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PlusNet latest provider to revamp its product range.
Tuesday 15 February 2005 20:10:00 by Andrew Ferguson

PlusNet has published details of its latest product revamp. This revamp sets PlusNet up for when BT Wholesale commences its 4Mbps and 8Mbps trials around April 2005. The changes see the emphasis move from paying for the speed of your line, to buying the capacity to download larger quantities of data.

The Premier product range is now priced as follows (prices include VAT):

Premier Product

Fair Usage Quota

Potential achievable, including off-peak use. (Based on a 2Mbps connection)

£21.99 30GB 230GB
£29.99 50GB 250GB
£39.99 75GB 275GB
£49.99 100GB 300GB
£59.99 125GB 325GB

The 'off-peak' period covers data downloaded between 1am and 8am, so is ideal for people who run their PC 24/7 and can schedule large downloads or P2P usage for during these periods. Full details of the PlusNet fair usage policy can be found here. The policy is a long way from a hard cap on what users can download, since it actually takes three months of exceeding the fair usage figure in a row before any penalties are applied, the options are:

  • Continue downloading until the next monthly billing date at a reduced speed of 128k. This will allow essential Internet use and is more than adequate for normal web browsing and email. Full speed will return automatically at the next billing date.
  • Purchase extra full speed data transfer at a price to be confirmed prior to launch.
  • Upgrade your PlusNet service to a higher fair usage level.
  • Based on payment of any outstanding fees such as deferred payments, customers will have the option to move to a service more appropriate to their needs.

PlusNet also caters for the budget end of the ADSL market, and its Pay-as-you-go products will benefit from the increased speed options available in April 2005, this means that for people with a good enough phone line can enjoy ADSL at 8Mbps for £14.99 a month, paying £1.50 for each GB in usage above the inclusive allowance.

PlusNet are set to launch another product into the consumer arena, with Broadband Plus, which is set to sit in between the PAYG and Premier products. This product will have Peer to Peer (P2P) traffic and Usenet traffic restricted during the peak hours, but again between 1am and 8am the traffic will be unrestricted. The bonus for this restriction is that there will be no fair usage quotas on this product.

The changes to the PlusNet residential product range is extensive, but reflects the current market move towards higher speeds of connection but with various controls in place to stop a small percentage of users from treating the resource as a leased line. These new products will not please everyone, but that is one beauty of the UK ADSL market, generally you have a choice of many service providers at each exchange, and the variety of packages is massive. Hopefully as broadband content evolves we will see further evolutions in the products on offer.

If you have made it this far in the article, you are wondering what will happen to existing PlusNet customers, well PlusNet will be making use of the recent bulk regrade scheme from BT Wholesale. This should see a lot of PlusNet customers benefit from an increase in their line speed, which for now will be 2Mbps where possible, 1Mbps or worst case 0.5Mbps. PlusNet plans to also make use of the 4Mbps and 8Mbps speed options once BT Wholesale start the trial, so customers may see their speeds rise even more. As a guideline, around 60% of lines are 2Mbps capable, 90% should manage 1Mbps, and around 99% the 0.5Mbps service.


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