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Usage changes - from a companies point of view

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Usage changes - from a companies point of view

Just to clarify first
1. I've always been well serviced by plus.net
2. I've introduced a few people to the service
3. Never had any product problems
4. These are my views alone, and I have no connection with pnet apart from my broadband

I've been pretty dissapointed by plus.net continually altering their usage allowances since when I first joined its was marketed as unlimited.
In my time with them i've used between 4 and 50 gigs a month on broadband premier 2mb but never consistently high. So in my opinion I've not been abusing my allowance.
However from the guides I presume I am now catergorized as one of the 10% of high users.

I am now watching my downloads to make sure I do not fall foul to these limits, however its jolly irritating having to spend time doing it ( I am doing a engeneering degree and have far better things to be doing)

With the advancement of all these new technologys you would have thought limits would go up to absorb these bandwidth hungry apps like voip, video streaming/download(legal stuff). But alas it is not the case.

However from a companies point of view bandwidth hungry applications make them pay more money to BT, but contracts do not enable them to charge users more once they are signed up.

Solution:

Concentrate on low users who are their 90% custom, by putting on limits which will disgruntle high end users but make the 90% happy (or should do). In the grand scheme of things the 90% are far more important than the 10% so the company will not be overly bothered in losing their custom.

I'd hazard that the 10% maybe use 25%-30% of total bandwidth used maybe more, so from the companies point of view the easiest way of making more money is to lose the high end users and pay less BT (i presume)

Its a logical move for any provider who wants to make more money.

In MY opinion network management is primarily just a method to remove high end users by annoying them.
However I do believe is does speed the whole network up as a whole which is good for low end users but I do not believe the second reason is the driving factor.

These are my opinions only. I am probably wrong. I have had no problems with plus.net. Still good value for money (if limits don't go down further lol)

Nick
13 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 14,469
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Usage changes - from a companies point of view

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I'd hazard that the 10% maybe use 25%-30% of total bandwidth used maybe more


Would you be surprised if I said the top 1% use 20% of the total traffic and the top 10% actually use 70% of the total traffic.

Details here: http://usergroup.plus.net/news_1pctfigures.php (see a later post on that page where a table showing %age usage exists).

Also business products have very little to no traffic shaping applied so together with the reduction of usage during the day on home accounts, it actually means busines customers are better off under this system than before.
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Usage changes - from a companies point of view

Not at all, didn't know these figures were avaliable. Would be nice if all these details were on the website and easily findable.

Just proves my point that the low end users are who the company wants, and that removing the high end users will through pushing them away by means of the limits will mean a far more profitable company.

Sorry I didn't make my self clear, I meant from plus.net's point of view, I am a home user not a business user.

Nick
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Usage changes - from a companies point of view

A comment in a review at "ISP Review" sums up the impression that Plusnet are giving for me:
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I have found that PlusNet don't want you to actually use the bandwidth they advertise.
JonathanW
Grafter
Posts: 2,648
Registered: 02-10-2007

Usage changes - from a companies point of view

This isn't the case at all. People are welcome to use the bandwidth that is available on their account, such as the 100gb level under the SUP. However, people might see some slowdowns depending on how and when they wish to utilise this bandwidth.

For example, someone wanting to download all 100gb using p2p at peak times will see quite a bit of slowdown, as they are moved up the management levels. However, if that same person wants to download all 100gb over night, then they should see little to no slowdown.
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Usage changes - from a companies point of view

It shouldn't matter who uses what percentage of utilisation. You charge 2 people the same price, one person uses the product to the fullest, another hardly uses it at all, that is the way it works. The figures just do not justify your actions. The fact is you are loosing a lot of customers for nothing. You have way in excess of required bandwidth to supply all users for some time to come, restrict P2P, that is fine I will use my docklands servers to download bittorrent Linux ISO files and SCP them here.
I do mind you calling FTP P2P as all my machines do system updates via. FTP and it works alongside HTTP protocols. You might as well call HTTP a P2P protocol, especially since newer versions of Apache have eliminated the 2GB HTTP protocol cap.
You are sticking your finger up to the Linux community, and anyone who actually tries to use the product they pay for. You will loose more customers until you learn your lessons.
JonathanW
Grafter
Posts: 2,648
Registered: 02-10-2007

Usage changes - from a companies point of view

But p2p/nntp/ftp do have an adverse impact on the network if they aren't managed in some way. Due to their nature, they sit there and take up a large portion of the available network bandwidth, which can have an adverse effect on other customers.

This is because people can and do use them to sit and download massive ammounts of data, without caring about the impact that this has on the network.

All you have to do is look at the average usage of our customers, and you'll see that the vast majority will benefit from the Clean To traffic management, as it will mean that all of their traffic passes through the network at fast speeds. For everyone else, it means that a portion of their p2p/ftp/nntp traffic will be fast during the day. They'll still get fast usage over night, on all of their protocols.
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Usage changes - from a companies point of view

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This isn't the case at all.

In which case, I think there is a transparency problem, caused by constant alterations to what is available. If customers are comfortable with constant changes to their product, then there are many good points to Plusnet's service, but many consumers just want a simple proposition, where they know exactly where they stand. It's consumers in that latter group, that I could not currently recommend Plusnet to.
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Usage changes - from a companies point of view

But don't you see that is you restrict p2p/ftp/nntp everyone will use protocols such as HTTP/SCP/RSync instead?? High bandwidth users are too smart and will figure a way around it.
It is what I was forced to do before getting my MAC code.
They do take up a large proportion of available bandwidth, but as long as your routers and switches can cope with the traffic it shouldn't have any adverse affect on any other customers. Your DNS servers are more than capable of taking on 10 times the requests they manage at the moment and I can't see any other problems.

The average usage of your customer is nothing, I'm actually surprised it is that low, I use more than that in mail alone in a month (due to running mailing lists over IMAP). Why not just create an expensive non-business account for high use? That way you can pay for the routers, switches, radius servers, ect... required. Most high usage users are migrating to more expensive providers anyway and are not promoting plusnet to lower usage users as much as they were.
JonathanW
Grafter
Posts: 2,648
Registered: 02-10-2007

Usage changes - from a companies point of view

The problem isn't our network, its the Centrals provided by BT Wholesale. This is where the problem lies, due to the high price that has to be paid for them. As a single 622mbps pipe costs £1.7million a year. This is where the main cost lies, along with the costs for bandwidth on the accounts. If people want a higher monthly usage, they are more than welcome to switch to one of the other Premier accounts we provide, as the SUP and Clean To usage figures scale appropriately.

It isn't possible to offer anything higher than this at the moment, without charging a very high price for it, that people are not likely to want to pay.
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Usage changes - from a companies point of view

The premiere isn't enough for a lot of people, that is where the problem lies. 100GB/month is fine, I could even live with that its things like the speed drops on FTP, etc... after 20GB that bites, I hit that in under a week after upgrading to Premiere due to having to catch up with downloads I missed on BB+.
I have lost my data on how many pipes you have as I had to delete all that kind of data when I left the ISP I ran the servers for last year. As far as I am aware these pipes don't affect your LLU customers which I believe is on the increase (although we are more likely to get SDSL out here in the sticks before LLU Smiley
I understand the BT pipe issue but you had enough bandwidth before you implemented SUP / etc...
What it seems you are trying to do is get more users using lower bandwidth to make more profit per 622mbps pipe. But you were making profit before hand, enough to buy Metronet. It shouldn't be like this.
JonathanW
Grafter
Posts: 2,648
Registered: 02-10-2007

Usage changes - from a companies point of view

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The premiere isn't enough for a lot of people, that is where the problem lies. 100GB/month is fine, I could even live with that its things like the speed drops on FTP, etc... after 20GB that bites

This is why this only applies to certain times of day, and there are higher thresholds set on the other Premier accounts. But again, the majority of our customers won't be adversly affected by this, which is why the level for the £21.99 account was set at 20gb before slowdowns start to occur.

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As far as I am aware these pipes don't affect your LLU customers which I believe is on the increase (although we are more likely to get SDSL out here in the sticks before LLU Smiley

At the moment we don't have any LLU customers, other than a handful who are part of the initial trials that we are running with both Easynet and Tiscali. So everyone is affected by the costs that BTW charge for connections.
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Usage changes - from a companies point of view

1)Wasn't it stated that the top x amount of customers in the highest useage figures didnt use P2P programmes *AT ALL* ?

2)Also, now the management has been intoduced onto the plus accounts, the useage for the top few levels of people has all INCREASED since november.

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This is because people can and do use them to sit and download massive ammounts of data, without caring about the impact that this has on the network.

All too true of http. Despite the fact that it can be done at 200kB/s and not at the reduced allowance of 5kB/s. So that means that my slow-down is because you are letting these http users download their stuff so fast! How UN-fair!

If there are issues of costs being too high for these purposes, why were the prices dropped by £9 per user after speeds being quadrupled, why was a million pounds spent floating on the AIM, why is a low interest (nothing personal their fans!) football team being sponsored, why is x amount being given away to a farm every month, why are you buying out other ISPs, why are your profit levels increasing by over SIXTY PERCENT mid 2005, customer numbers increasing by nearly 80% with no 80% increase in bandwidth, money being given away to 'invited users'...... and so on?

(There's also rumours about 3 metronet pipes being turned off and all the traffic being put onto 1 new plusnet pipe, although that is just a rumour until someone proves it)

..basically Smiley
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Usage changes - from a companies point of view

Just to say that I was reading Philip Ball's book Critical Mass over the holiday on applying physics and statistics to everyday life and it struck me that the distribution of PN's usage figures (see the Usergroup site below for figures) was very like Pareto's Law which roughly says that 20% of a population will grab 80% of the wealth. Pareto's Law is a power law so you want to look at log(GB), which is obvious. If you calculate the significance levels on the various correlation coefficients you will see how good the fit is.

This ties in pretty well with dulverton12's thinking, which Peter Vaughan commented on. I regret that being retired I have no statistical tools to do the calculations. As I said the figures, especially for Plus, are in the public domain.

See
http://usergroup.plus.net/news_1pctfigures.php

and
http://usergroup.plus.net/news_BBPlusDecUsage.php