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Plusnet, Offcom and market classificatins - paying too much for your broadband?

pint
Grafter
Posts: 385
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Registered: 19-08-2007

Plusnet, Offcom and market classificatins - paying too much for your broadband?

Ive beenw ith plusnet since 2004, over that time theres been many changes, some good, some not so good.

One change has been the start of local loop unbundling, and after that a review of the market by Offcom, that split exchanges into three markets depending upon local competition,and with that BTWholsale were allowed to drop their prices that ISPs are charged to access the network 'stuff' so that the ISPs can compete with LLU providers putting their own kit in the exchange and charging thiose who connect to them somewhat less than BT wholesale. from what i can gather this was carried out in 2010.
Plusnet responded by dropping prices for those in a market 2 or a market 3 area, as their overheads for these areas were lower the savings could be passed on to the end user, in effect keeping plusnet competitive.

Fast forward a few years (?) and there are now even more exchanges with two or more providers, other than BT wholesale, by offcoms own definition these are now market 2 or market 3 exchanges and likewise the pricing structure should reflect this, allowing ISPs such as plusnet to pass on the savings in order to remain competitive.
Reality however is somewhat different, various exchanges have been enabled with LLU kit belonging to the likes of Sky/Easynet, Talk talk, Be and so on, so offcom should have re-asigned these as market 2 or 3 as LLU came on stream, however nothing has happend, what should be market 2 or market 3 by offcoms own definition is still market 1, due to the offcoms own lack of action and genral  sluggishness.
The End result os that Offcom who are supposed to be there ( amongst other things) to promote competition in the market, and to support consiumers are failing on both counts.
Offcom are failiing ISPs who use BT wholesale such as plusnet by forcing them to keep prices artificialy high, whilst the likes of talk talk can significantly undercut  them.
Offcom are also failing the consumer, by strangling competiion in the local market, why pay £17.99 for your broadband when you can pay £6.99?.
As far as the ISPs caught up in this, why on earth arent they being more vocal about it, and telling offcom to pull their finger out and re-classify those exchanges?
or is their an alterior motive - by sticking to the stastus quo plusnet make more money out of market 1 exchanges than they do on market 2 and 3?
11 REPLIES
Community Veteran
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Registered: 31-08-2007

Re: Plusnet, Offcom and market classificatins - paying too much for your broadband?

BT Wholesale have to charge all providers more on Market 1 exchanges due to OFCOM rules, so I'm not so sure the do make more money, possibly less. However, you reasonably ask why Providers aren't being more vocal and moaning at OFCOM. But also more End Users need to moan at OFCOM. I personally think that the Market classification should now be got rid of and that it strangles competition on current Market 1 exchanges.
Mayfly
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Re: Plusnet, Offcom and market classificatins - paying too much for your broadband?

I wrote to OFCOM and the reply I got was basically they up date the classification every 3 years last doing it in December 2010 and the next update should be completed by March 2014.
In essence they said if I wasn't happy with my ISPs commercial decisions I should change provider!!!  Angry
Superuser
Superuser
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Re: Plusnet, Offcom and market classificatins - paying too much for your broadband?

OFCOM are about as much use as a chocolate fire guard , one of many companies/organisations, not fit for purpose.
Regards
Mike
Mike
Community Veteran
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Re: Plusnet, Offcom and market classificatins - paying too much for your broadband?

Agree with you Mike, but, & Mayfly, just keep complaining to them and remind then they are the regulator and are supposed to be looking after the interests of the end users as well., ask them for a log reference for your complaint. Just keep moaning and threaten to complain to the Secretary of State as well.
pint
Grafter
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Re: Plusnet, Offcom and market classificatins - paying too much for your broadband?

Quote
In essence they said if I wasn't happy with my ISPs commercial decisions I should change provider!!!

But its not a decision by the ISP, the ISP is forced to be un competitive by the regualtor thats aleedly there to promote competition, this does nothing of the sort, and only benefits the LLU providers at the expense of anyone else.
If the situation was reversed, and offcom were protecting BT wholesale at the expense of LLU providers then there wouldnt be much silence.
At the moment im with plusnet  for both adsl and phone, i have line rental saver until November after that then i will probably have to seriously re-consider and move to a more competitve priced ISP.
Until plusnet explain what is going on, and why they dont appear to be campiaging about this, its just appears to be profiteering.
x47c
Grafter
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Registered: 14-08-2009

Re: Plusnet, Offcom and market classificatins - paying too much for your broadband?

Ironically it's Plusnet that are the good boys in this respect.
They actually do pass on the savings from their lower costs received from BTW for customers in market 2 and 3 exchanges.
The rest simply charge the same regardless of what classification your exchange is in and are profitting quite nicely thankyou from their market 2& 3 customers.
So the other ISP's rather than yelling loudly  probably want to keep rather quiet about this.
Meanwhile Plusnet being a "good boy" is getting it in the neck from agrieved customers in market 1 exchanges!

Community Veteran
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Re: Plusnet, Offcom and market classificatins - paying too much for your broadband?

Quote from: Mayfly
In essence they said if I wasn't happy with my ISPs commercial decisions I should change provider!!!  Angry

Could someone point me to an ISP that charges less than £16.99 for unlimited on a Market 1 exchange with no LLU providers? Perhaps I should pose the same question to OFfice of COmplete Muppets!
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)
Community Veteran
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Registered: 11-08-2007

Re: Plusnet, Offcom and market classificatins - paying too much for your broadband?

Community Veteran
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Re: Plusnet, Offcom and market classificatins - paying too much for your broadband?

mind you moving to them with an 18 month contract gives you 6 months free and that isn't to be sneezed at
Equivalent monthly price £10.67
Mayfly
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Re: Plusnet, Offcom and market classificatins - paying too much for your broadband?

TBH their reply floored me - they deliberately, as I saw it, chose to pass the buck and blame PN whereas I deliberately told them PN passed on the reduced costs to the customer. I then got involved with other things and until I saw this thread forgot about it.
I have quite a good relationship with my MP - I think he's sick of hearing from me -lol,  I might just email him about the issue.
Community Veteran
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Re: Plusnet, Offcom and market classificatins - paying too much for your broadband?

Quote from: Oldjim
mind you moving to them with an 18 month contract gives you 6 months free and that isn't to be sneezed at
Equivalent monthly price £10.67

So even with a big new customer discount it's still above the standard Plusnet Unlimited price for a Market 3 exchange.
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)