So what is needed for what some people expect of unlimited? First the line would have a designated speed, say 70Mbps, Plusnet would have to set the speed on all protocols to max out at that speed for all streams.
Next you'd have to consider how many parallel streams could be running. For where it is coming from there is a huge number of servers on the internet so you'd have to rule that out as the limiting factor. You'd therefore have to make some sort of assumption about the number of parallel streams could be running on each PC and the number of PCs. Again there's no real limit to how many things could be going on at the same time so the only theoretical limit per PC you could assume would be the connection speed to the router - assuming 1Gbps would be fair. For the number of PC's etc. what would be fair, say 20?
Therefore for a totally unlimited connection with a designated speed of 70Mbps where absolutely nothing slowed down because of other activities Plusnet would have to actually provide the user with a 20Gbps connection. Obviously totally ridiculous and the cost would give you a heart attack.
So let's get real. With an unlimited connection where the ISP has sufficient bandwidth to deliver line speed what matters? It is what happens when the user is running a number of processes on one or more PCs.
Without traffic prioritisation all the process will compete for the bandwidth on an equal footing, irrespective of whether they are time critical, so a P2P download could mean streaming keeps buffering.
With traffic prioritisation the time critical traffic is given priority, so for example a streaming session will not be disrupted by any number of downloads or P2P sessions in the background. The Plusnet default priorities on unlimited are:
Titanium: VoIP, Gaming
Gold: Browsing, Email, Streaming, VPN, FTP, Download servers
Gold plated: Download sites
Silver: Other (not otherwise listed or unrecognised)
Bronze: P2P, Usenet
Finally, what about the Pro add-on? The changes it makes have no bearing on rate limits (there are none on Unlimited) but change the priorities of some processes. VPN, External FTP and Other are lifted to Titanium, Download sites are lifted to Gold as are P2P and Usenet. P2P being elevated to the same priority as Streaming could obviously make things just as bad as having no traffic prioritisation and depending what activities the user is running which end up as Other, the elevation of that to Titanium could be even worse.
Plusnet user since November 2001