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PlusNet Says Goodbye to Usenet Binaries

17th March 2006 • Dave

I’ve been with PlusNet for 6 or 7 years and been on usenet for 12 years. The Internet and Internet access has changed hugely during that time. This is probably a smart move on the part of my ISP, although I can’t help wondering if this announcement has more to do with concerns over illicit file sharing rather than service performance. Imho anyone serious about Usenet is probably already signed up for something like EasyNews anyway.

“It has become apparent from customer feedback and from our own testing that our existing
Usenet (newsgroups) infrastructure is no longer meeting the needs of those customers
using this platform for binary downloads.
This is also coupled with the fact that there has been a huge upsurge in binary Usenet
postings recently. For example Giganews have reported a 15% growth in binary Usenet
postings within the last 30 days alone and are predicting that this will continue.
Our news platform was never designed to cope with these sorts of volume, and it is
clear that we would need to make significant ongoing investments in order to offer
a reasonable quality binary feed.
We have investigated a number of options for better Binary provision, including re-design
of our server configuration, equipment upgrades and outsourcing to a third party
provider. At this stage however, we have been unable to source a sustainable and
financially viable alternative. The binary Usenet service will be withdrawn from
April 3rd 2006.
Therefore the decision has been made that it would be better to focus our existing
investment in hardware on the provision of a text-only newsgroup service. As a result
of the lower load on the same resource, and the extra redundant storage, this text
service will deliver exceptional performance and will prove a reliable offering for
all of our customers in the long term.
We understand that a number of customers who use Binary newsgroups will be disappointed
by this step but we hope people will understand the reasons for this change and that
many will benefit from a higher quality text feed, rather than a limited and incomplete
binary feed.
Customers may also be interested in the following Usenet services, which offer binary
Usenet services without making a charge:
offer 1GB per month for free
offer a free binary feed with 3 day retention
Many additional commercial Usenet providers exist within the market. Please see
for an independent comparison of some popular offerings.
Stewart Norriss”

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