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The future of Broadband Limits?

Ado16
Grafter
Posts: 104
Registered: 15-05-2012

The future of Broadband Limits?

I can only speak for ordinary humble Broadband here, but with the launch of the "Youview" Service - and with my Mobile operator having to review it's tarrifs following an increase in people using their mobile phones to stream TV/Radio/Music services - I wonder how the likes of Plusnet will change in the future to accommodate people who have gadgets that need to stream permanently in order to work?  Yes, OK, I know you can pay extra now for the extra - but how long before pressure mounts for "unlimited" to become the norm?
17 REPLIES
Superuser
Superuser
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Registered: 06-04-2007

Re: The future of Broadband Limits?

You are right and that theme has been mentioned in several posts over the past year. In spring Plusnet responded by providing an Extra Usage option which gives an allowance of 120GB per month. I think that was intended only as an interim measure.
Data caps are not the only problem, line speed can become an issue if family members each want to stream different things at the same time. Fibre services will help here, where available, though at increased cost. Plusnet's Extra Fibre option provides up to 76Mbps download speeds and 250GB per month. Note however that download speed is very dependent on distance from the local cabinet and line quality.
David
Community Veteran
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Registered: 10-04-2007

Re: The future of Broadband Limits?

I asked my electricity supplier if I could pay a fixed fee to be able to use unlimited electricity - they didn't seem impressed by the idea!
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)
Community Veteran
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Registered: 08-01-2008

Re: The future of Broadband Limits?

But many broadband suppliers are happy to offer 'unlimited' for a fixed fee.
Some hide behind 'fair useage policies', some throttle at peak times, many use traffic shaping but even those who do none of these are limited by available network capacity for their customers so many (or most) customers will suffer peak time slow-down (or worse).
Call me 'w23'
At any given moment in the universe many things happen. Coincidence is a matter of how close these events are in space, time and relationship.
Opinions expressed in forum posts are those of the poster, others may have different views.
Community Veteran
Posts: 26,695
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Registered: 10-04-2007

Re: The future of Broadband Limits?

It really is a case of picking the most appropriate ISP for your needs. Plusnet aim to give a good quality experience at all times. If you want to download the whole internet every day you pick someone else and accept some aspects of the service will be a compromise.
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)
zackarydoo
Grafter
Posts: 35
Registered: 20-09-2012

Re: The future of Broadband Limits?

I think the future will may have to change as with all these things, especially as people stream HD video rather than using services like Sky. For most at the moment though I think Plusnet's 250GB offering is more than adequate.
I don't think it's the same as electricity though, or gas or water for that matter. In those cases you are buying a product that has to be created for you and that obviously has to be paid for somehow. With the Internet, once you're connected then you or the server you're connecting to are generating the data, and it is sent along a pre-existing network. So using more of it doesn't actually cost more to anyone. I understand there are still network costs of course and that still needs to be paid for, and the obvious way is to charge by how much people use it, but my point is that it's not the same as other services.
Lemmiwinks
Grafter
Posts: 64
Registered: 09-09-2012

Re: The future of Broadband Limits?

Plus.net is the first ISP I've used that I couldn't have unlimited and the thought of only having 60GB per month was a but terrifying (which is why unpaid the activation fee and month to month contract). However, I've found it incredibly easy to keep within the 60GB each month. I'm currently at a total of 208GB with only 37GB usage for my total 60GB.
Ado16
Grafter
Posts: 104
Registered: 15-05-2012

Re: The future of Broadband Limits?

Good points all.  Sorry if it has been talked to death already.  It is surprising how little you can sometimes be using.  My Mobile company recently changed it's charges which lead me to tot up all my bills to see how much internet I used and calls etc.  It's a good learning curve. Luckily I found out I'd be unaffected by their changes or price increase.
Equally, I've never been with an ISP with advertised limits - BUT there were limits there but were more difficult to find on the home pages.  Post Office a case in point - Lousy website with no info whatsoever.
Streaming services though - like Internet Radio, ought to really command a different form of charging?  With Digital Radio especially still having a pretty uncertain level of popularity - I wonder if 'net radio could really kick off if folk could listen without worrying about usage?
Community Veteran
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Re: The future of Broadband Limits?

Quote from: zackarydoo
With the Internet, once you're connected then you or the server you're connecting to are generating the data, and it is sent along a pre-existing network. So using more of it doesn't actually cost more to anyone. I understand there are still network costs of course and that still needs to be paid for, and the obvious way is to charge by how much people use it, but my point is that it's not the same as other services.

Today Plusnet posted a Service Status announcement that they had increased the capacity on the host links by 3900Mbps. If you knew how much extra that is going to cost them each and every month it would make your eyes water.
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)
vultura
Grafter
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Registered: 22-05-2011

Re: The future of Broadband Limits?

Where I work the radio is streamed all day six days a week, we also use the internet heavily and I know we download a fair bit of data (windows updates, etc etc).  Useage is less than you'd think at less than half the allowance we have with Zen.
prichardson
Grafter
Posts: 1,503
Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: The future of Broadband Limits?

Indeed, I have actually started to stream internet radio over 3G for use in my car.
I use considerably less than I thought I would in doing this too.
Community Veteran
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Re: The future of Broadband Limits?

ISP's offer unlimited to Get customers, PN have done it in the past and fairly quickly stopped offering it to home customers.  Officially only business customers get unlimited at a cost.
The current crop of ISP's that do offer it have hidden traffic management to deal with the load, even though they say they don't e.g. Virgin / Talktalk.  Then they wonder why they get a lot of complaints by gamers and anyone using streaming online when they suddenly can't join a  game / get caching watching a stream at peek times.
Unlimited is the worm on the hook, swallow the sinker next I dare you.
Unvalued customer since 2001 funding cheap internet for others / DSL/Fibre house move 24 month regrade from 8th May 2017
sbarras
Newbie
Posts: 2
Registered: 28-10-2012

Re: The future of Broadband Limits?

Quote from: Lemmiwinks
Plus.net is the first ISP I've used that I couldn't have unlimited and the thought of only having 60GB per month was a but terrifying (which is why unpaid the activation fee and month to month contract). However, I've found it incredibly easy to keep within the 60GB each month. I'm currently at a total of 208GB with only 37GB usage for my total 60GB.

At the moment I have used 39gb of my 60gb allowance after only 10 days of fairly average family usage. We have a smart TV that we sometimes use to access YouTube or iPlayer. The kids have an iPad and iPod touch so they surf and watch YouTube  and do emails etc. We have an Internet radio which we use on a Saturday and I use my iPhone and computer on the net to do the same as the kids. I am pretty sure this is now typical family usage. I have recently moved to plus.net adsl from a Virgin cable area which is a bit of a speed shock. 50mbs/s down to 12mbs/s, unlimited to capped. I can safely say I am suffering from "Broadband data cap Anxiety" before I didn't think about our usage and we just enjoyed all the Internet offered. We just got on with a multi immersive and educational experience.  Now I am asking myself if I really need that download or will it wait till I am at work? If you ask me (I know no-one did) life is already stressful enough without one more "anxiety" to add to others we now have. If you have an electric car do you suffer from "Range Anxiety"? 
Please Plusnet bring in an unlimited data plan so we can rid ourselves of the "Data usage Anxiety" that you have allowed us to feel.
Community Veteran
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Re: The future of Broadband Limits?

You do know that you can switch to an account with 120GB usage? See "Extra usage" from here.
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)
sbarras
Newbie
Posts: 2
Registered: 28-10-2012

Re: The future of Broadband Limits?

Jelv
Many thanks for that link, it was well hidden. I have duly applied for the 120GB so we will see.