Unlimited broadband plans: what is the future?

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Samuel

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I don't believe in the concept of unlimited broadband plans. I prefer to get standard quality services than so-called unlimited plans which delivers you an awful experience for free [like the Customer support you get with MTNL]. I just know, Rs700- 20Gb bandwidth with 1mbps data transfer and when the user consumes the b/w reduction in speed to 256kbps, fits my need.
 
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hplp20

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What happens if we cross whatever limit you have in mind?
 
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mgcarley

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I don't believe in the concept of unlimited broadband plans. I prefer to get standard quality services than so-called unlimited plans which delivers you an awful experience for free [like the Customer support you get with MTNL].
I just know, Rs700- 20Gb bandwidth with 1mbps data transfer and when the user consumes the b/w reduction in speed to 256kbps, fits my need.

On our lite plans we would give I think 30GB for this price but no reduction in speed to 256kbit/s. Reducing speed is a stupid idea and annoying - and technically speaking, would force us to raise the plan prices to compensate for an extra few GBs to be consumed at 256k.

What happens if we cross whatever limit you have in mind?

...Nothing. Unless you go WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY over and it affects other users, then we might call you up or SMS you and ask you to curb your usage... of course, if it happens like 3 months in a row we might ask you to upgrade your plan... and failing that then we might have to take remedial measures.
 
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Daddycool

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Mathew for the record, in your post 102 the last two quotes are Abhishek's but you attribute those quotes to me.Abhishek you misunderstand my statement re: cloud computing. I believe one of the main impetuses for cloud computing is savings in software license cost. How many Indian households are actually attuned to the concept of paying for license today? That is what I meant.Secondly, we have traditionally been a low labour cost country and therefore have always been reluctant to pay for anything like services as opposed to a physical product. This is going to be another obstacle to cloud making headway for the home consumer here.Regarding your suggestion of reducing a 5 mbps connection to 3 mbps speed when crossing the FU threshold, that would be no deterrent at all IMHO. The leecher would continue to transact his nefarious business unhindered.
 
Samuel

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On our lite plans we would give I think 30GB for this price but no reduction in speed to 256kbit/s. Reducing speed is a stupid idea and annoying - and technically speaking, would force us to raise the plan prices to compensate for an extra few GBs to be consumed at 256k.

Actually, I was considering companies benefit. Otherwise what I had in mind was 30 GB for that price. But, the issue is when we become addicted to great speeds :D we eat bandwidth like anything. So, reducing the speed calms the insanity that the user develops. And to be really honest? People like me who are not into piracy and illegal downloads, will be fine with that Fair Usage Policy. Only companies like MTNL/BSNL can offer unlimited stuff as they have government to bail them out :D , I was expecting Airtel to change the situations but, its acting really sick -_-

Whatever you are saying sounds good.

Airtel failed on us, we don't have any assurance that you won't.
 
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mgcarley

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Mathew for the record, in your post 102 the last two quotes are Abhishek's but you attribute those quotes to me.

Sorry about that. Fixed.

Abhishek you misunderstand my statement re: cloud computing. I believe one of the main impetuses for cloud computing is savings in software license cost. How many Indian households are actually attuned to the concept of paying for license today? That is what I meant.
Secondly, we have traditionally been a low labour cost country and therefore have always been reluctant to pay for anything like services as opposed to a physical product. This is going to be another obstacle to cloud making headway for the home consumer here.


I disagree to some extent - you pay for mobile and telephone services, cable TV, broadband, electricity and surely a myriad of other things... yes yes, basically things that you can see... but really, how different is cloud computing any different from any of these services?

The servers are located far away and generally "out of reach" - but so is the power plant, the phone exchange, the TV broadcasting station and most of the Internet: the only way to access any of what these facilities offer is quite literally through the wire provided by the respective provider (or via the mobile base-station, as it were).

Regarding your suggestion of reducing a 5 mbps connection to 3 mbps speed when crossing the FU threshold, that would be no deterrent at all IMHO. The leecher would continue to transact his nefarious business unhindered.

Pretty much.
 


arunodayt

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I think that if you are going to charge the extra usage at the reasonable rates that you mention then you will be trouble free for the most part. However, there are two things you must keep in mind:

1. Computer literacy - There are Viruses and all the different kinds of malware out there and they are more likely to strike the not so knowledgable users. Same goes for wifi hacking etc. You may run into some tricky situations, however, you will be in a better situation because of your reasonable rates. I am telling you that getting a 10000 bill for a 600/month connection is a nasty, nasty shock. You will probably not suffer from this.

2. Needs vs Wants - I don't know if this is the appropriate way to present it, but you must keep in mind the distinction between necessary utilities and desirable ones. Even for someone like me, an internet connection is nowhere near power, water and telephone connections. Conversely, if the quality of any of these services were to be halved (FUP?), I would be much more angry than if the same were to happen to my net connection.

What happens if we cross whatever limit you have in mind?

This is going to be another one of your problems. Despite the fact that you have written detailed posts explaining this, people still have doubts. I hope you realise that for many people your unwillingness to clearly specify the limits and restrictions on data usage will be a negative signal. You will look kind of shifty, shady new company who will not take a clear position. Especially since many of these people have dealt with the devious Airtel and Reliance agents. You will have to have really good sales people who will to convince sceptics, unless you plan to deal with them yourself ;)

Personally, I am looking forward to some of the fixed data usage plans with tremendous speeds. Credit/Debit cards should make buying extra data hassle free. I am not in the mood to continue paying 1000/month to Airtel for a very limited 512kbps connection. Can you direct me to a recent post/webpage which has the tentative costs and expected launch time of you services in Delhi?
 
Samuel

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If people are not so knowledgeable then they will suffer. Company is giving internet, I guess company can just hand them a brochure on how to avoid such situations for the customers own benefit. Internet Service Providers should be given permission to submit heavy downloader's list to Cyber police.I mean what the hell do they download, that needs unlimited bandwidth? And they show anger I mean :D
 
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mgcarley

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I think that if you are going to charge the extra usage at the reasonable rates that you mention then you will be trouble free for the most part. However, there are two things you must keep in mind:

1. Computer literacy - There are Viruses and all the different kinds of malware out there and they are more likely to strike the not so knowledgable users. Same goes for wifi hacking etc. You may run into some tricky situations, however, you will be in a better situation because of your reasonable rates. I am telling you that getting a 10000 bill for a 600/month connection is a nasty, nasty shock. You will probably not suffer from this.


Well, considering that there is no over-use charges on any plans, and all data-plans are pre-paid, the possibility of receiving a huge bill would be impossible.

We do this to allow the subscriber absolute control over their monthly spend. If you get a 30GB plan, you get 30GB of usage, and then you'll need to top up your data: the lite-plans don't have over-usage charges either, but the deal is basically the same.

2. Needs vs Wants - I don't know if this is the appropriate way to present it, but you must keep in mind the distinction between necessary utilities and desirable ones. Even for someone like me, an internet connection is nowhere near power, water and telephone connections. Conversely, if the quality of any of these services were to be halved (FUP?), I would be much more angry than if the same were to happen to my net connection.


The Internet is on the way to being "a necessity" - already it seems that there is disadvantage to people who lack access. Granted it's not necessary for life, but it *can* be used to improve the quality of life, education and so forth.

This is going to be another one of your problems. Despite the fact that you have written detailed posts explaining this, people still have doubts. I hope you realise that for many people your unwillingness to clearly specify the limits and restrictions on data usage will be a negative signal. You will look kind of shifty, shady new company who will not take a clear position. Especially since many of these people have dealt with the devious Airtel and Reliance agents. You will have to have really good sales people who will to convince sceptics, unless you plan to deal with them yourself ;)


You don't understand. The best we can do is recommend to people an "appropriate" plan based on their usage, but at this time, there ARE no limits. If we were going to put limits on our flat-rate plans, it would probably be in the form of traffic-management at peak hours, but otherwise if we put out a solid number, we might as well not have flat-rate plans at all and sell only data-plans.

Personally, I am looking forward to some of the fixed data usage plans with tremendous speeds. Credit/Debit cards should make buying extra data hassle free. I am not in the mood to continue paying 1000/month to Airtel for a very limited 512kbps connection. Can you direct me to a recent post/webpage which has the tentative costs and expected launch time of you services in Delhi?

Yes, we will accept credit cards. I have just pulled down our pricing brochure until Hayai is ready to launch: estimated timeframe is 3-months after Mumbai but even that date is currently not certain, as some things at my end (in NZ) need to be sorted out: I refer you to here https://broadbandforum.co/hayai-broadband/56683-hayai-broadband-faqs/30/#post429623

If people are not so knowledgeable then they will suffer. Company is giving internet, I guess company can just hand them a brochure on how to avoid such situations for the customers own benefit.


Unfortunately it *is* the customers responsibility to keep his or her computer clean and free of malware - we can try and impose a cordon if we notice unusual traffic originating from a certain location, but we can't police everything. As for WiFi, the devices we will give are of course set to WPA2 so WiFi hacking shouldn't be something we have to deal with too often.

Internet Service Providers should be given permission to submit heavy downloader's list to Cyber police.
I mean what the hell do they download, that needs unlimited bandwidth? And they show anger I mean :D

Yes and no. Firstly, there aren't really any cyber-police. Secondly, copyright laws in India means that anyone downloading the latest hollywood blockbuster more-or-less isn't breaking Indian law - so why would we violate their privacy and submit their details to any authority if, under Indian law, they haven't done anything wrong?
 
arunodayt

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You don't understand. The best we can do is recommend to people an "appropriate" plan based on their usage, but at this time, there ARE no limits. If we were going to put limits on our flat-rate plans, it would probably be in the form of traffic-management at peak hours, but otherwise if we put out a solid number, we might as well not have flat-rate plans at all and sell only data-plans.

Yes, we will accept credit cards. I have just pulled down our pricing brochure until Hayai is ready to launch: estimated timeframe is 3-months after Mumbai but even that date is currently not certain, as some things at my end (in NZ) need to be sorted out: I refer you to here https://broadbandforum.co/hayai-broadband/56683-hayai-broadband-faqs/30/#post429623


I understand your stance on limits. I have been following your posts for too long not to. I am just saying that many of your potential customers might not, especially given their past experience with some othe ISPs. For them, being vague (or not clear) might be suspicious. Once burned, twice shy.

Thanks for taking the time to explain all this. I just hope that I will get to try your services during my stay at Delhi. Good luck! :thumb:
 
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mgcarley

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I understand your stance on limits. I have been following your posts for too long not to. I am just saying that many of your potential customers might not, especially given their past experience with some othe ISPs. For them, being vague (or not clear) might be suspicious. Once burned, twice shy.

Thanks for taking the time to explain all this. I just hope that I will get to try your services during my stay at Delhi. Good luck! :thumb:

I don't believe that there is any vagueness at all. When I say no limits, that is exactly what I mean.

As of now, we don't have any plans to introduce a FUP or restrict speeds after any given number because realistically, we shouldn't have to, and if this policy does change, I can assure you that it will be significantly more generous than other ISPs - if for no other reason than that the FUP amount cannot be less than the equivalent priced data plan - so we couldn't charge for example Rs2000 for 100GB data plan @ 100mbit/s and then go ahead and charge Rs2500 for a 5mbit/s flat-rate plan with a 100GB FUP.

The current ISPs *can* get away with doing this simply because they are charging something like Rs500/GB for "over-use" on data plans, which means that on a full-speed data plan, users *can* get stung by huge usage charges which makes the flat-rate plans significantly better value, even with FUPs.

But my logic for determining how a user should use our flat-rate plans is this: a user who wants to download for example 1TB of information per month would be best to be on a higher-speed plan - for his benefit because he does not have to leave his PC downloading for 18 hours per day; and for our benefit because we are, shall we say, "fairly compensated" for that level of usage.

So as I've said previously: we can make recommendations, but nothing more. If a users usage spikes for one month, it's probably not problem BUT if a particular user does abuse the resources constantly, then it should be dealt with on a case-by-case basis: we'll ask him to curb his usage, upgrade to a higher-speed plan or in the worst case scenario, ask him to find an alternative provider.

If we end up losing business because subscribers are suspicious, then perhaps we are better off to remove all doubt and simply not offer "unlimited" plans: no FUP, no traffic management, no BS. You simply get what you pay for, it's delivered as fast as the line will allow, and of course, there is still the Hayai-zone which does offer unmetered usage, so those who wish to download movies and so forth can use DC++ and not have to worry about this contributing to usage limits.

If we removed unlimited plans and made it really easy to access content on the network (even if this means building a local torrent tracker and torrent cache, the latter which we will do anyway), once we have enough users on the network, theoretically this could create the scenario whereby many users could have ~50GB data plans, and even if they download say 1000GB, because most of those GBs would be local, they would not exceed their limits.
 
Samuel

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I don't believe that there is any vagueness at all. When I say no limits, that is exactly what I mean.

As of now, we don't have any plans to introduce a FUP or restrict speeds after any given number because realistically, we shouldn't have to, and if this policy does change, I can assure you that it will be significantly more generous than other ISPs

Amen :D

So far as I am able to understand, hayaii is trying to seriously raise the standards of Indian "Internet" to the international standards. And it's quite cool. And no Dadagiri, if a person is abusing the resources constantly, you will ask him to find an alternative provider. One thing am confused about is, are you really going to offer unlimited or I guess it's more wise to say 'un-metered' bandwidth to users? Actually it's quite confusing to read all 12 pages of this thread and the 'How it all began', thread >.< BTW, around when is it going to launch in Delhi?
 
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I was thinking about the "unlimited tripe" on behalf. Maybe it is a bad experience from BSNL's service (256 kbps with 1GB cap) which drove me mad enough. But then we persisted and the the "unlimited plan" was introduced :) It has "spoilt and biased" my thinking since then :) One way out of this mess could be in a simpler way is to charge (or meter) the limits during the fixed times. For example, the mobile companies offer the "unlimited talk time" for night hours because it keeps their "investments" utilized (and earning some more revenue in the process) which otherwise would be idling. They have some fancy metric for that; this eludes me. Similarly, like in other countries, you end up paying the differential rates for electricity during off peak or on peak hours. This "probably" helps the companies to realize the higher value of the product (including factoring in transmission losses etc.). I am not an expert in this but slowly you'd be able to get a clearer picture of the maximum demand on your network, the expected redundancy etc. etc. And if a moron is abusing the network DURING that time, he pays more (over and above his "usage as allowed by the existing plan"). Of course, this has to be reflected on the web site or by some other means i.e. the time when a person is liable to be charged more. I know that this liable to be misinterpreted because unfortunately a clear line of communication does not work. On the other hand, to be very honest with you, even I don't know how much I would end up using. Let me propose an alternative way out. Assuming that the networks to start with are offered "unlimited" for say a trial period of about 3-6 months. This is good enough to give an indication of usage patterns and then tiered pricing can then be introduced. Just a suggestion. In any case, you would be offering 30-50 GB with the "lite plan" as mentioned; assuming that most of the rational users would hardly cross these limits. My contention is that as a user, I don't want to calculate the byte going in and out. It goes for most of the customers too. At the same time, with a planned offering of say 30-50 GB I find it awkward to "monitor" the usage. I cannot claim for the outliers who would abuse the system in any case but then you have already outlined the safeguards accordingly. I admit it is a tricky situation but there can never be a single unified answer.
 
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Daddycool

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I disagree to some extent - you pay for mobile and telephone services, cable TV, broadband, electricity and surely a myriad of other things... yes yes, basically things that you can see... but really, how different is cloud computing any different from any of these services?

The servers are located far away and generally "out of reach" - but so is the power plant, the phone exchange, the TV broadcasting station and most of the Internet: the only way to access any of what these facilities offer is quite literally through the wire provided by the respective provider (or via the mobile base-station, as it were).
I guess you missed my point. Your analogies are not appropriate apart from cable TV to an extent. There is no worthwhile pre-existing alternative to any of those services you mention.
On the other hand, with cloud computing, we are telling the customer that he need not have a high-end machine or a lot of expensive software at home. Instead he has a low end machine with a very good internet connection and uses it as a window to the cloud. That argument holds only if people are actually paying expensive prices for the software they use. In other economies, a typical home user would end up spending far more on software than he has on the hardware. Not so in India.
Hope you understand why I am saying cloud computing catching on is not imminent in India. Just my 2 cents.

---------- Post added at 02:54 PM ---------- Previous post was at 02:41 PM ----------

On the other hand, to be very honest with you, even I don't know how much I would end up using. Let me propose an alternative way out. Assuming that the networks to start with are offered "unlimited" for say a trial period of about 3-6 months. This is good enough to give an indication of usage patterns and then tiered pricing can then be introduced. Just a suggestion. In any case, you would be offering 30-50 GB with the "lite plan" as mentioned; assuming that most of the rational users would hardly cross these limits.

My contention is that as a user, I don't want to calculate the byte going in and out. It goes for most of the customers too. At the same time, with a planned offering of say 30-50 GB I find it awkward to "monitor" the usage.

I cannot claim for the outliers who would abuse the system in any case but then you have already outlined the safeguards accordingly.

I admit it is a tricky situation but there can never be a single unified answer.
I personally believe that Mathew's idea of a kind of soft limit which will not trigger action in just one month of minor abuse solves your problem. And he also has the provision to buy more data capacity in a kind of prepaid service. I think that is reasonable.
To expect that you would never need to be bothered about exceeding your bill, that is what FUP (with speed throttling) is all about and that is something that Mathew swears he will not do because he feels ashamed of calling 256 kbps broadband.
I do share your fear of a shocking bill at the end of the month but then again, aren't we susceptible to high electricity or telephone bills for overuse because there is no hard cap?
Also AFAIK, Mathew's plans are all prepaid so that takes care of the bill shock :)
 
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hplp20

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Internet Service Providers should be given permission to submit heavy downloader's list to Cyber police.
I mean what the hell do they download, that needs unlimited bandwidth? And they show anger I mean

Its because of people like you that companies like Airtel still survive today.