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The Post Office UK Adjusts its Unlimited Broadband Package FUP to 100GB

Friday, Apr 27th, 2012 (7:58 am) - Score 1,683

The Post Office has announced that the Fair Usage Policy (FUP) on its Broadband Extra package, which claims to offer “unlimited monthly downloads“, will be changed from 1st June 2012 to impose a soft usage restriction of 100GB (GigaBytes) per month. Customers who repeatedly go beyond this will now be at risk from an unspecified reduction in their internet speeds.

The change appears designed to bring the Post Office into line with new advertising rules (here), which only allow “unlimited” style terminology to be used if the customer incurs no additional charge or suspension of service as a consequence of exceeding a usage threshold associated with a Fair Usage Policy (FUP), Traffic Management or similar policy. The ASA also expects any limitations that affect the speed or usage of a service to be moderate and clearly explained.

2.2 Key terms for PostOffice® Broadband Extra customers

If your usage exceeds 100GB in any month, we may write to you to request that you moderate your usage. If your usage subsequently exceeds 100GB in two consecutive months or for a fifth month in any 12 month period, we may contact you again asking you to moderate your usage, and warn you that we may reduce your internet access speeds, download speeds and upload speeds.

If you continue to use the Service excessively for a third consecutive month, or for a sixth month in any 12-month period, we may reduce your internet access speeds, download speeds and upload speeds.

We will contact you before reducing the speed of your Service.

In addition the Post Office has also merged its Acceptable Use Policy (AUP), which explains what customers can and cannot do online (i.e. no illegal activities etc.), into the new FUP. Happily the ISP recognises that their new measures represent a “material change” and have informed customers that they “have the right to terminate your Post Office® Broadband Extra service without incurring early termination charges“.

This is at least a much more open and honest approach than the methods adopted by some other providers, which have instead removed their FUP’s and quietly shifted other aspects, such as those related to Traffic Management, into more obscure parts of their website. Changes like that often confuse people and are not the “transparent” solution that Ofcom or the ASA would like to see.

Separately the ISPs promoted broadband services are still stuck at ‘up to 8Mbps‘ (ADSL1), which is in stark contrast to most providers that have long since moved on to offer ‘up to 14-18Mbps’ (ADSL2+) services and are now even developing superfast broadband services. At least part of the reason for this is because their service is based off a BT Managed platform, which makes it harder to adapt. Credits to Thinkbroadband for spotting the news.

By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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