Plusnet refresh brand by ditching traffic management

30 June 2017, 15:32   By Samantha Smith

PLUSNET have introduced a brand refresh, with the Yorkshire-based broadband provider making several significant changes to their services.

plusnet broadband website
Credit: chrisdorney/

Most significant of all is their decision to remove traffic prioritisation for all of their residential internet customers, who from the night of June 28th-29th will experience no significant degradation in their speeds and service at peak times.

In the past, only certain activities - such as gaming and internet voice calls - were protected from systematic slowdowns, yet now all activities will have equal priority.

However, partly in order to finance these improvements, Plusnet will be increasing some of their prices, with the cost of their monthly line rental rising from £17.99 to £18.99 from June 29th.

Goodbye prioritisation

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It therefore seems that a big part of the brand refresh involves Plusnet refocusing their identity a little more on quality, to the slight detriment of their reputation as a "budget" provider.

Of course, the increase in prices is marginal, and Plusnet affirm that the extra revenue "allows us to continue providing brilliant service."

As they say, they have "been investing heavily in [their] network which has increased the capacity and resilience of the network".

In fact, it's precisely because of this investment that they've been able to stop using traffic management, something which now distinguishes them from such rival ISPs as Virgin Media and the Post Office.

That said, other providers such as Sky and BT don't employ traffic management, so the lack of prioritisation on its own won't be enough to distinguish Plusnet from these suppliers.

Nonetheless, the removal will come as good news to Plusnet customers, as well as to anyone tempted to switch to Plusnet but unsure as to whether their (former) tendency to control traffic will be right for them or not.

It's also worth adding in this respect that Plusnet still don't have any fair use policies, something which can limit the speeds of customers who make particularly heavy use of their connection.

Contracts and increases

And even though Plusnet have now removed traffic management in a bid to become something more than a simple "budget" provider, it's important to note that the refresh confirms that they've retained many of the policies that had set them apart from the crowd.

For one, they're keeping their flexible broadband contracts, which can be taken out for 12-, 18- and 24-month periods. Added to this, there is still the option of taking out a rolling 30-day with the 17Mb broadband deal they offer, although this unsurprisingly costs a bit more each month (£5 more) than its 12-month equivalent.

However, given that they've kept their distinctive policies while getting rid of traffic prioritisation, it was almost inevitable that price rises would be involved, and Plusnet have confirmed as much.

They're increasing their line rental from £17.99 to £18.99 a month, it's first rise since last year.

In addition, they're also increasing the price of their Line Rental Saver, an upfront payment that will rise by £12 from £185.88 (£15.49 a month for 12 months) to £197.88 (£16.49 a month).

To be fair, even though such rises are never really welcome, Plusnet still remain one of the cheapest major ISPs, with their subscription fees still coming in below BT's, for example, on most of their broadband packages.

And now that they are saying goodbye to traffic management, they will be offering more value overall to their customers, who will all be able to surf the web as equals.

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