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can business users / lines subscribe to residential products?

jheenan
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Registered: ‎03-07-2009

can business users / lines subscribe to residential products?

Hi all,
Is it possible for business users to subscribe to plus.net's residential products?
If it is, is there any disadvantage to doing this?
Background:
We're currently on Business Broadband Option 3 (something like 25 + VAT / month - to be honest we're only on Option 3 to get the higher upstream sync speed, Option 2 would be more than adequate for us otherwise).
We've recently been hit by the bandwidth limiting on this line - it seems our sshd server gets throttled down to almost nothing in the evening (I've had a ticket open for a few days but no response yet), which is a huge issue for our remote workers.
From looking at the various accounts, it looks like the traffic shaping / bandwidth limiting on the residential Pro product would be much more suitable - or more accurately, the complete lack of bandwidth limiting and having all traffic prioritised is very attractive. We don't have a problem paying for as much bandwidth as we use, but have a big issue with people's work being slowed down to the point where they're utterly frustrated!
I guess potentially we might get slower support on a residential product, but then again I'm not exactly getting speedy support now either.
Thoughts anyone?
Thanks
Joseph
14 REPLIES 14
HPsauce
Rising Star
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Registered: ‎02-02-2008

Re: can business users / lines subscribe to residential products?

Thoughts - read the T's & C's and see if your intended use will comply......  Cool
Peter_Vaughan
Grafter
Posts: 14,469
Registered: ‎30-07-2007

Re: can business users / lines subscribe to residential products?

Residential products cannot be used for business purposes:
http://www.plus.net/info2/legal/index.html
Plusnet Residential Standard Terms
What we provide
  1. We provide you with your chosen services, including Telephony, Broadband, and, any other consumer services and any equipment we provide.
  2. These terms apply to the service described in the relevant service terms (telephony and broadband) that you may have with Plusnet, the Price guide and any Special Offer Terms.
  3. The services and equipment we provide to you under these terms must not be used for business purposes.
the same clause is in the new T&C from 4th Jan 2011 as well
jheenan
Grafter
Posts: 119
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Registered: ‎03-07-2009

Re: can business users / lines subscribe to residential products?

Oh damn.
So if I want to get rid of this traffic shaping I have to leave plus then. I think we're locked in for 12 months too. My fault, I really didn't expect the significantly more expensive top of the line business product would have troublesome bandwidth limiting  Sad
Thanks for the replies guys, at least I know a residential product isn't a solution now.
jelv
Seasoned Hero
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Re: can business users / lines subscribe to residential products?

I would recommend you look at AAISP who are primarily a business ISP. They strive to provide a fully uncontended service at all times. I think an extract from a recent announcement about the VAT increase illustrates their philosophy:
[quote=http://status.aaisp.net.uk/apost.cgi?incident=736]Price increases
The quality of the broadband service we offer is of utmost importance to us. We aim to maintain uncongested links to BE and Be for broadband service. However this is costly, and it is becoming increasingly difficult.
The quality of service is especially important for our business customers, especially those using voice over IP (VoIP). Over the last month (Nov/Dec 2010) we have, for example, maintained the links uncongested during the business day for 100.0% on Be, 99.9% on BT 20CN and 99.2% on 21CN. Over the last week due to increases in capacity these have increased to 100.0% on BT 20CN and 99.6% on BT 21CN. We aim for 100.0%.
To ensure we can maintain these links as uncongested as possible and continue to provide the quality of service demanded by business and home users alike, we are having to increase the price for broadband units. The increase is 45p+VAT per unit per month. This means the entry level 2 unit tariff will increase by 90p+VAT/month.
We feel this will provide the additional funds we need to keep increasing capacity to BT as needed and maintain the quality of service.
Their evening traffic is charged at a lower rate than daytime which might be attractive to you.
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 (£14.40/month)
Mobile: iD mobile (£4/month)
HPsauce
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Re: can business users / lines subscribe to residential products?

If you have LLU services available then Bethere may be an interesting option as it's totally unthrottled.
They allow "sole trader" type use on all packages (but check to be sure) and "business" use on the "Pro" package (again check T's & C's).
Also the "Pro" package has the option of Annex M which can at extra cost (if your line isn't too long) give uploads of up to 2.5mbps - sounds VERY relevant.
jelv
Seasoned Hero
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Registered: ‎10-04-2007

Re: can business users / lines subscribe to residential products?

If Be are on the exchange you can use their network via AAISP.
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 (£14.40/month)
Mobile: iD mobile (£4/month)
Mark
Grafter
Posts: 1,852
Registered: ‎04-04-2007

Re: can business users / lines subscribe to residential products?

Hi Joseph
Jelv is right, AAISP are a Business ISP and a very good one at that. Whilst we also have a large consumer base we do have a dedicated Business Team and dedicated business products, and to be honest, service a much bigger business base than AAISP. Whilst I'm biased of course, my teams will deliver as good a service to you and our business customers, if not better, as any other service provider out there. Smiley We've been delivering service to business since 1997 and our customers include a number of massive household name corporates.
What I'd like to do is fully understand and resolve your current issue. When you say bandwidth limiting, do you mean the 832k upstream or traffic management?
Can you post a ticket ID for me and I'll get one of our experts to take a look and see what the issue is.
Can you elaborate on what you're using sshd for, ie not necessarily the traffic, but what your connecting to and if your experience relates to uploads as well as downloads. If you can provide the ports in use that would also help. SSH traffic recieves one of the highest priorities on our network and for a business customer to be experiencing issues with this type of traffic is most unusual. If you feel its traffic management, we'll look at the cause and resolv, if its lack of ADSL2+ we can look to resolve that too.
Happy to work with you to identify and resolve this one, hopefully quickly. If your not happy posting the details, feel free to pm me and I'll take it from there.
Mark
jelv
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Re: can business users / lines subscribe to residential products?

Mark it's the evening when Other is throttled right down that is the issue here. I think it is deliberately like that to stop the heavy P2P and binary usenet users signing up to business and tunnelling their traffic to avoid the controls.
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 (£14.40/month)
Mobile: iD mobile (£4/month)
Mark
Grafter
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Registered: ‎04-04-2007

Re: can business users / lines subscribe to residential products?

Thanks John.
SSH shouldnt be in "other", unless my memory has gone haywire. I'll do a bit of digging Monday and I'll get Phil or Tommo to take a look at this. Meantime I've flagged this to my Saturday morning team to kick things off.
Mark
jheenan
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Registered: ‎03-07-2009

Re: can business users / lines subscribe to residential products?

Hi Mark,
Thanks for your response. There's a few different points here so I'll try and reply on all of them:
On our current issue, someone did get back to me today, and I think this is resolved (ticket #37953229 if you want to take a peak - basically remote workers accessing our ssh server in the evening). Not hugely happy that it took 4 days for someone to let me know that ssh wouldn't be throttled if we moved it to port 4500, but it does seem to have solved the problem. (Like most folks, we don't run ssh on port 22 to avoid it getting attacked by hackers. I don't think there's any chance of them getting in, but seems best to keep them out of harms way - I thought picking the port used for jabber instant messaging would mean it wouldn't get penalised, but apparently not.)
Like Jelv says, the root cause here is the throttling of "other" traffic in the evening. We work in the evenings quite a lot (though what company doesn't these days?).
My worry is that the communication product we're developing uses a number of different ports specified by our end user (http and https on several different ports plus a protobuf protocol), at least some of which is presumably going to get classified as "other" and unusable in the evenings.
As to what I'm looking for, I think I'd ideally looking for, in order of priority:

  • no or very light throttling on "other" data

  • annex m (or the best upstream we can get)

  • light/no throttling on "download" sites/servers

  • the other features of "business option 2" are all fine


We're happy to pay for each gigabyte we use, so we're not expecting unlimited fast traffic for a fixed monthly fee  Smiley
We're also generally happy with plus, we have our phones with you too, and most of our employees get their broadband from plus. We had a fault on the line earlier in the year and it was resolved pretty efficiently.
I'm not sure if ADSL2+ might help with the upstream speed? We're getting 1024000 upstream sync speed at the moment if our router is to believed (not sure we ever see that much throughput!), it's reporting:
[tt]  --------------------------- ATU-R Info (hw: annex A, f/w: annex A) -----------
  Running Mode            :    G.DMT       State                : SHOWTIME
  DS Actual Rate          :  8128000 bps   US Actual Rate       :  1024000 bps
  DS Attainable Rate      :  9184000 bps   US Attainable Rate   :  1252000 bps
  DS Path Mode            :  Interleave    US Path Mode         :  Interleave
  DS Interleave Depth     :       32       US Interleave Depth  :        4
  NE Current Attenuation  :       20 dB    Cur SNR Margin       :        8  dB
  DS actual PSD           :    19. 9 dB    US actual PSD        :    12. 4   dB
[/tt]
Sorry, that's probably a rather larger answer than you were hoping for Smiley (My mobile number & email is on the ticket if it's better to take this private.)
Cheers,
Joseph
Mark
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Registered: ‎04-04-2007

Re: can business users / lines subscribe to residential products?

Hi Joseph.
Thanks for the detailed reply. I'll take you up on your offer of picking up the conversation elsewhere. I wont ring over the weekend but will do on Monday and we can have a chat.
You're feedback so far is valuable and I'd like to explore this further with you.
Mark
jheenan
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Re: can business users / lines subscribe to residential products?

For what it's worth, I've supplied plus.net with 2 traffic captures showing ssh traffic being incorrectly prioritised in one case, and packets outright dropped in other cases. This was a couple of weeks ago now, and they appear to have gone through the basic "yep, that looks wrong" response and now seem to just be getting ignored. It doesn't always happen, just very occasionally I do notice it happening at a point when I can stop and get a capture.
(The captures in this case were from a residential account, on BBYW2 IIRC, but as I understand it ssh is prioritised the same or better on that account than business accounts. Tickets are 38481613 and 37408778.)
I think by myself, the business and our other employees are going to be parting company with plus at some point in the near future. It's a shame, because I do like plus in a lot of ways  Sad
[Mark, btw, I never got a call from you, though I do remember that something broke quite dramatically the day you were due to phone me so that was understandable  Smiley ]
jheenan
Grafter
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Registered: ‎03-07-2009

Re: can business users / lines subscribe to residential products?

Though I might as well let people know how this turned out - never got any real answer from plus about the ssh connection issues; one ticket just got closed, the other had months of silence, then "can you supply another packet trace?".
We've moved our business connection over to AAISP with a BE backhaul, and it seems to be working very nicely, 18.8Mbps downstream and 2.4Mbps upstream. The monthly bill will be slightly more, but not as much as I feared (less than £10 in it for our needs) - a small price to pay to get away from all the issues that traffic shaping was causing us. Also, being able to have a live chat with a technical support person is amazing - I got 2 issues I had with the reverse DNS and whois entries sorted in under 10 minutes; I can be sure would have taken hours if not days to sort out with plus.
barquerole
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Registered: ‎23-07-2007

Re: can business users / lines subscribe to residential products?

Maybe Mark has been on a long weekend off.  Grin