Tag Archives: Policy

Broadband “Fair Use”

Hey BT Broadband. Rebate users when they stay well within their bandwidth allowance.

When the internet was young and the marketeers were busy working out how to take the most money from the most users for least cost, some bean counter came up with the tenuous notion of  “fair use”.

At the time some users, paying the same as the rest of us, would camp on the net 24 by 7, continuously downloading, streaming, spamming and God knows what else whilst the rest of us got on with occasionally checking eMails and surfing the web for photos of cats dressed in dolls clothes. The hogs slowed everything down but rather than throw more resource at the demand broadband providers decided to sanction the hogs and “fair use” was born.

Originally “fair use” was a ill defined. Broadband providers were pretty hazy about what they actually meant and even less clear about the sanctions they would impose.

Some broadband providers still advertise “unlimited” packages and hide a “fair use” term in their t’s & c’s. Others like my provider (BT) are now more upfront. Stating what you get for the package you’ve signed up for.

I confess this is a whinge/rant, but what really grinds my gears is that once or twice a year I produce large amounts of material which in a microscopic way enhances the web, and print journalism. Each time I do this I get warning eMails explaining what a sinner I am and how much I will be surcharged if I dare to go a KB over my package. I’d like to know is why don’t I get a reward/credit for the 10 or so months I effectively buy four times more bandwidth than I need?

I’d happily switch providers if

  • they really can provide an unlimited service at reasonable speed
  • their charges as no more than my current BT contract
  • they don’t expect me to sign up to a contract term longer than 12 months



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