Back To The Future?

Discussions regarding new & existing plans and other Exetel initiatives
ForumAdmin
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Back To The Future?

Post by ForumAdmin » Mon Oct 12, 2009 10:53 am

AAPT's new plan that allows a user an 'of peak" period of unlimited downloads between 8 pm and 8 am is, in my opinion, the best innovation in ADSL services for a very long time.

It's a very compelling plan, except perhaps for its price and I'm not sure whether there is requirement to bundle in the telephone line with the 'free calls' - but irrespective of that it is a great innovation....though, again, $50.00 for an ADSL2 service with only 5 gb of 'peak' usage seems too little for the family market the ad is clearly aimed at.

Exetel has been examining how we can provide IP bandwidth at much lower costs than we do today and have received some interesting offers from different providers. We will make a decision on which way to go over the next few days.

One option that this allows us is the ability to offer something similar to the AAPT plan but at a more realistic price and with perhaps some 'peak time' options.

We would only offer this type of plan on the recently revised 'no frills' plans by either changing the peak/off peak period back to a 12 hour time frame and making the 60 gb unlimited.

Alternatively we would just add either one or two 12 hour/unlimited download plans.

Any ideas suggestions would be welcomed as always. (No, there is no chance that the 'old' plans would be changed to include these features).

JasonM

Re: Back To The Future?

Post by JasonM » Mon Oct 12, 2009 10:58 am

"Unlimited" would cause a user to feel there is no 'data they are paying for', leaving it open ended for EU's to download whatever amount.
I think the average volume could drop after the initial 'all you can eat' wears off (there's no 'rush to use all the remaining quota').
Unlike the, 150GB off peak plans some competitors have, the Unlimited offering could spike even more interest.

James
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Re: Back To The Future?

Post by James » Mon Oct 12, 2009 1:33 pm

As one of our agents pointed out;

* Peak allowance of only 5GB
* Shaped 24/7 once peak allowance has been reached

ryanb
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Re: Back To The Future?

Post by ryanb » Mon Oct 12, 2009 2:06 pm

JasonM wrote:I think the average volume could drop after the initial 'all you can eat' wears off (there's no 'rush to use all the remaining quota').
I don't think so. People will always find more stuff to download and if the plan is continued there will be new users spiking it regularly.

Question; would what happen if such a plan was implemented to thousands of customers for example, and the network couldn't handle it all?
.

JasonM

Re: Back To The Future?

Post by JasonM » Mon Oct 12, 2009 2:13 pm

ryanb wrote:Question; would what happen if such a plan was implemented to thousands of customers for example, and the network couldn't handle it all?
If you add thousands of profitable users, you should get enough profits to enhance the network further. The cycle repeats. Add more users, add more bandwidth, incorporate additional bandwidth costs into pricing of service.

nihonjin
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Re: Back To The Future?

Post by nihonjin » Mon Oct 12, 2009 7:42 pm

If your suggesting that you plan to change the new no frills to also include 12 hour off peak instead off the currently set 8 hours and to also make this time unlimited then i say go for it. It seems you will once again be setting the standard for pricing and value and leave all competitors for dead.

But can your ip bandwith cope with such a change? This seems we will be back where we started a month or so ago and people will be starting their downloads back at midnight or whenever you decide to start the off peak.

hope you do decide to bring back the 12 hour off peak and whether or not you keep it at 60G or make it unlimited im not fussed either way both are generous offers.

David R
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Re: Back To The Future?

Post by David R » Tue Oct 13, 2009 7:09 am

Part of the beauty of the 60GB cap was that as members came upon it, they would become charged, or shaped, or in some way a limit would be marked, and that would free up meaningful space inside of the shared pipe, for the remainder of the month - sensible regulation or what would in fact be overridden in the event of 'who can download the most/pooled the first'.

Im sure such a system, if revived, would be welcomed by most. But what of the target; this time a no frills pack paying no frills prices who'd surely be happy taking up 100 or 200, or who knows maybe 300 gigabytes(!if allowed)- more consumption between fewer subscribers just so the volumes achieved by heavy downloaders can be put inside a bulletin which the GM will then gladly post up..well it may as well be shown to work effectively based on figures recorded in the past....

But based on unlimited what chance do the <1.5Mbit/capped userbase really have in competing with those 10Mbit-uncapped connections used by 'the other half'; realistically, these guys on superfast connections have a good head start ??
doing some basic math suggests I'd be down loading SUNDAY-thru to Wednesday/every week, to claim a share like 1'00' GB- and I use better than P2P most of the time.
(that's assuming a ~1:2 ratio is sound: as I currently finance '45 gigabytes' a month I am potentially interested in this concept for its off-peak and variable peak usage properties-or I might be thinking more PAYU concept)

12hours x 4days x 4weeks x 0.5GB/h non-stop= 96GB for data off-peak.. should do the trick, in good faith that my speed won't be outflanked by some ADSL2-speed groups' 'infiltration' of unlimited.

I suppose colour pools and (ab)user lists will be back on the task lists for SW and JL;and while I personally believe they'll have a hard time topping the, IMO already perfect '2am-to-2pm downloads window,' this latest product should be interesting to watch evolve and see how it compares to the last time free-time was a period. :D
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Re: Back To The Future?

Post by vk3xem » Tue Oct 13, 2009 10:23 am

I think the idea of off-peak is something we should get away from. A single, large quota of 60 or 80 gig that can be used 24/7 would have to be more attractive and would hopefully spread usage out over the 24 hour hour period rather than a huge spike the moment off-peak kicks in.
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David R
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Re: Back To The Future?

Post by David R » Tue Oct 13, 2009 12:42 pm

This seems part of the motivation for ForumAdmin writing yesterday's blog and feeling inspired; as AAPT's designation was seen as making use of an unconventional time zone to offer the incentive for night-time traffic not to interfere with people's interactive/daytime use of protocols i.e. a 8pm -8am window was chosen.

I wonder how the flexi-peak idea is being received by Exetel; given the extent it is operating here, and which has been suggested recently by some one initially in reply to your blog, who had sought the pioneering of this option.

I'd also support having a second windows as a binary alternative to the first and used to load balance traffic in general.

Let's say peak is available (with some overlap between options) for 16 hours a day but you can select only one of two single-12 hour blocks used for your interactive apps. In which case, I would nominate 9am -9pm reflect the 'standard peak'
while perhaps 5am -5pm could be an option for early birds.. also 5pm turning in to off-peak, fits with http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/c ... 240&p2=179 1am NY-time the night before.:wink:
Last edited by David R on Tue Oct 13, 2009 12:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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sedaai
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Re: Back To The Future?

Post by sedaai » Tue Oct 13, 2009 12:51 pm

What's the possibility of staggering the start time of the 'unlimited' users by an hour or so to avoid any sudden rush of traffic from 12am. Maybe allow the user to select a preference but have a backend script which balances the load across three intervals to ensure continuity and quality of service across all customers.

Other then that it seems like a great idea providing you don't inherit back the customers who would use every last possible bit of data. The main negative of those aapt plans is that peak allowances are reasonably low, you need to bundle a home phone & it's only available on a 24month contract. If you can remove those drawbacks you would be hard pressed to find an offering from an alternative quality ISP that comes even close to matching Exetel.

Great to see an ISP who is actively listening to users suggestions and is continually striving to provide a quality service at a low cost to the end user. I can't say that for many other providers in the telecommunications industry.

Ravenous
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Re: Back To The Future?

Post by Ravenous » Tue Oct 13, 2009 1:26 pm

If this is to happen, I beleive that the choice of off-peak start times should be ressurected and expanded upon. (e.g. 4 choices, 2000 - 0800, 2200 - 1000, 2400 - 1200 & 0200 - 1400 ). Spread the distribution as sedaii has indicated by removing certain options if they become oversubscribed.
sedaai wrote:Maybe allow the user to select a preference but have a backend script which balances the load across three intervals to ensure continuity and quality of service across all customers.
The simplified structure of ADSL2 plans is nice and neat and easier to understand than the previous messy 'added value' and 'no frills' iteration. Please stick to this!

Would prices on current plans go up if they become "unlimited off-peak"?

The "unlimited off-peak" carrot to tempt me into paying a higher fee for the same peak data allowance would not be enough encouragement for me personally (if I was a new customer). If this was to happen (increased monthly fees on current plans for "unlimited off-peak" pay-off) I would go for one of the Pay As You Use plans, minimise my use and hope that the per GB rates for the PAYU plans will improve further over time.

CoreyPlover
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Re: Back To The Future?

Post by CoreyPlover » Tue Oct 13, 2009 2:52 pm

I think the biggest concern that this would pose to customers is whether the take-up of "unlimited" plans would contribute or exacerbate congestion and degraded speeds for other users; It is one thing to voluntarily accept potentially reduced speed in exchange for unlimited quota, it is another entirely to have potentially reduced speeds when you didn't wish for unlimited quota.

Would pools of bandwidth be segregated between these two styles of plans? What safeguards would there be to prevent congestion at commencement of off-peak like the current 2am-4am and 8am-midday intervals?

I definitely think that user selected intervals of off-peak would go a long way in smoothing out aggregate usage and I think this innovation has merits. I also think that segregation of bandwidth, or possibly the re-introduction of the "fair play" pool may be required to ensure fair user experiences (or at least, and possibly more importantly, the perception of fair user experience).

My reading of the innovation is that Exetel might be implementing flexible / dynamically supplied bandwidth? That is, bandwidth that increases and decreases in line with user demand? If so, this would go some way to alleviating the current situation of concentrated times of congestion, but unless the limits are quite generous, I suspect that times of significant congestion may remain.

The other possibility is to introduce the opposite of the "fair play" pool. i.e. the "unlimited pool". At any time, users can opt into the unlimited pool allowing all usage to become unmetered. This can be at a cost, say $1 per 24 hour interval, or if the pool is segregated from the main pool, then it can be provided at no cost and to all users on qualifying plans, and those users that opt in can simply participate in a share of the bandwidth dedicated to unlimited usage.

Col
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Re: Back To The Future?

Post by Col » Tue Oct 13, 2009 6:57 pm

Unlimited offpeak and a return to a 12 hour period are both very interesting proposals. I think if you were to do unlimited offpeak on all plans then you will have an increase in the number of people going for the cheapest plan and hogging all the offpeak bandwidth. I think I would choose to increase the offpeak time to 12 hours on the current plans (and maybe a small quota jump) while at the same time having unlimited offpeak in a 8-10 hour window on a couple of new plans.

Is this stuff only applying to the ADSL2+ plans? Can we expect to say good bye to the added value ADSL1 plans soon and the ADSL1 no frill plans get a makeover like the ADSL2+ plans did?

On the topic of unlimited, have you thought of creating some completely unlimited plans (perhaps at just ADSL1 speeds for now) at a suitable price for anyone interested?

ryanb
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Re: Back To The Future?

Post by ryanb » Tue Oct 13, 2009 10:44 pm

vk3xem wrote:I think the idea of off-peak is something we should get away from. A single, large quota of 60 or 80 gig that can be used 24/7 would have to be more attractive and would hopefully spread usage out over the 24 hour hour period rather than a huge spike the moment off-peak kicks in.
You really don't see the problem with this? Why would people bother scheduling downloads at all if they can conveniently start them all at 8pm, and coincidentally when everyone is online doing other http tasks.
.

CoreyPlover
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Re: Back To The Future?

Post by CoreyPlover » Tue Oct 13, 2009 11:59 pm

ryanb wrote:
vk3xem wrote:I think the idea of off-peak is something we should get away from. A single, large quota of 60 or 80 gig that can be used 24/7 would have to be more attractive and would hopefully spread usage out over the 24 hour hour period rather than a huge spike the moment off-peak kicks in.
You really don't see the problem with this? Why would people bother scheduling downloads at all if they can conveniently start them all at 8pm, and coincidentally when everyone is online doing other http tasks.
The argument of whether to have an off-peak vs peak interval is not a trivial one. True, off-peak means that any congestion is limited to certain, convenient time intervals. But the counterargument to that is that if no such distinction existed then perhaps downloads would become spread more evenly throughout the day. These counter arguments make it difficult to predict the resulting behaviour should off-peak / peak be abolished.

My opinion is that off-peak still has it's place in high quota and unlimited internet plans. My thoughts are that there would be fairly prominent surges in usage patterns should quotas be unrestricted (i.e. between downloads would be queued around 7-8am before people leave for work / school and again at 4pm upon returning home and again at 7-8pm after dinner and upon settling down for the evening). For these reasons I think that any unlimited usage should be tailored to lie between these susceptible periods.

Again, trying to think of left-field ideas: why not link unlimited usage time interval directly to bandwidth? That is, use the last week or month of data to determine exactly which hourly intervals are underutilised and tell users that for the next week / month usage in those intervals is unmetered. Call it "happy hour" or something.

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