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Broadband fair use policy - ISP limits are too low

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I've just received an email today from my ISP advising me that they would be making some changes to my existing broadband service. Is fair usage really fair?  They're "helping to ensure that all our customers get the most from our broadband service" apparently.  I am on their "unlimited" ADSL broadband option by the way and the specific wording for the fair use policy reads a bit like this.

"Monitoring and Performance: With your permission, we may monitor communications, including without limitation, any content or material transmitted over the Service.  We reserve the right (at our sole discretion) to monitor and control data volume and/or types of traffic transmitted via your Broadband Service.  In the event that your use of the Broadband Service (i) risks degradation of service levels to other customers, (ii) puts our system at risk, (iii) is not in keeping with that reasonably expected of a residential customer and/or (iv) does not comply with these Terms and Conditions (including the Acceptable Use Policy), we reserve the right (at our sole discretion) to reduce, suspend or terminate your Broadband Service and/or restrict certain types of traffic on your Broadband Service."

Well for starters they don't have my permission.  Then "In the event that your use of the Broadband Service (i) risks degradation of service levels to other customers" basically means 'if you use the Internet' because all use of the Internet will cause some level of degradation to the service for others, especially if the overall allocation available is not sufficient to be able to provide 'unlimited' Internet as advertised.

They reserve the right without any reference to your disputation to either slow you down or charge you more.  You don't have any say in this matter.  Is this Fair Use Policy really a fair contract or is it not just a bit one sided?

Fair usage policy - is your ISP being fair? In practise it remains to be seen how stringently they exercise what they consider to be new levels of authority to do whatever they hell they please, but the wording of the fair use policy strikes me as sloppy and self-interested.

I've always found my ISP to be one of the best when it comes to fair use, but when you have up to 8MB speed it does realistically mean that that if you as a residential user albeit one who has been using the Internet for a long time and therefore know your way around (and what is available) choose to download Linux DVD distributions, lossless music, watch Youtube videos all day, upload a few months photos onto Photobucket, or listen to Internet radio whilst downloading an old TV series from Usenet (even *without* looking at what people do with peer to peer stuff) then you could quite possibly be processing a lot of data very quickly.  At that sort of speed downloading a DVD's worth of data doesn't take very long at all, you could download several in a day if you were of a mind to.

Current 'guidelines' for a fair use of the Internet for residential customers in my opinion very unrealistic and prejudiced in favour of the ISP's.

Perhaps it's time for few legal cases I think.  We could do with a bit less Richard Branson these days and maybe a bit more Robin Hood!  Somebody who takes from the rich to give decent Internet service to the poor instead of ripping off the poor to make the rich richer.

As squidgy says, "until official bodies (OFCOM, Trading Standards, Advertising Standards) take some action, ISP's will do what they like... simply because they can."


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ArumLily

ArumLily

I`m with 02 at the moment & I`m desperate to get away from them. I`m supposed to get up 8meg but used to get about 6meg. they are now so unreliable. I`m get half a meg now. I keep complaining & they pass the buck, blame others. after speaking to them this week I managed to get 6.3meg but only for 10 hours.What really annoys me is that they are now putting my monthly charge over & above the VAT increase. I need a reliable ISP who has efficient customer care. Is that too much to ask? Does anyone have any recommendations?.
ArumLily
17th Mar 11 01:03

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59
Ben

Ben

I don't agree on the fair usage policies either, there's usually a catch in the small print so I read the T&C's very carefully. I have however found a mobile internet supplier that offers truly unlimited internet, I've been using them for the last 6 months and just found the link again http://bit.ly/hHyniV
They charge £10 a month so I can stream and watch movies until my heart's content.
Ben
24th Jan 11 02:01

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-42
virgin_sucks

virgin_sucks

LOOK UP "UNLIMITED" IN THE DICTIONARY BRANSON YOU C**KSUCKER!! Virgin Media choke 75% of customers speeds if they use more than 1.5GB in a day. HOW IS THIS UNLIMITED????? The internet is completely unusable now. My 10meg connection is running at 225kbps!!! I am paying for a service (advertised as "UNLIMITED") that I simply can't use. All the ISPs mentioned are a bunch of theiving cowboys and I really don't understand how they are getting away with this!

P.S. Gazza T - People should be able to use the web for anything they like. There's plenty of bandwidth for everyone and the world would be a better place without losers like you. xx
virgin_sucks
8th Jul 10 05:07

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-101
Korky

Korky

When I ordered my 20mb broadband the line was tested by the ISP and found good for 11mb
I'm less than 100mtr from the exchange in a 20mb area but they can only manage 11mb speed!
so I said 'Good you can guarantee me 8mb then?' NOT! They would have to re-test it for 8mb!

It was also sold as 'unlimited' but that appears to be 100gb of usage a month then they cap it so they can re-sell the unused bandwidth to someone else. WTF I paid for that its mine!!

Now they have started using a portion of my bandwidth to use as a 'free' hotspot for any passerby but 'with no detriment to my usage' YEAH RIGHT!
Korky
8th Jun 10 11:06

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-40
johnnygreen

johnnygreen

The Legal gripe is actually about ISP's shifting the Legal background policies to suit their own pockets.This they have done by illegaly decieving clients with their NEW advertizing policies.
In plain english, what has really happened is that, previously when you sign up to e.g. 2mb Broadband the price you were asked to pay was directly related legally to what was been offered and hence agreed.What happens now is they have bloated their adverts with GET UP TOP 8mb for ££££ number of pounds per month.The clever bit is that they have NO intention of supplying such speeds and have conned thousands into handing the BT Line Charge etc etc in implementing this process, while often still actually only supplying the Broadband speeds that were originally recieved.This is all done often under the umbrella of "We have now bought out that Company so give us what we want or have your contract terminated" {you listening to this TALKTALK}..!!!
The really clever hidden detail to this is that they know all along that they could never issue such ADSL speeds as most of their equipments still running on Valves from the 70's..!!
Maybe time to get the Lawyers involved here me thinks......
johnnygreen
6th Apr 10 08:04

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48
ml

ml

I have just been reduced to their perfect speed of 1 MB because I downloaded too much
In their eyes I could understand was downloading 24 hours a day but this isn't true on full throttle but I am not
Explain this to BT and although he told me don't do it again I work from home what do they expect I wish I could get virgin now
It's back to normal for now but I am not the only one who uses this Internet connection and they're only look at web pages
And apparently this block 1 MB less to 30 days and I am on unlimited thank you offcom :(
ml
31st Mar 10 01:03

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100
Cognomen

Cognomen

They talk about fair usage what a bout fair expectation. I have been with Plus Net for a number of years. I thought I was on an unlimited download contract but suddenly I am being restricted. What really gets me is, like a lot of people I did not download my T&C when I first started so I dont have a leag to stand on. The government is weak and in my opinion in the pocket of business. I tried to take my ISP on and they just wiped their a*&e on me. I am so mad now I am prepared to protest about this. We are being ssss@t on and nobody gives a hoot.
Cognomen
19th Mar 10 08:03

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-27
JJ

JJ

I have unlimited downloads option 3 with BT. and found out it's the 5th time they have restricted our usage because too heavy - and worse thing they never told us - anyone have a better option for unlimited downloading with no restrictions?
JJ
22nd Feb 10 06:02

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63
G-BNWK

G-BNWK

Scouse Man you are joking I hope - I'd be pretty pleased if I were paying for 4Mbps and getting 5.3 Mbps!
G-BNWK
27th Jan 10 06:01

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74
scouse man

scouse man

bt are taking the pis with me to mate i'v only got 4mb connection lyk but wen you do a speedtest you expect to get that or nearly that not 680 kb/s i'm gonna bell them tomorrow and try sort it out but no doubt thay will have a few blags to throw in my face or sum type of small print or somthing lol worth a try the only problem is where do I go if thay wont help as I am bonded into a 18 month contract which i'v only been in since early september I think the answer is no wher lad
scouse man
6th Dec 09 11:12

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48
Andrew C

Andrew C

Got the same with T-Mobile here in Norfolk. It doesn't work. And yet they charge whilst you try to download which takes an age...use my O2 works laptop and for personal us with a mobile too from them will move at the end of the period of agreement. 'Liaised' with 34 customer advisors in Asia who don't have a cluse beyond diagnostics that don't work as good as a MAST!
Fair uase policies are made up when the Mobile operators have been taken over and need to make some more money, as with Orange/T-Mobile.
Andrew C
13th Nov 09 05:11

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32
x

x

Dear ISPs,

Please stop providing connections capable of downloading 1GB in an hour and then complaining when people do exactly that.
x
4th Nov 09 02:11

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10
ugh

ugh

seriously you need to get a job if you're dumb enough to sit on your fat ass watching youtube all day.
ugh
29th Aug 09 12:08

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-92
ISP Mole.

ISP Mole.

If you dont agree to the terms of the contract/usage policy..dont sign up!
These fair usage policies aren't really about over usage or affecting other users on your exchange (they dont give a crap if customers are experiencing bad service whatever the cause).
Its to catch the people who are using their residental services for business purposes and not paying extra for the priviledge(sp).
ISP Mole.
30th Mar 09 07:03

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-117
Sam

Sam

I've been affected by my Sky boradband connection having my connection speed dropped drastically during peak times.

And, having contacted Sky to complain, have been told that it is so their 16mb customers do not gripe about sloppy connection speeds. (I only live in an 8mb area) and who also don't have a fair usage policy. So I pay £17 a month for a majorly slow 8mb and they pay £10 a month for a 16mb speed with no limitations which we are suffering for.

They also say that their fair usage policy has always been there, but I have never been affected before and I used to download way more than I do now.
Sam
20th Feb 09 07:02

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-71

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