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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
OR
8Mbps at 30GB bandwidth cap (+ Php100/GB overage)

Plan 2999: Php2,999/month for 3Mbps unlimited
OR
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).



Abe is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of YugaTech. You Can follow him on Twitter @abeolandres.

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62 Responses

  1. BeerBoyBeerTime88 says:

    still the question lingers is the SPEED GUARANTEED? coz if I picked up the bucket pricing plan then I was promised 4mbps for example (all for the max of 15gb) but I just get 2mbps-3mbps speed then that’s another thing… I dont know when will all these stuff change.

    It’s easy to put a cap or capping plan on accounts however MAINTAINING the promised speed is still a BIG issue. And I hope they advertise correctly this time.

  2. jun says:

    I second the motion.. siguro sa mga wired customer pwede.. pero yung bucket pricing still dapat me minimum guarantee na speed.. or else..

  3. sam sung says:

    kung ang sinasabi nila ay totoo, totoong speed at good connection, maganda to, efficiency and reliability……………………….. that remains to be proven

  4. domob says:

    Andyan na naman tayo sa Mbps. If they don’t deliver the said speed, pwede bang hindi ako magbayad? I highly doubt pwede yun, pero sila ang hindi tumutupad. Worst case scenario, mabagal na nga, capped pa usage mo. FAIL

  5. NemOry says:

    pwd po ba matranslate from example: 8Mbps to 8MBps?hehe. .d q talaga gets ang itsura pg mg download na yan sa browser. .for example 8MB ung size na dadwnloadin q, .so 1sec b tapos na agad?hehe

  6. lolipown says:

    If the telcos do approve of this system, color me surprised. The current pricing scheme is a boatload of money.

  7. Pukeman says:

    I agree with BeerBoyBeerTime88 and all the rest. However, I am only asking for 80% of the guaranteed bandwidth, and no excuses. What is my recourse if I do not get it?
    Another point is that the ability to switch should be instantaneous or close to, not wait 3 days or “Please come down to the nearest office and fill out these forms”
    It all sound great in theory, but can it be properly implemented in practice, that’s the question. I am all for bucket pricing, just a little wary of the implementation and execution.

  8. Lil says:

    Questions is, will the speed really be consistent?
    How about downtime?
    They have to PROMISE consumers first there is close to zero downtime and guaranteed speed

  9. I am currently using Globelines 2MB package and I love the unlimited GB of downloads via torrents. I can’t imagine it having a quota of 15GB/month and paying extra for additional GB. I love the way it is.

  10. John says:

    I think the cap is too low while the price per gig too high. Maybe if they just count the downloads and not the seeding uploads then maybe we can think about it.

  11. Kyle says:

    Unlimited Bandwidth is still the best… It’s more than enough in my usual needs. Only abusive torrent users needs the additional boost so they can download with less time needed. I say keep the options rolling, nothing hurts if there are more options to choose.

  12. John says:

    I do around at my peak around 180 to 250 gigs a month combined DL (150) and UL (100) If you just count my DL then my monthly bill will be:

    2999 MSF plus bandwidth overage of 9k for a grand total of 11,999!!!

    Can the telco’s give figures for caps in other countries?

  13. Neil says:

    This sounds good to me, if it finally gets the telcos to shut up about net congestion. Not a heavy downloader so I don’t need a lot of bandwidth, but I need to be online 24/7 with consistent speeds since I telecommute, I’m having trouble doing that most of the time since their unlimited plans tend to fall down to dial-up speeds for extended periods of time.

    …and their excuse is always NET CONGESTION PO.

    I would even settle for 999 – 384kbps if it means that I get at least 80% of the promised bandwidth consistently.

  14. GUMZ says:

    This offer sounds fair. If this will be implemented I can go with Option #2 Capped Plan: Php999 @ 4Mbps (15GB/month), hopefully without LOCK-IN period so I can switch if ever I’m no longer satisfied with the service.

  15. Jaypee says:

    Dito na lang ako sa 2mbps wired dsl + landline bundle ko from globe (P1,295 monthly service fee). Consistent speed naman nakukuha ko na 2Mb/s.

  16. kjalcordo says:

    Bandwidth too low for me.. I don’t download but I stream videos and music. I pay 1995 for my 3mbps residential.. Would be nice to have 8mbps capped at 300gbs

  17. m says:

    IMHO Bandwidth caps are very evil. They stiffle innovation on data presentation (web stuff, apps). If people are going to be concerned about how much data they download then we’ll all go back to the minimalist internet for mobile. No more innovation on flash or html5. No more sites that make money from ads (since we’d be adblocking them to minimize our bandwith use.)

  18. Sadly without guaranteed speeds they might as well tell you that you have 1,000 Mbit speeds but only get 10kB/sec when you use it.

    What’s the use? They’re overselling their bandwidth either way.

    Without guaranteed speeds then what kind of minimum speed are we looking at? 50kB/sec? 10kB? 5? 0? If they keep overselling their bandwidth eventually what they sell as 1MBit lines will just give everybody 5kB/sec downloads. Dial-up speeds.

    What’s stopping them? Nothing, apparently. With all their crappy jargon they might as well write their own paycheck and give us little drops of internet every so often.

  19. Messie says:

    +1 on everyone’s concern: guarantee that speed will be delivered. A 4mbps in theory will net you 400 kbps download speed. If you get lower than this, then telcos should accordingly adjust your cap.

    If posible lang, sana may boost option na lang, ala Nitro, which will be offered with combo plans. For example:

    Plan 999: 1mbps unlimited with 4mbps 5gb boost

    It will be like having the typical unlimited plan, pero if you want a boost in download (useful when you need to download something fast, or needs to beat a deadline) you can just go to the telco site, click a certain link, then this will increase your speed to 4mbps. That is until you turn it off, or have maxed it already.

    Sana may ganito =D It can be quite useful when you need to download something for work, or is itching to watch your favorite series’ episode and you only have a limited amount of time. :)

  20. peps says:

    I think they better improve their service first NATIONWIDE BEFORE THEY OFFER these kinds of plans.

    This is no use if the customer thinks that somewhere in the future that their internet connection will degrade or they will not get what they paid for.

    A real 1 mbps CONSISTENCY is enough for me. What’s the use of 4/8/12mbps connection if it loads youtube/vimeo videos like dial-up.

  21. phoy says:

    consistency of speed… their ads for will be the key factor for us to love this.. hope they just give us all minimum of 1mbps sounds more fair to all :D

  22. Mr.A says:

    How about remove the MSF and just start charging by the bucket. When users reach the given cap, thats the only time they will be charge for the service.

    If they want to go to that price range; which doesn’t fulfill the objective of providing cheaper internet to everybody. Then just charge us as I said above.

  23. Operation Super says:

    I still prefer the unlimited plans. I average on 20-35GB a month.

    With blazing speed, you’d load more sites, view more videos and even watch full lengths directly from the browser, click that HD option, it’ll load faster with top notch quality. Who wouldn’t want that, right? Well, I mean, that’s what I would do.

    Long live my 1MBPS/799 plan!

  24. Operation Super says:

    My comment got caught by the spam thingy. Tsk. That is why I prefer recapcha auth.

  25. Night says:

    I dont see the point in going after a 4mbps plan if 15gb lang ang cap. Kaya nga mas mabilis ang pipiliin mo para mas mabilis DL/streaming mo. Eh kung 15gb lang ang cap every month so most likely target consumers lang nila ay yung mga nag susurf, email and occasional video streaming. Eh pag nag susurf naman ako using my 1mbps na plan hindi ko na nonotice yung loading time eh. Anong gagawin ko sa 4mbps kung mag susurf lang ako?

    Maybe if gawin nilang nasa 100-200gb ang cap baka I might think twice.

  26. markem says:

    how about for prepaid subscribers? Telcos/ISP should also offer this to prepaid no just for postpaid..

  27. Jon says:

    It was all good until the part where telcos could not promise a minimum speed. Is that really so hard to do? Argh.

  28. TopMace says:

    I agree with Mr. A. Drop the MSF. You pay only for what you use. Say P100 per 1.5GB of data usage. That way, if the connection is crappy, I can forego thinking I’ll be paying less by the end of the month.

  29. I don’t want any quota…

  30. TopMace says:

    @domob

    You’re the one failing

  31. TopMace says:

    @markem

    Postpaid users are the priority. Prepaid users aren’t really that important.

  32. Kenneth says:

    Hands-down Unlimited pa rin ang best option, given the track record of Telcos/ISPs internet bandwidth speed, I doubt they can consistently provide 4Mbps or higher speed. Ang mangyayari niyan, naka-cap ka na as 15GB, ang bagal pa … :)

    And like Mr.A and TopMace, it might be a better offer if Telcos drop the MSF and just bill users based on usage, they just need to offer a realistic bucket pricing (with consistent speed/connection).

    Metering should also be by the minute minimum, by the second sana mas maganda so that users can disconnect if in case they get poor bandwidth speed.

  33. Faust says:

    I find this rather expensive and confusing and I hate watching over my bandwidth usage how much I’ve consumed.

  34. Herce says:

    Again and again and again, speed and service is the problem. CIR is not important for consumers and is a huge red herring, a fake out. CIR is only for mission critical stuff. For home use what’s the point of CIR?

    When we talk about speed at the consumer level we’re talking about “max burst”, in the local Philippine corporate telco propaganda/marketing jargon. Yes, sky cable offers 12mbps. What is the upload speed? 1mbps :(.

    Then where is this 12mbps speed offered? In tiny enclaves, NOT available to the vast majority of the residents in the Metro. I used to own property in one of those enclaves. I didn’t live there full time but I did stay there around a week out of every month and I let my cousins live there full time while they were in school. At that time 6mpbs was the max for skybroadband. I got, maybe, 3-4mbps on average and it was constantly out (far worse even than lousy skycable service).

    While PLDT and globe are more or less available everywhere in the Metro, they top out at 3mbps and 2mbps with dial-up like upload speeds. Globe service is horrendous, I negotiated a termination fee so I could drop them.

    Speed and service is the problem. All these pricing schemes are games, at best, and scams, at worse. Ways to trick people out of more money for the same lousy service and slow speeds. Offering them costs the telcos NO real money. Not like spending to upgrade the aging telco infrastructure.

    If we had a better government, it could be used to leverage against the mega corps to get them to do what needs to be done. However, we are stuck with corruption where such an option, which would’ve never benefited us (it was a government only plan), ended up being used as an attempt to rob us of more money by the former President.

    So its up to us and, sadly, we suck. Service and speed requires investment that the telcos don’t want to do. Why should they when we are currently paying exorbitant rates for terrible service and slow speeds? We don’t seem to care either, our bloggers are trying to sell us more payment schemes instead!

    So we end up with one of the worse telecom infrastructures in Asia. What else is new? At least we’re ahead of Burma/Myanmar and Cambodia, right?

  35. gul says:

    @Herce: you have the best argument among the many very good points, so far. i need not explain any further.

    perhaps we need more NEW foreign or local investors to give what the consumers really want.

  36. Christian Andersen says:

    What if…

    You just focus on improving your service?

    “Options” is a word abused by many

    Let’s see. Soon, this “Option” will become the “Standard” once you let it become an “Option”.

    Tapos ang unlimited, magiging 4,000 pesos na at the same speed.

    Kawawa talaga tayong mga consumer naloloko na lang palagi

  37. mmorpg'er says:

    Hi there, Yuga. Avid reader here.
    I was just wondering, how will this new internet capping thing affect how I play my online games? World of warcraft for example. Thanks.

  38. camhiliciouz says:

    this new scheme of capping and stuff are just a diversion of the real issue. they are just propagandizing something that is impressive so as to cover their rotten service.

    yung simpleng sistema nga lang na unlimited nacocongest na system nila given the 1 mbps or so connection na ni sa hinagap ng majority ng subscribers nila eh hindi naranasan, the more pa kaya yung mas matataas na speed. and yun ngang imonitor nga lang nila yung simpleng problems through their customer service eh hindi na nila matugunan the more paka itong scheme kung saan may specific amount of bandwidth?

    i also believe na the government specifically the NTC is dumb-playing with regards to this. dapat sineset na ang batas regarding minimum guaranteed speed. masyadong maluwag sila. the telcos had greatly benefited na. greed na ang tawag sa ginagawa nila..

    the move for the guaranteed speed should be initiated na, and sigurado subscribers like us will definitely support it.

    therefore, let us not support this new scheme. THE TELCOS HAS MORE THAN ENOUGH RESOURCES TO IMPROVE THEIR FACILITIES para hindi magkaron ng CONGESTION. ginagawa lang nila tayong tanga.

  39. TopMace says:

    I have to change the email linked to my gravatar because of posers in this blog. Maybe these trolls were paid by someone, so that we stay away from this blog.

    For the information of everyone, I didn’t post the comments numbers 27 (http://www.yugatech.com/blog/telecoms/bucket-pricing-for-broadband-gets-a-new-twist/#comment-382153) and 28 (http://www.yugatech.com/blog/telecoms/bucket-pricing-for-broadband-gets-a-new-twist/#comment-382155)

  40. Jhay says:

    What’s the use of being able to choose between plans if the ISPs can not and will not commit to guaranteeing minimum speeds?

    Recalling the previous brouhaha about the bandwidth caps, opposing sides were willing to compromise as long as ISPs can and will guarantee minimum speeds.

  41. Jeric says:

    Consistent 1mbps for me… Consistent ha! hindi yung 1mbps lang kapag offpeak!

  42. TopMace says:

    That’s the poser at comment #27 and 28.

  43. migs says:

    They can’t guarantee the minimum speed because users are sharing the bandwidth.

    I’ve tried plug-its, DSL, prepaids, postpaids, and now using leased line (E1) ng smart (not personal ha. for the company im currently connected).

    A 2mbps E1 sa smart would cost between $1500 to $2k. Globe is offering it a bit cheaper, around $900 $1.3k per month.

    Sa leased line, sayo ang mundo. walang cap, wala silang pakialam sayo.

  44. domob says:

    wtf, someone’s posting comment/s using my account.

    @ TopMace: I’m not the one who posted comment #38 either. wth

    sir yuga you must be so famous trolls flood your blog’s comment section.

  45. domob says:

    I want to insert this bucket into my anus, seriously

  46. raul barrios says:

    The problem with telcos is that customers are not highly valued. All they need is to value the customer and everything will just follow.

  47. Dan says:

    how i wish they can make the use of internet like our electricity bills or like the home gas bills in the US, take all you want

  48. icarus says:

    Ang weird lang na nasanay tayo sa unlimited well in fact other countries are into capped plans.

    On the other hand, most of the ISP’s here in the Philippines never reach the average speed of the Internet in the World. What should these providers do is to prove to us na they are consistent in giving what speed they promised us.

  49. NO TO BUCKET PRICING says:

    What’s wrong with this blogger trying to push through bucket internet plans here in the Philippines?

    MR. YOU GOT TECH, our country is lucky to have internet service providers who offer unlimited internet plans. YOU HAVE NO IDEA kung anu-ano ang pasakit na dala ng bucket data plan.

    Now let me GIVE YOU SOME.

    Take for example, here in the United States, AT&T offers $80 (about P3200) plan for 5gb of data transfer, THAT IS INCLUDING UPLOAD TRANSFERS. The bandwidth speed differs and ranges from 1-3mb/s which is a good side of this.

    Let’s say, you’re an avid YouTube watcher, or one who uses Netflix and the likes. These will all eat up your monthly allowance, sa download palang. Gaming consoles (PS3, X360) takes up a lot of upload bandwidth. An anti-virus update’s file size can take up to 1mb, now do the math if you set it up to update every hour. AND JUST LIKE YOU, web hosts there in our country will suffer.

    There are too many downsides, I tell you. Would you pay for $80 just for downloading 4 DVD rips from utorrent? How about $80 just for 2 whole days of Skyping? Or $80 exclusively for serving your blog’s visitors for 2 weeks?

    THE ADVERTISEMENTS AND REBATES are what you gotta ask to get fixed. P1000 for 512Kbps doesn’t sound bad at all.

    I’m asking you to please, please, please, stop writing about bucket pricing’s advantages. Or at least, post but include the disadvantages. You have a big voice in the tech industry. Heck, even Globe and Smart are trying to implement the method after your posts. Please stop this now or you’ll become the root of our nation’s possible additional burden.

  50. Rian says:

    Ok lang naman yung limit ng 15Gb kasi di na ako masyado nagdodownload. Kung ganun man, mabilis ko matatapos ang isang file say for example document from my boss, e 4mbps naman, basta ba siguradong yung icocommit na speed edi ok lang.

  51. Robin says:

    Me, I am really okay with data CAP’s. But hopefully without restrictions on use. I have a Smart Gold Data Plan capped at 1.5GB after which you throttle down.

    But the use of certain applications might result in having to pay Php10 per 30 minutes. In fairness to Smart Communications, they have been helping identify the cause of the additional data charges.

    But with 250,000 Android apps and 300,000 iPhone apps, if I download something new I feel like I am left guessing which applications I can and cannot use without being charged additional data charges.

  52. kiko says:

    No to Bucket Pricing

    I am happy with the consistent and unlimited 2Mbps downspeed and 0.5Mbps upspeed of my Globe Broadband ADSL Plan 1295.

  53. Steve says:

    2mbps SDSL from Eastern telecom is $700 a month.
    2mbps leased line from Digitel is $900 a month.
    2mbps leased line from PLDT is $1200 a month.

    At least this is what we’re paying at our office.

  54. kristian says:

    GUys i hate globe alredy… iv been watching youtube for 5 hours only… ad i cant coonecct to the internet because of this…

    GLOBE Advisory: Ur data subscription for today has reached 800mb. Ur remaining browsing hours will resume tomorrow subject to promo validity. U may opt to forfeit ur remaining subscription to browse for P5/15. To unsubscribe text POWERSURF OFF or SUPERSURF OFF to 8888. This promo is guided by Globe Fair Use Policy.
    Time: 27/02/2011 02:17:09

  55. kristian says:

    Guys i hate globe already… iv been watching you-tube for 5 hours only… ad i cant connect to the internet because of this…

    GLOBE Advisory: Ur data subscription for today has reached 800mb. Ur remaining browsing hours will resume tomorrow subject to promo validity. U may opt to forfeit ur remaining subscription to browse for P5/15. To unsubscribe text POWERSURF OFF or SUPERSURF OFF to 8888. This promo is guided by Globe Fair Use Policy.
    Time: 27/02/2011 02:17:09

  56. Robin says:

    @kristian

    Five hours of YouTube in the field with a mobile device?

    That is the kind of thing you should do on a fix point DSL or Wimax connection. Unlimited 3G Data connections are not meant to be your only internet connection.

  57. Fibre says:

    To telcos, just offer us higher mbps in an affordable price, period. I dont care regards to bucket pricing.

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