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Introducing Broadband Fair Usage

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

Introducing Broadband Fair Usage

The following email is being sent to our customers from this evening.

This email is to notify you of the introduction of a fair usage policy for our residential broadband services, which will apply from April 2005. Additional information and an FAQ, where we have answered many questions that may arise have also been provided at the bottom of this email. Further to this, we will shortly make an additional announcement which relates to free connection speed increases being offered to all customers.

Background

Our residential broadband services are sold based on a 50:1 shared (contended) service. Customers who continuously download very large files, especially from sources where no revenue is generated to cover the cost of such high usage, are effectively using their connection as a 1:1 service. If left unchecked, this burden on capacity, plus the higher costs associated with this type of usage, would have meant general price increases or an impact on the speed and quality of our service for all customers. Furthermore, with the imminent connection speed increases most customers can expect to see, the problems caused by the very heaviest of users will only increase if no action is taken.

Fair Usage Policy

After reviewing our recent exercise, which placed the 0.2% of customers who had the highest utilisation onto a reserved platform, shared between themselves, it became clear that this was successful in terms of returning 10% of capacity. It was also apparent however that we needed to be clearer about what our Broadband products are designed to offer. Following feedback from our customers, we committed to introducing a clear fair usage policy, based on current contention levels, so that everyone can understand what fair and sustainable levels of usage are on our Premier broadband products.

We have worked hard to deliver a solution which avoids the need for us to increase prices or introduce monthly data transfer limits, both of which have been recently announced by many of our competitors. Because we understand that our customers wish to continue using a broadband product that is both flexible and sustainable, while offering great value at a low price, the fair usage policy we are adopting addresses these concerns. We believe it is both the clearest and fairest way for us to continue to offer the quality and service we are renowned for, to all of our customers.

The fair usage policy which is being introduced has been designed after taking into account specific customer feedback provided by the PlusNet Usergroup as well as a customer feedback survey, conducted last month. We envisage that the system will only affect around 1% of our customers, and even then, the design means a much smaller proportion than this will ever have their service impacted as a result of our fair usage policy. More information as well as details of how the system will work are provided on our website:

http://www.plus.net/features/usage_guide.shtml

We would also like to highlight that the fair usage levels which have been set are reflective of current wholesale costs for broadband provision, which like every ISP we must absorb. We recognise that usage levels vary for different customers and usage can be higher when people first register for broadband. The introduction of Internet telephony and video-on-demand style services will undoubtedly mean fair usage thresholds are reviewed in the future and because it is likely that provision of such services would include a revenue generating opportunity for ISPs, it means the costs of delivering these services can be accommodated within our product strategy.

The fair usage thresholds we will be implementing significantly exceed those defined by the 50:1 contended nature of our residential broadband products. As such, these changes represent a clarification to our existing terms and conditions (Sections 11.2(b) & 50.1). The introduction of a fair usage policy does not reflect a change to the product we are supplying. We would however encourage any customer who is unclear about any matter in relation to fair usage to contact our support centre where we will be happy to address your individual enquiry. Before doing so however we would ask that customers review all of the additional content provided in the link above.


With Regards,

Carol Axe
Customer Services Manager
10 REPLIES
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Introducing Broadband Fair Usage

The usage limits are a joke !

£30 quid for 50g , I might as well rejoin wanadoo !
Community Veteran
Posts: 14,469
Registered: 30-07-2007

Introducing Broadband Fair Usage

It is not £30 for 50Gig. Have you looked at the usage guide which explains why this is not a cap but a fair usage threashold which will only come into force if you exceed the threashold 3 months in a row?

Please spend a bit of time to read and understand how this fair usage system works and you will most likely find it does not affect you at all.

You also need to read the product announcement where you will find out how the fair usage is applied to the current prouducts and the free upgrade to your product in April to the fastest your ADSL line will take.
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Introducing Broadband Fair Usage

I'm sorry Peter but you seem to be very confused and I think you need to re-read the "fair usage" policy or the comment made. If this user exceeds 50GB every month they get capped. Hence, its 50GB per month for £30 otherwise it will result in a cap, no? <Caveat>Unless of course your willing to only surf between 1am and 8am</Caveat> then I don't see how you can dispute or twist this since plus.net are spelling this out very plainly in both the e-mail and the copy made to the forum.

Why not read the actual guidelines: http://www.plus.net/features/usage_guide.shtml

Of course if your an employee of plus.net then tell us where we all seem to be going wrong!
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Introducing Broadband Fair Usage

I must agree here, this is just a way of charging per GB rather than a pricing system based on connection speed. I know that it is unlimited overnight but it used to be unlimited 24/7!

There may be a system in place which allows you to go over the limits for a short spell but the limits are being put in place nonetheless. - "Great, I'm gonna get a really quick connection - Oh, I don't have the same freedom that I had with the old one?" Is the way that I see it.

When I joined Plusnet, it was because I thought that the company was committed to providing an open service to people without putting limits on me. That agreement I signed obviously doesn't suit Plusnet any more so it's been pulled from under my feet and I'm now being told what I will have in future!

Not a Happy Bunny!
Community Veteran
Posts: 14,469
Registered: 30-07-2007

Introducing Broadband Fair Usage

Quote
I'm sorry Peter but you seem to be very confused and I think you need to re-read the "fair usage" policy or the comment made. If this user exceeds 50GB every month they get capped. Hence, its 50GB per month for £30 otherwise it will result in a cap, no?


yes and no. And your not capped but speed limited in month 3

You could also (on a 2Mb line) download 600GB in months 1 & 2 for £30/month so it's not strictly 50GB per month for £30, it's only the 3rd month in a row exceeding the peak threashold where the restrictions come into force. That was what I was trying to say. Reading your description, people may think they can only download 50GB each month for £30 when they can on some months download a lot more.

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Of course if your an employee of plus.net then tell us where we all seem to be going wrong!


I am not an employee and understand it very well but my reply may not have been understood as I intended.
Community Veteran
Posts: 14,469
Registered: 30-07-2007

Introducing Broadband Fair Usage

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I must agree here, this is just a way of charging per GB rather than a pricing system based on connection speed.


That is exactly how things are going to be charged from now on. It is not speed but the amount you download that your monthly fee determins.

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I know that it is unlimited overnight but it used to be unlimited 24/7!


It could not have and never has been unlimited because it has always been a contended service and always sugject to a fair usage policy (even though that policy has only just been defined). Certainly PlusNet have not been marketing any products as unlimited for well over 6 months.

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There may be a system in place which allows you to go over the limits for a short spell but the limits are being put in place nonetheless. - "Great, I'm gonna get a really quick connection - Oh, I don't have the same freedom that I had with the old one?" Is the way that I see it.


Yep, and is how a lot of other ISPs see it as well, with the recent round of capping. As time and speeds increase, limits of what can be downloaded will appear and ISPs will start using the contention (that all ADSL products have) to limit what is possible to download.
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Introducing Broadband Fair Usage

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Yep, and is how a lot of other ISPs see it as well, with the recent round of capping. As time and speeds increase, limits of what can be downloaded will appear and ISPs will start using the contention (that all ADSL products have) to limit what is possible to download.


But I didn't choose to pay money to a lot of other ISP's!

This seems to be a move towards capping now with the arrival of increased speeds. As website designers begin to recognise these higher speeds whilst designing web pages, the average users download amount will increase. With a capping system in place, it puts Plusnet in a good position to benefit financially from the way in which things will develop from now on.

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It could not have and never has been unlimited because it has always been a contended service and always sugject to a fair usage policy (even though that policy has only just been defined). Certainly PlusNet have not been marketing any products as unlimited for well over 6 months.


Point taken but there is a large step taken from the current position to how it will be come April.

In all fairness, I have 3 pc's at home and don't think that the fair usage policy will affect me. However, I think that there will be a large number of customers like myself who chose PlusNet because of their excellent reputation and unparalled service. It seems to me that the company is just bringing itself in line with the competition and becoming just another ISP with a standard set of features.
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Introducing Broadband Fair Usage

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You could also (on a 2Mb line) download 600GB in months 1 & 2 for £30/month

This is a crazy scheme!

Theoretically I could download 600Gb in months 1 & 2, 250Gb (200Gb off peak + 50Gb peak) in months 3 & 4, 600Gb in months 5 & 6 and so on and on which equals 5100Gb per year, or 425Gb per month.

Wow! I can download more than ever!
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Introducing Broadband Fair Usage

kptechnology wrote

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This is a crazy scheme!

Theoretically I could download 600Gb in months 1 & 2, 250Gb (200Gb off peak + 50Gb peak) in months 3 & 4, 600Gb in months 5 & 6 and so on and on which equals 5100Gb per year, or 425Gb per month.

Wow! I can download more than ever!


No! No! As far as I can see you can download an unlimited amount in Months 1 and 2. 250 GB in months 3 and 4. Unlimited amounts in months 5 and 6 etc. ad nauseam. :twisted:
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Introducing Broadband Fair Usage

Ah no, I see I'm the one who's confused. The 600 MB Is intended to represent max use of a 2Mb connection.

OK you can put 200GB a month through a 2 Mb connection between 1 and 8 am. ie in 7/24. So you can get 685 GB in 24/24 a month ie in months 1,2, 5,6 etc.

But if your line will take it you can get 4Mb = 1370GB or 8Mb = 2740GB for the same price!

I'm a LITE user and can't really imagine what on earth people are downloading to want the kind of bandwidth figures that are being thrown about. If all the guys who want 100+GB a month for £30 go elsewhere it's fine by me.