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PlusNet has published its Sustainable Usage Policy Guide
Thursday 29 September 2005 11:08:00 by Andrew Ferguson

Back in August 2005, PlusNet sent out letters to small number of its user-base warning them about using a contended service in a manner which PlusNet felt negatively impacting on the service of others. At this time, one concern raised by PlusNet customers was the finer detail (i.e. figures), that defined what PlusNet considered reasonable usage. Now PlusNet has a published Sustainable Usage Policy, which can be found here.

This policy affects users on the following PlusNet products, Broadband Premier up to 2Mb, 4Mb and 8Mb, ADSL Home, Broadband Home, Broadband EasyStart. The vast majority of PlusNet customers on the Premier range though have usage levels well below even the first warning email.

Product

Warning email

Peak-time management

24/7 management

Premier up to 2Mbps 100GB usage (anytime)
OR
30GB peak-time usage
100GB usage (anytime)
AND
30GB peak-time usage
150GB usage (anytime)
AND
30GB peak-time usage
Premier up to 4Mbps 150GB usage (anytime)
OR
45GB peak-time usage
150GB usage (anytime)
AND
45GB peak-time usage
225GB usage (anytime)
AND
45GB peak-time usage
Premier up to 8Mbps 200GB usage (anytime)
OR 60GB peak-time usage
200GB usage (anytime)
AND 60GB peak-time usage
300GB usage (anytime)
AND 60GB peak-time usage
Action on customer's service Warning email sent Peak-time management period 24/7 management applied

Peak-time is currently defined as 4pm to 12am (midnight). The definition of peak-time and bandwidth values are subject to change as usage patterns alter.

The three levels of action mean that if you do manage to spend weeks tied to your broadband connection, that so long as this is a rare occurrence nothing too drastic should happen. You are allowed two warning emails, warning you of exceeding the limits, and on the third occasion, the peak-time management is applied, if the peak time management limits are exceeded twice in a six month period you are then moved to a 24/7 management profile. In this final case the options are upgrading to a more expensive product with PlusNet or moving to another provider.

"While the Sustainable Usage Policy affects only a tiny minority of customers, we would still like to be able to provide a service to meet their individual high usage needs - this is however currently not economically possible due to BT Wholesale capacity based charging model which is why you are seeing an increasing number or internet service providers having to take similar action"

Ian Mckenzie (Product Manager), PlusNet plc

For those who have no idea of how much data transfer they are using the PlusNet portal will track your usage for you, or you can use tools on your own computers, see our Q&A here.

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