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FTTC Trial pricing - not competitive?

MrBarnet
Newbie
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎31-12-2010

FTTC Trial pricing - not competitive?

Like many people I am disappointed that the free trial of FTTC has ended before my exchange is ready (Barnet, now quoting 31/3/11).
The extra £12/month that it will now cost to join the trial (when the exchange is ready) seems rather steep.
For example, the PlusNet Extra package already costs £11.49 a month, Any time calls another £5, and line rental £11.99/month making a total of £28.48/month. Add the £12 for FTTC and we are up to £40.48 per month.
BT Infinity unlimited broadband and calls is £28/month (after the 3 month discount period), and line rental can be just £10/month if you pay in advance, making an average of £38/month.
With BT Infinity you get unlimited downloads as opposed to the quite restrictive 60Gb limit on PN Extra, and the service is not a trial and so isn't hedged with all the warnings PlusNet give about the FTTC trial.
So, unless I'm missing something here, if you want FTTC as soon as it is available then currently BT are not only slightly cheaper but have no download cap and no excuses for poor speeds or reliability.
So far I have received excellent support from PlusNet and don't want to leave them, but their FTTC offering is just not competitive against BT Infinity.
Any comments? Huh
22 REPLIES
MrBarnet
Newbie
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎31-12-2010

Re: FTTC Trial pricing - not competitive?

Oops, I've just checked and found out Anytime calls are now £3.50/m (I had the international option which is £5/month).  So knock off £1.50 from the PlusNet prices and you get £38.98/month, compared to BT Infinity £38/month if you pay line rental in advance. It's still very slightly more than BT, and of course going over that 60Gb cap will cost you another £5 per 5Gb so BT still looks cheaper.
VileReynard
All Star
Posts: 11,175
Thanks: 303
Fixes: 11
Registered: ‎01-09-2007

Re: FTTC Trial pricing - not competitive?

I'd wait a year or two and the very finite speed on offer will be much cheaper.
Once BT have connected all those cabinets with fibre, they need to persuade people to use the fibre if they want to make their pile.

Plusnet Help Team
Plusnet Help Team
Posts: 13,724
Thanks: 265
Fixes: 76
Registered: ‎27-04-2007

Re: FTTC Trial pricing - not competitive?

As we're still at the trialling stage our prices aren't really in-line with fully released fibre products from our competitors. I can say with confidence that the prices should come down in the future.
If this post resolved your issue please click the 'This fixed my problem' button
 Adam Walker
 Plusnet Help Team
MrBarnet
Newbie
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎31-12-2010

Re: FTTC Trial pricing - not competitive?

Thanks for the response Adam.
I would have thought though that a trial should be cheaper than a fully-tested market-ready product, and that the price should go up when it is a proper product rather than down. The current charge is no incentive to go with FTTC with PlusNet, in fact its a disincentive.
M.
thorpen
Grafter
Posts: 26
Registered: ‎26-01-2009

Re: FTTC Trial pricing - not competitive?

I have to agree with you - I was very disappointed with Plusnet as I missed the trial by 1 week and even though I phoned and asked if they would let me on - they just said no.  I can't afford an extra £12 per month (who can ?) and after years as a loyal customer I have now asked for a MAC code to leave as I think this is really poor custoomer service.
Community Veteran
Posts: 26,744
Thanks: 954
Fixes: 10
Registered: ‎10-04-2007

Re: FTTC Trial pricing - not competitive?

Please explain to me, as a very long standing customer on an exchange where I have no hope whatsoever of FTTC (and not even a date for 21CN ADSL2+), why I should subsidise you to have FTTC?
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)
thorpen
Grafter
Posts: 26
Registered: ‎26-01-2009

Re: FTTC Trial pricing - not competitive?

I'm afraid it is not my fault that your exchange is capable of FTTC - are you telling me that if it was then you would not have applied to go on the Fibre trial?
Community Veteran
Posts: 26,744
Thanks: 954
Fixes: 10
Registered: ‎10-04-2007

Re: FTTC Trial pricing - not competitive?

Absolutely I would have done - but it would have been BEFORE the very well publicised cut-off date.
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)
David_W
Rising Star
Posts: 2,300
Thanks: 31
Registered: ‎19-07-2007

Re: FTTC Trial pricing - not competitive?

If you don't want to pay the extra, don't join the trial, wait until the trial ends and then get the Fibre product which *should* be over 100Gb/month, though to compete with BT, about 2-300Gb, yeah, it'll be more expensive than an ADSL product, and if you don't want to pay, don't switch to Fibre.
nadger
Rising Star
Posts: 4,498
Thanks: 46
Registered: ‎13-04-2007

Re: FTTC Trial pricing - not competitive?

I was in the same situation as thorpen in that my cabinet was activated one week too late  Cry
Tough luck but no reason to change ISPs - I still get 8Mb on ADSL2+ and there are many who would like to be getting that fast a connection.
I propose to sit back and see what eventually happens.
Community Veteran
Posts: 26,744
Thanks: 954
Fixes: 10
Registered: ‎10-04-2007

Re: FTTC Trial pricing - not competitive?

Interesting news today: BT Retail to remove Fair Usage Policy controls in April
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)
MrBarnet
Newbie
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎31-12-2010

Re: FTTC Trial pricing - not competitive?

Thanks for the comments - interesting!
I don't think those of us who were hoping to get on the free trial, but failed because it ended before our exchanges were FTTC- enabled, were expecting to be subsidised by PlusNet - the trial was their idea, and there were strong health warnings that speed and reliability for those on the trial could not be guaranteed.
What I do think is baffling is that the trial continues, including the health warnings, but it now costs £12/month to join. Ok a small premium might be acceptable, but this price makes it more expensive than the market-ready product from BT. Why on earth would anyone join now? You either wait and see what happens (for how long?), or as soon as it is available on your exchange you move to BT and get it fully supported with no download limit and cheaper.
It just doesn't make commercial sense from PlusNet!
David_W
Rising Star
Posts: 2,300
Thanks: 31
Registered: ‎19-07-2007

Re: FTTC Trial pricing - not competitive?

It starts off with PN needing people to apply for the test, if they started out "but you'll have to pay £12 extra" then people would think "heck no, I'm off to BT" and so minimal testing would be done.  It costs PN the extra £13, and now they have a stable user base they are passing that cost on to new people who want to participate in the test.
I'm in the situation where my exchange is getting upgraded eventually, sometime soon hopefully, when that happens the trial will be over and I'll be looking at alternate providers if PN's FTTx package is not competitive (hopefully I can get FTTH as I'm near the business end of town), even now you can look at alternate providers, there are quite a few of them (not sure how many would allow you unlimited downloads off peak however), or you could wait for PN to bring the FTTx out of trials and take up one of their packages.  They probably would want people to move off older packages onto Fibre packages too, which is another reason to keep the price artificially high.  People on the package I'm on, have off peak from midnight till 4pm, image how much someone on that package could download at 100mb speeds!
Mand
Grafter
Posts: 5,560
Thanks: 1
Registered: ‎05-04-2007

Re: FTTC Trial pricing - not competitive?

Hi guys,
It's worth bearing in mind that we've finished the technical trial stage (seeing whether FTTC worked with our systems etc), and we're now in the commercial trial stage (seeing if it's a viable product offering). This means that  the actual service won't change between now and when we start selling it to new users.
Whilst BT's 'Unlimited*' product seems very competitive I've not seen any impact of the traffic management or FUP so can't really comment on the overall service.
The other ISP's already offering an FTTC product are significantly more expensive than our product, with inferior product benefits, so I don't think saying we're uncompetitive is very fair at the moment.
I'd expect this market to change significantly in the next 6 months, and hope that we're able to make some headway. Smiley