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Thursday 24 November 2005 - Thankyou PlusNet!, WebGrid fans .... blame Claranet
Thankyou PlusNet!

Thats right, I must say thankyou to PlusNet (my ISP). Not only did my connection suffer downtime this morning (don't know what time it went off as I was asleep, but it came back online around 06:45 (just before I went to work)), taking my Intranet, FTP and mail servers offline, to make matters worse, I have recently found out PlusNet, contrary to the documentation I read when I signed up, have implemented three "caps" (one for NNTP, two for *all* traffic (yep, confuses me too)).

The following, from a PlusNet press release dated 28-04-2005 says I will receive an unmetered service with no set limits, which to be fair, I have received upto now and has been fantastic, until recently.
"For the ultimate broadband experience, Broadband Premier now offers 2Mb for only 21.99, and without a set usage limit! It's perfect for experienced broadband customers who want a premium quality service for a fixed monthly cost. Broadband Premier offers a 30:1 contention on the PlusNet network whereas BT's contention at the exchange is at 50:1."
Recent problems with Usenet led me to the PlusNet forums, to which I noticed a new "Sustainable Usage Policy" (SUP) thats now says "traffic shaping" has been put in place which now see's Usenet with a brand new smiley 15GB per month limit (once this limit is reached, Usenet is then capped), and all other traffic has a limit of 30/100GB per month (once this limit is reached, the protocols are then capped).

Now, I love PlusNet, always have done, and I by no means, intend this as an insult of any description, but I cannot help but be seriously annoyed by this.

15GB for Usenet may be fine for low usage, but is no good for those of us that frequent it on a constant daily basis (incidentally, this limit applies regardless of whether I use the PlusNet, or a third party NNTP server). Similarly, 30/100GB (if I understand the new SUP correctly, it is 30GB peak time, 100GB off peak) for HTTP/FTP etc traffic is fine for low level usage, but is pretty much useless for persons such as myself that are constantly uploading/downloading one thing or another. As an added bonus, the new peak/off peak times have also been changed. Previously, peak time was 4pm - 12 midnight, the new peak time is 8AM - 12 midnight.

To add insult to injury, PlusNet announced today of the opening of their new online store (which looking at their charges, is exceedingly expensive). Now, correct me if I am wrong here, would the money this will have cost to develop, and the on-going costs of maintaining it, not have been better spent helping to remove their sustainability "issues" for their broadband customers?.

I'm going to leave my little rant there for now as the rest of it concerns the lack of response to users on their forums (which the rest of you will not be able to see unless you are PlusNet customers). In closing however, I must stress, a response I received from a fellow PlusNet user, suggests these changes also affect my Intranet/FTP/mail servers. I will of course, mention any additional information I am able to gather on this, as and when it comes in.


Sustainable Usage Policy: http://portal.plus.net/support/adsl/sustainable_usage_guide.shtml
Package/traffic explanation thingy: http://www.srae88.plus.com/res_packages.html

WebGrid fans .... blame Claranet

As if to be an ISP mess up double whammy, I thought I would pass on a note to let WebGrid fans know, Bob is unfortunately still offline. Although he now has Windows installed, and is in the process of installing all of his other applications, he is experiencing a problem with his modem connection (or lack of).

Rather than try and explain it myself, I'll instead allow Bob himself to explain whats going on.

From an e-mail via his son's PC yesterday.
"I simply do not understand it. In the past it was a matter of ... Right, remove your present modem, install the new and configure... Yeah? Easy but not with this lot. Absolute rubbish they are. The last three never even asked about my static address and other settings. Just connect... Oh, no connection, hang on I'l have a word with a colleague. Right... I want you to remove the modem and re-install. FCS!!! EIGHT TIMES I did this and no success."
.. and from an e-mail via his son's PC today.
"Update: Windows still stable but for the life of me I cannot get my modem to configure even after six phone calls to completely useless people at Claranet. Can you belive that not one of them asked me what my IP settings were? Anyway, Scott is off work this weekend so I hope his help might resolve it all. My exterior hard drive refuses to be recognised and from what I've read I might need a driver from Asus to fix it. Problem is I can't find it :("
As you can see, he is not having a good time of it (those of you thinking of using Partition Magic on a SATA (Serial ATA) drive may want to think twice here ... just a thought). I'll obviously keep you abreast of any progress.

Updated: 19:27

In typical fashion, not five minutes after I posted todays news, I received another e-mail from Bob to let me know, thanks to his son, he now has his modem working.

I'm sure I am not the only one to be glad to see he is now back amongst us. Welcome back to reality Bob.
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