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PlusNet launches Broadband Your Way Pro targeting online gamers
Wednesday 19 September 2007 07:05:32 by Sebastien Lahtinen

PlusNet (www.plus.net) has this morning launched a new package named Broadband Your Way Pro specifically targeted at online gamers looking for a fast low latency connection to have a pleasant gaming experience.

The package which is available on a month-by-month contract at £19.99 (incl. VAT) makes use of PlusNet's traffic management technology, but rather than being slowed down, it is given the highest priority. Users will also be able to select to switch off interleaving which can improve the connection speeds. It includes a 10GB usage allowance for the peak hours from 08:00 and 23:59 with no restrictions during the night. Gaming and VoIP traffic will be in the Titanium queue whilst all other traffic is treated as Gold.

"PlusNet's low ping rates make it the obvious choice for any gamer. When you're competing online, connecting to the gaming server first can give you a real advantage over your competition and help you build up high scores."

Mitchell Davis, Battlefield 2 Player & PlusNet user

Those customers who find 10GB doesn't meet their requirements will be able to purchase additional blocks of 2GB for £1.50 in advance, or £1.80 in arrears. If they do reach the limit and don't opt to pay more, they can still receive a 128 Kbps internet service until the end of the month. Customers can also receive a free 4-port wireless router if they stay with the service for 12 months.

More information available on the PlusNet website.

Comments

Posted by keith_thfc over 9 years ago
Silly question but does this mean everyone else will suffer in order for these guys to get the best gaming speeds?

Posted by ianwild over 9 years ago
Not at all. The way we design products is that for each account we provide a fixed amount of capacity on our network which matches the type of product. I explained how this works in detail here:
http://community.plus.net/comms/2007/08/17/broadband-your-way-blueprint/

What that says in summary is that as customers move to or join us on BBYW Pro, we will provision extra capacity to support them.

I'm also just going plug the free game offer for the first 100 sign-ups to BBYW Pro(Sorry Seb, I can't resist :-)):
http://community.plus.net/blog/2007/09/19/free-games-from-plusnet/

Cheers,

Ian
Posted by gayboy-ds over 9 years ago
10GB hahahahahaha.

Just what gamers are you targeting here?
Posted by Neil_A over 9 years ago
> Just what gamers are you targeting here?

Hi there, Approx 5,000 of our current customers did more than 100MB of gaming traffic last month and ~80% of these did less than 10GB of all traffic types. Also usage overnight is not counted, so patches etc can be downloaded overnight. Having said that, one product from one ISP is never going to meet all requirements. Hope that helps, thanks.
Posted by g-bhxu over 9 years ago
Have to agree with gayboy-ds on this. It's often the case that patches etc are needed while you are playing the game.

So according to Neil_A's answer, you'll have to download between midnight and 8am (so it won't eat into you're tiny 10GB allowance) and won't be able to play the game until the next night.

As for peak-hours being 16 hours a day, you're having a laff.

Posted by zone8 over 9 years ago
I agree with both gayboy and g-bhxu.

When Im gaming I stream online radio to relax. I also play alot of games which requires Maps, Mobs, Patchs and so on.

10GB in the peak time aint going to cover the gamers.

I get the feeling Plusnet knows 10GB aint going to cover it thats why they have put the charges up for extra bandwidth because they know everyone is going to be paying for extra bandwidth every month.
Posted by mcbazza over 9 years ago
10GB/mth is way too low for me to be interested. If it were 30-40GB/mth, I'd be interested.
I've got 2 next-gen consoles to d/l content for, as well as my PCs to think of. Then there's the streaming I watch/listen to.
10GB? No chance.
Posted by keith_thfc over 9 years ago
Any customer who has a decent LLU provider (SKY/UK Online or be*) at their exchange will get a far better value service with no traffic shaping at all for gaming (or anything else come to that).

Posted by zone8 over 9 years ago
This package is going to die when UT 2007 comes out with its 60+ MB map files and mods needed on differnet servers. pretty much going to eat 10GB in couple of evenings playing on differnet servers. This is not even including watching Vids on Youtube or streaming Radio lol.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
i cant see the point in this, 16 hours a day are classified as peak and if as stated it wont affect others services then why cant everyone have the same standard of service anyway? I hat to sound sceptical but this just sounds like another load of hype from a company that wants some new signups.
Posted by sattaff over 9 years ago
Most isp,s ive used gaming for have been pretty good for pings , this is trying to get users to pay for somthing which should be part of a normal package anyway..
Ide have to agree with CARPETBURN,s post..
Posted by rsharma over 9 years ago
How is the gaming priority different on this package than the rest of the BBYW packages? PN have repeatedly claimed that they prioritise traffic for the benefit of the customer, that gaming and VoIP were the highest in the pecking order. Let's look at this carefully. The comparison are here:
http://www.plus.net/support/broadband/quality_broadband/traffic_prioritisation.shtml
Posted by rsharma over 9 years ago
I can see no difference, except the new packages offer less allowance. The next bit is the claim about the rest of the traffic being in Gold, but unlike other packages there is no mention of the maximum speeds:
http://www.plus.net/support/broadband/quality_broadband/speed.shtml
Posted by rsharma over 9 years ago
Then there is the question about the allowances. If this package is similar to the old PAYG then why are you able to offer 15GB for the same price on that package and only 10GB on this new one even when the wholesale costs have come down since you first offered those allowances?

It doesn't add up, but it is good marketing.
Posted by ianwild over 9 years ago
> If this package is similar to the old PAYG then why are you able to offer 15GB for the same price on that package and only 10GB on this new one even when the wholesale costs have come down since you first offered those allowances?

- The old 15GB package was withdrawn at a time when we were forward pricing to the new pricing. That is because, even at that price point, IPStream doesn't allow a product with a 15GB design (No rate limits, high network priority) to be sustainable. 10GB does work for us.

Posted by ianwild over 9 years ago
Peak time isn't the right phrase here - It's not about peak time, it's about the time over which usage counts towards the accounts usage allowance. Not quite the same thing!

ISPs who offer Unlimited / Unsustainable products (Even LLU ISPs taking advantage of the current pricing advantages of LLU) aren't going to be able to sustain the significant increases in average usage being predicted by many in the industry for very long. Our products won't suit everyone, as Neil has said, but they will perform consistently and reliably as advertised because they are priced realistically.

Ian
Posted by ianwild over 9 years ago
We could do a table for Pro which shows "NR NR NR NR NR NR NR NR" for every item, just to be clear.

BBYW Pro is a product where all protocols are in the gold or titanium queue (Including P2P and Unclassified traffic). It's important there is still some differentiation as titanium traffic will still need priority over gold at the individual connection level - EG, a Voip call needs to be able to take priority over a P2P download still in order for customers to get the most value from our technology.
Posted by ianwild over 9 years ago
Providing an unrestricted level of service is more expensive than the reduced speeds on high demand apps which occurs the other BBYW products during our networks busiest times. That is why it costs more - You might call it the five star experience!

There is a market here(Not just gamers, although that is a group who values a premium connection and it made sense to target this initially).
Posted by ianwild over 9 years ago
Keith, I'd agree with you short term about LLU - If you are prepared to move you phone line to then because the wholesale costs are lower there are currently some good deals to be had.

Longer term I'm hopeful things will balance up and we will be able to compete on a more level playing field (Plus the retailers will need to stop playing landgrab at some point and the subsidies going into these LLU deployments will have been spent).
Posted by gayboy-ds over 9 years ago
I am sorry but you forget about who gamers are. We are a hungry bandwidth bunch who like P2P and Bit Torrent.

Has Think Broadband sold it's soul to the devil for posting this Press Release? There seems to be a few PlusNet reps bouncing in on this to defend their over priced package.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
quote"Peak time isn't the right phrase here - It's not about peak time, it's about the time over which usage counts towards the accounts usage allowance. Not quite the same thing!"
Thats damn weak if peak time isnt a time when people are awake and supposedly playing games on your super special gaming service then what the heck is it??? Im sorry in the past ive defended Plusnet and even said atleast you hold your hands up when things go wrong but this is a joke, unless you are saying people are going to play games in their sleep.
Posted by rsharma over 9 years ago
>The old 15GB package was withdrawn at a time when we were forward pricing to the new pricing.
Umm, in English please?

>We could do a table for Pro which shows "NR NR NR NR NR NR NR NR" for every item, just to be clear.

Just as you did with Premier and slowly restricted it? There might not be individual restrictions but it is still dependent on your network load. You wanted to give the most open products on the market; what are the minimum speeds on this package? What are the chances these speeds won't be altered by your manual traffic shaping policies at a whim?
Posted by gayboy-ds over 9 years ago
*Must drink coffee*
Posted by adriandaz over 9 years ago
Perhaps if the peak hours weren't aslong and the usage was 15-20GB people would favour it more?
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
right whos up for a gaming session at 4am to avoid using our special traffic based allowance on the special gaming service for gamers.. err yep its cool :$
Posted by zone8 over 9 years ago
Sounds like a plan carpetburn lol, :P

Think Plusnet must believe its April fools day or something I’m still waiting for the package to be taken off the website lol.
Posted by ianwild over 9 years ago
Lol - 10GB is loads for most gamers... As Neil said, something like 80% of the people who play identified games on our platform used under this amount. It doesn't suit everyone, but then it's not supposed to.

In terms of the allowance, 10GB is what the wholesale economics of IPStream allow us to realistically offer...
Posted by ianwild over 9 years ago
> Just as you did with Premier and slowly restricted it?

Nope - Exactly the opposite of the Premier design (The issue you highlight is a major factor in why we don't sell Premier any more). This is the same as our PAYG products which I'm sure you will concede have been about for a very long time without any such issues?
Posted by ianwild over 9 years ago
> There might not be individual restrictions but it is still dependent on your network load.

Yes - At times of abnormal load (when there are gold drops) things in Gold may slow down. Under normal load this won't be the case. This page explains:
http://www.plus.net/support/broadband/quality_broadband/load.shtml

You can see Gold drops on this graph:
http://www.plus.net/support/network_performance/broadband_bandwidth_usage.shtml
There haven't been any at all for a fair while.
Posted by ianwild over 9 years ago
> You wanted to give the most open products on the market; what are the minimum speeds on this package? What are the chances these speeds won't be altered by your manual traffic shaping policies at a whim?

There are no rate limits, so customers should get line rate on all protocols. This we can pretty much guarantee when we are operating under normal load (See the abnormal loads page above). If there is particularly high demand, gold drops may impact speeds on gold traffic, but this would be well communicated to customers via service status and the community site.

Ian
Posted by gayboy-ds over 9 years ago
So you say gaming doesn't take up much bandwidth. OK point taken. Do your market research though and you will see gamers are more than likely to be a "prosumer" who actually likes Bit Torrent, P2P and are most likely to use a range of VoD services currently on offer. Now that takes up the bandwidth.

I wish ISP's would stop their weasel words and pull their finger out to offer a decent FAIR usage policy and when UNLIMITED is UNLIMITED.
Posted by ianwild over 9 years ago
You can be sure we've done our market research! You are spot on too about the overlap between 'prosumers' and gamers. However, the data doesn't agree that those same people are necessarily the big file sharing users (At least not ones that aren't capable of scheduling their big downloads for overnight). That said, this really isn't a product that is designed to appeal to every gamer, and that's not what we are trying to achieve.
Posted by ianwild over 9 years ago
We've been categoric that we don't believe Broadband should be sold as Unlimited and we have a clear policy that we will never market it as such.

The point about Unlimited is that to deliver even 2Mb/s completely Unlimited on IPStream would cost an ISP in the region of £375 a month (8Mb/s = £1500!). You may not want to look at things from an ISPs perspective (As a consumer, why should you!), but unless you are prepared to pay more, you are going to be disappointed.

Ian

Posted by rsharma over 9 years ago
>This is the same as our PAYG products which I'm sure you will concede have been about for a very long time without any such issues?

Only because a small number of your customers are PAYG one, and even a small minority still on the special 15GB package. Economics of the PAYG being unsustainable is detailed on my blog.
http://pn-the-truth.blogspot.com/
Posted by rsharma over 9 years ago
>something like 80% of the people who play identified games on our platform used under this amount.

In the same way that 97% of your customers were using less than 8GB per month on a 30GB package and yet the restrictions were applied and allowances reduced? Let's not forget you count both uploads and downloads in your allowances.

Now compare your packages against Newnet: £19.95 for 25GB and UKFSN (Enta) with 30GB peak and 300GB off-peak. Is your traffic shaped latency better than them? I doubt it but people should investigate...
Posted by rsharma over 9 years ago
Last one, Ian.

How is this package better than the normal BBYW packages for customers that prefer gaming when all of them have the same priority for gaming and VoIP?

Had you launched this package for those that wanted to download on any protocol I would understand the logic, but you are not aiming it for that. If you did, you couldn't compete with other reputable providers on allowances at this price point.

Marketing?
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
quote"There are no rate limits, so customers should get line rate on all protocols."
Did i tell you i saw a flying pig towing a farmer yesterday?
quote"The point about Unlimited is that to deliver even 2Mb/s completely Unlimited on IPStream would cost an ISP in the region of £375 a month (8Mb/s = £1500!)."
Maybe you should speak to the people that own Plusnet about that, i believe its BT isnt it? Or dont you have the relationship that allows you to sit down and discuss pricing stategy?
Posted by zone8 over 9 years ago
LoL Ianwild what games did you check the usage for was it 2D chess???? dunno about you guys but I normaly use around 400+mb per evening when gaming this comes to around 12+GB per month not even including streaming radio while I pwn some noobs and chatting on TS / Vent.

When the new games come out like UT 2007 and so on that 400MB will turn into like 800+MB per gaming session :P hehe

If you put that 10GB to min of 20GB I might be interested but 10GB ROFL. I dont class downloading emails & surfing the web as gaming lol lmao rofl
Posted by ianwild over 9 years ago
> Marketing?

Yep. I thought we established that at the beginning of this thread - We may well target other 'pro' uses in future marketing campaigns.

We can take the rest into the PlusNet forums I guess. I typed more but realised I was repeating myself!

Posted by ianwild over 9 years ago
> Maybe you should speak to the people that own Plusnet about that, i believe its BT isnt it? Or dont you have the relationship that allows you to sit down and discuss pricing stategy?

Carpetburn, I'm sure you appreciate that BT Wholesale sell wholesale broadband, and being owned by BT Retail we only have access to the same pricing and discussions as any other ISP does.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
quote"Carpetburn, I'm sure you appreciate that BT Wholesale sell wholesale broadband, and being owned by BT Retail we only have access to the same pricing and discussions as any other ISP does." So you are saying BT Wholesale set the price and other BT divisions like BT retail have no say WHAT SO EVER in that price?? Maybe you can enlighten us all what prices and speed will be for the 21CN services which your owners will be touting soon, and explain how that is going to fit in with your new shiney 10gig gaming service.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
A figure which from my basic maths can be exceeded in under 2 hours solid use on 21CN line.Ive said it before, the faster speeds get the more allowance you and other ISPs are going to have to give people, BT and ISPs in this country need to wake up to this fact damn quick or 21CN is going to be either very expensive for the consumer or just a completely pointless service.
Posted by ianwild over 9 years ago
Well, I'm sure BT Wholesale pricing decisions take into account demand from all of their customers - that's natural in business. Equivalence means that they must offer the same prices to every ISP though, including BT Retail and us.

The initial pricing for WBC And WBMC (The products that go with 21CN) are in the public domain. Sam knows probably has the most comprehensive write up currently: http://www.samknows.com/broadband/21cn_broadband.php
Posted by ianwild over 9 years ago
I'm hopeful that WBC will see much improved costs over what we have today. Based on the product design model I posted earlier ( http://community.plus.net/comms/2007/08/17/broadband-your-way-blueprint/#BBYW_product_design ) a reduction in wholesale cost would see a direct and equivalent increase in the usage allowance. The table I've linked to should make that clear.

I hope it comes off, because I couldn't agree more that we need to offer higher usage allowances as average usage increases.
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 9 years ago
Ah, so the first "pay or your traffic's degraded" service. Plus points (ooh pun) for this one.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
quote"Sam knows probably has the most comprehensive write up currently: http://www.samknows.com/broadband/21cn_broadband.php"
OMG thanks for that, learned a bit more about the so called 21CN service and the pile of poop they have decided to call QOS... Which basically in layman terms means you could end up paying alot more for your connection and be given a worse down rate than your current MAX connection.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago

Also with all those different service levels and charges thats going to be fun for ISPs to work out what they should charge customers. I pity anyone who has to stay with BT and the obvious crippled service they are still going to get (or rather a QOS based service).
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
oh and i love the bit in your link that says... "This is something that will get better once 21Cn and Wholesale Broadband Connect is available, because that has been designed with video and streaming in mind. However, constant line rate downloads will still not be viable under WBC if more than a small percentage of customers want to do that."
Translation, when it all goes to pot and people start wanting 20Mb for more than a few hours a day we will return to our throttle you silly technique.
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 9 years ago
And I'm sure a stable-ping 2MBit service still won't be avaliable.
Posted by danman7_200 over 9 years ago
The fact that it goes through traffic shaping at all is going to slow (packet inspection) it down compared to some ISP's who have enough capacity without employing all these short handed tactics to avoid network investment.

Posted by adriandaz over 9 years ago
danman7_200 - that's rubbish, the delay caused by the inspection is negligible!

Pinging www.jolt.co.uk [82.133.85.65] with 32 bytes of data:

Reply from 82.133.85.65: bytes=32 time=13ms TTL=55
Reply from 82.133.85.65: bytes=32 time=13ms TTL=55
Reply from 82.133.85.65: bytes=32 time=13ms TTL=55
Reply from 82.133.85.65: bytes=32 time=13ms TTL=55

:)
Posted by sattaff over 9 years ago
adriandaz

A ping is nothing to go by , its the ingame latency that matters , and the information being sent back and forth thats inpected ...
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 9 years ago
adriandaz - It entirely depends on the equipment being used. The deacent gear which causes minimal delay is too expensive for the ISP's over here.
Posted by nick101 over 9 years ago
To be honest i might give this service ago mainly cause i need a service that doesnt suffer from microdisconnects which is a real problem for me especially when its in game.

Also the 10gig thing i play loads of different games all online and i never use 400 meg a night. If you want to download something big i would never do it in the day anyway cause your capable speed will be reduceed anyway so even though they have a 16 hour peak time the rest of the time is completely unrestricted. So all you do is stack up your torrents and your 1gig+ downloads to the night and youll be fine.

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