ADSL2 Off Peak Downloads

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Bruce Evans
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ADSL2 Off Peak Downloads

Post by Bruce Evans » Sat May 29, 2010 2:35 pm

Regarding the latest ADSL2 plans (eg: OTA with phone line & AAA BYO phone line)
Referring to the following statement on your pricing page for the above plans:
" * Downloads between 2 am and 8 am do not count towards your included plan allowance from 1st June 2010 "
Can you please confirm that the statement actually means unlimited downloading at ADSL2 speed from 2-8am?
Thank you in advance.

ForumAdmin
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Re: ADSL2 Off Peak Downloads

Post by ForumAdmin » Sat May 29, 2010 5:06 pm

Bruce Evans wrote:Regarding the latest ADSL2 plans (eg: OTA with phone line & AAA BYO phone line)
Referring to the following statement on your pricing page for the above plans:
" * Downloads between 2 am and 8 am do not count towards your included plan allowance from 1st June 2010 "
Can you please confirm that the statement actually means unlimited downloading at ADSL2 speed from 2-8am?
Thank you in advance.
No it doesn't.

It means what it says - that downloads in that time period don't count towards the peak time inclusion in the various plans.

Bruce Evans
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Re: ADSL2 Off Peak Downloads

Post by Bruce Evans » Sat May 29, 2010 6:40 pm

Thanks for your reply.
So, how much can be downloaded between 2am & 8am then?
If it's the total usage for each 24 hour period that's counted, then what is the purpose of mentioning the 2-8am period?

By the way, I can't see where the statement says anying about PEAK time.
Last edited by Bruce Evans on Sat May 29, 2010 8:08 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: ADSL2 Off Peak Downloads

Post by ForumAdmin » Sat May 29, 2010 6:55 pm

There is nothing that can be added.

Bruce Evans
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Re: ADSL2 Off Peak Downloads

Post by Bruce Evans » Sat May 29, 2010 7:09 pm

Since ForumAdmin is unable or unwilling to add anything further, perhaps someone else can understand the question I'm asking and be courteous enough to answer?
Any reasonable person would assume that if downloads in that period are not counted towards the plan's allowance, then any amount could therefore be downloaded in that period.
That is what the statement on the price page says to any reasonable thinking person. Of course, if an off peak download allowance was stated for that period then that would be different, but it's not. That's why I'm asking what the off peak allowance is.
I'm a lite agent for Exetel, and as such I encourage people to join, so if anyone asks me this obvious question then how can I answer them simply by repeating the statement on the price page and saying "There is nothing that can be added?" I'm not arrogant enough to do that. I prefer to take the time to explain things properly.

Dazzled
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Re: ADSL2 Off Peak Downloads

Post by Dazzled » Sat May 29, 2010 8:14 pm

I think you have to look at the terms and conditions, particularly the definition of "Unusually High Usage", and then read clause 13.1 where unusually high usage is mentioned, followed by clause 13.3.

The company's intention is plainly to avoid unprofitable accounts and keep some freedom to move - nothing odd about that, but it looks as though we users are going to have to make some judgments of our own, rather than be told on tablets brought down from Sinai. "General average usage" is imprecise (to users), but there are clues what to do, such as:
the price we pay and the quota fraction we actually use;
a limit of a bit under 90 GB = 3 x average off-peak usage, was mentioned for the uncounted part of some recent plans (see http://forum.exetel.com.au/viewtopic.php?f=21&t=36150);
and there is JL's blog:
we will cease/have already ceased to cater for the high end down loaders in the ADSL marketplaces and reduce our 'ambitions' from offering more for less to every ADSL user to offering more for less to the marketplaces that download less than 150 gb per month.

CoreyPlover
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Re: ADSL2 Off Peak Downloads

Post by CoreyPlover » Mon May 31, 2010 1:45 pm

Bruce Evans wrote:Any reasonable person would assume that if downloads in that period are not counted towards the plan's allowance, then any amount could therefore be downloaded in that period.
I'm quite reasonable, and I don't assume that at all.

That statement simply means that downloads between 2am-8am are "unmetered". It does not mean that they are completely ignored by Exetel when it comes to establishing whether you are abusing the system by downloading excessive amounts. The unmetered period is a mechanism and incentive for users to shift non-time critical downloads to early morning hours where bandwidth is underutilised, thereby providing the means for Exetel to offer low priced ADSL2+. It is not intended to be used as a free-for-all leech-fest and your terms and conditions, and the Acceptable Usage Policy, still give warning that excessive or abnormal use can be met with disconnection.
I am a volunteer moderator and not an Exetel staff member. As with all forum posts, mine do not constitute any "official" Exetel position. Support tickets may be logged via https://helpdesk.exetel.com.au or residentialsupport@exetel.com.au

Bruce Evans
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Re: ADSL2 Off Peak Downloads

Post by Bruce Evans » Mon May 31, 2010 10:28 pm

Thanks for your reply Corey.
First let me say I agree that you’re a reasonable person and you do treat people with respect. That is always appreciated.
Perhaps I should be more specific regarding the point I’m trying to make:
Since the “uncounted off-peak downloads” statement is on Exetel’s pricing page, the reasonable persons to whom I wish to refer are naturally those most likely to read it, namely prospective customers. (Yes, most are reasonable!)
Now, does anybody really believe that prospective customers are going to have their mind on the point you raised about saving money for the ISP by downloading off-peak instead of on-peak, even though it might eventually help them, too? Isn’t it much more likely that they are simply hunting for a plan that would suit their purpose? If that’s the case, then the statement is only going to attract those who want to download extra without paying extra, and are able to schedule it overnight.
This raises two points:
1. If the prospective customer can download extra, then how much extra? I couldn’t even find a link on that page to the terms and conditions you mentioned, and even if there were a link, how can he be expected to search through every ISP’s fine print? He will naturally rely on the statements on the pricing page, and since that statement mentions “uncounted” and does not mention any limit, he could not be blamed for assuming that it is either unlimited or a con!
2. I hope I’m mistaken, but from reading other threads I get the impression that Exetel considers leechers to be some kind of enemy, and yet that statement will obviously be very attractive to leechers. And in their favour, I suspect that only leechers would download heavily enough to use any significant amount of the underutilised bandwidth of which you speak. In fact, if Exetel really would like to profit from that wasted bandwidth then I believe leechers are possibly the only ones who could help. How, do I hear you ask? Well, at least some of the people who leech hundreds of gigs of movies to watch, etc. every month can’t have time to download much else, so there’s no reason why they couldn’t do ALL their leeching off-peak, and if they were given the financial incentive to do so then Exetel wouldn’t have to buy ANY bandwidth for these customers, thereby making it profitable. So, why not introduce extra plans offering downloads limited by time instead of bytes; and with little or no on-peak downloads included. For example; unlimited ADSL2 downloads between 4am and 6am, and just 1 gig per month at other times (plus 50 cents / gig for extra on-peak downloads). The time window could be increased or even reduced further for different priced plans. Unless I’ve overlooked something (and I may have), such plans could be great for both Exetel and the leechers.

CoreyPlover
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Re: ADSL2 Off Peak Downloads

Post by CoreyPlover » Tue Jun 01, 2010 12:08 am

Bruce Evans wrote:1. If the prospective customer can download extra, then how much extra?
It would be easy for Exetel to impose a hard limit, but they seem determined to avoid that and I agree with this mentality. Once you nominate a limit, people push that limit. By having the limit "soft" it makes people rethink whether they should download copious amounts of stuff. I would concede that posting the average download usage as some indication to end users would be useful, but the basic premise is to simple not to abuse the system. (And for information, my understanding is that the average download per user is about 30GB per month, so anything above, say, 3 times that might be considered "excessive").
Bruce Evans wrote:2. I hope I’m mistaken, but from reading other threads I get the impression that Exetel considers leechers to be some kind of enemy, and yet that statement will obviously be very attractive to leechers.
Your logic is somewhat flawed when you say "leechers can be beneficial for Exetel". No ISP wants to attract people that use more than their fair share of resources. The ideal situation for Exetel is for existing (non-leeching) users to "smooth" the bandwidth demands by moving non-time critical downloads of any sort to the underutilised periods of around 3-6am. Across 100,000 users, it only takes a small change to achieve this (about 20% of downloads rescheduled say).

No matter your argument, a user that downloads hundreds of GB every month is not a viable customer for Exetel; they should seek out companies like TPG instead. The suggestion of an unlimited 4am-6am plan is intriguing, though would probably not provide too much benefit to Exetel, who seem to be going through a current cycle of plan amalgamation. Also, any sort of "unlimited" can be abused (and in reality, is highly likely to be abused because of anti-selection). Even a 2 hour a day limit on an ADSL2+ plan could rack up over 200GB per month per customer
Bruce Evans wrote: If that’s the case, then the statement is only going to attract those who want to download extra without paying extra, and are able to schedule it overnight.
When you have only one plan structure on offer, this statement is no longer true. Since the unmetered time period is provided to all, you get an averaging effect and cross-subsidies between users who select Exetel. In fact, heavy leechers can (and should) just go to TPG and AAPT since that deal is more attractive for them. This leaves a better collective of Exetel customers when it comes to sharing the unmetered 2am-8am content so everybody wins
I am a volunteer moderator and not an Exetel staff member. As with all forum posts, mine do not constitute any "official" Exetel position. Support tickets may be logged via https://helpdesk.exetel.com.au or residentialsupport@exetel.com.au

Bruce Evans
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Re: ADSL2 Off Peak Downloads

Post by Bruce Evans » Tue Jun 01, 2010 11:42 am

CoreyPlover wrote:By having the limit "soft" it makes people rethink whether they should download copious amounts of stuff.
The point is that the pricing page indicates no limit at all. So the prospective customer can only guess what he’s signing up for. How can that be right? I haven’t seen this situation on any other ISP’s pricing page (although I don't claim to have looked at them all).

CoreyPlover wrote:The ideal situation for Exetel is for existing (non-leeching) users to "smooth" the bandwidth demands
Judging from the state usage graphs shown in the user facilities a considerable amount more “smoothing” would be beneficial, and the existing non-leechering customers (so far) don’t seem to be willing or able to do it. If that’s the case then maybe only leechers can achieve this “ideal situation for Exetel” Of course, it wouldn’t actually reduce the bandwidth Exetel needs, but if it brings in more money without using more bandwidth that’s really the same thing, isn’t it? If it's not, would you please be kind enough to explain the difference?

CoreyPlover wrote:Even a 2 hour a day limit on an ADSL2+ plan could rack up over 200GB per month per customer
Yes, of course, and please explain what harm it would cause if it brings more money into Exetel’s coffers? Remember, all those gigs would otherwise be wasted and earn Exetel nothing. Furthermore, there is also such a thing as speed throttling which could be used imaginatively on different plans. I ask you sincerely; do you think Exetel prefers to earn nothing for some reason?

CoreyPlover wrote:When you have only one plan structure on offer, this statement is no longer true.
Actually the prospective customer reading the pricing page has a choice of many plans from many ISP’s so I’m afraid I don’t understand your point. However, I thought I'd explained my points adequately in my previous post, so I get the impression, and please correct me if I’m wrong, that you’re simply biased against leechers, even if they can earn money for Exetel without using extra bandwidth, and (in your words) thereby providing the means for Exetel to offer low priced ADSL2+. If my impression is correct I shall now stop banging my head against the proverbial brick wall.

CoreyPlover
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Re: ADSL2 Off Peak Downloads

Post by CoreyPlover » Tue Jun 01, 2010 12:52 pm

I am biased against leechers, as is any sensible ISP. I repeat: if you wish to download 200GB per month, go to TPG. Exetel has made it clear that they have no use, need or desire for that sort of customer.

While you might nominally declare the underutilised bandwidth as "free" and available to be sold, even to leechers, this is a fairly artificial construct that only works based on marginal accounting (that is, selling items based on their marginal costing). To highlight the inconsistency, consider the following:
* Exetel have paid a sunk cost for bandwidth to meet peak time usage
* This aggregate bandwidth purchase results in spare capacity in early am hours
* Therefore, if you employ a marginal costing argument, you can sell a plan that permits 200GB of downloads in the 4am-6am window and 1GB of downloads at other times for the absolute minimum cost of the port rental plus $1/mth and still make "profit"

This is an unfair, sub-optimal and highly cross-subsidised venture. That same bandwidth can be utilised for a greater good by allocating it evenly to existing users and this is a more optimal outcome.

The simple fact is that leechers do not make profit for ISPs; a rudimentary revenue vs expenses and a little common sense will confirm that. The underlying pitfall that many ISPs have fallen for in the past is to appear profitable because of rapid membership growth. What they don't realise (or deliberately overlook) is that but accepting leechers, the marginal costings per unit of bandwidth increases and this makes the entire userbase less profitable

I cannot answer for Exetel, but I *do* sincerely think they would prefer to have an underutilised resources that remains available to all users should the need arise than try to make a few extra bucks. They have constantly demonstrated and reiterated that their main business objective is end-user benefits, not profit.
CoreyPlover wrote:When you have only one plan structure on offer, this statement is no longer true
Exetel only offer one type of plan structure (namely xGB with an unmetered time period). Someone who is seeking to "leech" will firstly look to TPG / AAPT and not even consider Exetel. And if they decide they wish to sign up with Exetel, they will sign up for a basic plan as this is all that is available to them.

Compare and contrast this to an ISP that offers two plans: a flat xGB plan (x < 30GB say) vs a "leecher plan" that offers 200GB but only available 4am to 6am.

It is the second ISP that will attract those who "want to download extra without paying extra", not the first. It is in this manner that Exetel, by offering only one plan type that is not marketted as a "leecher" plan, avoids anti-selection issues and obtains a better pool of risks.
I am a volunteer moderator and not an Exetel staff member. As with all forum posts, mine do not constitute any "official" Exetel position. Support tickets may be logged via https://helpdesk.exetel.com.au or residentialsupport@exetel.com.au

pecifieote
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Re: ADSL2 Off Peak Downloads

Post by pecifieote » Thu Jun 03, 2010 6:05 pm

CoreyPlover wrote:I am biased against leechers, as is any sensible ISP. I repeat: if you wish to download 200GB per month, go to TPG.
I suggest Exetel impose a set limit for off peak download, above which user incurs a fee per gigabyte or user connection shaping commences. It used to be like this before (with defined quota for off-peak) why not return to this?

Bruce Evans
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Re: ADSL2 Off Peak Downloads

Post by Bruce Evans » Thu Jun 03, 2010 6:09 pm

Now that I’ve had time to digest what you seem to be saying Corey, I think I might be starting to understand.
Putting it in my words: Although “leecher plans” could be profitable, the excess bandwidth available would be used up by a relatively small number of accounts, so the profit and therefore benefit to Exetel and it’s existing customers would be relatively small and not really worth the effort of setting up and operating such plans. If that’s the case then I understand why Exetel doesn’t want to attract too many new leechers. And hopefully any existing leechers will download as little as possible during the on-peak period so Exetel can make some profit from them for the benefit of all.
On my original point however, I still think the statement on Exetel’s pricing page will be misunderstood by many prospective customers, and should be qualified by referring to the acceptable usage policy or something.
I won’t waste your time further by asking you to reply to this; I just wanted you to know that your patient explanations didn’t fall on deaf ears. Thanks also to “Dazzled” for his input.

gong_guy
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Re: ADSL2 Off Peak Downloads

Post by gong_guy » Thu Jun 03, 2010 8:47 pm

pecifieote wrote: I suggest Exetel impose a set limit for off peak download, above which user incurs a fee per gigabyte or user connection shaping commences. It used to be like this before (with defined quota for off-peak) why not return to this?
I have been with Exetel from the beginning and this issue has come up again and again and again.

The only time there appeared to be some control was when the Off Peak period was defined for a set GB. At all other times there was trouble with people knowingly or unknowing "abusing" the Off Peak period.

I think the unmetered period should be defined. With the new plans having 50 cent GB you may not need that period at all any more.

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Re: ADSL2 Off Peak Downloads

Post by ForumAdmin » Thu Jun 03, 2010 10:27 pm

gong_guy wrote:
pecifieote wrote: I suggest Exetel impose a set limit for off peak download, above which user incurs a fee per gigabyte or user connection shaping commences. It used to be like this before (with defined quota for off-peak) why not return to this?
I have been with Exetel from the beginning and this issue has come up again and again and again.

The only time there appeared to be some control was when the Off Peak period was defined for a set GB. At all other times there was trouble with people knowingly or unknowing "abusing" the Off Peak period.

I think the unmetered period should be defined. With the new plans having 50 cent GB you may not need that period at all any more.
Perhaps you're right.

Perhaps after 6 plus years we should just give up.

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