That's why we can give it away for free.
As an aside, under my desk, I've got a Very PC Green PC, and it's awesome!
Ian
Simon_M
Grafter
Posts: 685
Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: Net Neutrality Blog

Quote
One obvious question is will PlusNet prioritise its own services above those of competitors, for example the PlusNet Broadband Phone service. The answer is no, we won’t, we want to create a level playing field for all types of VoIP and doing that means using QoS as there’s always going to be a finite amount of bandwidth.

There appear to be practical problems achieving this aim. I only discovered by accident that Plusnet don't prioritise VoIP traffic per se - only traffic that they have been told is VoIP. This means that VoIP traffic that isn't routed via one of the major ITSPs is not going to be picked up unless Plusnet are notified about it. At the moment, the traffic management systems only appear to be doing string inspection.
Community Veteran
Posts: 26,678
Thanks: 902
Fixes: 10
Registered: 10-04-2007

Re: Net Neutrality Blog

P2P applications will trying using ports used by things like VOIP to try to beat traffic management. They therefore only classify as VOIP only what they have been told about and verified as being VOIP. If they didn't do this the whole system would be saturated with P2P traffic pretending to be VOIP in a very short space of time.
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)
Ianwild
Grafter
Posts: 3,835
Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: Net Neutrality Blog

The system uses a combination of Deep Packet Inspection and Port Inspection, depening on the circumstances.
If there are examples of applications which are not being treated correctly, customers can highlight these to us and we will update our systems. See this page for more details:
http://www.plus.net/support/broadband/troubleshooting/wireshark.shtml
Ian
Simon_M
Grafter
Posts: 685
Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: Net Neutrality Blog

I know that's right Ian, because I've just been down that route, but it was chance that I found out.
Only a small percentage of users will have the technical knowledge to benefit.
I don't think you have any choice but to follow the path you are doing, but there is still a long way to go to perfect the traffic management systems. I know that that too is largely out of your control, as it's a third party system.
My point is that it's going to be a tough challenge to make your stated version of Net Neutrality a reality.
Plusnet Staff
Plusnet Staff
Posts: 12,169
Thanks: 18
Fixes: 1
Registered: 04-04-2007

Re: Net Neutrality Blog

We add new game/VoIP/whatever sigs and rules on a near weekly basis, some of these are developed by Ellacoya directly or by them working with the software developers, some are added by ourselves and some added in from customer requests.
Getting everything in is always going to be tough going. Out of about 3.5Gbps of traffic only about 80Mbps is unidentified. The more rules we can add, the more we can fish out of that and with the plans we've to add the traffic management event calendar into the community site so that customers can help us keep track of new things we can hopefully keep on top of new stuff as well.