Sunday, 7 February 2016

L2TP services

Internally we have L2TP links to carriers for DSL services, and for a long time we have had a sort of informal L2TP only service.

If you have DSL from us, you can connect via L2TP using the same login and password to get access to the same IP addresses. We allow this as a form of backup which some people use via other ISP links. It is no extra cost but comes out of the usage allowance for the DSL service.

However, people started wanting an L2TP only service without having DSL. So we started this and billed in the same way as our highest usage service at the time which was BE back-haul DSL. And it sort of have continued like that. It is messy as it is units usage based, and unlimited speed which could impact services

I am thinking that we should come up with a much much simpler plan.

The idea would be that L2TP only services would be, say, £10/month, capped to 100Mb/s and allow 1 Terabyte of download allowance a month (after which capped to 3Mb/s). So simple pricing, and no excess charges. It would include one IPv4 and a block of IPv6.

What do people think?

17 comments:

  1. Hypothetically speaking, would one be able to move an entire existing account (all ip addresses, etc) to this service? Thereby keeping all the valuable addressing while going somewhere much cheaper for the raw data?

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    1. Interesting. Are you not worried about the potential loss of revenue? We could have a Zen unlimited VDSL account for ~30 quid a month and give you a tenner. We'd be paying you about 10x less than at present, and if all the NATed traffic went direct, 1TB of L2TP for the 'address-sensitive' stuff would be effectively infinite.

      Maybe you don't want to make it too reliable!

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  2. I'm using L2TP for the routed block of v4 addresses and have fairly low usage on it, so this would be bad for me. But I'd definitely like to see it as an option.

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  3. Same here as it allows me to run voip etc over virgin media, however because the VM link does not run well I hardly use a unit a month at the moment so this would be vast increase in cost. Until there is a viable alternative to VM where I live I need L2TP. If I have to pay more so be it, however will feel like poor value. Could you not have unit base and 1TB options?

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    1. To some extent the use of IP addresses is a slight concern and we'd rather a service that has a sensible monthly rental for that.

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  4. If you go down the route of making this a more formal product, could it also be run off a set of LNS that don't get rebooted as often or used as a sort of test-bed? The L2TP service is very useful for me and my employer; its sometimes unstable nature is forgivable if it's not something you pay for, but if you do...

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    1. Agreed. We are deploying more LNSs anyway, but a proper L2TP service LNS makes some sense if we are charging monthly for it.

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  5. This is fantastic. As much I like AA offering but sit on BT's copper wire is painful. It'll be a dream connection if I can have both VMs bandwidth and AA's network.

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    1. VM bandwidth is a joke. Supposed to be on vivid 200, yet in the evening it's 3 Mbps!

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    2. I must have been lucky as I almost always had the full speed.

      Now on BT line in a new property with a reputable ISP (as VM's digging around), the line sync dropped to less than half within just two weeks.

      As frustrating as it is, even the best of ISPs won't be able to do anything about it. (other than sending a OR engineer over, but keep doing it every couple weeks is tiring.)

      VM clearly wins me over on layer 1/2 but the same as other large ISPs, the layer 3 is NATed and in stone age with no IPv6. The proposed L2TP service here is exactly what I've been trying so hard to find.

      On the contrary to the other comment, I believe this can be a huge revenue opportunity for AA. It's great chance to expand to people who would otherwise be reluctant to sign up with AA.

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  6. I'd be very tempted. If I can pay more for more speed/usage, even more so.

    So £10/m for 100mbit/1TB, £20/m for 200mbit/2TB, etc.

    Then, I assume I could use a firebrick (or other firewall) and do line bonding on it, over lines from someone else.

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    1. Well, getting two would work, yeh.

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    2. If you packaged this up with some sort of preconfigured/minimally configured firewall, that was not £750 inc vat, you would have a very attractive "line bonding" service to sell.

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  7. This would be an excellent service for users in the sticks wishing to tunnel over 3G/LTE or similar, or backup routing via an alternative 3rd party link if the L2TP tunnel can be assigned to an existing site in Clueless? As others have mentioned, you may end up with users using cheap bundle FTTC packages from the likes of BT Retail etc using the L2TP tunnel as a means to get a cheaper bearer into AAISP and using a lot of bandwidth.

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  8. Would you consider a "lite" version too?

    Perhaps one-tenth of speed, allowances and over-use cap, and £3-£5 a month?

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  9. I'd be interested in this to tunnel IPv6 over IPv4. I've looked at using one of the many free IPV6 tunnels in the past but performance has been dire and I'm always wary of free services like this. A premium service from a reliable UK-based ISP would be appealing.

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