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.