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Explorenet in Canada user Agreement Q's

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JimmiH
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Aug 19th, 2005 at 3:41pm  
Hi all,

We recently moved rural and are nowhere near any HS service and so i am exploring satellite internet as an option..  Based on research i have done here and elsewhere, it looks like Explorenet is the new kid on the block wrt to satellit internet in Eastern Canada.....

I have placed a call to the local distributor (Who is to call me back today), however as i was going over the user agreement, i came across a few things that perhaps someone could shed some light on for me.....

1:"We have established a Fair Access
Policy to ensure equitable access for all Xplornet Satellite
subscribers. This policy establishes a balance in Internet
access across high-speed Internet services for all
Xplornet Satellite customers regardless of their frequency
or traffic usage. To ensure this equity, customers may
experience some temporary throughput limitations."

- Does anyone know what their FAP is exactly?  What is the threshold set at?  I read elsewhere in this forum that at this time, they do not have one set since they are so new...  Is this correct?
----------------------
2:"You authorize us to make inquiries and to
receive information about your credit experience from
others, to enter this information in your file and to disclose
information about you to third parties. You acknowledge
that we may provide credit experience information
regarding your account to others seeking this information."

- Does this not seem a tad open ended to you?  By signing, you are basically giving them the right to give out your credit history to anyone!!!!!
---------------------
3:"We reserve the right to change the Service, the monthly fees or administrative charges at any time upon 30 days notice"   AND
"You agree that if you
terminate your subscription to the Services prior to the
expiration of the initial term, we have the right, in addition
to all other amounts due to us pursuant to these Terms of
Service, as liquidated damages and not as a penalty, to
receive from you an aggregate amount determined by
multiplying the number of full months remaining in the
noncancellable initial term, by the monthly Fees specified
on your signed Service Agreement."

- By reading this, I get the sense that they have the ability within a month to increase rates and fees that you have signed on your agreement without justification and you are unable to get out of it for the period of the agreement (In this case, either 1 or 2 years)....  Cancelling anyways due to the increase, would then put Explorenet in a position to charge  you an aggregate amount of the remaining balance of your agreement PLUS a cancellation fee of $400.00 that appears on the first page of the agreement....


Can anyone comment on these excerpts?  Is this standard fare with Sat Int providers?


Cheers,


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Eric Johnston
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Reply #1 - Aug 19th, 2005 at 7:17pm  
Fair access policy:  The service provider needs to be able to suppress traffic caused by greedy customers and PCs generating massive amounts of virus traffic.  The thresholds and methods need adjusting to respond to troubles.  The idea is to give everyone a fair chance.  You yourself would have the same problem to resolve if you had multiple PCs in your local LAN connected to your satellite modem. Unless you buy (very expensive) dedicated SCPC links don't consider using satellite for a server or for uploading MP3 CDs etc.

Credit:  With the supplier and customer so distant from one another it is difficult to establish trust.  The suppliers therefore seek to verify customer credit worthiness before trusting them.  If it turns out that a customer is a fraud then the service provider needs to pass that on to anyone (including the police) to help stop others being conned as well.   It would be nice if we had a reverse system also so that customers could check out the bone fide of the service providers.  When I started this help service I could find hardly anyone willing to provide VSAT services - now there are new names popping up every week or so.

Charges:   The costs of providing these services is uncertain and it is helpful to spread the risk by getting customers to accept that prices may go up unexpectedly - particularly if the initial price is below cost to try and get the customer in the first place.   If you are wealthy how about giving the service provider a gift of an extra $10,000 or so to help in the project.   Operating a satellite internet service teleport may easily amount to running a charity communications service for people in the countryside.

Anyway I wish you good luck with whatever service provider you choose.    I don't know if Explornet is the Canadian version of WildBlue but if so, you need to think of yourself as bravely riding into the blue yonder using a new Ka frequency band, with hopes of lower costs and higher bit rates as the dream, etc ...   Best regards, Eric.
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JimmiH
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Reply #2 - Aug 19th, 2005 at 8:04pm  
Thanks Eric... I have made a few comments below:

Quote:
Fair access policy:  The service provider needs to be able to suppress traffic caused by greedy customers and PCs generating massive amounts of virus traffic.  The thresholds and methods need adjusting to respond to troubles.  The idea is to give everyone a fair chance.  You yourself would have the same problem to resolve if you had multiple PCs in your local LAN connected to your satellite modem. Unless you buy (very expensive) dedicated SCPC links don't consider using satellite for a server or for uploading MP3 CDs etc.

[ Completely understandable and FAP's are regular fare nowadays which i wholeheartedly agree with, HOWEVER, with Explornet, it is open..  There are no specifics, which is what makes me nervous...]

Quote:
Credit:  With the supplier and customer so distant from one another it is difficult to establish trust.  The suppliers therefore seek to verify customer credit worthiness before trusting them.  If it turns out that a customer is a fraud then the service provider needs to pass that on to anyone (including the police) to help stop others being conned as well.  

[I agree, however as you are probably aware, privacy is a big issue nowadays and as it is written this User agreements allows them to give {sell?} our information for spamming, marketing reasons..  The content could be greatly improved if their main reason behind this text is what you are referring to.]

[quote ]
Charges:   The costs of providing these services is uncertain and it is helpful to spread the risk by getting customers to accept that prices may go up unexpectedly - particularly if the initial price is below cost to try and get the customer in the first place.  
[/quote]
[I find that to be terrible business practice and any smart business individual would see that.  If as a customer i ALSO had the ability to back out of the contract if the prices UNEXPECTEDLY went up more than what i feel is acceptable, then i am completely in agreements with their statement, however this is not offered....  Only that they can change the price and at any time, however you have to live with it because if you try and get out (While still under the agreement that is) we will monetarily penalize you so much so that it'll cost you more....  To me that is not good business, that is more in line with hooking you, tying you up and if you try and get away when we start to yank on the hook, well it's going to hurt even more because we have you tied as well....]

Quote:
If you are wealthy how about giving the service provider a gift of an extra $10,000 or so to help in the project.   Operating a satellite internet service teleport may easily amount to running a charity communications service for people in the countryside.

[To only dream {re:wealthy}]


Quote:
Anyway I wish you good luck with whatever service provider you choose.    I don't know if Explornet is the Canadian version of WildBlue but if so, you need to think of yourself as bravely riding into the blue yonder using a new Ka frequency band, with hopes of lower costs and higher bit rates as the dream, etc ...   Best regards, Eric.


Thanks again for your comments..

Cheers,
JimmiH
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« Last Edit: Feb 18th, 2015 at 11:22am by Admin1 »  
 
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Reply #3 - Jan 19th, 2006 at 11:07am  
Wildblue have updated their fair use policy.

If users exceed 30 day traffic thresholds of between
2.3 and 17 GB. restrictions are applied.

Type of  "Pak"  bought:    "Value"  "Select"  "Pro"  
Upload  Threshold  ( MB )  2,300        3,000         5,000
Download Threshold (MB)  7,500       12,000        17,000

If typical single PC users traffic is .7 GB upload and 2 GB download then the average  bit rates per single PC user are 2 kbit/s up and 6 kbit/s down
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« Last Edit: Nov 17th, 2014 at 9:43pm by Admin1 »  
 
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Reply #4 - Jan 24th, 2006 at 6:45am  
Wildblue's fair access policy seems screwy to me. I am in Oregon and I mainly use the internet after 11 PM Pacific Time. Between 10 and 11 PM I am mainly visiting forums and doing other "light usage" activities. Wildblue is going to be taking a lot of megabytes away from me in an attempt to solve problems that occur during more popular time periods when I barely use the internet. I just got Wildblue on December 20th. I am wondering how far back that will have cut my usage by the end of 2006. If anyone asks me for my opinion of Wildblue, I will warn them to stay away.
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Reply #5 - Jan 24th, 2006 at 9:30am  
I think Wildblue should note this.   There is good reason to make the price per GB higher in peak time and lower in off peak times.

Their traffic measuring period is a rolling 30 days so any excessive use now will not affect your service at end 2006.

I think Wildblue are just doing the best they can to be honest about what any shared internet access systems will do.  Individual PC users need to pay according to their average usage, typically in the 3 - 10 kbit/s area, or 1 GB per month.  Individual users will occasionally peak at  7 GB if they do some CD downloads for example, but they will still be under their 7.5 GB limit.   Big users might occasionally peak at 17 GB per month.

Anyone needing or expecting unlimited GB has got the wrong service.  They need to buy dedicated capacity (such as SCPC) at perhaps 50 times the monthly price of shared service.  Such dedicated service is appropriate for businesses, internet cafes, VoIP service, servers (such as remote live cameras), whole offices, small village ISPs etc.

Home users can do fine with shared service provided they recognise that the monthly cost is related to the quantity of data being sent or received. 

Do NOT expect "free" VoIP.  It is expensive for you to operate 20 kbit/s continuous transmission both ways for long periods.

Best regards, Eric.
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Reply #6 - Jan 24th, 2006 at 12:22pm  
Quote:
Wildblue's fair access policy seems screwy to me.

I'm of the opinion that this latest revision to a "rolling FAP" was a less than intelligent business move. For those with pre-existing contracts, it means a noticeable REDUCTION in cumulative throughput without a proportionate pricing reduction. It's like signing a January contract to have 100 gallons of something put in your tank every month for a year, then discovering in May that they're only putting 93 gallons in.

I wouldn't go with a throttle system at all. I'd hit the heavy users in the pocketbook. Like Eric says, it's shared bandwidth - but some folks think that means "everybody else share what's left after I'm done". I'd return to the originally contracted FAP thresholds, and start charging heavily for megabytes in excess. Instead of SPENDING money on a complicated and probably expensive throttling mechanism, I'd MAKE money by tacking the overage fee onto the monthly statement of bandwidth hungry customers. The cell phone companies do it all the time.

//greg//
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Reply #7 - Jan 24th, 2006 at 8:37pm  
Good idea Greg.

There is a European company here that sells, for example, 10 GBbytes download for 800 euros pre-paid and provides an on-line user web interface so you can see how much you have used and how much credit is remaining.  Typically good for about 3 months useage.

Since all the Wildblue terminals receive the same downlink bit rate (say 60 Mbit/s) there is no reason why the output to the customer LANs should vary from site to site at all.  The quicker the data gets through to the customer the better for everyone.  The return link bit rates may need higher power Ka transmitters for the higher bit rates however, I don't know.

Best regards, Eric
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Reply #8 - Jan 25th, 2006 at 6:47am  
I realize that such an approach might be unfair to people in the middle of the continent, they are sort of in a bottleneck between the coasts, but if people on the west coast are willing to stay up late and people on the east coast are willing to get up early, they shouldn't have the 10,000 MBs cut back in the value package.

With the current system, someone could be a very light user during weekdays and a hog on the weekend during the most popular hours.

If they continue their current approach, they will have to continue cutting back megabytes as more people subscribe. I happen to be a natural night owl, but most people aren't. Wildblue should want to push people like me away from the more popular hours by not cutting back my megabytes if I stay in the less popular time periods. I did a software upgrade today about 4 PM, that is 7 PM on the east coast. If using the internet during popular hours would cost me more megabytes, I would never upgrade software during those hours.
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Reply #9 - Jan 25th, 2006 at 12:33pm  
The time zone spread varies according to the satellite beam coverage.  All USA coverage beams will spread the load but as above put people in the middle at a disadvantage.   I would expect the traffic in small Ka spots to be more peaky however since such beams cover just 1 or 2 time zones.  How many time zones are there in the US?

How can we keep the transponder busy in off peak periods so as to reduce the load in peak times?.  How can we avoid wasting satellite capacity doing duplicate downloads?   Some ideas: Do big software downloads at night, ideally in IP broadcast mode so the same XP updates or whatever are send once to all PCs simultaneously.  Send all popular MP3 and video film downloads the same way to the cache hard disks of every PC.   If anyone downloads something from the internet save it on the hard disk of every connected PC.
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Reply #10 - Jan 26th, 2006 at 7:12am  
Quote:
The time zone spread varies according to the satellite beam coverage.  All USA coverage beams will spread the load but as above put people in the middle at a disadvantage.   I would expect the traffic in small Ka spots to be more peaky however since such beams cover just 1 or 2 time zones.  How many time zones are there in the US?

How can we keep the transponder busy in off peak periods so as to reduce the load in peak times?.  How can we avoid wasting satellite capacity doing duplicate downloads?   Some ideas: Do big software downloads at night, ideally in IP broadcast mode so the same XP updates or whatever are send once to all PCs simultaneously.  Send all popular MP3 and video film downloads the same way to the cache hard disks of every PC.   If anyone downloads something from the internet save it on the hard disk of every connected PC.


Are you expecting Wildblue users to do that on their own without any reward?
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« Last Edit: Feb 18th, 2015 at 11:24am by Admin1 »  
 
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Reply #11 - Jan 26th, 2006 at 8:15am  
Quote:
The time zone spread varies according to the satellite beam coverage.  All USA coverage beams will spread the load but as above put people in the middle at a disadvantage.   I would expect the traffic in small Ka spots to be more peaky however since such beams cover just 1 or 2 time zones.  How many time zones are there in the US?


Here is a URL for an official time zone map for the United States.

http://time.gov/HTML5/

Does the west coast share a satellite with other time zones or do we just have to think about the most popular hours for our particular time zone? I figured that we were sharing with other time zones.
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Reply #12 - Jan 26th, 2006 at 2:37pm  
Quote:
Does the west coast share a satellite with other time zones


One satellite currently provides service to CONUS and most of Canada; Anik-F2 located at 111.1 West longitude

Satellite location is unrelated to this discussion. It's the terrestrial connectivity that influences the overall ebb and flow of internet traffic. Of additional concern to the satellite customer is the gateway SMTS/server load.

//greg//
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Reply #13 - Jan 26th, 2006 at 3:17pm  
Looking at the time zone map there are only 3 lines and if you superimpose these on the beam patterns in http://www.satsig.net/ka-band-anik-f2-wildblue-telesat.htm then only about 15 beams out of 45 actually span two time zones.  So, in most cases each spot is in single time zone.
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Reply #14 - Jan 26th, 2006 at 5:39pm  
Quote:
Looking at the time zone map there are only 3 lines and if you superimpose these on the beam patterns in http://www.satsig.net/ka-band-anik-f2-wildblue-telesat.htm then only about 15 beams out of 45 actually span two time zones.  So, in most cases each spot is in single time zone.


Moot point Eric. There are at least six gateways controlling individual spotbeams in multiple time zones.
controlled by
Winnipeg: beams 7, 9, 10, 11, 17, 26, 27
Riverside: beams 12, 13, 14, 21, 22, 23, 30, 31
Cheyennne: beams 15, 16, 24, 32, 33, 34, 38, 43
Syracuse: beams 18, 19, 20, 28, 35, 36, 41
Laredo: beams 25, 29, 37, 39, 40, 42, 44, 45
Vancouver(?): beams 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8

It becomes more evident when you see it color coded where each color represents the originating gateway. Riverside California for example (yellow); most concentrated coverage, most potential for "time zone congestion". Laredo Texas (lt blue) and Cheyenne Wyoming (dk blue) on the other hand control beams in what appears to be three time zones. Usage is more chronologically distributed. The other three gateways appear to have two time zone coverage.

//greg//
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Reply #15 - Jan 28th, 2006 at 9:31am  
My old dial up ISP encouraged use after 10 PM by allowing unlimited online use between 10 PM and a fairly early morning hour (I am a night owl so all that mattered is that the cut off time was after I went to bed). I don't expect Wildblue to be that generous, but after looking at the map, it looks like Wildblue should allow more megabytes to those who are online between midnight and whenever the congestion problems start. That might seem uncessarily late to those using the Riverside gateway, but it would probably be necessary for the Laredo and Cheyenne gateways. Wouldn't it make sense to allow so many megabytes per 24 hour period instead of by the month? If you used Wildblue during the more congested time period (or periods) the meter would run faster and you would use up your alloted megabytes faster (I probably could have phrased that better, but I think that you will understand the basic concept. I am not a techie).
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Reply #16 - Jun 24th, 2008 at 7:09am  
Hey everyone, please make note of the correct spelling for the company... it is: Xplornet
Took a while for me to get used to it as well...
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