UK ISPs - when will they charge by bandwidth usage?

Discussion in 'Apple, Inc and Tech Industry' started by CortexRock, Jul 26, 2007.

  1. CortexRock macrumors 6502

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    Dec 3, 2006
    Location:
    Canterbury, England
    #1
    I'm on an 'up to' 8 megabit ADSL broadband service with Demon Internet here in the UK. Speed tests reveal that on average I'm only getting a 3.3 megabit connection, yet initial tests suggested I should be able to acheive around 5.5mb/s. This isn't such a big deal though, as with a 5.5 connection I'd be burning through my 'fair use' bandwidth allocation even faster!

    I'm a heavy bandwidth user :D, no doubt about it and I wonder if UK ISPs will eventually move back to 'pay per gigabyte' model, rather than advertising their service as 'unlimited' then capping the monthly allowance.

    I know some ISPs offer a set fee for X gigabytes, plus an amount per GB over that - can anyone recommend a UK company that offers this service?
     
  2. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    #2
    Zen Internet do on their home services... I have a set amount each month, think it's 2gb, and pay about a £1.30 or so (?) for each extra Gb. I can top up this extra allowance at anytime to any quantity and the reserve is carried over each month.

    Best UK ISP I've ever used and I've been through BT (a long time ago) and then Tiscali, who the word 'suck' was invented for.
     
  3. Hydramus macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2007
    #3
    PlusNet do this as well. I pay £19.99 a month for "up to 8 megabit" and you get unlimited off peak usage, which is between midnight to 4pm, and 20gb on-peak usage, 4pm to midnight. If you know you are gonna be going over you can top up your allowance for 75p per gb beforehand or you can just pay as you go over for £1 per gb.
     
  4. CortexRock thread starter macrumors 6502

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  5. Carrot007 macrumors regular

    Carrot007

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2006
    Location:
    Yorkshire
    #5
    I also recomend entanet for this.

    They have a seperate peak and off peak usage.

    Entanet don;t sell directy however I recomend

    http://www.ukfsn.org/

    They have a 1 month contract period, try find that elsewhere!
     
  6. Peterkro macrumors 68020

    Peterkro

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    Location:
    Communard de Londres
    #6
    Adsl24 is worth a look if your a heavy user with the added benefit of only being a monthly contract and no traffic shaping port blocking etc. (plus Be* if your exchange is enabled)
     
  7. Brize macrumors 6502a

    Brize

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2004
    Location:
    Europe
    #7
    I'm also with Zen, on their 'Active' service. Cost is £25 per month, which includes 20GB of download bandwidth; each additional GB is £1.49. They also have a 'Pro' package for £35, which increases the basic download allowance to 50GB. I've been with Zen for about eighteen months now and the service has always been exemplary.

    More here:

    http://www.zen.co.uk/Broadband/athome.aspx
     
  8. miniConvert macrumors 68040

    miniConvert

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Kent, UK - the 'Garden of England'.
    #8
    A lot of UK ADSL providers are only on 30 day terms, unless you want free routers etc.

    ISP's will, undoubtedly, try and find ways to charge more for the services they are offering which have become cheaper and cheaper over the last few years. It's not out of spite, they have genuine issues of capacity.

    I'm not a fan of paying for the exact amount of data used, however. Fair-use caps are better, provided you can find one that has a high enough cap at a low enough price. I still prefer unlimited connections, and currently have such connections from Nildram and Eclipse Internet.

    Quite an exciting development for users that consume less than a few gigs of data per month is mobile 3G broadband from the likes of Vodafone and T-Mobile. Both offer a USB modem that plugs in to pretty much anything and goes with you anywhere. Draytek has a router that transforms the USB modem into a shareable Internet connection. Currently you'll get up to 1.8mbps from such a link, but upgrades are already under way to make that 3mbps+.

    The mobile operators are worthy of a mention here because, for the last few years, they have almost exclusively charged per-byte of data transferred. 'Fair use' caps are a recent evolution that finally allows for mobile data usage without the fear of mega bills.

    Customers, generally, don't like the pay-for-what-you-use model. They, generally, like to know they've paid their fees and that they're set in stone. A letter or call from the ISP is fine - a warning wont cost them any money - and even if they will only use a fraction of the fair usage cap in real life it's just knowing that there is a limit on how much they'll pay. So, I can see a future of ISP's charging different amounts for different levels of usage, but doing so in terms of fair usage caps and not raw data use. A 'limitless ceiling' of charges when there are viruses and wotnot out there ready to saturate your connection without your interaction would just be insane.
     
  9. weckart macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2004
    #9
    There are other ways to discourage bandwidth hogging.

    I am on cable, which in the UK now means Virginmedia. My plan is 20Mb unlimited, the terms of which changed since the Virgin takeover of NTL/Telewest.

    Now if I download more than 3GB in any 24hr period, my speed drops to a quarter for a 4hour sinbin period before being restored to its former glory.

    Since Virgin is primarily a media company and is hawking all of its other products via the Broadband route, the paltry limits (about 350Mb for those on the 2Mb plan) have gone down like a cup of cold sick. Try running Joost or the like, for instance.

    Virgin is, from what I can gather, trialling 50Mb and in some areas 100Mb download speed services for the next speed bump due, which is pointless with these low caps.
     
  10. Peterkro macrumors 68020

    Peterkro

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    #10
    The two recommendations I made up there ^^^ are for heavy users i.e. 100's of gigs a month.I will not use any ISP that has a usage limit or use's traffic shaping.I recently left Pipex after many years because of their half-witted traffic shaping.
     
  11. Mac-Addict macrumors 65816

    Mac-Addict

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    Location:
    London
    #11
    With Tiscali Im not allowed to download more than 2gb between 3pm and 1am otherwise I will be moved to their high usage line which is apparently slow... but due to UK phone lines being so crappy I get 4mb even though I am paying for 8mb.
     
  12. CortexRock thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Canterbury, England
    #12
    And genuine issues of trying recoup the billions they rushed to spend on buying up 3G frequencies when the government auctioned them off, only to find that most people aren't interested in 3G on a mobile phone? :rolleyes:

    The thing that really irritates me is, if you're with an ISP that uses BT's equipment and lines, you're already paying for that once in the shape of your phone bill's line rental. Somehow they've figured out how to charge us for the same bit of copper wire twice!

    Offering faster and faster connection speeds while simultaneously crippling people's ability to get the most out of those speeds seems to be par for the course at the moment - which IMHO sucks quite a lot. :D
     
  13. bingefeller macrumors 6502

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    Jun 25, 2007
    Location:
    Northern Ireland
    #13
    I use BT Total Broadband Option 3 and get unlimited bandwidth. It costs £24.99 a month I think. BT used to make you pay if you went above your limit but I think that unlimited bandwidth is the way forward.
     
  14. telecomm macrumors 65816

    telecomm

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    Nov 30, 2003
    Location:
    Rome
    #14
    Same here. A few headaches getting set up, but once things were and running it's been good. Speeds in excess of 5 Mbps down, 380 or so up. They throttle speeds for all but http during the evenings, but otherwise speeds are good.
     
  15. CortexRock thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #15
    An inconvenient truth, as Mr Gore might put it. :(
     
  16. XIII macrumors 68040

    XIII

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    Aug 15, 2004
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    England
    #16
    Do they? Would things like YouTube be ok?
     
  17. telecomm macrumors 65816

    telecomm

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2003
    Location:
    Rome
    #17
    Hmm... not sure, don't use YouTube that much, but I'd expect there wouldn't be a problem with that... in the end, it's probably just torrents that are affected. Anyway, you can check ISPs here to see some info about bandwidth policies, etc.

    http://www.azureuswiki.com/index.php/Bad_ISPs

    Anyway, I haven't noticed any speed problems, except between about 4:30-5ish and late evening, and then only for torrents.
     
  18. bingefeller macrumors 6502

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    Jun 25, 2007
    Location:
    Northern Ireland
    #18
    Actually, I don't know if it's just me, but I find from about 8 or 9pm onwards youtube can be slow to load videos for me. All other times it's fine.
     
  19. XIII macrumors 68040

    XIII

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2004
    Location:
    England
    #19
    Thanks guys.

    I am currently with BT but on an old package. Only getting 1mb, but the 12 months long expired. It's meant to have a 15GB download limit, but BT just seem to ignore it.. I use about 80GB a month. I live a long way from the exchange, but BT reckon I can get 2mb if I upgrade to Total with them - but it means a new 12 month contract. My local exchange is also Be enabled.. Have been considering that as well.. But again, don't know how great the speed will be as I am right on the edge of the Broadband area - possibly only 2mb from Be as well.. Who knows.
     
  20. Applespider macrumors G4

    Applespider

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    Location:
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    #20
    I've been with Be for 18 months with no problems. I signed up when they first launched so get unlimited (no shaping) broadband for £20 a month. I connect at about 17-18MB so pretty speedy too. It's truly amazing watching Software Update download OS X updates in about 10 seconds at home :D
     

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