Some broadband connections come with what is termed a “Fair Usage Policy." Although they offer unlimited connectivity, they expect their users to work within certain boundaries.
The Theory behind This
Broadband works through shared resources. There is a line that goes through a community, from an exchange and from the cabinets, and this line will get congested when there is overuse during peak times. An analogy that is often used by experts in the industry for the Fair Usage Policy is if an individual leaves their taps running 24/7, then there may be low water pressure during peak times. Internet service provider usage policies are there to stop people from leaving the broadband taps running unnecessarily.
Is This Fair?
Some people really do need the Internet on all the time. If they are sending emails to subscribers, downloading movies for family, legally of course, and journeying around YouTube, then they could well end up being online a lot of the time. With multiple users in the house working off the same broadband connection, it really is possible for an extremely heavy consumption load to be put on to an Internet data plan.
The word “unlimited” has certain very clear connotations. It suggests that whatever the usage, it doesn’t matter.
Fair for Whom?
Fair usage is a relative concept and fairness for the Internet service provider and other users should not be the consideration of someone paying for an unlimited service. Fair should only be seen in terms of the experience of the consumer who is laying down his hard-earned cash in order to receive the service. If the company cannot provide the service to the number of customers they are trying to entertain, then they are overexposing themselves and should be investing more heavily in their infrastructure to ensure that they can give to their customers what they have promised.
Certainly, I believe that if an Internet provider says “unlimited," it should mean as much data as one can get down the broadband line as possible. There should be no financial or speed of Internet connection (throttling) penalties imposed as a result of heavy consumption.
Check the Terms
If you are anticipating heavy data consumption then check terms and conditions before buying. If there is a Fair Usage Policy, then perhaps you should look elsewhere. You don’t want to be hit with penalties that slow down your connection or require financial outlay in order to retain the level of service you have become accustomed to.
Some Providers Are Unlimited
There are certain providers that are truly unlimited in their offering. These vary from time to time, so ask the experts and do some searches online to find out which are. Certainly, I asked questions of Sky Broadband as to whether their connection was truly unlimited and they said “yes." And so, I have a note of that on record and if I, at any point, have problems with a Fair Usage Policy, then I will refer to that conversation and the response that I received.