Broadband Suppliers Redefining Unlimited Usage
Posted by Michael Sterios on: 2006-06-05 01:50:05
Self SEO > Internet Connection Articles
Many broadband products contain download limits – usually ranging from 1GB to 40GBs per month. However many do not, and consumers who sign up to such products are lead to believe that they may download as much content from the Internet as they like, at any time of the day or night.
However it has emerged that broadband providers touting such products are not revealing the full story to their customers. So called “heavy users” who download masses of content during “peak times” are having their connections restricted by major broadband suppliers.
The customers who are targeted are not necessarily those who download the most content over a period of time – say 100GBs during a month. Rather, it is customers who download heavy content during peak times who are being victimised.
In other words, if a user downloads around 5GBs of content in a month with their primary downloading time being each evening after work (which is a peak time), they may be penalised. In contrast, a user who downloads 100BGs per month during the night when most people are sleeping and Internet usage is at it lowest, would avoid a penalty for excessive use as they are not adding to congestion during a peak time.
Broadband suppliers are defending themselves by arguing that they have to buy bandwidth and if a small number of users are using more than others, it distorts the amount of bandwidth they need to buy, which increases the costs for all users. Therefore, they argue, the heavy users should be penalised.
While this may be a valid argument from a certain perspective, it does contradict the term “unlimited usage.” It is possible, and also probable, that major broadband providers include clauses within the fine-print of their contracts with customers to warn them of such policies. In fairness to the customer though, it is not the fine-print which attracts them to broadband suppliers’ services - it is more likely the words “unlimited usage” or “unlimited downloads” used within the marketing copy.
Heavy users who abuse the system in this way usually have their broadband connection shifted into a pool of heavy users who must share a limited amount of bandwidth between them. To say their connection has become restricted would be an understatement. In many cases it is slow to the point of being virtually unusable. If you remember what it was like to surf the Internet in the 1990’s, you will know what I mean.
Fortunately users who have their broadband access restricted are usually offered the option to forfeit the remainder of their contract and obtain a MAC code, enabling them to switch provider.
Actually obtaining a MAC code, however, is another story.
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