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Plusnet joins unlimited camp with new product range
Tuesday 17 February 2009 12:26:23 by Andrew Ferguson

Tuesday 17th February marks a big change in the Plusnet product range, the biggest differences being the presence of an unlimited product and geographical based pricing. The three main broadband products are:

Plusnet Value: £5.99 a month for those in low costs areas, those outside these areas will rise to £11.99 a month after a 3 month introductory period. 10GB usage allowance, up to 8Mbps connection, free wireless router and connection. 18 month contract.

Plusnet Unlimited: £11.99 a month rising to £15.99 a month after three months. Those in the higher cost areas will see it rise to £19.99 a month. Unlimited usage, with speeds controlled by Plusnet traffic management system. Free wireless router and connection. Static IP option once account is created. 18 month contract.

Plusnet Pro: £19.99 a month, with no geographical variation in pricing. 15GB usage allowance, but unmetered usage between midnight and 8am. Higher traffic priorities than unlimited product, basically 15GB at what ever speed your line can manage. 12 month contract.

Plusnet has been in the traffic management game for longer than most other providers and a major difference is the amount of information they publish detailing how it works. For Plusnet Unlimited the expected speeds are detailed in a large grid on the community section of the Plusnet website. The benefit is that gamers should find that even at peak times when large file downloads are slow, that latency and thus their online gaming should still run smoothly.

The geographical pricing is different to many providers, as this is not the result of using unbundling, but rather a side-effect of the two tier pricing that BT Wholesale has been running for some time. As a way of making Plusnet products appear more competitive compared to bundled LLU products it should work. While unlimited is more common among LLU products than those using BT Wholesale IPStream products, how long the LLU operators will sustain this before congestion starts to do things like increase the latency and amount of packet loss is another matter. Be/O2 is carrying out a number of upgrades across its network to increase capacity but in the mean time some customers are experiencing poor performance. Sky gained a lot of press coverage from going to unlimited, but whether they can keep scaling their network to cope with millions of customers for years to come is anyones guess.


Posted by Aqualung over 8 years ago
Same old story " unlimited " as long as you dont use it for anything other than when and at what time we say.
I am very disappointed however that the geographical location of people is being taken into consideration for the price BTw charge, OFCOM should never have allowed BTw to apply this.We are in effect moving backwards in the way our broadband is supplied.
Posted by paddyclark over 8 years ago
my understanding is that it allows BT Line ISPs to better compete with LLU providers..

My own exchange doesnt qualify but then I dont have an option to go LLU.. perhaps LLU providers may extend to more smaller exchanges. Put ADSL 2 in then mix as it rolls out and the big cost and speed advantage LLU providers have had starts to reduce which is fair competition.
Posted by paddyclark over 8 years ago
At the end of the day the more ISPs out there to offer a choice the better...
Posted by Fixer109 over 8 years ago
The 'unbundling' of BT by the government would be more productive as the Wholesale won't be able to hide behind BT shirt-tails and would be more accountable to us users
Posted by jelv over 8 years ago
Another significant change to note from previous Plusnet offerings is that the new products don't have webspace, cgi or domain hosting.
Posted by comnut over 8 years ago
paddyclark:"it allows BT Line ISPs to better compete with LLU providers.." (two tier pricing)
Yes, Ofcon helping out 'poor' BT that cannot compete as well as the smaller LLU ISPs out there...
Fixer109 is right..
Posted by comnut over 8 years ago
jelv: hmm yes.. looks like plusnet is trying to save more money... name change coming??
Posted by zyborg47 over 8 years ago
Just thought I would be nosy and entered my details, I have to pay full price and according to their system I would only get 0.5MBits, yea, since I already get 2Mbits, I don't think I would bother.

I also seen Plusnet traffic management in action and it is worse than Bt.
they may be owned by Bt, but they are still the same old Plusnet.
Posted by comnut over 8 years ago
:D :D yes BT standard profile!!! I'll bet they will be Plusbtnet soon! :D

they used to be good until the mergers started... removing the binaries was the last straw..
I looked around and saw how bad BT politics & lines were, and decided to get away from it to one that did not depend on BT!

Now IF bethere had more info for *non-members* I might have tried it 3 years ago...
Posted by timmay over 8 years ago
This seems to be a very strange move for Looks like I'll have to get Sky broadband before my 90 days is up. Damn good thing I ordered my service yesterday. :-D
Posted by spruance over 8 years ago
As an existing Plusnet customer with no plans to move away this gives me at least as good a product as I had already but with £8.00 off for the first 3 months. Yes, there is an 18 month contract but that's not a problem, and on the plus side I get another free router. Can't be bad!
Posted by paddyclark over 8 years ago
@zyborg47 I get 2mbs yet BT line checker and reports 1mb as likely speed. T'aint Plusnets fault if the BT line info is usually wrong.

@Comnut - even that well respected bastion Zen is removing binaries

Considering renewing my vows as my exchange aint likely to get LLU, Sky would be nice purely for the TV and Broadband package at that nice combined price..

Notice that O2s service seems to be dropping of late..
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 8 years ago
paddy - The BT line checker isn't wrong per-se, it's simply conservative. Many people do find that they get quicker speeds that it reports.
Posted by mishminx over 8 years ago
Pernicious marketing from plusnet? Surely not!
Posted by chrysalis over 8 years ago
Regional pricing is the way forward, the obsession with equality has held ipstream back and is one of the primary reasons we also dont have a FTTx rollout yet. Those people in rural locations who think this is unfari, if you was rural in another country the chances are you would have to use dialup.
Posted by ian72 over 8 years ago
Regional pricing has been going on for ages.
Sky charge £5 for mid if you have LLU or £17 for connect if you don't. That is regional pricing, why is it any different that plusnet are now doing it? They still look like pretty good deals for the lighter end of the market.
Posted by uniquename over 8 years ago
@ timmay. Why? You will still be on monthly contract after your 90 days won't you?
Posted by aerostar2 over 8 years ago
Why an 18 month contract ?, to me that is just TOOOOO long.

I have put people on to them because it was either a 12 month contract, and then monthly, or pay connection fee and supply own modem with a monthly contract.

Forcing 18 months onto new connections when no one knows what is going to happen to them , their jobs or the economy is appalling.

I will find someone else for my recommendations.

Posted by comnut over 8 years ago
paddyclark: yes that is 'line speed' not BT's.. best to ask around the LLU's for proper figure! :)

And if you are not sure, get a one month contract! dont just trust the salesmen, all he wants is commission, then they will forget you...
Posted by comnut over 8 years ago
again too many thinking with their wallets, and later blaming the ISP, not their cheap-mindedness...

There is a proper independent Usenet service, if you want it, but I think many now use bittorrent instead... :)
Posted by ruskin0 over 8 years ago
zzzzzzzzz and Unlimited ahs just got more confusing.
Posted by comnut over 8 years ago
yep just another marketing gimmick that Ofcon cant/wont stop..
Posted by NetGuy over 8 years ago
@ jelv - re no webspace or domain hosting - sounds fine for the vast majority of people. Lots of deals around for domains from 99p or 99c, hosting can be had for a small site for free on Heart Internet (inc with registration fee), some will use Google Apps for free on their site.

CGI and MySQL etc gets you into a different category of use, and if you want to play with multiple domains, and happy to tinker in a *nix environment, then look at VPS.
Posted by NetGuy over 8 years ago
re VPS

US$150 p.a. gets me 5 GB of storage (partly used by CentOS) and 150 GB a month of traffic (6x PN limit but no daily limits)

LXAdmin for domain management can handle 40 domains and multiple user accounts - each domain can have sub-domains and parked domains too...
Posted by kenb over 8 years ago
one step forward two steps back.

This is a direct outcome of OFCOM's crazy pricing structure. If we want to provide broadband to everyone then there will be a cost for remote users. Prior to LLU this was spread equally across all users.

All that is happening now are a significant minority in large towns are being allowed to opt out of the subsidy for the rest. Great for them but crap for the rest of us as our costs will be higher to generate enough cash to support those in the back of beyond.

Posted by mikeblogs over 8 years ago
Plusnet needed to be appluaded for their openness..
exposing the Geographic de-averaged pricing agreed too by Ofcom - wait until the 21C QOS costs are exposed!
exposing Plusnet traffic management - many customers would prefer to allocate their bandwidth and quality to the their own data streams, just tell us what's been built and what we need to live within?
Posted by AnthonyGoddard1 over 8 years ago
I've been with Plus Net for about a year & had lots of speed problems.However they've now been sorted (in a little village in Essex, average speed was about 125Kb, then in Nov'08 up to 750Kb (they cleared a problem it seems), then I fitted an I-Plate & speed doubled to about 1750Kb) As I always go over my 2GB allowance each month, this new deal is perfect for me. Well done Plus Net fr me.
Posted by Mr_Fluffy over 8 years ago
As an ex PlusNet customer who was made extremely angry by their unthinking, uncompromising use of a retrospective FUP during their early adoption of Ellacoyas for traffic management and who suffered from incompetent Technical Support personnel a year or so later who seemed incapable of recognising a simple line fault in the face of clear evidence, I am just thankful my exchange was eventually Be enabled!
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
Amen to that Mr_Fluffy they wouldnt know unlimited if it slapped them...
ISDN speed for most stuff all afternoon and evening on a so called upto 8Mb BROADBAND product. Thank god for LLU and screw any ISP that dare deems something unlimited, when its not. I cant believe they have even added the tagline...
"Plusnet Unlimited is designed for serious Internet users and is ideal for all Internet activities."
I almost choked on my morning coffee.
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