Flat-rate DSL deal dies for Orcon customers

Bandwidth 'sin-bin' introduced for heavy users

Auckland ISP Orcon, which blazed the wholesale Unbundled Bitstream Service DSL trail with early offers of flat-rate connections, has had to go back on the idea.

Customers taking up Orcon's offer and using the UBS as advertised have caused network overloading. The large amount of traffic has also caused Orcon financial pain, as two weeks after the ISP started to advertise flat-rate accounts, Telecom introduced an aggregate network-wide monthly data cap of 10GB per user.

In a newsletter sent out by Seeby Woodhouse, Orcon's managing director, the ISP says that just 10% of its customers were consuming over half of all traffic on its network. This despite Orcon de-prioritising peer-to-peer and other forms of internet traffic on non-standard TCP ports.

To deal with the heavy users, Orcon will now measure how much data its customers go through every month. The top 10% of users will then be grouped together in a special bandwidth pool, with approximately 30% of Orcon's network capacity allocated to it. The bandwidth pool will only be implemented if there's a risk that service quality for the remaining 90% of customers could be degraded by heavy users overloading the network.

Heavy users that cease to place a large load on Orcon's network capacity will be shifted out of the bandwidth sin-bin after a month of "cooling off". However, if the packet punting reaches top-10% levels again, Orcon warns that users will go back into the bandwidth pool.

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