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PlusNet issue product update for its Premier range
Wednesday 27 July 2005 17:09:00 by Andrew Ferguson

PlusNet has posted on our forums, an update to the Premier product range that it markets. PlusNet are using the update to clarify the differences between its Plus and Premier ranges. The part that has gained the most attention on our forums has been the news about the introduction of a small amount of traffic shaping on the PlusNet Premier product.

The full announcement is shown below, originally posted here:

"Dear Customer,

We would like to explain the way that our broadband products are provided; as information published yesterday (Wed July 27th) has brought a number of questions and concerns for some customers.

Since March we have offered a choice of broadband services, including Broadband Plus and Broadband Premier. There are two main differences between these services. Firstly, they are managed at different levels of contention; Premier is 30:1 and Plus is 50:1. This means that customers on Premier will see a superior and faster service, especially at peak times, when compared to Plus.

The second difference is our approach to managing file-sharing. Broadband Plus is designed for customers that want a fast experience for email and web surfing. To maintain our market-leading price-point of £14.99, we manage the costs of file-sharing traffic on Plus, by limiting the amount of bandwidth that customers can use. This means that file-sharing download speeds on Plus are significantly reduced, especially at busy times, and priority is given to web surfing and email.

Broadband Premier offers fast access to all types of services, including file-sharing. In March, we described Broadband Premier as a “clean service”, with no traffic shaping. This was correct at the time and we have not been shaping traffic on Premier until very recently.

We would like to confirm that within the last two weeks we have chosen to apply a low level of shaping to file-sharing traffic on Broadband Premier. We have done this to positively improve the overall peak-time experience for Premier customers.

The benefit for all Broadband Premier customers is an improvement in peak-time experience for email, surfing and gaming. The vast majority of Broadband Premier customers will have noticed no negative difference following the changes we made two weeks ago.

The service has always been a contended service and there will always be some slowdown on some applications at peak times. The shaping we have implemented will ensure that this is limited to file-sharing downloads.

If you are a typical customer on Broadband Premier there is minimum impact, at worst you will see a small percentage decrease in the speed of file-sharing at peak times. For example, a file that would normally take an hour may take an additional five minutes to complete. In contrast, on Broadband Plus this same file could take several hours, particularly through peak hours.

We are aware that some Broadband Premier customers may have seen a greater reduction in file-sharing performance than we had anticipated. We believe this is linked to a network failure in the last 48 hours that has since been resolved. If any Premier customers are still experiencing very slow file-sharing speeds you should report a fault.

We aim to be the best value ISP and we believe that broadband at £14.99 and £21.99 offers great value for our customers. We don’t spend millions of pounds on advertising; we’re reliant on our customers recognising the great value and excellent service we provide. We live and die by our customers recommending our services.

We should have told our customers about this change before we implemented it, and I would like to sincerely apologise to all of our customers for this breakdown in communications.

In order to offer great value and great performance, we will make changes and improvements to our services. Before we make changes and improvements from now on, I would like to personally assure customers that we will always be as open, honest and upfront as possible.

Yours faithfully,

Neil Armstrong

Head of Marketing, PlusNet "

Copy of Broadband Premier Update

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