cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

The future of plusnet.

kitz
Rising Star
Posts: 817
Thanks: 45
Registered: 08-06-2007

The future of plusnet.

Below is an "edited" version of a post Ive made elsewhere, which I'd like to share.

Before I do post it I would like to re-affirm the statement about not taking offence if you dont strictly fall into any of the "groups" -
There can and will be overlaps and this part of the post was meant to be partially "tongue in cheek", and isnt aimed at anyone in particular.

However, having been on the net now for over 9 years, and there are always exceptions, but IMHO I think most users will fit somewhere in or between "the four", and it was specifically done like this to get a point across.
32 REPLIES
kitz
Rising Star
Posts: 817
Thanks: 45
Registered: 08-06-2007

Dont forget the "Geeks"

I have a request to make of Plusnet which has been triggered over events of the past few months and made me wonder in which direction Plusnet are heading.

For quite a while now PN have been saying that their most popular product for new signups is the BB+ account. -
Understandably so... the vast majority of the new users are late comers to the internet and really dont as yet understand the full capabilities (and dont want or need services outside of mail and surfing and perhaps even venturing to make a small website).

What I say below is part in jest about the "groups", but on the whole theres also an element of truth in it there.
IMHO if you had to categorise todays home internet users into 4 main groups they would fall into one of the following:-

----------------------------------

The n00bs

On the whole they dont know much about computing or the internet. (OK there are a few exceptions but bear with me). These are the group of users normally catered for by the likes of say BT AoL etc etc.
They dont know much about computing, they dont know the ins and outs of the net. This group of users demand more *hand holding* and are far more likely to phone support about setting up their mail client, their modem... and also they are far more likely to be prone to virii, malware and spyware.

How many of use "more technical users" spend hours locally sorting out malware and virii from neighbours, friends etc etc computers... I know I do.

Broadband Plus is ideal for these types of users, their bandwidth requirements are low.. but their support requirements are very high.
They want the cheapest ISP and probably wont notice if things are not quite running 100%.

Summary:-
Bandwidth Low
Support High
Services Low
Community + Minus


----

The Hobbyist (Gamers/Netters)

Normally have a fair understanding of most things about the PC. Their net connection is part of their daily routine. They want a fast steady connection. Low latency is of utmost importance for the gamers. They may even set up a server and a static IP could well come in handy.

This sort of user may utilise more bandwidth than the average user, - obviously because their online time uses more bandwidth than web browsing and they also need to download patches and updates.

The "netters" in this group use the net for communication a lot.. they perhaps use more bandwidth because they may be in chat rooms/chans for hours, they send slightly larger files as they send the latest photos/funnies etc to their friends.

They may contact support, but they dont necessarily need the handheld approach, they are more likely to rant when their pings get high. Simple technical help is normally solved by someone else in the chan/clan as there is normally someone around who has fair technical knowledge.

Summary:-
Bandwidth Slightly above average
Support Medium
Services Medium/High
Community + Good


------------------

The Geeks


These are the sort of users that have been around for years... the early adaptors to the net, the ones that are more technical and are very net savy.

They will read discussion groups and want more out of their connection.
They want to perhaps "play" more with their connection and things like a static IP, access to newsgroups, they dont want ports used by IRC blocked.
They want to perhaps try setting up a web/mail server and successfully run one perhaps for the geek element, or perhaps even just as a way of learning and understanding more.
Things like php/cgi/mysql are more important to this group than any other.

Many of the users in this category have campaigned for adsl, they know how it works, they know the ISP's out there. They have a background or occupation in Computing and IT.

These users are often the ones that fix the friend/neighbours/relatives/colleagues PCs and they are also the ones that get asked "Which ISP should I use".
A fair amount of these users will also spend time on support forums.. not asking questions.. but instead actually helping other users, and they "give back" to the community.

Their support requirements are likely to be low, when they do contact support they likely already have an idea of what the problem is, and they know when they are being fobbed off by first line support.

Their bandwidth requirements are likely to be higher than the average user, but they seldom fall into the heavies category.

They know their requirements are slightly higher than the n00b, and therefore they dont mind paying a couple more £ per month for their connection.

Summary:-
Bandwidth Above average
Support Low
Services High
Community + Plus

---

The Leechers.

These users think they know the internet and how to use it. Fair enough they know how to set up things like their mail client and may well be interested in setting up an FTP server. They are also very adapt at using p2p clients, BTs and the binaries.

Each and every month they download 100's of GB in -cough- linux ISO's -cough-. Their PC's are fairly up to date with large hard drives and with the fastest CD's and DVD burners.

Support requirements may not be particularly high, but they can be and often are very vocal. If they cant get full speed on the latest p2p download then it must be the ISP's fault because the ISP doesn't have sufficient bandwidth, not perhaps realising that there may be some other factor involved.

Summary:-
Bandwidth Very High
Support Medium
Services High
Community + Often Vocal

---


So to quote dave "Whatever way you look at it broadband is now mass market, Broadband Plus is big seller for a reason."

It seems that the direction in which Plusnet are heading is that of interest in the n00b and perhaps Hobbyist market.

They will require a lot more 1st line support staff to deal with the more day to day type queries, but conversely they dont need as much bandwidth.

No ISP really wants the leechers, no matter what ZeN or other ISP's say, their type of usage under CBC is just not sustainable unless you have an awful lot of low bandwidth type users who dont mind paying over the odds for their connection in order to subsidise the heavies.

The very worrying thing is it would now seem to appear that Plusnet no longer want "The Geeks" - the ones who demand a good all-round service, the ones who dont mind paying just that little bit more for the extras.

But what I think PN may be forgetting is that its the Geeks and the Hobbyists are those that helped get them where they are. These are the users that spread the word about Plusnet - how else do you think that an ISP that doesn't do any advertising got where it was.

Are you forgetting that its these people that are most likely to get asked by colleagues and friends which ISP to go with?

The services provided on premier seem to be rapidly diminishing, same QoS throttling (The sub 10 kB speeds Ive seen reported for headers is not good), what about cgi/mysql.
Can we justify paying extra for these services which as they currently stand are sub-standard.

Also dont forget, todays market is ripe for the n00bs... adsl for a cheap price, but some users dont stay n00bs forever and they move up to the hobbyist section and further.

Plusnet need to look at a way of getting around some issues so that it is fairer for all.
Personally I have no problem with caps - as long as they are made clear.
But I do have a big problem when my "bronze traffic" is slowed down to the same crawl as those that use a hell of a lot more.

Please dont forget the "geeks" and dont become "just another ISP" .
Community Veteran
Posts: 2,322
Registered: 01-08-2007

The future of plusnet.

Kittz,

An excellent post - a great deal of effort went into that and I can't agree more.

Reading the group descriptions made me laugh! I too seem to have my number listed as IT Support in many a friend and family members phonebooks! Your closing statement is spot on. Nobody wants the leechers. But because of the often above average use of the service, or indeed use of P2P and Usenet for legal reasons, the lines between the leechers and the geeks, for an ISP, are becoming more blurred.

I have posted previously that none of the shaping etc affected me, well now it would seem it does. I have recently, and by that I mean in the last day or two started to look at Linux. I've never even seen it before, my knowledge extended to (and still does for now) the fact that it was an OS, and that the symbol associated with it is a cute penguin.

Ive just downloadad a bootable CD version via Http, and it looks to have some great tools. Now I am loking for various drivers and other "distros" to support my hardware, it looks like I am going to have to use P2P if I want to further my knowledge - although I have found a lot of stuff via http.

I now have to decide if I can "get by", using P2P at work and copying it home via http, or if I need to look elsewhere. I think I'm going to stick it out.

So I would concur, the geeks are being hit as part of the reforms, but it will be very difficult for an ISP to differentiate - hopefully with future developments individual use can be monitored and restrictions be applied per person rather than per service - until that time, hopefully us geeks will see it through!

Excellent post kittz.

I AM A GEEK. :lol:

PS: anyone know of any decent sites to gently bring a noob into the world of Linux - drop me a PM
N/A

The future of plusnet.

Superb post kitz. Nail hit fairly and squarely on the head. I'll take the geeks label ta.

Good to see you posting and a quality one at that. Wink
N/A

The future of plusnet.

Loved that post Smiley

I'm deffo in the Hobbyist camp - I've no interest in SQL etc but I need fast speeds and a rock-solid connection for work / communication.

Unfortunatly the Leechers are the users who make the most noise, and have the time to persue a concerted campaign against an ISP - the rest of us have the real world to deal with!
N/A

The future of plusnet.

So what are you if you fall into the two bottom groups, a leeker, or a gleek ? : Wink
kitz
Rising Star
Posts: 817
Thanks: 45
Registered: 08-06-2007

The future of plusnet.

Your reply just highlights how we all start as n00bs, and soon move on to hobbyists.

Then a fair few move on to further things - ie we use the internet to increase our knowledge and to learn.
This is what the internet should be about.
Theres a wealth of knowledge out there and some of us really do want to know and learn more,

---------
Good luck with linux.
I dabbled with RH for a while a few years back, but got a bit discouraged when I had finding problems finding drivers for my sound card. - The only way was to compile my own or buy a new sound card lol.

I found I quite liked the Sams book (iirc it was about £12 but included the cds which saved me downloading it). I think RH has gone a bit out of favour these days though. :/
N/A

The future of plusnet.

Like chesterfields thread yesterday. It would be good if we could keep this thread sensible and factual without resorting to rants etc.

Please keep it this way.
Spuddy
Grafter
Posts: 27
Registered: 05-08-2007

The future of plusnet.

Quote
So what are you if you fall into the two bottom groups, a leeker, or a gleek ? : Wink


Disturbed and a menace to society and you'ld probably look a bit like this :shock:

I think I'd have to be in with the geeks too.
JJ
Grafter
Posts: 229
Registered: 12-08-2007

The future of plusnet.

I read Kitz post and thought.. that was good... but I don’t fit into his headings, HOWEVER I read it again and decided as an ex Marconi engineer knowing what a 480 Gbps protocol-agnostic multiservice switch router is Smiley and all about SDH but not much about the edge equipment and PN's baby (to me) Juniper kit I must be a GEEK !! (well a trainee geek)

But it's true what he says we might not down load much compared to the leachers, but I too like to 'play' with whats new. If I fancy trying out bit torrent just to see how it works, or downloading 'Star Wreck' or just seeing what happens if....... I like to be able to do it when I feel like it not in the middle of the night.

I'm getting itchy feet because It's no longer fun with PN.

John H
N/A

The future of plusnet.

Quote

But it's true what he says


i think he might be a she
N/A

The future of plusnet.

Yip Kitz is a lady Smiley
JJ
Grafter
Posts: 229
Registered: 12-08-2007

The future of plusnet.

yes I knew that Shockedops:
John
Plusnet Staff
Plusnet Staff
Posts: 12,169
Thanks: 18
Fixes: 1
Registered: 04-04-2007

The future of plusnet.

Quote
Please dont forget the "geeks" and dont become "just another ISP" .


Hi Kitz,

I was going to reply elsewhere but I'll reply here instead. And I'll echo chesterfield's comment of excellent post kitz.

I think that quote above is probably the post important part of the message, we certaining aren't forgetting "the geeks", but I think the key thing to consider is what percentage potential customers fall into the geek catagory? I would say that it's probably going to be quite a low percentage. I would also speculate that someone in that catagory would also be more likely to pick a Premier account over any other we offer for the reasons like CGI/MySQL/Static IP etc. as you state.

However, the growth of our customer base is very much slanted towards Broadband Plus, Premier only had around a 4% growth for April to September (give or take a month or so).

So yes, I would agree that majority of new signups are likely to fit into your "noob" or "hobbyist" groups but that's really only because that's the way the industry is moving.

As I've said, broadband is now mass market. Some ISP's are spending fortunes advertising their products, they wouldn't do that if broadband was still a niche service.

We build and design our accounts and our products and services for the majority of people, true if you are someone within the "leecher" group we probably aren't the right ISP, and with the way the industry is evolving the shopping list of ISP's that is suitable for this type of usage is ever shortening.

Quote
Plusnet need to look at a way of getting around some issues so that it is fairer for all.


This is exactly what we are doing with the design of the managed platform. There's more information about that here, but to summarise, the changes we are making to how the platform works are being done in several stages that began more than 6 months ago. The idea is to create a managed platform, which is fair, which ensure that certain types of traffic aren't negatively impacted by others, and where unsustainable usage patterns can't be allowed to impact on the rest of the customer base. There are other things as well, like the different contention ratios on different accounts and how they work, and to plan for future changes in technology and speeds and different usage patterns and applications.

The managed broadband platform is what will allow us to grow and to provide the products and services that our customers demand and want to use, and that's everyone whether they are noobs, hobbyists or geeks.

At the moment though we aren't there yet, we are only part way through building what we need to build, and this is why you see slow speeds on usenet at peak times.

As I've also said in the above post we are making changes to how usenet traffic to our servers is managed to make sure that we hit that target of being fair. For PAYG accounts it's already been done because that was relatively easy, for external text servers too, again because the work was pretty straightforward, the next big step is to improve the speed of traffic of text and binaries on our platform which isn't far away from completion.

Once that work is complete we are then going to investigate the feasability of making improvements to other types of traffic, but that's another story for now, because I don't even know if it's possible yet, but we'll certainly look.

I would also say that the future products and services we are going to be offering (or just started offering) are also going to be aimed with the "geek" group firmly in mind. The first people who will look at something like PlusTalk are more likely to be amongst the geeks, others will follow for sure, but the early take up won't be the mass market, that will follow when VoIP phones come down in price and all ADSL routers support VoIP phones by default. Multicast is another service we have in trial, Wireless Broadband is another product we've launched not too long ago, again these types of service are going to be looked at first by the "geek" group.

We've other things in development too, the faster broadband speeds are set for trial very soon, LLU, we're looking at different options for web hosting and more.

I'd like to think we are an ISP that offers different services for different needs and the services are designed to cover the requirements of as many as possible. It may be a little bumpy at the moment but we are getting there and we are getting there now and planning now for what's around the corner. I've said it before but I'll say it again, where PlusNet lead, other ISP's will follow. Other ISP's will and are facing the same questions and issues we are and will have to deal with them if not now, but early next year. I think we are doing the right thing in addressing the issues now and ensure that as the market evolves and changes, that we are the leaders of the evolution of the broadband industry.
N/A

The future of plusnet.

Good Post Kittz ,

But theres is a point which to me needs to be clarified if not for me but other aswell,
Quote
These are the users that spread the word about Plusnet - how else do you think that an ISP that doesn't do any advertising got where it was.


My point being myself i have on certain site seen plusnet advertised ok only with a small box etc,
But more importantly i would like to see plusnet advertise in the media where they would have to abide by stricter quideline,
Also as referals go by friends family coleges then i know and im sure others know that friends and familys can be the worst people to get a true comparition of anything, Plus have that combined with a financel interest to those friends and familes then you its very probable that you wont allways get what they say they will get,
I say this as ive have a large family and lots of friends so i know from expereiance,

Why ive posted this is that ive seen post made by "happy" customers etc on here and AG ipr and others, then only to find others post saying yeah im very happy i only pay £15 for the 2meg premier, another which i remember was by a Business customer who had 50 referals under his belt, so was not costing him anything for his account and was makeing x amount at £3 a referral for his business acounts and 50p to 75p for the residental referrals,
And the thing is he gets that every month, which soon mounts up.

Myself if a company is good i would refer for nothing, i should not need to make any financel gain from it ,

Thats my opion others may feel differently..

thxs