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uk.telecom.broadband (UK broadband) (uk.telecom.broadband) Discussion of broadband services, technology and equipment as provided in the UK. Discussions of specific services based on ADSL, cable modems or other broadband technology are also on-topic. Advertising is not allowed.

Metronet IS Plusnet!!



 
 
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  #1  
Old January 17th 06, 12:44 AM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
Steve
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 27
Default Metronet IS Plusnet!!

Well, it's arrived! Where do I go now? I have my NTL 10mb and I hardly
use Metronet except for work (I needed the fixed IP's) so fuk nose what
I've downloaded....

Accoding to Metronet's own stats page I've done:

Dec 2004 13gb
Nov 2004 9gb

Ok, more than I thought but not earth shattering.

Here's the 'announcment':

Dear Customer,

On the 4th January we sent you an email to let you know of the changes
that will be occurring over the next few months. These include our
support telephone numbers being changed and some new features during
2006, like being able to pay by Direct Debit and experience higher
speed broadband.

We also advised you that we will be implementing network management
policies to ensure that we continue to offer the highest quality of
service to all our customers. The two key network management
techniques are Traffic Prioritisation and Traffic Shaping.

We are sending you this email as we have noted that during November
and/or December you used more bandwidth than is included with your
account type. You are therefore more likely than most customers to
experience the effects of network management at peak times, and we
want these effects to be clear to you.

Network management techniques will be introduced from the end of
January and will mean at peak times heavy usage by a minority of
customers will not detrimentally affect the service for all of our
customers.

Traffic prioritisation
----------------------
We give different protocols different priority levels according to
time sensitivity and type of application. For example, time sensitive
applications such as web page viewing and VoIP telephone calls are
given a higher priority over non time critical applications such as
music downloads. This means at peak time gaming, VoIP and web pages
won't slow down but P2P downloads will. We prioritise traffic into
Titanium, Gold, Silver and Bronze.

Traffic shaping
---------------
We will allocate specific amounts of bandwidth to different protocols
according to their priority. For example, we allocate a greater level
of bandwidth for Gold traffic over Bronze during peak hours. By
limiting the amount of bandwidth available for low priority traffic,
we ensure that web traffic for example, is not affected by people who
are using a large amount of bandwidth for P2P.

You could easily ask why we need to consider implementing these
things. The answer is fairly simple. This is because an unlimited
broadband service is no longer sustainable in today's market. This was
the predominant reason why Metronet was sold to PlusNet.

We will also use traffic shaping to ensure that customer's usage is
spread across the day and across the month in a reasonable manner in
line with our product designs. As with any ISP, we have a finite
amount of bandwidth available to our customers at any one time. Even
with traffic prioritisation, if all our customers are downloading
files at the same time, then the service will be slower for
everyone. On the other hand, if the usage is spread relatively evenly
across the month, the level of service for all will be higher as a
result.

Ideally, all heavy usage downloads would take place outside of peak
hours. Right now there are around 300 customers who download all of
their included bandwidth at peak times. By encouraging these customers
to change their behaviour and schedule large downloads outside of peak
hours we can maintain a high quality service for the majority of
customers.

To complement these network management policies we also plan to
simplify our product portfolio for new customers so that we do not
attract very heavy usage customers. This will not involve any changes
for existing customers.

How will this affect me?
------------------------
I imagine that you are wondering how this will affect you. Traffic
shaping will only be evident during peak hours (4pm-midnight) once you
have gone over the price ceiling on your account during a month. If
you do not reach your price ceiling, you will not experience traffic
shaping provided your usage is spread evenly across the month. For
example:

PayGo500

Usage per month Cost Management
0-400MB 11.75 Normal contention*
400-5080MB 11.75 - 22.75 Normal contention*
5080MB+ 22.75 Connection rate-limited

*Provided that total usage is spread reasonably across the month and
heavy downloading is scheduled to off-peak times.

What can I do?
--------------
It is not sustainable to regularly download large amounts at peak
times. We would recommend you schedule large downloads to off peak
times i.e. anytime after midnight and up to 4pm.

In the next few days, as mentioned previously, we'll be sending you
another email to let you know of our new terms and conditions and
acceptable usage policy (AUP).

We'll also be adding information to www.metronet.co.uk about network
management and you'll be able to either adjust your usage to meet our
product design, or you'll be able to request your MAC key, free of
charge, and migrate to another ISP.

Many thanks for your continued custom.

Kind Regards,
James Bailey
Metronet Communications Team


  #2  
Old January 17th 06, 03:54 AM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
Peter M
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 1,496
Default Metronet IS Plusnet!!

Steve wrote:
Well, it's arrived! Where do I go now?
Accoding to Metronet's own stats page I've done:


Dec 2004 13gb
Nov 2004 9gb


Usage per month Cost Management
0-400MB 11.75 Normal contention*
400-5080MB 11.75 - 22.75 Normal contention*
5080MB+ 22.75 Connection rate-limited


It is not sustainable to regularly download large amounts at peak
times. We would recommend you schedule large downloads to off peak
times i.e. anytime after midnight and up to 4pm.


I think you should get a clear definition of how 'limited' they
plan to adjust speed. They've done a nice table for Premier
account customers, where since they mention lower speeds once
someone's traffic has exceeded a particular level.

There are higher allowances on the PayGo 1000 and PayGo 2000
accounts, so it depends on what account you have as to whether
your connection will be 'rate-limited' for a good portion of any
month. For anyone who had been using their connection for more
than a few GB over the upper end of the price capped limit, it's
not going to be much fun. I guess many will switch ISP, even
though price-wise, at 2000 kbps, Plus.Net is cheaper than
Metronet's PayGo Extra 2000.

I guess you never tried the binaries from Supernews but from memory,
they had better retention than Plus.Net and I never saw incompletes
on the (few) groups I checked (only MP3s and few files were above
about 10 MB before posting)

I'd hope they have some sort of information available because it
would be unfair to expect users to accept a change of T+C and some
'unknown' level of speed limiting, without them telling you clearly
how much it will affect you. I've had downloads stall once they
reach 10 MB and that's at 03:00, but they still haven't explained
quite what a 'full speed' connection on Broadband Plus may achieve,
prior to any speed management being applied, so it might be that
way for everyone for all I know :-(

At least for Metronet they've deemed 'peak hours' as being from
16:00 (many on Plus.Net are affected by slow speeds from 08:00).
Even so, the lack of specifics concerning 'rate-limiting' will
probably be sufficient for even light users to wonder how the
new management will affect them, and it's the support people
who will be under some pressure for the next few weeks just
to keep customers from quitting, I bet! Peter M.

  #3  
Old January 17th 06, 03:29 PM posted to uk.net.providers,uk.telecom.broadband
nokky
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 6
Default Metronet IS Plusnet!!

Steve wrote...
Well, it's arrived! Where do I go now?


Before you do anything rash like consider Freedom2Surf (F2S), read
the support forums at http://www.freedom2support.net
Freedom2Surf is no longer the excellent service is was before the
Pipex takeover.

--
Help rid the world of MP3s that sound horrible!
http://www.bestmp3guide.com
  #4  
Old January 18th 06, 06:28 PM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
TP
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 25
Default Metronet IS Plusnet!!

To me, the key bit of that email is:

an unlimited broadband service is no longer sustainable in today's market.
This was the predominant reason why Metronet was sold to PlusNet


At the end of the day, people like Metronet, Plus (as it was) and F2S all
went into business thinking they could offer genuinely uncapped products for
20 a month. I don't know what maths they did (or what over-generous
assumptions they made about BT and Ofcom!), but they evidently didn't do it
well enough. Result: takeovers and changes to T&Cs.

Sustainable's the word - those were products aimed at punters (people who
want to listen again to Chris Moyles in the evening, run the village
football team website, take in a little light porn, switch on Windows Update
and email/Skype their brothers in Spain a couple of times a week), and are
priced on that basis.

The companies probably thought making it "uncapped" or PayG would attract
more of those sorts of people.. many of whom had no idea how much they'd use
and thought "better safe than sorry". Seemingly obviously, those were also
attractive deals for people trying to download pirate copies of every TV
show broadcast in the last decade.

Strikes me that the best those people can do now is say "hey - good while it
lasted" and start paying a more realistic rate. It's a bitch if that's what
you're used to, and I can see why customers are hacked off MetroNet got
their sums wrong.. but I can see why it's stopping.



  #5  
Old January 18th 06, 07:57 PM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
Old Codger
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 363
Default Metronet IS Plusnet!!

TP wrote:

At the end of the day, people like Metronet, Plus (as it was) and F2S
all went into business thinking they could offer genuinely uncapped
products for 20 a month.


Not Metronet. Theirs was a true pay and go product but with a (high) cap on
payments. The really light users got a good service for little money the
really heavy users paid possibly more than a good genuine uncapped ISP might
charge. IMHO, Metronet was sustainable and now Plusnet are spoiling it.

--
Old Codger
e-mail use reply to field

What matters in politics is not what happens, but what you can make people
believe has happened. [Janet Daley 27/8/2003]


  #6  
Old January 18th 06, 08:28 PM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
AMO
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 116
Default Metronet IS Plusnet!!

"TP" wrote in message
...
At the end of the day, people like Metronet, Plus (as it was) and F2S all
went into business thinking they could offer genuinely uncapped products
for 20 a month. I don't know what maths they did (or what over-generous
assumptions they made about BT and Ofcom!), but they evidently didn't do
it well enough. Result: takeovers and changes to T&Cs.


It is a competitive market. Also, people feared that once you got past a
certain amount of usage, you'd get charged and so avoided those types of
packages. It was difficult for PlusNet to come up with packages that were
both competitive whilst not give the customer a shock of a huge bill when
their kid was downloading like crazy. Then they'd get the perception that
you get from those ringtone companies for trying to get more money out of
you.

I am happy that they offer the products that they offer so that light users
can make a saving and heavier users pay a bit more. I think that there
should be an even heavier usage package out there to cater the Zen Internet
group, but that's up to PlusNet. Whether the heavy downloaders go with
PlusNet or migrat to Zen, at least PlusNet can then say "Well, we did tell
you you were on the wrong package and you have to compare like with like!".

PlusNet are doing fine with sustainabilty. That's the whole reason for
traffic shaping. ;0)

AMO


  #7  
Old January 18th 06, 11:06 PM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
TP
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 25
Default Metronet IS Plusnet!!

Not Metronet. Theirs was a true pay and go product but with a (high) cap
on payments. The really light users got a good service for little money
the really heavy users paid possibly more than a good genuine uncapped ISP
might charge. IMHO, Metronet was sustainable and now Plusnet are spoiling
it.


But sustainable in business terms pretty much means "not just breaking even,
but delivering as big a return as selling the company on to the more
profit-minded boys down the road"... certainly in the long-term. There may
be some admirable idealists who'll go short-term for the lower profit 'cos
they're doing the right thing - but it rarely lasts. The opinion that
"Metronet was sustainable and now Plusnet are spoiling it" doesn't stand up
to basic economic theory that firms act to maximise profit. Had the majority
of Plusnet customers thought that all this was A Bad Thing and left after
throttling came in, PN wouldn't have bought Metronet and done the same thing
now.. and Metronet would be wiping the floor. Actually, most light users
(who probably don't venture in here much to balance the argument) will
probably be dead chuffed if their bills stay lower as a result.

I guess (and that's all) that Metronet was still breaking even, but probably
only just, as a hell of a lot of light users paying 11-13 a month weren't
subsidising heavier users - most of whom, on 512kb or 1Mb, were only paying
comparable prices to Zen even at max usage.

There must come a point where the owners of Metronet.. who probably thought
they could do something idealistic and fab.. realise that's not the case,
and have the choice of doing the same thing as the people they aimed to
beat - or give up and sell to them. Sad, but inevitable.


  #8  
Old January 18th 06, 11:18 PM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
kraftee
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 23
Default Metronet IS Plusnet!!



AMO wrote:
"TP" wrote in message
...
At the end of the day, people like Metronet, Plus (as it was) and
F2S all went into business thinking they could offer genuinely
uncapped products for 20 a month. I don't know what maths they
did (or what over-generous assumptions they made about BT and
Ofcom!), but they evidently didn't do it well enough. Result:
takeovers and changes to T&Cs.


It is a competitive market. Also, people feared that once you got
past a certain amount of usage, you'd get charged and so avoided
those types of packages. It was difficult for PlusNet to come up
with packages that were both competitive whilst not give the
customer a shock of a huge bill when their kid was downloading like
crazy. Then they'd get the perception that you get from those
ringtone companies for trying to get more money out of you.

I am happy that they offer the products that they offer so that
light users can make a saving and heavier users pay a bit more. I
think that there should be an even heavier usage package out there
to cater the Zen Internet group, but that's up to PlusNet. Whether
the heavy downloaders go with PlusNet or migrat to Zen, at least
PlusNet can then say "Well, we did tell you you were on the wrong
package and you have to compare like with like!".


But they weren't honest in the first place. I personally had verbal
guarantees that the PN premier was unlimited & that they would not cap
or traffic shape, their web site said the same & what little publicity
they have used also was the same 18 months down the line & it's all
dust in the wind. PN haven't even tried to offer a non capped/traffic
shaped account at a higher price, indeed they appear ti be trying to
get rid of any body who uses more than 11Gb a month.

PlusNet are doing fine with sustainabilty. That's the whole reason
for traffic shaping. ;0)


Yes but what about the blatant mismanagement, the constant changing of
conditions (& then claiming that they aren't changing anything they
are clarifying them?) the constant refference to the 1% who use to
much, without letting on that gradually, as they help the high end
users to leave, the 1% is in fact getting gradually lower. PN seem to
have either lost direction or are now aiming at low end users with
extra services on top (they've recently released their own version of
VOIP service, can't help but wonder what that will do to their users
usage figures)..


  #9  
Old January 19th 06, 06:05 AM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
Jim Guthrie
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Posts: 28
Default Metronet IS Plusnet!!

On Wed, 18 Jan 2006 23:18:45 -0000, "kraftee"
wrote:

Yes but what about the blatant mismanagement,


You might not like what they are doing, but I doubt they could be
accused of blatant mis-management when, by all accounts, their user
base is increasing, and they appear to be trading profitably.

The art of good management is, more often, the ability to take
decisions which are not generally liked.

Jim.
 




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