Unlimited broadband: BT says ‘goodbye’ to fair usage policies
When it comes to so-called ‘unlimited’ broadband deals, disappointment has often reigned. But now BT is offering unlimited broadband without a fair usage policy, can we look forward to other providers following suit?
As of today, BT has followed in the footsteps of Sky and removed its fair usage policy, which it used to apply to its ‘unlimited’ broadband services.
This usage policy allowed BT to restrict broadband access or slow it down for those download-happy customers who were making the most of the package they had paid for. For those among you who subscribe to BT Unlimited Broadband, Unlimited Broadband Extra, Unlimited BT Infinity 1, Unlimited BT Infinity 2 or BT Total Broadband Option 3 – ‘unlimited’ will finally mean unlimited.
Unfair fair-usage policies
And that’s how it should be. Unfortunately, the Advertising Standards Agency’s rules mean that internet service providers are allowed to label a package as ‘unlimited’, just so long as the fair usage policies are mentioned somewhere in the ads. I don’t know about you, but that doesn’t seem fair to me.
That’s why the Committee of Advertising Practice launched a consultation on this issue last year. Several solutions were up for consideration as part of the process, including the option to make ‘unlimited’ claims unacceptable for certain broadband services. This included services that came with a fair usage policy, which lead to extra charges or a suspended service if customers exceeded a certain usage limit.
Has a revolution begun?
The question remains whether BT jumped the gun before it was forced, but I believe credit is still due. Having launched its YouView TV service late last year, BT will be acutely aware that the way we use the internet is changing. On-demand services like BBC iPlayer mean we’re no longer a slave to the TV schedule, and our demand for downloads will increase. In addition, music streaming platforms like Spotify require a constant connection if we’re to take advantage of their vast catalogues.
Of course, there’s always the risk that some customers could get carried away trawling the internet for cat videos or perusing films on Netflix, which could negatively affect your own broadband speed.
So now BT has broken ranks with Sky to offer totally unlimited broadband, surely it’s just a matter of time until other providers follow suit? With Sky and BT offering truly unlimited broadband, will you be tempted to switch providers? Or are you concerned your service might slow down due to other, high-usage customers?
Should 'unlimited' broadband deals be truly unlimited?
Yes - there should be no fair usage policies on unlimited broadband (90%, 1,328 Votes)
No - fair usage policies are reasonable to keep the service going (10%, 138 Votes)
Total Voters: 1,472
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