15GB customers put strain on Orcon's uncapped status

One of the last ISPs to still offer an unrestricted JetStream Starter service, Orcon Internet, is feeling the pinch from acquiring heavy users.

One of the last ISPs to still offer an unrestricted JetStream Starter service, Orcon Internet, is feeling the pinch from acquiring heavy users.

Managing director Seeby Woodhouse says since Xtra implemented its 5GB cap on international traffic, he's seen a rise in the number of heavy users on Orcon's books.

"About 80% of our customers use less than 1GB of traffic a month, but the other 20% use over 15GB which is making life difficult for us."

Xtra has announced it will cap all international traffic for JetStream Starter customers from June 10. JetStream Starter is Telecom's entry-level DSL offering, which runs at 128Kbit/s symmetrical speed.

Woodhouse says he is considering various alternatives when it comes to limiting the service, however won't be following Xtra down the path of restricting bandwidth on file sharing services like peer-to-peer (P2P) applications.

"They make up about half of our traffic these days and they're just one of the things customers expect to be able to do like email or surfing the net."

Woodhouse says if users begin to experience any slow down in service, he would have to take some action, but at the moment the throughput is manageable.

"Ideally if we were about three times the size we are we could buy our own space on the Southern Cross Cable but as it is it's too expensive."

Orcon currently offers virtual ISP services to about 40 smaller ISPs and Woodhouse says he doesn't know of any other ISP still offering an uncapped JetStream Starter package.

Some ISPs have reported they find it difficult to make money out of JetStream Starter without restricting bandwidth because of the billing process between Telecom and themselves. Although JetStream Starter is a flat-rate speed service, each ISP still has to pay Telecom for the bandwidth used, so a customer using 15GB or more a month is probably costing the ISP more money than it makes from that customer.

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