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The FUP was going to include downloads only. Is it still the case that the VMU will display Download and Upload usage? Is this likely to change?
9 REPLIES
Ben_Brown
Grafter
Posts: 2,839
Registered: 13-06-2007

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No there is no FUP there is no need to differentiate between the two on VMU, so it will remain how it is for the time being.
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This leaves me with a couple of questions.

1. I understand that there is no current 'cap' in place but this leaves people unsure of where they stand in terms of acceptable use etc. The FUP was going to take only download into account and because everyone knew there was a limit this made it transparent to the user what was expected of them. Should current customers track their usage or will the contention of the 'bad boy pipe' suddenly make an appearance again.

2. Should there not be a weight given to uploading against downloading if capacity is an issue? The reason I say this is that if you are uploading and the person at the other end is paying for their downloads from their ISP then effectively that download is being paid for twice, once by the uploader and then by the downloader. Is combining uploads/downloads standard practice throughout the industry?

Thank for taking time to clear these issues up as the continuing shift means that often pcustomers are left with little idea what they are paying for and what, in return, is expected of them.
Ben_Brown
Grafter
Posts: 2,839
Registered: 13-06-2007

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Most customers will be able to use their connection as much as they want when they want, it is only a very small minority of users who consistantly use the connection heavily at peak times, who we will contact to discuss their usage.

As far as I am aware combining uploads/downloads is standard practice throughout the industry. I can't really see any reason why they should be separated, other than as part of the previous FUP accounts.
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There clearly is an important difference between uploads and downloads. The FUP recognised it, saying that whatever Premier account you were on, uploads were uncapped at any time of the day.

As far as I am aware Plusnet's expensive connectivity to BT is symetrical rather than asymetrical, meaning that you have as much capacity on the upload side as you do on the download side. The nature of ADSL is that is is asymetrical, so in theory there should be loads of upload capacity that we can make use of with impacting on other users.

Someone at Plusnet clearly understands the difference between upload and download usage, after all the platform Bandwidth Utilisation graphs separate out the two Wink

Without separating out uploads and downloads on the VMU there is no way of guaging via the portal tools how much downloads you are doing if you are also doing lots of uploads.

If Plusnet tapped me on the shoulder tomorrow and said "oi, you are downloading too much" I would have to put my own upload/download measuring in place at my end just to work out how much of my usage was downloads. Wouldn't it make far more sense for Plusnet to make some small changes to the VMU rather than lots of users having to come up with their own way of measuring uploads/downloads ?

P.S. there is at least one other ISP who separates uploads/downloads. I have a second ADSL line with A&A. They only cap peak downloads and not off peak downloads or uploads (exactly as the FUP was going to). They split out uploads and downloads so that you can monitor usage properly. They also go further and give you an hourly break down of your usage over the last week, but I wouldn't suggest Plusnet need to go that far (especially as that can't be done easily with BT's accounting data, which only comes roughly every two hours).
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That was what I wanted to say but had no idea what I was speaking about...
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I thought it might be interesting for people to see A&A's version of the VMU:

http://www.norman.cx/misc/aaisp.htm

I am not suggesting that the Plusnet one needs to include as much information as most users will never need it. I would be happy with just a simple daily upload/download split.

P.S. you will also notice the "ping" graphs at the top of the page, A&A by default ping every ADSL line's router once a second and use it to record latency data for each user. This allows them to spot problem within the BT network even before the users realise there is anything wrong.
LiamM
Grafter
Posts: 5,636
Registered: 12-08-2007

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Firstly, who are A&A.

Pinging every ADSL customer once a second would dramatically reduce performance of Plusnet's network. There are over 100,000 ADSL customers now methinks.

Also, they wouldn't get a response from my router, since I've set it not to respond to pings. As do a lot of people.
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Firstly, who are A&A.


Andrews and Arnold - amongst other business interests, a broadband ISP.
http://www.aaisp.net.uk

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Pinging every ADSL customer once a second would dramatically reduce performance of Plusnet's network.


No. Unless the connection had certain traffic conditions, this would be imperceptible.

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Also, they wouldn't get a response from my router, since I've set it not to respond to pings. As do a lot of people.


For this, and a few other reasons, I agree that it would be irritatingly pointless.

- Mike
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Pinging every ADSL customer once a second would dramatically reduce performance of Plusnet's network. There are over 100,000 ADSL customers now methinks.


I was going to reply and say that one ping a second would be a negligible fraction of the overall bandwidth. However I stopped for a second and did some sums...

If you use the smallest ping packet at 28 bytes for 100,000 users, it would account for about 2% of Plusnet's ADSL platform bandwidth at off peak times (about 1% at peak times). Which is higher than I expected.

However, for the benefits it can get you in spotting problems that effect a wide range of users very quickly I think it is worth it.

Plenty of times in the past A&A have been the first ISP to report difficult to track down problems effecting lots of users to BT. A good example is the current "long grass" problem that is effecting more and more users, which I suspect most ISPs know nothing about.

It also allows them to provide a free service that sends you an SMS message when your line goes down.

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Also, they wouldn't get a response from my router, since I've set it not to respond to pings. As do a lot of people.


I am quite sure the vast majority of Plusnet's customers buy a NAT router, plug it in and turn it on (and therefore don't disable ICMP echo replies from the router). Most people have no idea what an ICMP echo is Wink

For those people that do turn off ICMP echo, A&A provide users the ability on their portal to turn the line monitoring off.