If you, like me are an SLT Broadband user, then chances are that you visit this link on a regular basis. This is SLT’s Broadband Usage meter. Ever since SLT introduced their Broadband package, this link has probably been visited multiple times per day to make sure that you’re keeping track of your data.
In the beginning
The initial Broadband usage meter was informative, but rudimentary. It offered two graphs: one for total data usage and one for peak data usage. If you surfed the web anywhere between 8AM and 11:59PM, this would consume your peak data. Any surfing or downloading that happened from 12 Midnight to 8AM would be considered off peak data usage.
While this was easy enough to understand and gave you a rough idea of the data you had remaining, it didn’t offer users the ability to see exactly how much data they used on a daily basis. This process would require you to call SLT and request a detailed bill which would usually take anywhere between 2-5 days depending on the mood of the post office as well. Imagine my surprise when I logged into SLT’s Broadband Usage Meter and discovered that they had completely revamped the User Interface and by that, the User experience as well.
So what’s new with the SLT Broadband Usage Meter?
Well, for starters, it’s the login screen itself. The previous design was rather clunky and dated. The new login screen offers a more streamlined design. The screen is simple. You need to enter your username and password, followed by a captcha code which can be refreshed if it’s not clear to see. Once the details are verified and authenticated, you’re directly taken to the Broadband Usage Meter.
The Broadband Usage Meter
The interface here offers two primary views via two tabs. The first tab holds your current data usage and the second tab gives you the previous month’s usage. Ever curious to know just how detailed the usage meter is, I clicked the tab for July 2017.
As you can see from the screenshot above, the report is indeed detailed. Starting from the beginning for the month, you’re given the exact details of downloads and uploads both during peak and off peak times on a daily basis. You are also given a total data usage reading at the end of the day which is a combination of uploads and downloads, both during peak and off peak times. Scrolling all the way to the bottom of the report gives you the totals of uploads and downloads along with the total amount of data used.
Monitoring “Current” usage
Clicking the “Current” tab provides you with details of what your monthly data limit is, how much of it has been used and also how much remains. The details are divided between Total volume and Peak download volume. Essentially, you get whatever the limit of your Peak download volume as your off peak volume as well so it’s recommended that you do all your heavy downloading after midnight and stop it by 7.59AM the next day.
The “Current” tab of the Broadband Usage meter also offers a detailed report of how much peak and off peak data was used for downloads and uploads. That makes it pretty straight forward to figure out how much of your data was used and how much you have left.
In case you find yourself running low on data, there’s a big yellow box along with a blue button saying “Buy More GB”. In addition, you can also see your previous purchase history if you’ve already purchased additional data. Needless to say, these two features were present even in the previous iteration of the Broadband Usage meter so there’s nothing really new here.
It’s not perfect, yet.
One thing I did notice however was that the new Broadband usage meter isn’t updated immediately with the current data usage. For example, if I download a 2GB file today, the record of that download will only be added the following day to the usage report. This is rather problematic and a hassle if you want to keep and up-to-date track of the amount of data you use on a daily basis. As an experiment, I even switched off my Router and waited for 5-10 minutes to see if the new session created by the router being switched on would update the records, but alas, it was to no avail.
From a UI note, it makes no design sense on why the username and password text boxes are not of equal length. The username is usually your telephone number (which is a set length) and the password is generated by SLT. It would be more prudent to extend the length of the password text box to incorporate longer passwords if required. Even then, a length of that extent is not really needed.
Overall though, while the new UI change for SLT’s Broadband usage meter is indeed refreshing and while it indeed gives a better overview of how much data you’re using, the fact that it takes a while to update the data usage is something that they should consider fixing, especially if you’re a data conscious user such as myself.
*Update – 05th August 2017
As of the 5th of August 20174, it appears that SLT has disabled one of the more important features of the Broadband Usage Meter which is the detailed report.
This essentially means that users can no longer see exactly how much of data was used within a 24 hour period. Whether the functionality was temporarily suspended to offer better functionality or taken off altogether remains to be seen. All I know is, it was indeed a very welcome addition to the Broadband usage meter and I sincerely hope that the developers at SLT bring the feature back.