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ISP Zen Internet UK Cuts 66Mbps FTTC Unlimited Fibre Prices

Friday, October 4th, 2019 (2:50 pm) - Score 2,551
zen internet uk isp

Rochdale-based UK ISP Zen Internet has informed us that they’ve further reduced the standard monthly price of their FTTC (VDSL2) based Unlimited Fibre 2 (66Mbps average) broadband and phone bundle, which appears to have gone from £38.99 per month at our last check to £34.99, albeit with a £19.99 one-off activation fee.

As usual the packages support Zen’s Lifetime Price Guarantee (i.e. no price rises for as long as a customer stays with them) and future decreases in price will thankfully still be passed on to consumers. Existing customers can also sign-up to the new deals once their current contract expires.

Otherwise all of their packages include unlimited usage, a good quality wireless router (FRITZ!Box), a static IP address and a 12 month minimum contract. Zen also supports Ofcom’s new Automatic Compensation scheme for provision delays, missed appointments and outages that last longer than 2 working days (rare).

Richard Tang, Zen’s Founder & Chairman, said:

“These price reductions make our award-winning service and reliability even more competitive, and accessible to a wider range of customers. Zen’s premium service used to come at a premium price, but now customers can enjoy this for less money than they would pay to some of the big well-known names. In fact, our lifetime price guarantee proves just that, and is completely at odds to the industry norm of big out-of-contract price hikes, and even hikes mid-contract.

At Zen, we remain totally committed to our long-term most-fundamental objectives of ‘Happy staff’, ‘Happy customers’, and ‘Happy suppliers’.”

End.

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Mark Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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26 Responses
  1. Avatar Name

    Still about 2 years behind the rest of ISPs.

    • @Name. As a rough figure, more than half of UK ISPs with a similar plan still charge more than Zen. Of course not many smaller ISPs bundle in a decent AVM router, static IP address or automatic compensation (Ofcom) like Zen. Plus they’re quite well rated, so it’s wise not to judge merely on price.

    • Avatar Amsterdam

      Not really considering BT charge £39.99 a month with a 24 month contract, then £47.99 a month.

      Zen’s shorter contract, lower price and guareted no price rise ever seems like a pretty decent deal.

    • Avatar Mike

      It’s almost like people don’t like freedom of choice…

  2. Avatar AnotherTim

    This is a good price for unlimited FTTC from a quality ISP – it is cheaper than their Market A ADSL prices (which have data caps).

  3. Avatar Leeab37

    Wow! Zen always review very highly and up until now have been priced at a premium. Great deal given how good an isp they are.

  4. Avatar Bill

    No price decrease for business customers.

  5. Avatar Spurple

    My service went active today. I’m sure I’ll feel the pinch of sacrificing my VM cable for Zen next time I download a game but I feel it’s worth it for the peace of mind of a fixed-price contract.

  6. Avatar mick hogs big

    Zen have gone downhill from what they used to be, dropping prices because no one wants to join them…… just another budget isp !

    • Avatar Spurple

      Bits are getting cheaper to transmit, not more. We should be getting more for the same price like the rest of the information technology industry. The other ISPs are somehow trying to make us believe it’s the other way around, spinning up weird stats like monthly data transferred.

      It’s weird because when you have a 1gbps link, every second that passes, you get 1 billion bits of capacity to use or lose forever.

    • Avatar CarlT

      Spurple – I have no idea what you’re talking about. If you have a 1 Gb line to your home you don’t have 1 Gb of capacity exclusively for your use that you’re somehow wasting, you likely have less than 1/100th of that dedicated to you.

      Usage goes up more capacity is required to service each user. That happens faster than the cost of providing the service drops price increases are necessary to preserve margins.

      When you’re next thinking about how prices haven’t gone down think about how much the price per kilobit of maximum speed has changed over the past 20 years. If possible then look at how much the price for average peak usage has changed, too.

      Had prices not come down hugely 40 Mb FTTC being used moderately and averaging 4 Mb/s at peak times would cost 5-figures Pounds a month.

    • Avatar Spurple

      CarlT,

      The ISP provisions for peak usage across all their users and aim for around 70% max utilisation if they care to maintain a high quality of experience.

      My example used 1gbps but is just as valid for 100gbps. Once you have installed this capacity, any unused is lost, and this is a mostly fixed-price asset and the cost of that capacity continues to fall as technology matures.

      Example a 100gbps port at Linx London is around £2400 a month. This price is on a downward trend. IP transit costs are harder to come by, but you don’t need the same capacity for transit since you will aim to peer or host mirrors locally to satisfy more requests. Let’s assume you’re paying £50k a month for 10gbps of global IP transit, and 10% of your traffic requires transit.

      If the other end of that port were a well-connected entity, that’s enough peak capacity for 1250 dedicated 80mbps lines, or at 50 to 1 contention for home users, that’s 62,500 customers.

      If you’re billing these 62,500 folks £35 a month for this service(as Zen does), that’s £2.187m in revenue monthly for bandwidth that cost you £52300 plus fees. I suppose OpenReach gets about 40% of that for the physical connection. Still leaves plenty of margin for other operating expenses.

      I’m not an industry insider so take my example with a bit of salt.

      Next year, all your connectivity prices will fall perhaps by 3 to 5%, but your users speeds have not gone up, so their peak usage cannot really have gone up either.

      How do you justify raising prices every 6 months?

      Mind you, the more customers you have the cheaper the bandwidth gets foe you as well, since you get more free peering and avoid thst expensive global transit even more as more of your traffic is local to your network.

    • Avatar CarlT

      How about the costs of getting data from exchange to the core network?

      This would involve either paying BT Wholesale to do it for you or purchasing links from Openreach, etc, to get to your core.

      Peak time (what I meant by peak) average usage per customer not going up because speeds didn’t go up is not the case. It is consistently going up at a rate of 40-60% a year due mostly to increased use of OTT video services. This means 40-60% more capacity required in the most expensive part – the transport network between exchanges and an ISP’s own core.

      The focus on transit and peering is misplaced. These are not the problem, getting traffic from customers to network and sometimes across own network is.

    • Avatar Spurple

      I’m happy for you to enlighten me further. Does the line-rental charge from openreach include delivery of the traffic to an agreed upon POP?

      In any case, these are also fixed costs and the cost per unit of bandwidth is on the downward trend. The customers if they’re lucky get a speed boost in their connection about every 5 to 10 years or so (for example it will be about a 7 years since FTTC by the time i get a bump from ~60mbps FTTC to maybe 330mbps or something else with more fibre in the mix (if OpenReach actually deliver by March 2020). Over that time, the cost of bandwidth would have fallen by around 5 percent each year.

      I don’t see a clear case for annual price rises except that the ISPs are mostly acting in unison and so hardly anything for users to do to avoid it and none except afaik Zen has been willing to break away from the pack.

  7. Avatar G-man

    Spurple is exactly right!! Why do you think that the fibre take up has been so slow in this country. Businesses don’t want to invest once everyone has fibre how can they tier the pricing when everyone has a 1gb+ line.

    • Avatar FibreBob

      What are you on about? Fibre take up has been high – both FTTP and FTTC.

      And 1Gbps lines – is that the norm for everyone at the moment?

    • Avatar CarlT

      Not sure what you’re trying to say. Mind restating more clearly?

  8. Avatar Walkerx

    I switched to Zen in March as was cheaper than Sky and offered ipv4/6. The service has been brilliant with only downtime was maintenance, power outage in our town and upgrading to G.Fast after 6 months with them.

    • Avatar Stephen Wakeman

      Hi Walkerx, can I ask how you’re getting on with your Zen Gfast? Looking to go with Zen soon as Gfast 330/40 is available to me.

  9. Avatar Steveocee

    As both mine and my parents plusnet contracts are coming to an end shortly I’ve already been eyeing Zen up and that was before the price drop.

    Always had great dealings with them through work so see no reason why not to.

  10. Avatar adslmax

    Still way too expensive for FTTC up to 66Mbps. Plusnet cost me ZERO at the moment for FTTC up to 80Mbps (will do a good deal for £25 a month on a 12 months contract with prize freeze) when the billing issues has finally fixed but for now it free FTTC at no cost.

    • Avatar Steve

      It’s not ‘up to 66Mbps’, it’s the same ‘up to 80MBps’ you have. it’s 66Mbps *average*.

    • Avatar Rahul

      It’s expensive because the free router (FRITZ!Box) they supply is worth £130. Usually expensive ISP packages supply higher quality routers. While we can see the same comparison with Onestream cheap £35 router ZyXEL AMG1302-T11C for Fibre and for ADSL is Onestream TG588V V2 that’s £25.

      For example the Plusnet F@ST Hub Zero 2704n that comes free with their ADSL is a worse router than the Sky ADSL Netgear Hub but package is cheaper because the ISP can afford to provide you a cheaper package as the router supplied is ordinary.

      Plusnet will also betray after the 12/18 month contract. They gave me £75 cash back year upfront around £197 for ADSL. But I know after 12 month contract they will price hike for sure in order to offset their offer costs! Fortunately for me I finally have FTTC in my area and will switch provider after the current contract ends.

    • Avatar cdh1981

      Well of course it’s expensive compared to you, max, you’re currently getting your FTTC for free!

      Christ on a bike.

    • Avatar AnotherTim

      I’m feeling a bit ripped off by Plusnet – I’m only getting ADSL2+ free!

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