Broadband users advised over limit in 'unlimited'

15 March 2007
More than 40 per cent of UK customers are now signed up to 'unlimited' broadband, but many find their internet access is restricted by the small print in their 'Fair Usage Policies', uSwitch and SimplySwitch have warned.

The detail of customer policies allows internet service providers (ISPs) to restrict customer access, narrowing their bandwidth, which slows their internet access, and even cutting them off completely if they are thought to be overusing their 'unlimited' access.

Nine million customers are at risk, according to uSwitch, with every major broadband provider stating they would consider disconnecting customers thought to be using their broadband 'to excess'.

For example, BT warns, "very heavy users may have their bandwidth 'restricted' during peak time", while Be notes, "customers generating excessive web traffic may have their service terminated".

These Fair Usage Policies affect customers downloading internet content it seems, an increasingly popular activity as TV shows and whole movies are provided online in ventures such as 4oD (Channel 4 on Demand).

Fair Usage Policies must be standardised across the industry and more be done to ensure that customers realise the limits to their 'unlimited' broadband access, uSwitch urged.

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