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SUP and Traffic Prioritisation FAQs

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Originally posted 16th Jan 2006 - Now outdated but retained for historic purposes.

SUP and Traffic Prioritisation FAQs

There have been many questions about the Sustainable Usage Policy in effect on Plusnets accounts.

If you want the plain simple faqs then you may find this tool here the simplest to aid understanding.
If you want more info then read on:-

Sustainable Usage Policy

- PAYG .

No policy applies - You pay per each GB you use.

- BroadBand Plus.

This account is not recommended for heavy downloading.
P2P/Usenet is heavily restricted by traffic prioritisation.
No actual SUP in place but download much in excess of 5GB per month during peak time and you may find your account restricted.

- Premier accounts

Subject to an overall SUP as defined:-

Amount Peak Total
£21.99 30GB 100GB
£29.99 45GB 150GB
£39.99 60GB 200GB

A warning email will be send if you go over any of the above limits.
Peak time management will be applied if you exceed both the Peak and Total limits
More info can be found here

Traffic Prioritisation/Shaping

Plusnet have recently announced their "Vision for 2006".
Since this is rather a long document I have tried to summarise the important bits on how it affects the User with regard to traffic Shaping.

Traffic Prioritisation is applied to the Network as a whole, and different accounts are shaped to a greater or lesser extent as follows:-

• PAYG – Should see no shaping as these users purchase each GB that they use.
• Premier - Should see no shaping on any of traffic until they reach Stage 1 of their "download allowances" see below.
• Broadband Plus users should see no shaping on any protocols except p2p and usenet which are heavily restricted.

- Peak Time.

It is during the hours of 4pm to midnight that the network comes under the most strain, and these are the hours that the SUP revolves around.
However, Plusnet currently have a peak time for p2p/usenet/ftp downloads on Premier which is the hours between 8am to midnight . Plusnet are looking to reducing peak time hours to 4pm to midnight in line with the SUP. (ETA February 2006).

- Off Peak

p2p/usenet/ftp downloads do not count towards the Premier Peak Time Allowances, and Premier users should see little, if any, shaping on any of their traffic.
Broadband Plus users should also get better p2p download speeds during these hours.
Off Peak for Premier P2P/Usenet/FTP downloading is currently 00.00 to 08.00, but Plusnet are looking to bring this inline with the SUP from February.

Premier accounts

To ensure a fairer system and ensure that all users at least get "a fair share" of prioritised download traffic, Plusnet have implemented a system to ensure that every Premier account user has the opportunity to download a certain amount of P2P/Usenet/FTP at peak time that is not subject to harsh speed restrictions.

These rules and limits on first glance may seem rather complicated so, and the amount of clean peak time "p2p throttling" varies depending on how which Premier account you have.

- P2P / Usenet / FTP Peak Time Allowance

It's important to remember that these restrictions only apply during peak time hours and usage outside of peak does not count towards these limits.
Currently "p2p allowances" are applicable during the hours between 8am to midnight . Plusnet are looking to reducing peak time hours to 4pm to midnight in line with the SUP. (ETA February 2006).
Basic rules are that the following accounts get the following clean peak time allowances before any traffic shaping is applied.

~ £21.99 - 20GB Clean Peak Time Allowance.
~ £29.99 - 30GB Clean Peak Time Allowance.
~ £39.99 - 40GB Clean Peak Time Allowance.

Full details can be found here.
However this tool simplifies understanding.

Broadband Plus Accounts

The official release states " Broadband Plus is not designed for heavy downloading.”
The average PlusNet customer across all accounts is said to consume in the region of 6GB per month.

Because BB+ is managed rather than having an actual SUP, it is impossible for Plusnet to quote a hard figure as it may change slightly from month to month. This figure is assumed to be in the region of 5-10GB peak, but to err on the side of caution if you use more than 5GB per month during peak times, then BB+ is not the account for you.

Gaming, Surfing, web (http) and mail services should see no slow downs and be at line speed.
P2P and Usenet is heavily restricted and speeds using these protocols will be very slow during peak times.

Off peak p2p/usenet speeds will be much better, but still restricted.
To give an indication - On an account I manage I tested BB+ speeds on these 2 protocols off-peak and they are in the region of 256kbps. All other protocols including ftp were at line speed.

If you want more information then read Stews post here.

Which protocols get what priority?

In summary traffic is prioritised as follows:-

~ Titanium (Line Speed) - Time Critical Applications such as gaming and VoIP.
~ Gold - (Line Speed) - Web and Mail Applications:- HTTP/HTTPS, SMTP, IMAP, POP3, VPN, FTP, SSH, Instant Messaging, IRC, other TCP/UDP/other traffic. Text only news from PN's server and external text usenet servers. FTP to personal PN webspace. Premier "Clean p2p allowance". PAYG p2p downloads.
~ Silver (up to 512kbps) - Premier Stage 2 p2p Peak Downloads.
~ Bronze (up to 256kbps) - Premier Stage 3 p2p Peak Downloads, BB+ Off Peak p2p downloads.
~ Bronze (up to 128kbps)- Premier Stage 4 p2p Peak Downloads, BB+ downloads?
~ Bronze (up to 64kbps)- Rest of Premier p2p Peak Downloads, BB+ downloads?

*It should be noted that I may occasionally refer to p2p downloads, but the traffic in this band includes FTP to non PN personal webspace, binary newsgroups (usenet), as well as p2p traffic.

Composed for adslguide 16th January 2006.



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