Saturday, 23 January 2016

Counting the terabytes

I have to admit, when I was a kid I am not sure I even knew a terabyte actually existed. If I did, it was a mythical beast.

We are finally launching our terabyte (or more) per month download usage tariffs!

More here.

This means that, for the first time, the download usage limit is measured in terabytes. A terabyte is 1,000,000,000,000 bytes. That is enough to actually average 3Mb/s on a broadband line and not blow the monthly limit!

Just imagine what that would be in floppy disks!

Indeed, on the 1TB service, the impact of over usage is to be capped to 3Mb/s until next month.

The current state of play is (apart from the trial mailing list) a prototype ordering system which I have finally had one customer try out for real and mostly work.

I am happy to do one by one test orders with customers (ask on irc). There is a free dragon up for grabs!

It is based on CHAOS2, the new ordering system API, and uses javascript to feed that. I am coding it (the back end), and it is one of those somewhat tedious jobs - the code is rather monolithic and has to embody business processes (not just A&A, but BT and TT) so as to offer the right packages in the right way at the right prices. This is very annoying code!

My plan is this should be live, even if not all options available, but end of Jan, and specifically must allow ordering of new Home::1 Terabyte, SoHo::1 (2)Terabyte and Office::1 (10)Terabyte as well as regrades. I think we are pretty close to that working as planned, and will be doing more testing this week.

We have dozens of people signed up using the trial mailing list though, so thank you all for that. We'll be making a proper "launch" soon, and I feel it is a good product. None of this "unlimited" crap, but none the less a limit that is really high.

At the end of the day, a terabyte is a heck of a lot of porn :-)


  1. Until reading this post I was finding it hard to work out what I use in a month. BT Infinity "Unlimited" no longer get a usage total in their online member area.

    I, luckily, did have RRDTool setup to log usage but it only logged it in averages of kBit/s and not a total. I had not put in any effort into calculating the average monthly speed into actual data transferred.

    Your post makes it easy..
    "That is enough to actually average 3Mb/s on a broadband line and not blow the monthly limit!"
    Possibly something to put on the marketing pages for llamas like me who can't do maths.

    The good news is.. I would / should only be using 1/3 of the usage cap if I did move to the new TB service!

    The next step is for me to do further money maths and work out if a move to AAISP is viable.

    1. The interesting extension, then, is to reflect that my current cap (the 100Gb of Home::1) must be an average of about 300kbps - i.e. if I switched back to ISDN dialup, even bonding four channels together wouldn't be sufficient. Quite a change from the days when I sometimes had to leave the modem running overnight to finish fetching a Linux ISO!

      I'm debating the rewiring it would take to move PSTN to VoIP (hardwired extension upstairs I'd need to turn into a socket somehow, unless I could get something like the new NTE5c), or jumping to Zen, or waiting for a straight 1T version of Home::1 where I can keep IDNet for the PSTN.

    2. There are boxes that do an analogue phone line that is on SIP/IP - we use on sky boxes still. SIPURA.

    3. "Get BT or RJ11 socket which goes over VoIP" is easy; "connect upstairs extension (with no Ethernet nearby) to connect to one, instead of the back of the NTE5" is a bit of a pain. Presumably I could move it to an adjacent RJ11 faceplate.

      Tariff-wise, I'd probably get a box from Vonage anyway, though if anyone had something comparable over SIP I'd be interested.

      (Wiring is generally a PITA I try to avoid, Krohning a couple of wires into the IDC connectors is probably OK.)

  2. Does "as well as regarded" include existing H::1 customers like me, where the PSTN service is with someone else, or is there another issue to resolve there first? ("home::1 with a 1T limit" is pretty much what I always hoped for, short of BT figuring out a sane way to port numbers without ceasing the line)

    1. At present we can take over the PSTN and provide, or we can provide with new PSTN. But either way the PSTN is part of the package and set up with no calls. We hope some time soon to be able to do with or without PSTN like we do for other services.

  3. Bah. I remember being amazed by the upgrade from 1.2 kbit/s tape to 250 kbit/s 5.25" floppy disks. Now, I use machines where the network port is faster than the 6 Gbit/s disk interface...