Off Peak Periods

Discussions regarding new & existing plans and other Exetel initiatives
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Col
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Re: Off Peak Periods

Post by Col » Tue Nov 09, 2010 3:18 am

One off peak period option wont suit all so perhaps finally rewrite the back-end systems to allow fully customisable off peak periods and even a quasi-unlimited bandwidth-regulated option where you can download as much as you want while your download speed is determined by current network utilisation.

Or how about give everyone a long offpeak period with like 80GB and give each hour a rating out of 3. An hour with a rating of 1 means 1GB downloaded is 1GB of quota used, a rating of 2.5 means 2.5GB downloaded is 1GB of quota used, etc. Recalculate the rating monthly to guide downloads into the hours you want.

Lothlorien
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Re: Off Peak Periods

Post by Lothlorien » Tue Nov 09, 2010 4:28 pm

An end time after 11:00 am would be nice for me. I'm sick of bashing the toast crumbs out of my keyboard. :oops:

terrox
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Re: Off Peak Periods

Post by terrox » Tue Nov 09, 2010 5:25 pm

Better Gary wrote:Just as a heads up for those wanting to download but not leave machines on over night, some dl managers can be set to shut down the system after they are completed. Wont help with an impulsive dl though, or if youre facing captcha issues.
You can also use Task Scheduler to un-hibernate your computer and then hibernate it at any times. this means that your computer turns off and then turns on by itself - not the low power "sleep" mode.

This does not help when you want to watch iView though, no downloader for that.

aphasia
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Re: Off Peak Periods

Post by aphasia » Tue Nov 09, 2010 7:07 pm

i always thought the 12-12 peak/off peak was great. though i can understand some users having issues with this.

my suggestion is scrap 'unlimited' off-peak all together. bring back 12 or 10hr off peak periods that is selectable from user login page. (example 11pm-11am, 12am-12pm, 1am-1pm, 2am-2pm...etc)
have limited slots for each period so as not bottleneck a specific time.

personally i don't care which slot i get.
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Better Gary
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Re: Off Peak Periods

Post by Better Gary » Wed Nov 10, 2010 2:04 am

terrox wrote:
Better Gary wrote:Just as a heads up for those wanting to download but not leave machines on over night, some dl managers can be set to shut down the system after they are completed. Wont help with an impulsive dl though, or if youre facing captcha issues.
You can also use Task Scheduler to un-hibernate your computer and then hibernate it at any times. this means that your computer turns off and then turns on by itself - not the low power "sleep" mode.
True? Ive never tried to shedule a start time for the system itself from hibernation. Well, use that along with the download manager, but Id set the dl manager to shutdown the system when the dl is finished so it doesnt shut down or hibernate mid dl if for some reason its slower than expected.

Still, none of it solves the iView or on demand, or captcha issues. I think that just about covers the problems with dl during the wee silly hours.

Prizm
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Re: Off Peak Periods

Post by Prizm » Wed Nov 10, 2010 9:39 am

First, I would like to know how much capping/limiting/de-prioritizing (whatever is the catchword of the month), if any, is applied during off-peak times. Whether it's the capping of file sharing sites, video sites like YouTube, or torrents. Because I would rather have proper bandwidth in the first place than adding another hour to off-peak.

As for the off-peak times, I'd be fine with:

1. Adding an hour on the end to make in end at 9am. That gives us people who actually work for a living (lol) some extra time for a quick download we didn't plan for, or browsing of high bandwidth sites like news sites with video or YouTube.

or:

2. Having 3 or 4 off-peak time slots that one can choose from. And if you don't like your current timeslot, then you can have it changed for the following month.

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CoreyPlover
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Re: Off Peak Periods

Post by CoreyPlover » Wed Nov 10, 2010 9:44 am

Prizm wrote:First, I would like to know how much capping/limiting/de-prioritizing (whatever is the catchword of the month), if any, is applied during off-peak
None, to my knowledge. More accurately, no capping/limiting/de-prioritising is done at any aggregate level though I think it was stated that a handful of people (less than 10) were being manually limited for some reason.

Edit: 11 people back in September were constrained during off-peak: viewtopic.php?p=282118#p282118
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

specul8
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A 50/50 split and a return to First-Class / Second-Class Use

Post by specul8 » Thu Nov 11, 2010 6:37 am

I'd like to see off-peak periods extended to greater than 6 hours. At this time it seems like a bit of a false economy, where 65% of my available download is restricted to 25% of my daily window. I'd much rather have it split so it was 50/50.

For people who "Game", VOIP or watch IPTV, Exetel is one of the few ISP's that do not do any throttling of connections and latency is always low, so I'm not really sure how the "Off-peak" period is detremental to these services - however as a heavy downloader of TV Shows I would not mind being in a user class where Service priority was given to other users.

A while ago, Exetel had an Off-peak user class you could elect to be in where you received much better response times, reduced contention, etc - essentially a "First-Class" internet pipe - but with limitations on the amount you could download during these times. It was specifically designed for people who were not heavy users but needed quality services like Gaming and VoIP.
I believe the general perception around widespread adoption of this service was that there were strong penalties if you abused it by going over the nominated amount - the way to better manage it might be to auto-switch those users who did exceed the download limits to the "second-class" pool until the next off-peak period, with a permanent switch if you exceed it 5 times until the next month - no interruption of service, but the possibility of more contention. With the spreading usage of IPTV the allowed amount would have to be adjusted accordingly.
Essentially you want to offer people better service assurances and prevent the PFY's from regularly abusing the service to download their ISO's 0.01% faster. You want to encourage people to try it out if that suits their needs while giving them a chance to modify their usage behaviour before the "End of Month Lock-out" happens (thus the reset for the first 4 "overs").

To sum up: I'd like to see a 50/50 split in hours (if not bandwidth) maybe from midnight to midday, with the ability to elect to go into a special user class where I could get better service assurances for lighter overall usage (if that's what I wanted to do).

Franpa
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Re: A 50/50 split and a return to First-Class / Second-Class

Post by Franpa » Thu Nov 11, 2010 4:34 pm

specul8 wrote:For people who "Game", VOIP or watch IPTV, Exetel is one of the few ISP's that do not do any throttling of connections and latency is always low, so I'm not really sure how the "Off-peak" period is detremental to these services - however as a heavy downloader of TV Shows I would not mind being in a user class where Service priority was given to other users.
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Tazz
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Re: Off Peak Periods

Post by Tazz » Thu Nov 11, 2010 5:21 pm

terrox wrote:
Better Gary wrote:Just as a heads up for those wanting to download but not leave machines on over night, some dl managers can be set to shut down the system after they are completed. Wont help with an impulsive dl though, or if youre facing captcha issues.
You can also use Task Scheduler to un-hibernate your computer and then hibernate it at any times. this means that your computer turns off and then turns on by itself - not the low power "sleep" mode.

This does not help when you want to watch iView though, no downloader for that.
Doesn't help with an old computer that doesn't have 'hibernate' either...

Better Gary
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Re: Off Peak Periods

Post by Better Gary » Thu Nov 11, 2010 6:42 pm

Tazz wrote: Doesn't help with an old computer that doesn't have 'hibernate' either...
How old? :mrgreen:

Tazz
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Re: Off Peak Periods

Post by Tazz » Thu Nov 11, 2010 6:55 pm

Better Gary wrote:
Tazz wrote: Doesn't help with an old computer that doesn't have 'hibernate' either...
How old? :mrgreen:
7 years, it has 'Stand By' but I don't know if that is the same thing...

maestro
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Re: Off Peak Periods

Post by maestro » Thu Nov 11, 2010 8:38 pm

I think it would be best (both to smooth the bandwidth, and fairness to users) if there was a compromise allowed between download speed and off-peak time. Lighter users could elect to be throttled during off-peak and be rewarded with longer off-peak time. The options would need to be tweaked to suit usage patterns, but an example would be...
Unlimited - 6 hours
Limit to 6Mb/s - 8 hours
Limit to 4Mb/s - 10 hours
Limit to 2Mb/s - 12 hours
This would balance out some of the issues for users with really slow connections, while spreading the off-peak startup loading (I would guess that the slower connections would be less of a hit on the bandwidth than the high speed ones).

I am currently on the older 12-12 off-peak period plan as it will allow me to download an entire 4.5GB ISO in one night. I am on an unlimited ADSL2 plan, however my modem only syncs at around 1.7Mb (due to long distance to the exchange). I don't download many ISOs (last month's off-peak usage was 6.1GB) but it is important to me that they don't take several nights to download. I also calculated that due to my sync speed there is no way I could possibly use the new plan's off-peak allowance within a month, so there is little incentive for me to move to the newer plans.

I have a download manager set to start at midnight and stop at midday (I am not worried about a bit of overflow into the peak plans, we only used 2.1GB peak last month). I generally leave it seeding permanently as my downloads are legal - GPL licensed software - and simply add any downloads I find throughout the day and they are waiting for me the next morning.

Also, I don't understand why people are complaining that the off-peak times are not convenient for them. I see the off-peak period as being governed by usage patterns (we get off-peak when there is low usage) and it is "cheap" (high quota allowance) because it is undesirable. Off-peak then becomes useful to users who can automate downloads to take advantage of that low usage period and becomes an incentive to change usage patterns to "spread the load". To that end, I don't really care when the off-peak period is (I can simply configure my download manager), my concern is the length of off-peak period each day.

Also, an important item in this discussion... Does Exetel pay for bytes transferred, or for available bandwidth on their uplinks (or a combination of both). If the charge is purely for available bandwidth, then there is definitely a good reason to want to flatten the bandwidth trend.

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CoreyPlover
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Re: Off Peak Periods

Post by CoreyPlover » Thu Nov 11, 2010 9:06 pm

maestro wrote:Also, I don't understand why people are complaining that the off-peak times are not convenient for them. I see the off-peak period as being governed by usage patterns (we get off-peak when there is low usage) and it is "cheap" (high quota allowance) because it is undesirable. Off-peak then becomes useful to users who can automate downloads to take advantage of that low usage period and becomes an incentive to change usage patterns to "spread the load".
This is the *exact* intention of off-peak. If only more people reasoned as perfectly as you
maestro wrote:Also, an important item in this discussion... Does Exetel pay for bytes transferred, or for available bandwidth on their uplinks (or a combination of both). If the charge is purely for available bandwidth, then there is definitely a good reason to want to flatten the bandwidth trend.
Correct: available bandwidth. They provision a total bandwidth that is enough to ensure there is no (or very little) contention on Exetel's network during peak, and then try whatever incentives they can to fill the resulting gaps in the underutilised periods to get the most bang for their buck
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

Better Gary
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Re: Off Peak Periods

Post by Better Gary » Fri Nov 12, 2010 3:17 am

Well one reason why people complain about download managers and off peak times when normal people are asleep is not all download sources can be accessed automatically, therefore to use it they must be awake and at the computer and for some that is 2am, not 12. Captcha or recaptcha (whatever they are called) techniques are getting better and better and dl managers are unable to deal with them. And the sites that use these techniques are not purey driven by illegal activities. Exetel already prune those who take advantage of the dl quotas, so they too are paying their way.

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