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AOL UK Reveals Broadband Usage Cap? - 60GB

Posted: 04th Jun, 2007 By: MarkJ
ISP AOL UK has threatened one of its broadband customers with termination and restricted their speed after they allegedly downloaded an average of over 150 GigaBytes (GB) per month. Hardly surprising given the quantity, yet in the same letter AOL also appears to define a usage cap:

Your usage has exceeded reasonable levels for a residential broadband product and, as such, breaches the AOL Broadband Fair Usage Policy. We would consider reasonable usage to be below 60GB a month.

The full first page of the letter, with personal details removed, can be viewed HERE and a topic about the matter has already been started on our forum HERE.

Typically the news isn't so much that the user downloaded too much (even 60GB is heavy), it's more the fact that they were given no prior warning, a cap is roughly defined and that AOL UK’s vague fair usage policy doesn’t exactly contribute towards clarity. The ISP's Fair Usage Policy FAQ states:

Are the services still Unlimited?

Yes. There are still no set limits on the amount of data you may download and upload on your internet access service. The Fair Use policy may be applied to subscribers who far exceed normal use of the service in order to protect the network, but there is no download cap on the AOL internet services.

It’s worth pointing out that despite the obviously excessive downloading, AOL UK did not cut the customer off and instead imposed a speed restriction. Most providers would probably have a heart attack long before a customer reached 60GB, but there is a desperate need for more clarity surrounding many such Fair Usage Policies.
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