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The PlusNet Broadband 'Blueprint'

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

The PlusNet Broadband 'Blueprint'

Hi Everyone,

We've mentioned a few times recently that we've been writing a document that details our Traffic Management policies by product type, as well as our future plans. The document has now been published in the format of a webpage, which you can see for yourself here:
http://www.plus.net/support/broadband/network/blueprint.shtml

We've also made some changes to the Product Information Pages to make sure that there is less confusion when comparing our Products. I hope that you'll agree that there is now less confusion than was previously believed.
26 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 38,307
Thanks: 972
Fixes: 57
Registered: 15-06-2007

The PlusNet Broadband 'Blueprint'

Just had a quick look through this document and the following rather jump out at me.
Quote
1. 'Broadband 'blueprint' introduction
Our aim is to supply an excellent broadband service for the 99% of customers who use our products in the way they are designed
Quote
Based on an assumed wholesale cost of 70p per GB, the table shows that the amount of budgeted bandwidth per product differs significantly between Broadband Plus and Broadband Premier. Broadband Plus is assigned roughly 1.5GB, whereas Broadband Premier is built for around 7GB per customer. (Both figures assume that usage is spread evenly across the peak period during the month).
Usage data for January as published by PUG shows that 20% of Premier customers and 20% of Plus customers exceeded these design values.
We already know that before the last pipes being added Plus customers were being limited to 18% of bandwidth at peak times and that this is equivalent to about 0.7GB.
Why do Plus customers cost more than PAYG customers given that they don’t get any free phone calls, mail server hosting, fax 2 email, 150 MB less webspace and several other more esoteric extras. Also billing on Plus should be cheaper than PAYG as it is the same amount each month.
ceridwen
Grafter
Posts: 937
Registered: 14-10-2007

The PlusNet Broadband 'Blueprint'

Dave,

Can I remind you that not that long ago OFCOM clearly indicated to PN that they would be very likely to regard the information pages as part of the agreement, and as such *any* changes to these pages are subject to the 30 days notice as detailed in the T&Cs.

Matthew
lank111
Grafter
Posts: 215
Registered: 11-10-2007

The PlusNet Broadband 'Blueprint'

lol shambles!

I guess its the 'Product Design'

you should have a option picker,

Start off with a load of questions, leads you to the package you require, so everyone will be on the right package
Neil_A
Grafter
Posts: 450
Registered: 04-04-2007

The PlusNet Broadband 'Blueprint'

Quote
...you should have a option picker,

Start off with a load of questions, leads you to the package you require, so everyone will be on the right package


We used to have one of those and hardly anyone used it. We're looking to re-introduce something similar again so that customers can either be 'funnelled' to the correct product or can go direct to the product pages and make their own comparison.


What questions does everyone think customers should be asked at the front end in order to help them select the right product?
Community Veteran
Posts: 5,877
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Registered: 05-04-2007

The PlusNet Broadband 'Blueprint'

1) Do you use p2p or binary usenet....
Community Veteran
Posts: 26,442
Thanks: 688
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Registered: 10-04-2007

The PlusNet Broadband 'Blueprint'

Do you want:

a) A product with a fixed allowance and full speeds at all times (with an option to buy extra allowance if needed)

b) A product with flexible allowances where speeds are progressively reduced as you reach higher levels of usage
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)
decomplexity
Rising Star
Posts: 492
Thanks: 26
Registered: 30-07-2007

The PlusNet Broadband 'Blueprint'

Further to Elvin's
a) A product with a fixed allowance and full speeds at all times (with an option to buy extra allowance if needed)

b) A product with flexible allowances where speeds are progressively reduced as you reach higher levels of usage


could I add:

c) A product with flexible allowances where charges are progressively increased as you reach higher levels of usage.

This option should give account holders the ability to place their own caps or their own warning message threshold on what to them is excessive usage

Note that this option does not need to provide a linear increase in cost: the cost could ramp up sharply as usage rises. What should matter is that the charge is cost-based: if (e.g.) a large spike of P2P use is disproportionately expensive to make provision for, then the user should be charged accordingly.

Since even when spread over 200,000 customers, infrastructure capacity in place at any time for any one user still has some constraints, PN would need to place some outer limits on extreme usage to avoid screwing up other customers, but not ones users would normally bump into
Zen from May 17. PN Business account from 2004 - 2017
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,364
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Registered: 06-04-2007

The PlusNet Broadband 'Blueprint'

Here is another option ... I am thinking out load so bare with me!

The argument for BB+ and Premier is that folks want a 'fixed cost' and/or unlimted usage, which makes people shy away from PAYG.

One way to get more people onto PAYG.

Lets say the following options existed:

PAYG 2GB : 9.99
PAYG 4GB : 11.99
PAYG 6GB : 13.99

Assume by default the Data Trasnsfer Watch (DTW) is always the slected limited +£1.

If a user elects the PAYG 4GB account and sets the DTW to £14.99. If one month they go over 4GB, then they pay £0.30/100MB (i.e. £3/GB) they are over 4GB.

If another month they are under 4GB, the monthly cost is reduced by £0.50 per 1GB of unused allowance.

By doing this we trying to get the consumer to be accurate with their prepaid allowance, and in the case when they do not use the allowance (arguably the reason why people do not sign up for PAYG is because they have no idea if they need 2GB, 4G or 20GB of allowance!) they get a bit of a kick back and so emotionally feel better off.

I do not think 'rollover' allowances are the way to go, given the PN operationg costs are pretty much fixed each month.

SW.
--
3Mb FTTC
https://portal.plus.net/my.html?action=data_transfer_speed
Bookman
Grafter
Posts: 269
Registered: 02-08-2007

The PlusNet Broadband 'Blueprint'

Quote
What questions does everyone think customers should be asked at the front end in order to help them select the right product?


I'm currently trying to sign up to PlusNet and migrate my broadband from another ISP and I found it difficult to select the right product. One reason is that I need an account suitable for running some business work at home. But when I first came to the PlusNet web site main page I tried to sort out a suitable package/account. I spent a while doing this and only then found out that business accounts are completely separate (in my browser the "business" link is a tiy word at top right of the page, easily missed). So I had wasted a lot of time.

Then I decided Teleworker was probably best...but I couldn't find anything about contention ratios. Also, the general FAQ said I could choose either a monthly or an annual account, but when I signed up it would only let me choose annual (which I didn't want).

I obviously needed to speak to a sales person at PlusNet - but there is no sales phone number listed anywhere on the site! In the end I phoned the support line on an 0845 number (a charged line for sales? - how bizarre!). I will say that the PlusNet staff were exceptionally polite and tolerant of my ignorance of the service - but I am uncertain of the accuracy of some of their replies.

For example, I asked prior to sign-up whether I would need a name for the BT connection product at my current ISP in addition to the MAC code. The answer was no. What did I need during sign-up? You guessed - a name for the BT connection product!

When I asked what rate the technical support phone line was charged at I was told "0845". I pointed out that 0845 was a description, not a charge (various rates can be charged) and that I still needed to know how much PlusNet charges. After pause I was told 4p a minute - but I woder if this was simply because most people think all 0846 numbers are charged at 4p?

A more general comment - there is a vast amount of information on the web site and it is over-powering - it is often spread around in many different places, which is a common fault with web-based companies. It happens because it is so easy to keep addding more information when what is needed is for it all to be condensed down into a few pages in one document. And woe betide anyone who adds information anywhere other than that document.

PlusNet seems to have a good reputation comapred with most other UK ISPs and I am hoping all this signing up process will work and will be worthwhile - we shall see!
James
Grafter
Posts: 21,036
Registered: 04-04-2007

The PlusNet Broadband 'Blueprint'

Hi there,

Sorry to hear that you struggled somewhat with the signup process, and I'll agree that choosing a package for both business and residential usage is generally a bit tricky.

In this case I would probably have recommended using Teleworker PAYG as this would ensure that all of your traffic is given a higher priority as you will be paying for what you use both in a business and residential sense.
Bookman
Grafter
Posts: 269
Registered: 02-08-2007

The PlusNet Broadband 'Blueprint'

Quote
In this case I would probably have recommended using Teleworker PAYG as this would ensure that all of your traffic is given a higher priority as you will be paying for what you use both in a business and residential sense.


Hello and thanks for the quick response. I think the term PAYG sounds like it should be for people who only use the Internet occasionally - like when we all had dial-up and it was better for those people to pay as they went, so to speak.

It doesn't sound right for business use - browser used all day, emails coming in all the time etc. I don't download video or music, just update my linux software frequently. If PAYG were right then wouldn't most people be using it? Or maybe I don't really understand it. Maybe most ordinary folk like me don't understand it!
Cheers!
James
Grafter
Posts: 21,036
Registered: 04-04-2007

The PlusNet Broadband 'Blueprint'

Ah, okay. We occasionally customer business/residential customers who also want to use binary Usenet and P2P, which is given a low prioeirt on the standard Teleworker account, hence my suggestion to use Teleworker PAYG, without knowing what you would be using the internet was.

As such, I'd suggest that you have chosen the right product Smiley
Isitme
Grafter
Posts: 112
Registered: 30-07-2007

The PlusNet Broadband 'Blueprint'

I have to agree with mybarnes, PAYG is badly presented. It appears to be poor relation, but in fact is the premier service, as it receives priority over all the other products. Maybe it should be renamed to something like Premier Platinum PAYG Wink
Neil_A
Grafter
Posts: 450
Registered: 04-04-2007

The PlusNet Broadband 'Blueprint'

Thanks guys, some really useful feedback and good ideas in this thread. Please do keep them coming as its the ideal time to incorporate some of these ideas for our May product refresh.