Visp.net has developed several new tools to help you manage your dialup customer base better. Some common issues with dialup that can be costly to ISPs are:
- Excessively high usage – subscribers leave their dialup connection connected for extended periods of time even if they are not using the connection.
- Multiple logins – subscribers have more than one computer (or other friends/family) using the same dialup login and password to connect.
You now have access to tools that will help you manage these common issues as well as provide new products.
Duplicate Login Prevention: Beginning July 2008, we’ll release a new system-wide policy of disallowing multiple simultaneous connections. If you’re a partnered ISP with visp.net, these are costly because they increase your overall usage, reducing or preventing REAP discounts and often resulting in extra charges. By default if a dialup username is already online, we will prevent any future connections until the user has disconnected. This is typically used by ISPs who specifically control their own internal networks. If you prefer, we can enable this for your ISP earlier upon submission of your request to email@example.com.
Visp.net’s Research and Development team has developed Security & Abuse Monitor (SAM™) technology to give you the same level of control on external networks. SAM™ allows you more flexibility and opportunities to provide your subscribers with new services that differentiate your business from the competition.
Some ISPs are selling dual-channel products such as ISDN and dedicated accounts. SAM™ allows you to offer those services to your subscribers. Or if you prefer, SAM™ allows you disable these features entirely to reduce unwanted additional expenses.
First, if you’re using our Instant Footprint program, or provide your own POPs and use our UBO (Ultimate Back Office / Bring Your Own Network) products, we can selectively disable the multi-login prevention for your ISP, just email firstname.lastname@example.org with your request.
Second, we’ve developed new tools at http://support.visp.net. Under Administration, Usage Shaping, you will see a list of your active dialup customers (Instant/Ultimate ISP Partners Only). As before, you can click on the arrow link to the right of the username to limit the maximum number of hours per month the user can connect. Inside the same popup window are two new features:
Dedicated Accounts: Almost all networks have hour limitations to ensure that users do not stay connected 24/7. Now SAM™ allows you to upgrade to or sell dedicated dialup access. This feature is best used on Network-A. By selecting this box, the subscriber will be allowed up to 744 hours (24hx31d) access per month. What about your REAP discount? We’ve accounted for this as well. Any user with “dedicated account” checked will not be included in your total REAP hours. The user is treated as a completely separate unit. The cost for this is equivalent to providing 1 dedicated port on a PRI or inbound phone line for the customer to use (if you were running your own equipment) or about $50. Every area has different costs for us, and the $50 price is just a default/estimate that we’ll use to start out. If your dedicated customer(s) are in unpopulated locations, the cost might need to be adjusted up. Similarly, if your dedicated customer(s) are in Tier 1 cities or regions where we receive better dialup pricing, we may be able to adjust it down. Suggested retail pricing on dedicated accounts is $75.00, making this a high margin product for you. However, many ISPs charge as much as $100.00. Try searching “dedicated dialup” on Google to get an idea of what others charge.
Marketing Angle: Did you know that Earthlink, AOL, and most other national carriers strictly forbid users from using excessive usage or multiple logins on basic products like dialup? Now you can keep more customers and serve a market that is refused service by the large nationwide providers.
Multi-Channel Accounts: SAM™ also lets you specify maximum channels. Again, this is best used on Network-A. This is very useful for customers who purchase dual-channel ISDN because they will always use 2 channels simultaneously. Also, customers who need to use their connection simultaneously at home and work can be served by this feature. These accounts are treated exactly the same as all other dialups (unless the dedicated account box is checked), and you are simply billed the same wholesale price multiplied by the number of channels. If the account is also dedicated, no need to worry about PUP (Power User Premium) charges. However, if it’s not dedicated, PUP charges will not be figured until 300 hours on dual channel, 450 hours on 3 channel, etc. It’s the typical 150 hours multiplied by the number of channels.
Marketing Angle: Many ISPs can’t offer a satisfactory dual channel or dedicated product because of limitations on their hardware or vendors, but now you can! With these new tools, you can offer products like dedicated dual-channel ISDN (128k) to businesses who need business class service but cannot afford or receive dedicated frame-relay or DSL class services.