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My Experience of ISPs


My Experience of ISPs

Well I've been with many ISPs since about 98, and I can say that Plusnet isn't as bad as most. I've only been with Plusnet a year or so, but it's been quite good overall, compared to the average.

I am yet to find an ISP that has a good level of service. Maybe it's because I only want to pay around 25 a month? There's a lot of money to be made being an ISP and crippling the network for a few hours occasionally can save the ISP tens of thousands of pounds (if not hundreds of thousands). Everything becomes a game of give and take. When I signed up, I did so because I had this in the contract:

1. 2mb access
2. No speed throttling
3. No traffic shaping
4. No bandwith limits
5. News server with binaries
6. Low latency pings for gaming


1. 2mb access (maybe 8mbit one day?)
2. Speed throttling
3. Traffic shaping
4. Bandwidth limits
5. No binaries
6. Pings aren't as stable as they used to be

Almost since I signed up the quality of service began dropping. I'm still reasonably happy with my service, but it's getting to a limit of what I can bear. My pings are generally OK, but recently I've been getting intermittent problems.

From my own experience, once an ISP gets to a certain size and userbase, all morality goes out the window. The business becomes a victim of itself, driven by greed, needing more and more to please shareholders.

The solution? I'm not sure. Once a ISP goes Public the strategy becomes to stack the customers and drop the QoS to a point where people incoming roughly equal the numbers outgoing. Smaller ISPs cost more, so I guess the sweet spot is the medium sized, but then when they go Public the service will probably go downhill. The only option I can think of is to pay around 30 a month+ to say Nildram, Demon or Zen.
Posts: 24
Registered: 30-07-2007

My Experience of ISPs

I feel exactly the same. How far can push customers.

I'm currently weighing up the options, with a hefty defferred payment, seems to be the only thing keeping me around. I've been very pleased with the performance up to end of last year, then things have just been on a downward curve, with no sign yet of that stopping.

Will be interesting to see the latest few months results for on the adslguide ratings. Although I doubt there will be any surprises as to the result!
Posts: 5,636
Registered: 12-08-2007

My Experience of ISPs

I see the traffic shaping and speed throttling positively.

Other ISPs who do not apply this kind of management just see their networks cram, with huge latency and terrible ping times on all types of usage.

Plusnet manage the network so that this doesn't happen and the time sensitive applications that you need to use 'now' are always available and at decent speeds. Whilst those non time-sensitive applications like P2P and Usenet etc... is managed more at peak times to maintain performance of the network.

That's the only choice given the rising usage habits and the cost of bandwidth showing no signs of disappearing.

I would expect that since you signed up, the average network utilization per user has doubled at least. Whilst the costs have not come down and the per month price you pay has not increased.

Usenet was unfortunately a service that too few customers used. It was taking a lot of the networks team time that can now be focused elsewhere to the benefit of all customers rather than the select few. There are other Usenet providers out there and it's possible to use all of them via your Plusnet connection.

Gaming pings have improved dramatically recently especially since the move to the new products on the new platform - but if there is anything you're having problems with specifically, these need to be raised seperately.

And you're right. Speeds are increasing, and our cost isn't. We can now get 8Mb for exactly the same price I paid when I signed up for 512k.

I deal with some of the Plusnet guys on an almost daily basis and from an external point of view I can vouch for the fact that our experience is important to them.

Plusnet only works because of referrals. There is very little advertising done elsewhere. Plusnet do not advertise on TV or in the newspaper like other big players do, but the customer numbers just keep increasing through referrals. Voice of Mouth is the best form of Marketing - and Plusnet live on this. They know that if they don't get it right - this will cease right away.

We're going through a period of change at the moment. This industry is a very fast paced one and Plusnet do have to keep accomodating this. It's an exciting time really, imagining just what we'll be doing with our internet connections in a couple of years time - and I believe Plusnet will be ready for this where others just are not.

My Experience of ISPs

There is also ongoing investigation (well, my ticket is still open and they say it's being investigated) into high pings and packetloss on three gateways (pte-ag1, pte-ag2 and thn-ag1). There's a few previous threads about this.
Whether there will be a positive outcome to this I do not know, but if you are experiencing problems and on one of those gateways, reconnect until you get onto ptn-ag1 or ptn-ag2
Posts: 314
Registered: 07-09-2007

My Experience of ISPs

no offence Liam, but you seem to see almost everything do in a positive light.

the fact is they are moving people to Tiscali's LLU system without notice and with no reasonable means of return/migration - there is no opt-out, there is no 'please dont'

I moved to specifically to get away from Tiscali and I will not under any circumstances have any part of my service supplied by that company, I do not want to leave as I am still reasonably happy here, but I will leave the very second I find Tiscali sniffing about.

My Experience of ISPs

The problem I have with PN is not that they are adapting and changing the way things work - as Liam pointed out in order to survive they must move with the times. But change can be managed to minimize impact on customers, can be communicated cleary and without errors... something which PN have consistently proved incapable of.
Posts: 528
Registered: 30-08-2007

My Experience of ISPs

I moved to specifically to get away from Tiscali and I will not under any circumstances have any part of my service supplied by that company, I do not want to leave as I am still reasonably happy here, but I will leave the very second I find Tiscali sniffing about.

Ditto, on both points!

I love PN, I make no secret of this, but Tiscali - now there's a different story.

My Experience of ISPs


You miss the point I was making really. The problem is the very fact that Plusnet keep "moving the goalposts". I used to know exactly what I was getting and it was nice and straightforward. But there's been many changes, too many really. I've had no option of not accepting new contracts, or taking an alternative. I guess the directors want their Porsche's?

I also cannot believe people are paying 29.99 and 39.99 for months for a service they cannot receive. I'm just glad that's not me.