Wednesday, 25 May 2016

20CN reprieve?

After my last post, the good news is there appears to be a rebate for some of the 20CN bandwidth on 20CN only exchanges. This is BT's wonderfully simple pricing at work! We are reviewing what this works out at exactly, but it looks like it gets a lot closer to breaking even than we expected, for now.

This gives 20CN a bit of a reprieve, at least for a few months.

However, the underlying problem remains that the 20CN is a reducing number of lines and has its own separate back-haul billing. So the end game is the same. Even if you got to as low as £50/Mb/s/month then that last one 8Mb/s 20CN line would cost us over £400/month, and as we reduce to fewer and fewer active 20CN lines, the costs get closer and closer to that level.

So, at some point, probably this year, we have to come up with a solution for how we handle the last 20CN lines. Right now, we'll leave pricing unchanged.

16 comments:

  1. Could you elaborate Rev, is this an alternative pricing deal available from BT?

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    1. It is a complicated discount they work out for bandwidth on 20CN only exchanges. I think our latest batch of moves from 20CN to 21CN has improved the discount so it is not now as bad as it was... Still trying to pin down details from the bills.

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    2. AIUI, the discount is Ofcom imposing price controls on 20CN in Market A; these price controls are supposed to force the price of 20CN down to 0 over time, but only where BT 20CN is the only option.

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  2. Are you using IPSC for 20CN lines?

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  3. I need to write to my MP, Ian Blackford (it used to be [the late] Charles Kennedy) and see if we can't light a fire under BT. But I'm no longer on 20CN, now on 21CN - ADSL2 × 3 lines - so I can't speak as one of the afflicted.

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  4. I'm honestly shocked BT charge so much when as you mention in your other post you can pay for a guaranteed QoS/SLA for orders of magnitude cheaper per MB, sent around the globe instead of the UK.

    Has this been mentioned to Ofcom? I can't see any justification for BT there.

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    1. The prices are actually set by OFCOM. Exchanges are divided up into Market 1, 2 or 3, depending on how many operators are present at each one. Market 1 have only 1 operator, Market 3 many.

      OFCOM dictate how much discount can be given on services at each market level with the baseline price being set by them.

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    2. Market 1, Market 2 and Market 3 is no more and hasn't been for some time as far as I know because...

      It's now Market A, Market B and "Hull".

      A means there are 2 or fewer principal operators - this is where BT has significant market power and thus is most heavily regulated.

      B means there are 3 or more principal operators, which is what the majority of exchanges/areas fit into. It is decided BT has no real significant power here, and thus is much less regulated.

      Hull is ... well obviously Hull where Kingston (KCOMM) have SMP.

      The Market A stuff is limited by Ofcom, using the rule of CPI minus X. X being the % value Ofcom decided makes sense with it's mentalist calculations system.

      I believe however that BT still has significant sway in the pricing model itself and don't be fooled for a moment in thinking Ofcom set the ultimate rate, they sure as hell do not.

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  5. If you're bored and foolish, http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/binaries/consultations/review-wba-markets/statement/WBA-Statement.pdf contains the price caps for 20CN in Market A areas - the key is that total costs are CPI - 10.7%, with sub caps on bandwidth of CPI - 7.7% and everything else of CPI - 4.7%. This applies only to 20CN in Market A areas - not 21CN, not 20CN outside Market A.

    AIUI, BT have implemented this by charging what they like for 20CN (as they're permitted to do in Market B), but applying a rebate for Market A areas; given the price controls, A&A are likely to find it economic *extremely* soon to identify 20CN users in Market B areas, and force them to 21CN or TT.

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    1. We have moved all lines that can move and there is still the issue that is the economics of a small customer base on 20CN and getting smaller.

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    2. The last statements I could find on the subject from BT were that they planned to shut 20CN down at the end of 2014 (prompting the level of squawking you'd expect from ISPs selling 20CN services!) - hopefully having all your remaining 20CN customers on 20CN-only exchanges will improve the economics for now, but have BT updated you (or the public) on 20CN plans for the next year or so?

      The impression I had was that 20CN is supposed to be being phased out - hence the pressure to kill off 20CN services on exchanges that already have 21CN available - but no clear indication of a plan: are they ALL going to be upgraded to 21CN eventually? Does that mean next year? 2020? Or perhaps just reclassify the last remaining bits as 21CN and tie it in to the same backhaul, since presumably they'll reach a point it's not sensible to keep the little bit of legacy traffic segregated on that level.

      Hopefully they'll get round to explaining it all eventually.

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  6. Against that, if 20CN back haul is cheap enough, the size of the customer base becomes irrelevant. If it's squeezed by price controls to 10p/Mbit/s/month, even one customer on 20CN is manageable.

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  7. Any update on this? Just wondering when the axe is going to fall on my A&A service, which is on 20CN with no apparent plan to change to 21CN.

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    1. We are not doing anything just yet on this - continuing to migrate to 21CN or TT as available, and oddly several smaller 20CN exchanges end up with FTTC as the alternative not 21CN ADSL. Eventually there will be a point we have to do something, but not just yet.

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  8. I had a reply from our MP, or rather one of his researchers, regarding the exchanges in our local area (I named seven local 20CN only exchanges). The reply he received from BT was apparently that they will be upgraded, but "at no point soon"

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