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Zen say no to traffic shaping whilst doubling usage allowances
Tuesday 04 May 2010 12:15:46 by John Hunt

Broadband provider Zen have announced today that they are to double monthly usage allowances on their Lite, Active, Pro and Office range of products from the 1st of June. Usage allowances will automatically increase for users and there will be no change to prices for these broadband products.

Product Current Usage allowance New Usage allowance Price
Zen Lite 5GB 10GB £17.99
Zen Active 25GB 50GB £24.99
Zen Pro 50GB 100GB £34.99
Zen Office 100GB 200GB £45.00

Zen are also confirming their commitment to not having a fair usage policy or implementing traffic shaping. Their mission statement is "to provide the best ISP service in the UK" and they intend to continuing to do this through investment in the network which will provide excess capacity at peak times rather than implementing traffic shaping that will limit user's speeds.

"We do not implement a Fair Usage Policy (FUP) or traffic shaping as we believe they are misleading for customers. All our services have broadband usage allowances which are clearly stated when you order the service. You can therefore choose the product you require depending on how you intend to use your broadband service."

Zen Internet Statement

Comments

Posted by cyberdoyle over 6 years ago
Good for Zen. Have always thought they are a good (and fair) ISP.
Posted by zyborg47 over 6 years ago
That is better, the usage was a bit naff for the price they charged before.
Posted by shahvikram123 over 6 years ago
def agree with the last post.the usage allowance before was a bit low so i very much welcome the increase in usage allowance...:)
Posted by mikeblogs over 6 years ago
So what happens in the peak 3 hours? Are they offering more than the 2MBps- 90% of the 3 hour period, or is it the 4 Mbps-90% of the 3 hour for WBC - or can they do better, with lower latency?
Posted by asylum_seeker over 6 years ago
QUOTE
"We do not implement a Fair Usage Policy (FUP) ...."

Sorry if i appear to be a bit thick, but surely the above statement could only be true if Zen didn't have download limits in the first place? Even Zen's top package Zen Office Max @£79 pm has fair usage policy of 1000GB. The above statement is a bit like Pizza Hut advertising an all-you-can-eat buffet with a maximum of 2 pizzas per person!
Posted by Copyrightimage over 6 years ago
Phew!
Just in time
I was going to switch to bt who are sole provider on my monopoly exchange who can offer unlimited bandwidth (well more than 25gb per month anyway)
the right thing to do Zen
Posted by Middone over 6 years ago
Like the way you put that asylum_seeker , your not thick mate , it's perfectly true what you are saying.
Posted by russianmonkey over 6 years ago
I wonder how they can manage this if a lot of people then use the service at once?
Posted by cyberdoyle over 6 years ago
If a lot use it at once it sounds like they are gonna buy more transit rather than use traffic shaping as most of the others do at peak times. A fair usage policy usually cancels out the advertised service. If Zen ain't gonna do a FUP then they must be meaning to deliver what they say? A download limit is just that, you get what you pay for. Some other ISPs offer 'unlimited' which is a joke when you read their small print.
Posted by russianmonkey over 6 years ago
Well at least they're showing their limits, many other providers don't.
Posted by rian over 6 years ago
They are fair as the limit is showing clearly. Unlike other ISP, selling UNLIMITED limited broadband...
Posted by mishminx over 6 years ago
It is less a FUP and more a packaged service. So akin to pizza hut offering any five pizzas for 25 quid. A FUP would be any five pizzas for 25 quid with a maximum of xyz toppings or subject to them all being cheese an tomato or last nights left overs.
Posted by Assegai over 6 years ago
@ asylum_seeker thick perhaps not, ill informed as to how the ISP industry works sounds more accurate. A FUP is a just a piece of nonsense which allows big ISP's to mislead your average user. I'm waiting for the day someone tells me that my £25 a month would be better spend with say BT rather than my current ISP because BT will give me unlimited!!!

I was wondering when Zen would do this since IDNet a rather similar rival in many ways already increased its allowances months ago, more ISPs like these are needed. Down with traffic shaping!


Posted by c_j_ over 6 years ago
"I wonder how they can manage this if a lot of people then use the service at once? "

Excellent question. I think users have to keep their fingers crossed, because when that does happen, e.g. next time there's a real big news event...

There's an instantaneous limit to bandwidth, whereas usage quotas manage "average" usage over the month. They're only part of the solution (and the answer is *not* infinite bandwidth).
Posted by CommanderZendo over 6 years ago
"I wonder how they can manage this if a lot of people then use the service at once? "

Simple really and all answered here:


http://www.zen.co.uk/about/uncovering-fair-usage-policies-and-traffic-shaping.aspx
Posted by c_j_ over 6 years ago
Not really answered. (Zen employee?)

The quotas attempt to match monthly average income with monthly average costs, based on the various usage tiers, and hopefully most of the time work well for Zen and their customers (and for ISPs with similar tariffs).

But what happens when there is a sudden and unusual short term peak in bandwidth demand (e.g. a major news event)? For the service not to degrade surely you either need a huge (and thus unaffordable) quantity of normally unused Central capacity (or 21CN equivalent) or some clever bandwidth-management stuff?
Posted by CommanderZendo over 6 years ago
We have more than enough spare capacity to handle network spikes due to events like those mentioned. We invest in our network, backhaul etc. Thats why we aren't the cheapest but equally we are also not an ISP who manages when you can and can't use specific applications at various on/off peak times.

No bandwidth management on our network jsut pure old fashioned bandwidth and plenty of it when we and our customers need it.

Posted by c_j_ over 6 years ago
"We have more than enough spare capacity to handle network spikes due to events like those mentioned"

So you say. But like every other ISP you're not offering uncontended connectivity, because it would be unaffordable. So you cannot honestly claim "pure old fashioned bandwidth and plenty of it when we and our customers need it". There will be contention, and maybe congestion, one day.
Posted by Assegai over 6 years ago
There is at least one ISP who offer uncontended connectivity as an option, its not a cheap option but it is out there.
Posted by chrysalis over 6 years ago
why are people so confused? zen dont oversubscribe their network that is why they can do what they do. Their contention ratio is obviously superior to other isp's who need to traffic shape.
Posted by superbike999 over 6 years ago
I left Zen for O2 about 18 months ago, due to their high prices for what they were offering. There is little doubt that they have only increased the usage allowance due to customers realising that there is a world beyond Zen. I certainly don't regret moving to O2. I do however wish Zen success as they are a decent company.
Posted by c_j_ over 6 years ago
It seems that AG's (TB's) Seb doesn't agree with CommanderZenDo (or indeed with any ISP claiming "unlimited"):
http://www.thinkbroadband.com/news/i/4234.html
Posted by winston_wolf over 6 years ago
if your transit links and your links into the DSL network providers never get near max, then the concept of "contention ratio" is irrelevant - you aren't contending if you can always get what you need. They use capacity management theory, tracking the peak and the average versus the max available on those links, so there is ALWAYS enough room for the next big burst of traffic. As the usage grows over time, then you add more capacity. simple. The big difference is at what point (peak/average use vs max available) do you initiate your next upgrade.Zen do it a lot sooner than most.
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