Plusnet has sent out an email to customers on its Broadband Plus product advising them about a readjustment to the amount of network capacity Broadband Plus customers get at peak times, which for some has resulted in slower than acceptable speeds recently. They are offering a limited refund of February's subscription charge for customers who meet certain criteria, which includes providing screen-shots or links to speed tests carried out when the service was performing slowly.
"We are pleased to advise that we have now activated two additional 155Mbps segments of BT Central capacity. This new capacity will solve the shortage of sessions which was causing connectivity issues for USB modem users at peak times. Please see the earlier Service Status notice for more information on this. http://usertools.plus.net/status/archive/1170428858.htm
This new pipe will be known as THN-AG1. For those interested in which pipe they are connected to, this can be found out by visiting: http://usertools.plus.net/@gateway
Lighting the additional bandwidth will also resolve the slow speeds experienced at peak times for Broadband Plus customers. Please see the earlier Service Status notice for more information on this. http://usertools.plus.net/status/archive/1171308198.htm
Why were there peak time slow-downs for Plus customers in February?
- Based on how we design our products Broadband Plus pays for approximately an 18% share of our network at peak times and during December and January was using up to 25% which was impacting Premier & PAYG customers.
- We re-balanced our platform and updated our automated rules at the beginning of February to ensure that Plus got ~18% at peak times which solved the Premier & PAYG gold drops but caused slower than acceptable speeds for some Plus customers.
- Using new capacity that comes online today we will increase the per-customer capacity for Broadband Plus and therefore choose to make a lower profit margin on Broadband Plus until May 2008 when the new BT Wholesale Broadband Connect pricing is planned to be available.
We will be contacting a number of Broadband Plus customers, offering a refund of February's subscription fee for the inconveniences that they have suffered as a result of the problems described above. We will be offering this refund to customers using the following criteria:
- You must be a Broadband Plus customer (option 1, 2 or 3) provided via BT IPStream or Tiscali LLU.
- Customers must have not used more than 4GB at peak in in their last three billing months on Plus Option 1, 7GB on Plus Option 2 and 11GB on Plus Option 3.
- Must be able to show evidence of speeds problems encountered, see below on how to claim your refund
- If you upgraded to PAYG or Premier in February due to slow speeds and meet other criteria you are eligible.
How to claim your refund:
- We will be contacting Broadband Plus customers who raised a speed fault ticket during February to advise them of the refund.
- Customers who we do not proactively contact (for example those who have been affected and have posted in forums but not raised tickets) can still claim a refund provided they meet the criteria by using this Help Assistant path http://www.plus.net/go.html/plusrefund
- The ticket raised should contain a previous ticket number where you have raised an issue about slow peak time speeds. Alternatively, supply a web address or screen-grab to a speed test such from the PlusNet Speedtest, ThinkBroadband, Speedtest.net or BBMax showing a speed of less than 25% of your line profile speed as assigned by BT between 1st and 22nd February. You can find out your line rate in Connection Settings in Member Centre https://portal.plus.net/my.html?action=data_transfer_speed
- Customers will need to claim by 16th March 2007 to be eligible for the refund of February subscription.
We will be actively discussing this process and responding to any queries in our discussion forums."Letter from Plusnet to Broadband Plus customers
The fact that Plusnet want copies of speed test results between 1st and 22nd February shows the importance of keeping track of poor results. If you register on our site, we will log these against your username and you can easily plot a series of results showing any problems for up to five broadband connections. If you haven't done so, register now.