Friday, February 11, 2011

Bucket Pricing for Broadband gets a new twist

So, we had a talk with another telco/ISP the other night and they asked us for feedback about a proposal to offer bucket pricing on top of their existing unlimited plans. As I previously wrote here, I’m open to having more options for broadband consumers.

In my previous article, I gave out some hypothetical figures for how much the bucket pricing should be. This time, the concerned ISP gave a rough number which is something worth considering. Here’s how it might go…

Say, you are currently paying Php999 for unlimited internet with speed of up to 1Mbps. Sounds pretty standard, right?

What if, your ISP offers another package at the same price point — for Php999 you get 4Mbps but it’s capped at 15GB?

Option 1. Unlimited Plan: Php999 @ 1Mbps (unlimited)
Option 2. Capped Plan: Php999 @ 4Mbps (15GB/month)

For the capped plan, customers are given alerts (email and/or SMS) and a web interface to check their running bandwidth usage. If you reached the monthly quota, you will be able to buy more bandwidth. Something like Php100 for additional 1GB.

Customers can then choose which of the two plans they want to use — the unlimited or the capped package and then get the corresponding speed bump.

If you think 15GB isn’t enough, then you will be free to pick the 1Mbps plan. If you think you’re not a heavy user but speed is important to you for efficiency, you can choose the 4Mbps plan. Sounds fair.

Here’s the clincher — you might also be able to set your own speed and bandwidth cap as well. It should look like this:

Plan 1999: Php1,999/month for 2Mbps unlimited
8Mbps at 30GB bandwidth cap (+ Php100/GB overage)

Plan 2999: Php2,999/month for 3Mbps unlimited
12Mbps at 60GB bandwidth cap (+ Php100/GB overage)

Now that’s very interesting. What say you?

P.S. The issue of speed consistency was also brought up, including the practice of offering a CIR (committed internet rate). Again, no ISP would guarantee a minimum speed (CIR) unless you subscribe to a dedicated leased line (versus the shared connection on residential lines). The only way you get a consistent 1Mbps is when you get a dedicated leased line (which they say is in the range of $1,000 per 1Mbps nowadays).

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