Thursday, 31 August 2017

Transparency

I did ask for comments on tariff ideas, and please do comment on that post and not this one for more ideas. It seems this is unusual for any ISP, large or small. I am always keen on transparency. The feedback so far has been interesting, and some of it has changed my views, so well done.

This is complicated though. Our cost prices are complex at the best of times. We have deals with carriers and suppliers in various ways, and some of those are not public. Indeed, some are not allowed to be public due to non-disclosure agreements. We have a team (well, mostly Alex) working on these agreements, including myself and our lawyer. Competition does matter, and the extent to which we have lines with different carriers can help our bargaining position.

The main thing is to try and stick to principles, like not being the bottleneck. That is one of the driving force in any tariff review. Quality is all important - prices have to be as fair as we can make them.

The irony really is that for us, it would help if all carriers were mostly the same in the way they work and what they charge. The issues for us is that sometimes the very basis of charging can be radically different between carriers. This leaves us in a position of maybe offering some things only in some cases, like the current "terabyte" tariffs only on Talk Talk back-haul. I am hopeful of some of that changing, but we have to wait and see what we can manage.

It means that when one carrier has some aspect of the deal in a certain way we have to then try and get other carriers to do the same sort of deal. This is capitalism working! It is, however, hard work.

This may get more complex real soon now, as we may have more than the two back-haul carriers soon. This will, of course, make that juggling act more complex. It will also offer us more choice.

My current thoughts from the myriad of comments received is that I can announce some changes in September and some more in October.

At this point, I am pretty confident of the sub terabyte usage allowances on Home::1 and SoHo::1 going up by 50GB/month for the same price. That will help existing customers on their next bill in October. It is not confirmed yet, but give me a few days to be sure we can do this and make it live.

Obviously I am always keen to help existing customers with such changes, but some of the old "units" based tariffs do not expect any changes, sorry. I also expect future announcements to be a bit limited for those on old 20CN BT ADSL lines, sorry. Thankfully such lines are getting fewer and fewer.

So, as always, watch this space...

7 comments:

  1. I value A&A's stance on throughput and privacy and your attention to doing things right, and I appreciate you asking customers for feedback. You are No. 1 on ISPreview for a reason and long may you stay there.

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  2. Perish the thought, a company that acts democratically!

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  3. As a wholesale customer of A&A, I took a lot away from your previous blog post and your replies to questions posed by some of your direct end users.

    "Units tariff won't be seeing any changes as we want to deprecate, but not discontinue, it"

    "Home::1 will continue to be sold without VAT invoices"

    Given that we sell primarily to residential users, the only A&A tariffs which we are likely to be able to 'sell' are the units-based and Home::1 based ones - of course, adding our own extremely modest markup plus *our* VAT on top of *your* VAT makes a resold Home::1 offering unviable in this competitive market.

    Therefore, the units tariff, seeing no love whatsoever, makes somewhat of a mockery of your own comments about typical consumer usage going up and backhaul pricing coming down.

    I suspect that we will end up doing what A&A is doing; seeking out other wholesale carriers who can provide us with flexibility/offerings that the incumbent cannot and letting market competition work as it should.

    The really nice thing about the public feedback which you have received is that some of it has given me food for thought about some of our own offerings; how we can make things better, fairer, etc... and I do thank you for that.

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    1. Terry, we have some really good wholesale side packages to allow you to do SoHo::1 type packages, as I am sure you know. We should maybe discuss this in more detail. But glad you appreciate the feedback and discussion.

      As for units - the issue is that the backhaul is moving more to higher per tail costs and lower bandwidth costs, hence the higher bandwidth pricing, but making units pricing less practical.

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  4. Pissing off the wholesale side too - maybe he's so rich he don't care no more?

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    1. LOL, As I explained several times this whole "conflict" was entirely about attitude. We're happy to work with wholesale customers, and dealers, as always, and find a good way for them to sell services, but I bet all of them dislike anyone with immoral wasteful attitudes.

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  5. I don't think I should, but I occassionally wonder if I should be an AAISP reseller formally. Who should I talk to in your office - is it Ben ?

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