Bright Canopy: relaunching Wednesday, Sept 23rd

Bright CanopyAfter experiencing a stormy official launch period at the end of August 2015, which resulted in the service having to be suspended, Bright Canopy have indicated that their streaming service for Second Life and OpenSim users will be re-opening to users on Wednesday, September 23rd.

The official announcement is due to be made at 23:59 GMT (15:59 SLT) on Tuesday, September 22nd via the Bright Canopy website. However, the text of the announcement has been released ahead of this to a number of bloggers including myself, with permission for us to help circulate the news in advance.

The announcement reads in full:

Launch Reboot

Bright Canopy is back!

Bright Canopy has been down now for almost one month. We have done our best to be transparent and communicative during the downtime. Please be sure to read the community meeting transcript for all of the details.

We have been working with Frame on a new pricing plan that will allow us to offer the service immediately. We will continue working on options that will improve our costs on the back-end and allow more  flexibility in the future.

For now, this is what we have:

  • $17 per month includes 20 hours of service.
  • Additional time $0.02 per minute
  • 30 minute minimum for sessions
  • If you use 10 hours or more of additional minutes, that will be charged immediately, otherwise additional minutes are charged at the beginning of the next month.

So if you sign up for Bright Canopy, you will be charged $17. You will receive 20 hours of server time. Once you have used that time, if you continue to use the service, you will build-up overage time at $0.02 per minute with a minimum purchase of 30 minutes ($0.60). If you use less than 10 more hours, your card will be charged for those additional minutes (plus the $17 for the new month’s subscription) at the beginning of the next month. If you use 10 or more hours of additional minutes before the end of the month, those minutes will be charged immediately.

  • So if you use 5 additional hours during the month, you would spend $6 more . This would mean your credit card would be charged $21 at the beginning of the next month.
  • If you use 10 additional hours, you would be charged $12 now and $17 for your monthly subscription at the beginning of the next month.

It is our sincere hope that our community will find value in what we offer and are able to use the service to enhance their time in their virtual worlds. We look forward to being of service to you.

It is important to note that this is an entirely new payment model which supersedes all previous models, and requires users to sign-up to it anew in order to be able to use the service.

The Bright Canopy service allows the viewer and all Second Life content to be streamed directly to a user’s browser. In order to do this, the service relies on Amazon’s Elastic Compute Cloud for the actual service hosting and delivery, and Frame, a company with considerable experience in provisioning optimised Windows applications to users via the cloud, to facilitate that delivery.

As I explained in a recent blog post, unexpected and sustained fluctuations in the Amazon Spot Instance pricing mechanism during August adversely affected Bright Canopy’s ability to offer the service in a financially sustainable manner, forcing the company to suspend the service.

The hope is that will this new pricing plan, the company will be able to re-launch the service in a way that will meet the immediate needs of users whilst also, as the official announcement notes, allowing the company to work with Frame to possibly improve pricing for users in the future.