Thursday, 5 October 2017

Next step with A&A tariffs

I am pleased with the work so far on our (A&A) tariffs, and I'd like to thank all those that have taken the time to thank us for the changes.

The Quota Bonus seems to be working well and has given people a big safety net for variable tariffs at all levels. Obviously the extra Quota at the lower levels, and the top up that does not expire is a huge improvement also.

So, what is next?

Terabyte on BT back-haul? This would be huge if we can pull it off. We launched our terabyte based tariffs some time ago now, but only on the Talk Talk back-haul. We managed to get a deal with TT that worked for us and allowed these higher tariffs. It was hard work for the team (mostly Alex), but can we do the same with BT? It is hard work as the way we are charged, and the amounts we are charged, vary between carriers, and over time. In some cases we can manage time limited deals, and in some cases these can pass through to tariff changes and offers.

The big issue is that what we buy and what we sell are not quite aligned, and never will be. We buy big aggregate circuits and back-haul bandwidth, but sell individual lines and usage and the Internet access to which that connects. With the normal way that usage is sold (95th percentile) you can have usage that does not matter at all until it hits the top 5% levels, and then it matters a lot. That is almost impossible to map to something we can sell. We have tried in the past with units tariffs changing usage levels during the day and even the middle of the night, but peak usage moves and changes. We have moved to simpler total-usage allowances now.

We think we have something with BT, and we hope that this month, or possibly next month, we can finally start doing the terabyte usage packages on BT back-haul. Yes, you may ask how we are unsure of the BT deal we have - sorry, but it is complicated, really. This will mean that Home and SoHo packages can be changed as needed from 200G up to 1TB and change from month to month as you wish. Indeed, it will allow us to allow balancing of usage between lines on different back-haul and tariffs.

It will be a bonus for people on BT backhaul (not 20CN, sorry) who will be able to simply regrade to higher terabyte usage if they need.

Something more for SoHo users? We have different Home and SoHo packages and there are some differences - some extras on SoHo. I'll be very frank and explain that SoHo is mostly more expensive because we know a business product is usually more expensive and we consider it more of a business package. The problem is that the Home package is so good, it is quite a subtle difference, so I want to make it more so. Offer more for the business customers that are paying more.

The concept is simple - allow sharing usage over multiple sites, not just the lines on one site. We may have to do something where people have lots of sites where the usage is a separate number of extra terabytes over a whole estate, but where it is simply two or three sites then simple usage sharing as we do between lines on one site - over all sites - may make a lot of sense.

Pretty much a pre-requesit of this is the BT terabyte, else it gets very complicated with what can share with what. So, again, considering for this or next month.

FTTC being a lot more flexible? The minimum term on FTTC is an issue, 12 months normally - and we reduced to 6 months (at our cost) for Home::1. BT Wholesale are officially dropping this requirement (for new lines) in January and we hope to follow suit.

We don't know how it will work on Talk Talk lines, and we may be able to offer a choice of no install but 12 month term, or a fee to install and no 12 month term. The whole trade-off of min term and install charges may be something we can make more general, which would be a nice feature I think.

This will be January at the earliest, sorry.

So what do we do?

All a bit in the air, but reasonably confident, and I think it is unusual to share such speculative plans with customers - but A&A is not "usual". Feed back (comment here) welcome.

25 comments:

  1. Office::1 Pricing needs to be reviewed. You charge £50 for a 50GB top up on Office::1 but £10 for a 50GB top up on SoHo::1. That does not seem fair or reasonable.

    There should also be a point in the term when the equipment becomes purchased, or the equipment should be replaced with new versions. For example if we have a FB2700, it should be replaced with the FB2900 when released.

    It is hard to justify Office::1 for a new site now with SoHo::1 available because the pricing does not add up.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Absolutely, the plan is new Office::1 soon once this is all sorted. A better package and better pricing.

      Delete
  2. If BT and TalkTalk Home::1-1Tb deals will both exist will there be a need to give a clear chart showing differences and pros/cons between BT backhaul and TalkTalk backhaul? If pricing of the two options is the same then a chart will help answer "which do I need/want and do I care?" and if pricing is different then a chart will help explain the pros of the higher priced one and the cons of the lower priced one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They should be the same for most practical purposes and pricing and in general we de use which, but if we allow a preference then that may come in to it.

      Delete
  3. I agree that there is not really any USP for SoHo over Home at the moment. The Home products are essentially the same as the SoHo products with exactly the same quality and back-end and technical support. The only difference is no VAT invoice on Home, but that is more than offset by the lower price. So Home is all that anyone needs even for a business.

    If you are contemplating ((min term = 0) + (install fee = 100%)) and also ((min term = 12) + (install fee = 0%) then, given your desire to be a bit of an algorithm geek why not allow:

    ((min term = 0 to 12) + (install fee = 100% to 100%/12 or 0%))

    i.e. a deal for a 1 month, 2 month, 3 month, 4 month, etc. term.

    Then if I have a temporary site coming up which I know is needed for 4.5 months, I could just arrange a 5 month deal with AAISP and pay something like a 7/12ths install fee, or whatever calculation it ends up needing to be to be economical.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Indeed, there are practical billing issues and also legal issues. We don’t five consumers credit as consumer credit stuff has for mental over last few years so this would somehow have to NOT be a loan of the install fee.

      Delete
    2. I thought SoHo allows multiple legacy IPv4 addresses whereas Home does not.

      Delete
    3. That is one of the differences already, yes.

      Delete
  4. I'm in a bit of an unusual situation, in that I have a <1TB Home::1 VDSL line, but on TalkTalk backhaul. A big mistake IMO (BT's has much more stable latency and reliability) but the interesting thing is this:

    Your system is confused as to whether my minimum term is 6 months or 12 months. On my original order document from the account.aa.net.uk site it says that my minimum term is 6 months. But on the control.aa.net.uk site with live info, it shows my 'minimum term date' as being 363 days after my connection (ie. 1 year).

    I feel very much that, in the event of a dispute about this (not that I have that intention at the moment), the sales invoice specifying 6 months would count, as when conflicting terms are offered I believe the interpretation most favourable to the consumer counts (relics from Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations gone into S69(1) Consumer Rights Act).

    Anyway, just a quirk.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We’d honour what it says but I’d like to fix it, can you email what you have to accounts FAO Adrian.

      Delete
    2. I'd assume the 6 month term is correct (as that's what you were sold!), but (at the moment) BT have a 12 month minimum term, so the date showing on control.aa.net.uk reflects that. If you cease between the two dates, A&A have to swallow the cost...

      Delete
  5. RevK you mentioned the possibility of a 3rd backhaul provider in an early blog post. Could this be a hint at Vodafone/C&W ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Actually it is neither of those :-)

      Delete
    2. Sky’s SNS Wholesale?
      aaisp had experiance with Be* before Sky took over. Looking forward to a 3rd option! :-)

      Delete
    3. Ha, no, but we can have a different blog post on Office::1 and on third carrier, at some time in the future.

      Delete
    4. Surely Zen. There aren't that many choices that are national - and the Voda/C&W service is pretty pathetic.

      Delete
    5. Surely not Zen. I've found them going downhill lately. Really bad web hosting.

      Delete
    6. Zen use Vod/C&W backhaul.

      daisy wholesale and newer player sse enterprise others that spring to mind if Sky SNS & Vod are not on Revk radar.

      Delete
  6. Any Chance of a hint?
    For those of use who are a little bit reluctant to have TT wholesale backhaul for a second FTTC line.

    ReplyDelete
  7. What's keeping me away is no VAT invoices on Home::1. Please reconsider for self-employed individuals at home (not registered companies).

    ReplyDelete
  8. I big bugbear of mine is that the charge for Annex M on ADSL2 is the same as the charge for VDSL. That just seems crazy given the difference between the costs of installing those two technologies.

    An even bigger annoyance is that BT are utterly dragging their heels when it comes to installing VSDL in Glasgow City Centre. They've plenty of excuses but I'm fairly certain the fact that they're worried they'll lose a lot of juicy business fibre customers is the reason. There is a *huge* bundle of BT fibres that come into the basement of our building but they won't sell us FTTP - but will, of course, quite happily sell a 10mbps fibre service at £3K+ install (to clip 20 metres of fibre to the wall!) and over £300/month on a multi-year contract...

    But, anyway - yes, I'm really like the changes you're making and the way you're doing things. I'll be interested to see what the new Office::1 looks like.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you can't get VDSL, then keep checking your phone numbers.

      I've been really surprised to find some exchange only lines have recently become activated for FTTC. Via a cabinet in the exchange carpark.

      If you have BT Fibre in the basement, then price up a leased line type circuit using it. I'm sure AA could quote you, but somebody like fluency might be better placed. It might not be as much as you expect.

      Delete
  9. Any update on availability of G.Fast? BT have finished installing all the bolt on cabinets in my area, I suspect it's only a matter of months before they go live.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Some of the changes are on the News page as schedule for a years' time. Is that a typo?

    https://aa.net.uk/news-2017-tariffs.html

    ReplyDelete