Uncovering UK Broadband ISP Fair Usage Policies and Traffic Shaping - ISPreview
Uncovering ISP Fair Usage Policies and Traffic Shaping
By: Mark Jackson and Zen Internet - April 7th, 2010 : Page 1 -of- 3
"A FUP is in effect additional Terms and Conditions (T&Cs) that may apply restrictions to "unlimited downloads" and means that many "unlimited" services are not what they appear to be."

This article was originally submitted by UK ISP Zen Internet and has since been edited to broaden its appeal.

Consumers probably hear the phrases 'Fair Usage Policy' (FUP), 'Traffic Management' and 'Traffic Shaping' banded about by the media but how many people actually know what they mean and the effect they can have on broadband speeds and service reliability?

Fair Usage Policy Text

Zen Internet believes that the use of such phrases can be misleading for consumers and therefore do not implement any of these practices. In this article we explain what they mean and explore the impact on broadband services where they are in force; both positive and negative.

Fair Usage Policy (FUP)

A FUP is in effect additional Terms and Conditions (T&Cs) that may apply restrictions to "unlimited downloads" and means that many "unlimited" services are not what they appear to be. Most contracts for unlimited broadband packages will include an FUP. These will often state a rate of usage, determined by the ISP a customer signs up to, that they deem to be unacceptable. If you hit this rate ISPs tend to:

• Slow down a customer's speed.
• Apply a charge for exceeding the limit.
• Actively manage (restrict) a customer's service along with other heavy users.

In addition many FUPs are often vague, which leads to confusion and can allow an ISP to covertly set general restrictions without you even knowing about it. This is akin to buying a brand new sports car without being told how much petrol is in the tank or the maximum speed on local roads. Sure it can probably drive at 100mph but that’s not much good if half of the roads limit to 30mph and you run out of fuel after just a few metres.

For persistent heavy users the ISPs may try to make their service seem so unattractive that the customer chooses to leave of their own accord. This is hardly surprising when you consider that only a small percentage (often less than 10%) of a provider’s customer base can be responsible for using the majority of its overall network capacity. It often makes more economic sense to squeeze the heaviest users and thus free up performance over a wider selection of subscribers.

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Franco
Posted 500 days ago
im recently with orngae and what a joke they are if i knew it was like this i would never have gone with them! you phone customer services and they dont have a clue what they are talking bout! then u start getting annoyed bcus they r literally telling you to do the stuff you would have already done then they blame it on sumthin they have give u to download and then they say il phon u bk in 2 hours, 3 hours gone and still no phone bk phoned them bk up to ask why and i have to wait another hour! then i magically fix it so it was never the problem they said it was if i was u id NEVER USE BROADBAND AGAIN!!!VA:F [1.9.20_1166](from 1 vote)
tim
Posted 1485 days ago
i have a call from 02 today saying if my downloads exceeded 40 gig this month i will me cut off . i have a unlimited package they said i downloaded 120 gig last month which was to much !
Nic
Posted 1486 days ago
My ISP is BT and I pay them monthly for a service of up to 8/mbs. Their FUP proceeds to restrict my speed between midday and midnight after I've downloaded 300 GB per month (used to be 100 GB). By my estimates I am paying for a advertised unlimited service with a capacity of 19353.6 GB every 28 days ( 8 x 60 secs. x 60 mins x 24 hrs. x 28 days / 1000. Check my maths please?) How can fair usage be only one 64th of this? I get the impression that once again the consumer is being fleeced!!!
kingsley
Posted 1617 days ago
plz i want to know how I can get in touch with this ISP company, cos i have a business plan i will like to discuss with them. thanks
 

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