Don't be a dick

I am still getting grief for this on irc now. So I really want to put it to bed.
  • No, I am not saying that having bought 1TB you should not use it.
  • No, I am not saying that having music or netflix on in the background is a problem.
  • No, I am not saying that you find it easier to re-download all the patches to a game when you install a new computer rather than having made your own backup, is not on.
  • No, I am not saying we want to know what you are doing with the internet or why you are using it. We explicitly don't care, that is the point about privacy.
  • No, I am not saying that leaving big downloads you need to do to the last day just in case, is an issue.
  • No, I am not saying you must not download a linux torrent even!
  • [P.S] No, I am not even saying we see a peak in usage at the end of the month, that is not the issue here!
I hope that is clear.

Our acceptable use policy has had this forever, it is not something new: "Please also note that the service is a shared service. In fact the whole internet is a shared service. The internet is commercially viable becease links are shared. You are expected to make responsible use of the service in light of the fact that it is shared with other users and your actions affect others" [sic]

That can be reduced pretty much to "Don't be a dick".

All of this started with one person that seemed to be saying he would deliberately download stuff, and not even save it or watch it, just to make sure he uses up all of his 1TB allowance each month.

That is what I call "being a dick" and is simply something that does not work in society, especially with a shared resource, whether metered or "unlimited*" or whatever. Yes, one person doing it is just selfish and not a problem, but more people doing it and we have problems. Don't do that for internet, or water, or gas, or electricity, or roads, or even a buffet lunch. Be a part of society and play nice please, that is all I was asking.

I am sorry if that came across badly in some way, I hope it makes sense now.


  1. I understood the first time, pity you had to explain again

  2. This always seemed clear to me from what you have described over the last few days.
    I have never downloaded things just for the hell of it at the end of the month to use up quota, but I do wait on big downloads where I don't need them urgently until the last few days of the month. I do that to make sure that I won't need quota for something else before the month is out.
    I bet my account it loaded to the last few days of the month, but only for that reason.

  3. If the wait until the last day thing is a problem, I wonder how much of a nightmare it would be letting users choose the start/end points of their month-long charging periods. That isn't well-defined mathematically either, a proper definition would need to be straightened out, such as billing every m days perhaps or on day n of calendar month or something. Because it would be a pain for admin and s/w perhaps (perhaps not?) it might inky be worth doing if there actually is some peak to be smoothed out.

    1. I suggested this in one of the other threads.

      Billing could be set for day 'n' of the month where 1 <= n <= 28 either selected by the customer or based on when the service went active - if that is the 29th-31st then bill on the 28th and adjust the 1st month if necessary (A&A already do this). Commercial customers can stay at month end which I am sure most will want.

      The fact that billing periods will vary a few days is no different to now when you might get anywhere between 28 and 31 days to use your month's quota.

    2. The issue is not a rush to use quota at the end of the month, we are not (yet) seeing that, and will look at changes to avoid that. The issue is simply one of attitude.

    3. @Cecil Ward

      There are other billing period options already: https://aa.net.uk/legal-billing.html

    4. I wonder if be maxes out his credit card at the end of every month just to use up all his available credit?

  4. Is there any noticeable increase in total usage at the end of the month?

  5. The units tariff offers this, and pay-for-what-you-use, already! I don't know why people find units hard to work with. My only objection to it is that, since I work from home, my work hours are in the expensive period. But it's still cheaper overall than 1T would be.

  6. It would be nice if the quota tariffs had the super off peak rate that the units did (2am til 4am IIRC), that might encourage people with large downloads to do them at anti social times, thus playing nice for peak time traffic.

  7. Fact is he’s bought 1TB of usage, what he does with it is no ones business as long as it’s within the T&C’s - if an ISP can’t handle people using the allowance they’ve bought then it’s an issue.

    But Kudos to Adrian for being open and transparent with it all, Q&A like this is where you see other people’s opinions come through.

  8. Thinking about how train and bus operators offer wifi here.. Quite often it is with a router with multiple 3G/4G/Satellite/Wifi uplinks, and they bond a VPN across them (so the end user doesn't have dropped sessions if going out of coverage of any one network operator). The router may have logic configured in to say 'don't use more than 8GB on any one link in a calendar month'.
    Let's assume they've got five different SIMs in five different mobile data uplinks, each with an 8GB monthly allowance. You'd expect it to be quite a common occurrence in such a scenario to exactly max out a data allowance on each SIM, especially if their customers do stuff like downloading Windows updates with hundreds of other customers on the train. Fact of the matter that in this railway / mobile data example, 8GB is clearly an insufficient monthly allowance, even if the vehicle has multiple uplinks.

    The customer who always maxes out their *DSL line may have a similar bonded configuration, preferring A&A as a reliable provider over their fallback ISP, which they will only use when their inclusive allowance with A&A is all used up. The customer may like using the services of A&A, but doesn't like paying for a higher tier of service.

    The question here is how to convey the concept of inclusive usage (put in place to make bulk buys of bandwidth cheaper for the customer than pay-as-you-use) vs the concept of a usage cap (put in place to prevent a limited resource from being overconsumed).

    1. I wondered how the trains did it.

    2. In my experience, train companies handle this by making on-train Wi-Fi effectively unusable, encouraging customers to tether to their own phones instead.

    3. I used my 4G EE mobile hotspot on the tube (above ground section) today. Perfectly usable for low bandwidth purposes and email. Did a TeamViewer remote session too. No latency. No issues.

  9. Thanks for the update; dropping in and out I only read the Water post out of context. Going from BE to AA units to TT TB the idea of downloading GTA V randomly being frowned on (70GB during the day on units!) worried me.


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