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Plusnet no longer 'Totally Unlimited'

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Plusnet no longer 'Totally Unlimited'

Plusnet used to claim their packages were 'Totally Unlimited' - see the flash on an archived page: http://web.archive.org/web/20150319053213/https://www.plus.net/home-broadband/fibre/
They said that this meant that both usage and speeds were not limited by them and the only speed restriction was the capability of the user's line.
Now they only say 'Unlimited Usage' which is an admission that they may restrict speeds.
Question to Plusnet: How do you differentiate the traffic management between users who contracted to Totally Unlimited and those who signed up since you changed the description. If you are not and all Unlimited users are treated the same way you have made a detrimental change to the contract!
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
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32 REPLIES
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Re: Plusnet no longer 'Totally Unlimited'

think you're clutching at straws here.
the two terms mean the same thing.
"unlimted usage" means you can use it as much as you want.
"totally unlimited" means no limits.
there has always been traffic shaping - this is not new and hasn't changed.
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Re: Plusnet no longer 'Totally Unlimited'

No they don't mean the same thing - Plusnet made a big play of the difference.
I suggest for a starting point you read http://community.plus.net/blog/2012/12/21/its-unlimited-why-is-it-still-traffic-managed/
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
   Why I have left Plusnet (warning: long post!)   
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Re: Plusnet no longer 'Totally Unlimited'

they might mean different to you, but not to me.
the link you posted is dated 2012 so would not deem that current information.
as i said, they have always traffic shaped.
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Re: Plusnet no longer 'Totally Unlimited'

Yes that is true, traffic has always been managed. But the point is that Totally Unlimited was that it only applied it individual lines when they were being maxed out so that running downloads in the background would not affect gaming & VoIP etc. To do that they had to ensure that they had sufficient capacity to meet peak demand so that everything ran at full speed on an individual line irrespective of what demands were being placed on the network by other users (with the reasonable proviso that things might be affected by exceptional events such as Andy Murray matches causing a huge increase in streaming usage or Apple releasing a big update).
At the time we were sceptical and now it looks like they've back-tracked. It's probably that they have realised they can't afford the capacity for the huge increase in streaming usage at the price point they are aiming at.
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)
RobPN
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Re: Plusnet no longer 'Totally Unlimited'

I can't remember where, but I'm pretty sure I read a discussion somewhere in the past few months where it was announced that the relevant body (ASA/OFCOM ?) had declared that for future reference the word 'Unlimited' was to mean precisely that; i.e. no limits to usage or speed.
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Re: Plusnet no longer 'Totally Unlimited'

This is a few years old now, it dates from 2011:
https://www.asa.org.uk/News-resources/Hot-Topics/Broadband-advertising.aspx
I have seen anything more recent.
The ASA Help Note on Unlimited includes:
Quote
At the same time, consumers generally understand that the speed of the internet varies during
the day and that speeds are naturally slower during periods of the day that attract the greatest
number of online users. If the provider can demonstrate that the effect of traffic management is
not dissimilar to the ‘slow down’ generally experienced, the restriction is likely to be considered
moderate.

I don't think it guarantees that there won't be a general slow down at peak times. But I suppose the unlimited broadband would have to comply with:
Quote
Provider-imposed limitations that affect the speed or usage of the service are
moderate only and are clearly explained in the marketing communication.

That's if not having quite enough capacity for everyone to get full speed at peak times would count as a provider-imposed limitation.
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Re: Plusnet no longer 'Totally Unlimited'

Quote from: chenks76
think you're clutching at straws here.
the two terms mean the same thing.
"unlimted usage" means you can use it as much as you want.
"totally unlimited" means no limits.
there has always been traffic shaping - this is not new and hasn't changed.

In the dictionary you right.
However the ASA allowed isp's to claim false unlimited, so in marketing terms true unlimited means different.
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Re: Plusnet no longer 'Totally Unlimited'

both terms are still using the word "unlimited".
so it becomes the difference between "totally" and "usage".
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Re: Plusnet no longer 'Totally Unlimited'

... and that is the point. Plusnet were marketing it as Totally Unlimited to say they were going further than the ASA definition and differentiate them from their competitors. Now they consider matching or beating their competitors price more important than the quality of the service they provide.
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
   Why I have left Plusnet (warning: long post!)   
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Re: Plusnet no longer 'Totally Unlimited'

i still see no real difference in the two terms.
both still quote "unlimited".
if you feel that the product no longer offers what you thought were getting then maybe it's time to move to another ISP.
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Re: Plusnet no longer 'Totally Unlimited'

in terms of uk marketing this is the difference chenk.
unlimited, means no charges for usage, or hard visible limits marketed.  Thats it really.  Isp's can still apply limits via a FUP and shape/throttle traffic as they wish.
true unlimited - FUP is not allowed, any throttling has to be moderate only.  So an isp e.g. cannot slow torrents to 100kbit/sec.
As to why plusnet have made this change we can only speculate, they either may be planning to stop selling rate limiting exempted connections so going back to what they used to do, or maybe someone has convinced them they cannot market true unlimited in how they are operating now.
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Re: Plusnet no longer 'Totally Unlimited'

Quote from: chenks76
i still see no real difference in the two terms.

You can't understand the difference between "your line will go at full speed 24x7 irrespective of how busy our network is" and "some days every week your line may slow down because out network has run out of capacity"?
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
   Why I have left Plusnet (warning: long post!)   
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Mobile: iD mobile (£4/month)
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Re: Plusnet no longer 'Totally Unlimited'

is that what it's saying though? or is that your interpretation of it.
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Re: Plusnet no longer 'Totally Unlimited'

The first is 100% definite what they were saying about "Totally Unlimited" (with the proviso of some occasional internet events as I posted in reply #4).
Quite what they are saying now is unclear, but changing it to Unlimited Usage and dropping the difference from other ISPs they were using in their marketing is very significant.
I suppose that one possibility is that they have been forced to drop the "Totally" due to complaints to the ASA because of their inability to get to the bottom http://community.plus.net/forum/index.php/topic,140851.0.html which has been going on since the back end of last year.
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)