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Standard User lexden16
(learned) Wed 14-Dec-11 19:30:13
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Pricing/Packages


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Although FTTC seems to have disappeared from the BT Checker, the arrival of OR en-masse in my street seems to suggest that the RFS date of the end of this month may well be met. AAISP is on my short list of FTTC providers. Currently, I am on a 30GB ADSL package and I use about 20GB on average with about 0.4GB per day in peak times (9 to Midnight) with large downloads off-peak. Looking at the AAISP calculator, I could probably manage with 3 units peak and one unit off-peak (c£38.15 per month) . Two questions if I may:

a. What do other AAISP customers set as a package for domestic use?

b. What counts as under/over usage? If, say, I only use 25GB off peak then I assume that this transfers as 1/2 a unit. Is there any minimum?

c. Am I missing anything?

Thanks.
Standard User mixt
(experienced) Wed 14-Dec-11 19:52:15
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Re: Pricing/Packages


[re: lexden16] [link to this post]
 
I am on a 2 unit tariff, which is the base one. This is the minimum number of units they will allow on any broadband account.

Any units under or over in a month, they will roll on to and off from the next month, up to a cap of your base tariff. Currently, I am under usage most months, so I start each month with 4 units (and I lose some partial units due to this). They explain this better here: http://www.aaisp.net.uk/broadband-units.html under the section What if you use too much or too little?

If you go too far the other way, lasting longer than a month, they will charge each partial unit used over your base (measured to 2 decimal places) as extra on your account for that month. The rate per unit of this charge is marginally higher than if you had used the same number of units on a pre-determined base tariff so if you know for sure you are going to be using 3 units a month, it makes sense to set your tariff this way rather than making it 2 units and then getting charged extra each month for the over usage.

Given what you have said about peak times (9 to Midnight), this is not A&A 'peak-time' - their peak time is 9am-6pm, weekdays only. What I suggest you do is go with a base of 2 units, and see how it goes. If you find you are going over, shift your tariff to 3 units per month via a couple of clicks on their portal or by giving them a call.

The other great thing is that they do NOT cut you off if you go over usage, they will simply charge you more, so make sure you and who ever else that is using the connection realises that any high usage activities, especially during peak-time (9am-6pm), will eat into your units fairly rapidly. Units can disappear during peak but this is not an issue for me as I am at work during these hours, and even if I do come home early during week days, I tend to leave any video watching / downloading until after 6pm (limiting my activities to light browsing and email only).

Hope this helps.

EDIT: They also offer a very nice 'night-special' rate which is between 2am and 6am every night. During this time, they meter traffic at 1TB (1000 Gigabyte) per unit. Really, at this rate, the only thing limiting your downloads is the speed of your line. I try and schedule any downloads during this time now, and if I was to max my connection (11Mb) fully for these 4 hours every night, I could transfer half a TB in a single month, all within my 2 unit base. For people with faster lines (24Mb, and indeed fibre, 40Mb), they could easily manage to surpass a whole terrabyte in a single month by scheduling downloads in this manner, still remaining within 2 units if they were disciplined with their usage.

Now on <aaisp.net>
Previous ISPs: Virgin Media (50Mb/Cable), Be* Un Limited, ZeN
Is Linux routing your internet connection?
Need to make BIND geo-aware?

Edited by mixt (Wed 14-Dec-11 20:04:26)

Standard User lexden16
(learned) Thu 15-Dec-11 18:23:40
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Re: Pricing/Packages


[re: mixt] [link to this post]
 
Mixt - thank you for such a comprehensive and helpful response. If I have understood you properly, if I purchase 3 units and only use 25GB off-peak, then I can use 2.5*2.5 or 6.25GB before I start attracting any additional costs. I am tempted as AAISP gets great reviews across the board. I was out chatting to the FTTC team today who fitting links between the two cabinets. Looks like I will have to make a decision early in the New Year.


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Standard User mixt
(experienced) Thu 15-Dec-11 20:20:29
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Re: Pricing/Packages


[re: lexden16] [link to this post]
 
I'm not sure you've fully understood how the metering works (maybe I'm wrong).

If you use 25Gb off peak in a month (during times when they meter at 50Gb/unit), you'll use 0.5 units.

If you purchase a 3 unit base tariff, you'll have 3-0.5=2.5 units left at the end of the month. This will roll over to into next month where you'll have 3+2.5=5.5 units available for the next month. If you again only use 0.5 units in this month, this will then roll over into next month as (5.5-0.5)+3=8 units, capped to 6 units, leaving you with 6 units. 6 units is the highest they will allow you to go in any given month, based on a 3 unit tariff.

If you use 25Gb during peak-time, that's a totally different ball game, as that is metered at 2.5Gb/unit - so if you transferred 25Gb during peak-time in one month, that would eat up 10 units and you would certainly be charged extra for this, especially if you repeat this activity for more than 1 month.

Now on <aaisp.net>
Previous ISPs: Virgin Media (50Mb/Cable), Be* Un Limited, ZeN
Is Linux routing your internet connection?
Need to make BIND geo-aware?
Standard User lexden16
(learned) Fri 16-Dec-11 11:27:27
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Re: Pricing/Packages


[re: mixt] [link to this post]
 
Thanks again. Sorry I missed out the word 'peak' in my previous post. What I was trying to do in my mind was work out how many peak units I might need given the difference between my present ISP's peak period and that of AAISP. Based on current usage, I calculated that I might need 2.5 AAISP peak units for 20 working days, and if I downloaded only 25GB 'off peak' then this would equate to 3 units in total. I am grateful for your explanation of the 'rollover'. AAISP's website is not the easiest one to navigate; that said, that may be due to my advancing years! What my calculations do show is that paying for downloads that I do use (i.e. AAISP) is not vastly different from paying for a larger amount of bandwidth which I rarely use in full, and where there is no carry forward.
Standard User mixt
(experienced) Fri 16-Dec-11 11:38:45
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Re: Pricing/Packages


[re: lexden16] [link to this post]
 
Sure, no problem - it can be a bit of a mind bender to get your head around.

EDIT: Apologies, just realised what you said. Sounds about right then. smile

Now on <aaisp.net>
Previous ISPs: Virgin Media (50Mb/Cable), Be* Un Limited, ZeN
Is Linux routing your internet connection?
Need to make BIND geo-aware?

Edited by mixt (Fri 16-Dec-11 11:41:05)

Standard User dspillett
(committed) Fri 16-Dec-11 12:13:43
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Re: Pricing/Packages


[re: lexden16] [link to this post]
 
That looks right to me. If you do go over the system lets you "borrow" quota from next month and if you go under you can use the excess next month - this helps smooth out any suddern peaks in your use so you don't need to buy extra units each month "just in case".

If you do find yourself using far more than expected one month, upgrading is quick and easy (it takes effect next month, but as you can borrow quota from next month it effectively means you get the extra units at the normal rate not the over-use rate). Downgrading if you find you are not using as much as you'd expected to is similarly painless.

The other-night special rate is great for large downloads: I tend to schedule anything big for that time. If my FTTC link was maxed out (around 3.5Mbyte/sec) for the full four hours I could pull in 49Gb in one night's cheap period (which would be one twentieth of a unit, so about 1.5 units/month if I abused the facility by pulling in 49Gb every single night). Be careful though: I once messed up and set ~2Gb of stuff to download at 2PM instead of 2AM, using a full unit instead of instead of one 500th of one! If you have a fast line you can eat uints pretty quickly in peak time (that ~2Gb probably took no more than 10 minutes to arrive).

Also be aware that you can't control when some apps download updates, for example Steam has no facility to limit the download of game updates to off-peak times (other than, of course, simply not having the Steam client running during the day) and game updates can occasionally be quite large (so you don't want them happening at peak times).

--------------------------------------------------------
Current ISP: Andrews & Arnold (AAISP, aa.net.uk) via FTTC at ~36Mbit down & ~10Mbit up, joined July 2011.
Previous setup: Be Pro with UploadPlus (ADSL2+, AnnexM), 12ish Mbit down, 1.6 up, happy customer for ~2.5 years.
Standard User mixt
(experienced) Fri 16-Dec-11 12:44:37
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Re: Pricing/Packages


[re: dspillett] [link to this post]
 
Be careful though: I once messed up and set ~2Gb of stuff to download at 2PM instead of 2AM

That's a definite gotcha alright, and why I've done a little bit of manual scripting on my Linux router to rate limit my connection to 1Mb/sec during peak times. This also happened to me once, but caught it quick, and because of the throttle on the router, no big damage was done.

Now on <aaisp.net>
Previous ISPs: Virgin Media (50Mb/Cable), Be* Un Limited, ZeN
Is Linux routing your internet connection?
Need to make BIND geo-aware?
Standard User dspillett
(committed) Fri 16-Dec-11 13:54:04
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Re: Pricing/Packages


[re: mixt] [link to this post]
 
I keep meaning to set something like that up, though it is quite far down the list of things that I need/want to get sorted when I have time to tinker. One of these days I'll be organised enough to do stuff! I don't want a straight throttle (I could sort that out easily) as I've got a couple of small servers hung off the link that I don't want to accidentally affect.

--------------------------------------------------------
Current ISP: Andrews & Arnold (AAISP, aa.net.uk) via FTTC at ~36Mbit down & ~10Mbit up, joined July 2011.
Previous setup: Be Pro with UploadPlus (ADSL2+, AnnexM), 12ish Mbit down, 1.6 up, happy customer for ~2.5 years.
Standard User mixt
(experienced) Fri 16-Dec-11 14:02:21
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Re: Pricing/Packages


[re: dspillett] [link to this post]
 
Yeah, there are different ways of doing it. You either limit the ppp0 interface inbound, or the eth0 (LAN) interface outbound. I went with the second option as it potentially allows exclusion/inclusion of particular MAC addresses on the network, so you can make some devices throttled, others not. If that isn't an issue, a better option is to just throttle inbound on ppp0 inbound and have done with it.

Works well though, and I definitely know when windows updates are happening - the ping times and general usability of the connection drops through the floor! smile

Now on <aaisp.net>
Previous ISPs: Virgin Media (50Mb/Cable), Be* Un Limited, ZeN
Is Linux routing your internet connection?
Need to make BIND geo-aware?

Edited by mixt (Fri 16-Dec-11 14:06:28)

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