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Update on Supanet broadband service
Sunday 16 January 2005 11:08:00 by Andrew Ferguson

The disgruntled users of the Supanet broadband service are continuing to post on our forums. A service update was published by Supanet themselves at 5pm Friday 14th January, which can be seen here, a copy was posted in our forums here. Additionally users are claiming to have been told what the trigger level is for moving users from the standard network on to the more heavily contended network. It would appear that any single days traffic in excess of 800MB will see a user moved onto the managed network until usage drops under 800MB a day, after which time it will take 48-72 hours to drop back on to the standard service.

This equates to a monthly total of around 25GB, which while a substantial amount, is still lower than for example the very well publicised cap of 30GB per month that Wanadoo have. People should also note, that since it takes two to three days to come off the managed network, the actual throughput achievable in a month is going to be a lot less.

Most of the anger expressed by users is over the stealth nature with which this network management was started. In the past where service providers have had problems with delayed activation of a BT Central connection some have delayed further sign-ups for a few weeks, or been a lot more upfront on how the network is to be managed in the short term. Certainly the continued advertising of the service as not having any bandwidth limit and no restrictions other than being "Subject to strict enforcement of copyright law on peer to peer traffic" seems to be something of a contradiction.

The next step really is to see what Supanet do once the extra capacity afforded by the next BT Central upgrade is working. In other words will the 800MB trigger level remain, or will it prove to be temporary. This saga which is really just the latest in a long line of stories about service providers making a very popular offer that attracts more customers than originally expected. The end result usually been that the provider then gets caught out with not enough bandwidth capacity, and they fall from grace for a while.

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