How likely will it be that Sky or Be will continue this when they get round to releasing their FTTC products? And at what price? If they do continue with "unlimited" will they be up to the task of supplying enough bandwidth to cope with it as they will inevitably attract the leechers if they use it as a distinguishing feature in their adverts. Only difference is the users will be syncing 2-20x faster depending on the circumstances. Looking at Be's pricing, will they offer a 40mbit product for the same price as their top end ADSL offering at 22 quid? Will Sky do the same for 15 quid or 7.50 (if you use you Sky TV account to subsidise it). Would be an interesting proposition but given the speed/usage increases that these ISPs will see they'll introduce limits, raise the price, or see how it plays out and hope for the best. With the latter I'd imagine the quality would suffer in very short order.
With all ISPs you have a slightly different variation of the same choice currently. Do you go for BTs option which has some management and a vague "usage limit" or with other ISPs who generally offer restrictive peak times of around 12-16 hours a day and do everything when you're asleep. It's fine to have every port open if you slap a 30 or 60GB peak time allowance on it. Basically doing the same thing BT do, in a different way but, in my opinion, it's far more restrictive.
Even if BT decided to go with the policy of cutting everyone down to 2Mbit at all times as soon as they hit 300GB, you'd be able to shift about 1TB in any given month. This assumes you have a 40Mbit sync and cane it full speed from minute 1 of day 1. You'd eat the 300GB in just under a day. At 2Mbit for the rest of the month, you could move about 650GB for the remaining 29 days. (Hope my quick calculations are accurate). Note that BT, as far as I'm aware, don't actually do this level of speed restriction currently.
Realistically, I can't see more than a relative hand full of residential customers needing anything like this even with the comments about 4 people watching iplayer at once and all that. In our household there are multiple users watching TV, downloading all sorts, listening to spotify, gaming etc and we don't get near 300GB a month. There is also the fact that users at this high use level are basically being subsidised by the lower usage customers because there is no way you can supply that level of bandwidth to everyone for the price points offered by most ISPs. I suspect BT have ran the numbers since last year and can see that the numbers involved in "really big usage" are low enough that this "subsidisation" can continue in return for getting some positive spin out of saying their relaxing/removing the FUP/limits. It also means that people hovering around the "limit" can relax a little.
Or do you go to someone like Titan and hand over 140 notes
or whatever it is to have an actual unlimited version?
From the survey i'm running it seems like BT have judged it pretty well in terms of what you get and how much it costs. Most people probably download a lot less than 100GB a month but at the same time would rather not have to watch the clock or plan out their usage like they would on someone like IDNet. Doesn't seem like anyone is in a rush to go with Titan for their unlimited package either. Be and Sky will probably pick up some of the customers that are waiting currently but BT have the advantage of being out of the gates early and locking people down into the 18 month contracts. They'll have picked up plenty of "converters" including from Be and Sky. How many of these people, in areas where FTTC is already available, will be left to convert to Sky or Be when they get their products out there?
They might have missed the boat unless they can actually provide products at comical prices.
Edited by orly (Wed 30-Mar-11 01:55:50)