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>> Why do you limit the amount of traffic I can use?

It is our intention to provide a fast, reliable service for all of our ADSL broadband Internet users.

Unfortunately a small proportion of users attempt to use a disproportionate amount of the available data traffic. The result is that that less than 10% of users consume over 70% of the available traffic. The typical problems are caused when:

  • users have the selected the wrong account - for instance using ADSL 500 Solo accounts for heavy usage / network use when an ADSL Business service would be more suitable.
  • make excessive use of P2P (peer-to-peer) file sharing / swapping networks.

ADSL broadband is a 'shared' access service and operates (both technically and commercially) on a contention ratio of either 50:1 or 20:1 (depending on the broadband product you have chosen). High levels of usage by a small number of users risks reduced performance for all users.

To solve this - the options we have are:

>> Lower Contention Ratio

The problem is that the contention ratios are enforced at two points:

  • within the BT network - this is completely out of our control.
  • within our network - reducing the contention ratio will mean we would have to charge more for the service.

>> Increase Prices

We could increase the price to allow us to allocate more traffic to the broadband service. However, increasing the price would not be a good solution as it would be:

  • unfair to the majority of the users as this issue is caused by a small minority of users making excessive demands on the service.
  • largely ineffective as the contention ratio (as imposed by BT) cannot be changed.

>> Set Traffic Limits / Quotas

Limits would be set at a level that would not affect the vast majority of users but would also help ensure fair access for all users. Users making excessive use of the network would either have to:

  • upgrade their account to one suitable to cover their requirements.
  • pay for the excess traffic consumed.
  • have their accounts either restricted, suspended or in severe cases terminated.

As such we concluded that 'overall' setting traffic limits / quotas was the best and fair solution.

This policy, while we accept will not be popular with the small minority of heavy usage users, is designed to protect the service and performance for the majority of normal business and home users.

For more details of the curent usage limits please see our Acceptable Usage Policy or see How much is a Gigabyte? for more information.

If you have any other questions please contact us.

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