The service comparison site uSwitch has called for the Advertising Standards Agency to act against companies who offer ‘unlimited’ broadband but have a so-called Fair Usage Policy (FUP) in place.
It claims that many users are unaware of these FUPs, and believe that they have no download limits. That’s usually not the case.
Many of these FUPs are created with the best of intentions – to ensure that people using large amounts of bandwidth don’t spoil the broadband experience for other users. However, users can currently be cut off without warning, or severely restricted, for ‘excessive use’ of their connection particularly during peak times.
“If these policies are to be classed as ‘fair’, broadband companies need to clearly define these limits and explain to customers what will happen when they are exceeded,” said Steve Weller, head of communication services at uSwitch.
The rise in high-bandwidth services such as video on demand and Internet TV mean that more users could be stung with these invisible limits.
uSwitch has called for a common FUP standard to be introduced, and for compulsory alerts to be sent to users when disconnection is imminent.
ISPs with FUPs include AOL, BT, Be, Orange, Pipex, Sky, Virgin Media, Tiscali, and Toucan.
More broadband news