By: MarkJ - 23 February, 2006 (12:18 PM)
has today announced its intention to replace their existing Home broadband packages with Zen 8000 Active (£24.99) and Zen 8000 Pro (£34.99) from March 1st 2006. However there is a downside, the provider will be replacing unrestricted usage with caps:Importantly, the trial proved it is not commercially viable to offer unlimited usage with download speeds of up to 8Mbps so usage allowances have been introduced for the first time on these new products.
Zen prides itself on its open relationship with its customers and rather than position the new products as being subject to a non-specific usage policy the new products will be sold with a clear indication of what the monthly usage allowances are - 20GB in the case of Zen 8000 Active and 50GB for customers using Zen 8000 Pro. Whilst the products are capable of speeds of up to 8Mbps customers will be advised exactly what speed they can expect.*
These allowances have been devised after detailed analysis of our customers Internet usage revealed that over 80% of our customers are using less than 20GB bandwidth per month and that the 50GB monthly usage allowance with Zen 8000 Pro is more than enough even for very heavy Internet users. Only users who continually saturate their connections with peer to peer file sharing downloads are likely to use more than this allowance. By setting such generous usage allowances Zen are also able to accommodate growing bandwidth usage by customers as they become more sophisticated users of their connectivity solution.
Iain Johnstone Sales and Partner Programme Manager at Zen stated : “These new products give us a stronger product portfolio to meet existing and new market opportunities and enhance the services we can offer our customers. Our goal remains the same and that is to provide the best ISP service in the UK. Zen 8000 Active and Pro will be supported by the same UK based, award winning services that all Zen customers enjoy”.
Iain continues “The new products are a key development and by having them we can now offer our customers the full range of products and services that they have been asking us for. Customers now have access to these new products and of course our “ Office ” range which continues to offer fully unlimited business broadband giving us a well balanced product offering”.
Existing Zen customers with Home 500, Home 1000 and Home 2000 will continue to receive the same service. Should any of these customers wish to transfer to one of our new products they can do so, and will not be charged.
One interesting keynote is that Zen will continue to offer its Home 250 product as an unlimited service at £17.99 per month. Despite all the market activity and claims for the highest speed this product continues to sell in healthy numbers, often addressing specific customer requirements for a simple Broadband solution.
Richard Tang MD at Zen Internet commented: “Our mission is to provide the best ISP service in the UK by adopting a philosophy of continual improvement. This change to our product set delivers a significant improvement to our customers and reaffirms our commitment to provide a fast, reliable, and hassle-free service to businesses and discerning home users.”
*Average 5-6Mbps depending on line quality and distance from the exchange 159 exchanges will not be upgraded by BT – these will continue to receive an “up to 2Mbps” service. During March 2006 all services will be “up to 2Mbps”.
Zen is taking somewhat of a risk with its new 'capped' packages, which had previously been seen as one of the best reasons to pay that little bit extra. Suddenly products from rival ISP's, such as Nildram
, start to look more viable.
Thankfully existing customers don't have to upgrade, although for some the chance at speeds above 2Mbps may prove irresistible. Typically Zen’s new 8Mbps services will be based off BT Wholesale’s incoming IPStream Max technology, although whispers suggest an LLU
based service may also be on the way.
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