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Never Thought This Time would Come

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Never Thought This Time would Come

Well I am sorry to say that after 3 and a bit years I am now in the process of looking at other ISP's and will probably be requesting my "MAC" code in the very near future.My reason

Was I lied to or decieved by Plusnet......... I don't believe so.

Was it the new T&C's........ no I could live with those as I saw no problems with them.

...... The SUP....... again no as myself and my wife who shares my connection would not have come close to even getting a warning e-mail with our usage.

The Throttling...... again no problem although I would have prefered an option to pay more for an unthrottled connection.

The problem is the newserver and it is not a new problem as Plusnet have been struggling to make it work properly for 12+ months that I am aware of, and it is bad enough having it throttled in the evening but the final straw for me came this morning when I sat and looked at my newreader informing me that it was "recieving article" from 0635 till 0639 when it gave up and said article was no longer available.

Sorry about this Plusnet you are a good ISP which is why I have stayed for so long but it seems you may have lost the plot somewhat, and cannot help wondering how different thing may have been now as regards SUP and throttling etc had you "bit the bullet" and dropped the binary newsgroups as had been suggested by a number of people a quite a few months ago.
28 REPLIES
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Never Thought This Time would Come

ISPs are never going to have decent news servers.

Try Newshosting, its only £8 a month.

You get 24 days at 99.999% complete.
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Never Thought This Time would Come

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ISPs are never going to have decent news servers.


I can appreciate and fully understand that as that is not really what they are for: but when I see posted in "Announcements.Service updates" on the 9th December 2003 and I quote part of it below

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"We can now announce that a project is underway to overhaul our current Usenet platform. This will include the installation of higher specification equipment and additional servers. We will also be replacing the current Usenet server software (which we have used, without change, for some 5 years) with a newer, much more efficient, software solution. Work has already started on building the new Usenet platform and the estimated completion date for this is February 2004. Once the installation is completed, it will take a further month for the news-servers to collect complete article listings and as such our target date for launch of the new Usenet platform is March 2004. We believe our target will be easily achievable and work is already well underway, with much of the required equipment, ordered specifically for the overhaul, having been delivered already.

Once the new platform is operational, we expect to offer a vastly improved Usenet service. While, as we have stated before, we do not aim to compete with the premium subscription based Usenet providers, we are confident that following the overhaul we will be able to offer a newsgroup service which is as good as, if not better than, any other provided by a UK ISP.

With Regards,

Ian Wild
Customer Support"

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and here we are nearly 2 years down the road and there is no apparent improvement : I am having to considering what direction Plusnet is going in and if I want to go in the same direction.
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Never Thought This Time would Come

The news servers seem to be victim of yet another policy change regarding allocation of resources.
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Never Thought This Time would Come

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The news servers seem to be victim of yet another policy change regarding allocation of resources.


Precisely my concern as to direction
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Never Thought This Time would Come

Hi Ian,

Sad to see that you are having to consider moving on. Like many before you it will be sad to see you go and I hope it doesnt come to that.

I share your sentiments about the direction Plus Net seem to be taking. I hope that my perception is wrong and that the sharp focus which once existed will return again.

Maybe the current recruitment drive for a Communications and Marketing bod indicates an acceptance of some of the current issues and a realisation that things have to change.

Here's hoping.
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Never Thought This Time would Come

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Sad to see that you are having to consider moving on. Like many before you it will be sad to see you go and I hope it doesnt come to that.
.


Not sure at the moment if I am going to...... I think it is a case of I don't feel as comfortable with Plusnet as I did say 6 months ago and there are a number of unanswered questions flying around in my mind.

For example why do they need such a complicated SUP policy when in their own words 99% of the customers are not going to reach it instead of a hard cap to deter the heavy users if need be.Also if they have detered the heavy users why do they need traffic management when they do not apparently have any heavy users....... I guess this morning was approaching the last straw what with Usenet being as slow as treacle in the evenings and useless at 0630hrs.

I just get the impression of a ship thats lost it's steering gear, just wondering if is bad enough yet that it warrants abandoning it.

I am sorry but even with my wifes use I am still what Plusnet consider to be their "ideal" ( less than 10GB per month) user the type that all these ideas were meant to improve the service for........ so why am I suffering a degredation rather than improvement because and I must say it is quite ironic but my service was better when 1% of customers used 10% of the bandwith in that Usenet when it was working properly was like lightning when it came to retrieving articles no matter the time of day and refering to kptechnology suggestion of an external newsfeed....... would it be throttled as it passed through Plusnet; I don't know.

The other ironic thing is I am quite happy considering giving another ISP 10-15 pounds more than I am paying now........ not so I can download any more as I doubt very much that my usage patterns would change in that respect: but simply to get a cannection that is not managed in any way and simple things like Usenet still work as fast at 1800hrs as they do at 0600hrs
Plusnet Staff
Plusnet Staff
Posts: 12,169
Thanks: 18
Fixes: 1
Registered: 04-04-2007

Never Thought This Time would Come

Hi Ian,

I can understand your reasons for thinking of leaving, and the problems with Usenet are currently being addressed by the network guys because we know the service is currently far from perfect (hence why status is still at amber). The final plans haven't been fully signed off yet to my knowledge so I can't say too much at the moment, but I will be chasing it tomorrow and as soon as I can I will let you guys know what we intend to do.

If you do have unanswered questions, please do ask them and I will do my best to answer them for you.

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For example why do they need such a complicated SUP policy when in their own words 99% of the customers are not going to reach it instead of a hard cap to deter the heavy users if need be.


I think the main reason for the complexity is because previously there have been loopholes in how things like this work. Now you might ask, why not just go for a hard cap, and the answer to this is that a hard cap is not the way we want to go. We don't believe that a hard cap is the right answer, for a start it wouldn't allow for any flexibility.

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Also if they have detered the heavy users why do they need traffic management when they do not apparently have any heavy users


The reason is that at peak times the traffic levels on the plaform are hitting 95% of capacity or higher. This is made up of around 1Gbps of P2P, 0.9Gbps of HTTP(s), 400Mbps of Usenet and the rest all other types of traffic (mail, IRC, VoIP, VPN, DNS, MSN, etc.), which combined come to less than 400Mbps.

There will still be heavy users, some will have upgraded to the higher prices Premier accounts, some will now be reducing usage, some won't have been with us long enough for their usage to have been picked up and us emailing them. We were able to reclaim around 200Mbps of peak time capacity last month from the exercise we did, if we can do the same this month then that should give even more for the majority of our customers to use.
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Never Thought This Time would Come

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If you do have unanswered questions, please do ask them and I will do my best to answer them for you.


It's funny really the one question I have Dave is probably the one you are not at liberty to comment on namely what direction is Plusnet going.

Are they endeavoring to return to the highly respected position they were in as recent as 6 months ago or to be blunt are they going to be satisfied with being just a "bargain basement" ISP? with very little flexability.

I will try and explain what I mean by flexibility i am still paying £29.99 for an up to 4meg paying that much I would expect something extra...... which i do get but to get something approaching what appears to be value for money I would need to download (whether I need it or not) a little less than 150GBs of stuff which is not my way of doing things, because as I said in an earlier post I may be considered one of your "ideal' customers.Ok I can save money by downgrading to the £21.99 or an even cheaper product but the result will be the same the thing I use mostly would still be heavily throttled namely Usenet (and very few binaries are included in that).But in the same token if you were for example to reply to this post with something along the lines of "we are introducing a new product......... a totally unmanaged account but it is going to cost you £35 per month" I would go to the upgrade page so fast your eyes would water for the simple reason that it would save me messing around with "MAC" codes and migrating from an already rock solid and reliable ISP, to another one which would cost about the same price simply to get my newsgroups down at an unthrottled speed at any time of day or night.As you have possably guessed my criteria when judging an ISP are not how much I can download (as in Linux ISO's etc) but the speed at which I can do what it is I want to do.A somewhat rhetorical question but I wonder if this posaability has been discussed at all, or do I assume that traffic management is now set in stone.

On the subject of Usenet and I did mention this quickly in a previous post....... if I did use an outside paid for News feed would it still be throttled as soon as it hits the Plusnet system?

These are just my thoughts and we are not talking major problems here just little niggles as to the direction Plusnet is going.

Thanks for the reply Dave

IanJ
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Never Thought This Time would Come

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On the subject of Usenet and I did mention this quickly in a previous post....... if I did use an outside paid for News feed would it still be throttled as soon as it hits the Plusnet system?


Yes. Browsing Easynews pages in the evening is almost impossible, however at 6:30am things return to some sort of normality, I have found.
Metalguru
Grafter
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Registered: 04-08-2007

Never Thought This Time would Come

One of my big concerns, and so a reason for me moving to cable, is nowhere do we see any evidence of +net investing for the future.

Look at Dave lasts paragraph:-
all about "Reclaiming" 200Mbps of peak time capacity ................ no mention of investing in new infra structure to handle more capacity.

Their last six monthly report was all about looking to squeeze even more out of what they have got, not a mention of long term investment.

At some stage the pipe will burst.
Plusnet Staff
Plusnet Staff
Posts: 12,169
Thanks: 18
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Registered: 04-04-2007

Never Thought This Time would Come

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Are they endeavoring to return to the highly respected position they were in as recent as 6 months ago or to be blunt are they going to be satisfied with being just a "bargain basement" ISP? with very little flexability.


Well I can probably give some information on this.

The PlusNet business model is based on automation and therefore in keeping costs low, this means that we can offer broadband at low cost, such as Broadband Plus at £14.99. The position in the market place though is aimed at the majority of today's Internet users. The products are designed for the usage of the majority. It is no longer possible for us to cater for the exponential growth in P2P of a minority of customers. The cost of providing for this type of usage is too great and unfair for the majority of customers to pay for the demands of this minority.

Regarding the highly respected comment, all I can really say is that the number of signups for broadband and the number of referrals we see has never been higher.

Take a look at this for example, in particular the last 2 paragraphs.

The service we offer may no longer be suitable for those whose usage requires mean they need to shift 100's of GB's month in month out, but they are ideal for those that don't.

Yes, we know there's problems with Usenet, but there are plans underway, and I will make sure we let you know about them once they are signed off.

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I will try and explain what I mean by flexibility i am still paying £29.99 for an up to 4meg paying that much I would expect something extra...... which i do get but to get something approaching what appears to be value for money I would need to download (whether I need it or not) a little less than 150GBs of stuff which is not my way of doing things


Apart from the higher usage there's also the higher assured rate, plus I'm starting to hear things regarding the market trial of the faster speeds.

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On the subject of Usenet and I did mention this quickly in a previous post....... if I did use an outside paid for News feed would it still be throttled as soon as it hits the Plusnet system?


Throttling is the wrong way to describe it, because that isn't how the traffic management works, but at peak time it is likely that the maximum speed per connection would be reduced, although (assuming no BT side contention) by opening more connections the speed can be maintained or only see a small decrease.
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Never Thought This Time would Come

Quote


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On the subject of Usenet and I did mention this quickly in a previous post....... if I did use an outside paid for News feed would it still be throttled as soon as it hits the Plusnet system?


Throttling is the wrong way to describe it, because that isn't how the traffic management works, but at peak time it is likely that the maximum speed per connection would be reduced, although (assuming no BT side contention) by opening more connections the speed can be maintained or only see a small decrease.


Sunhouse

Well there maybe one way you could find out for yourself. Signup to a cost refundable 1 week or 1 GB trial with Easynews and see what happens when Plusnet are not "throttling" the service during the evening.

http://www.easynews.com/trial.phtml
Community Veteran
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Never Thought This Time would Come

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Throttling is the wrong way to describe it, because that isn't how the traffic management works, but at peak time it is likely that the maximum speed per connection would be reduced, although (assuming no BT side contention) by opening more connections the speed can be maintained or only see a small decrease.

Does this mean that Plusnet are accepting that when using newsgroups with a single feed it is being strangled to a very low value deliberately (30:1) and that only by opening multiple connections will this be overcome.
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The reason is that at peak times the traffic levels on the plaform are hitting 95% of capacity or higher. This is made up of around 1Gbps of P2P, 0.9Gbps of HTTP(s), 400Mbps of Usenet and the rest all other types of traffic (mail, IRC, VoIP, VPN, DNS, MSN, etc.), which combined come to less than 400Mbps.

I take this as meaning that the usenet is being heavily throttled to maintain the total traffic within capacity limits instead of opening more pipes.
Metalguru
Grafter
Posts: 791
Registered: 04-08-2007

Never Thought This Time would Come

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............... I take this as meaning that the usenet is being heavily throttled to maintain the total traffic within capacity limits instead of opening more pipes.



My thoughts exactly !