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Mark founded MoneyMaxim in 2008, with the aim of delivering an impartial and independent service. Mark is a regular money saving expert in the press and writes regular news and articles for the MoneyMaxim news pages sharing his views on banking, personal insurance and the utilities (gas, electricity, mobile and home phones, broadband and pay TV) market with customers.
As new figures show that 35, broadband customers have already been penalised for exceeding their download limits, find out why comparing broad band services and getting the right broadband limit in place can save you money.
The meteoric rise of TV internet services such as BBC iPlayer, 4oD, ITV Player and Sky Player has helped move consumers' use of broadband on from traditional applications such as checking emails and surfing the web: consumers now spend over an hour a week downloading films, TV and video clips and a further hour playing games online - making it more important than ever to know your limits.
uSwitch.com research has shown that online entertainment is silently eating into broadband usage limits, but eight million consumers (48%) have no idea of their monthly download allowance, placing them at risk of having their service limited, suspended or even terminated by their provider.
A further seven million believe that their service is Unlimited', when in fact their usage will be monitored and limited if considered excessive' by their provider.
While some broadband services advertise clear limits, ranging from as little as 1Gb (one gigabyte) to 15Gb or 3Gb per month, others are billed as Unlimited'. However, in reality, almost all companies are prepared to restrict, suspend or even terminate the service of customers who use their service to excess'.
It seems ludicrous that Unlimited Broadband does not mean what is says on the tin, says Matt Wheeler, communications expert at uSwitch.com
Unlimited' Broadband Compared
What the leading broadband providers say about their Unlimited Broadband products and services
BT - 'very heavy users will experience significantly reduced speed at peak times (typically 5pm-midnight every day).'
Orange we may either have to reduce the transmission speed of your broadband while we continue to keep an eye on your usage, or suspend your service andor possibly close your account.'
O2 - you must not use the Services for making excessive use of, or placing unusual burdens on, the network, for example by sending or receiving large volumes of email or excessively large email.'
TalkTalk if Customers usage is continually either excessive....or is not consistent with the usage we would typically expect ... in extreme cases, suspend or terminate their ability to access TalkTalk broadband.'
Virgin Media - In isolated cases where excessive network usage at busy times (9am to 9pm) is having a detrimental effect on other users, we may need to take appropriate action in accordance with the terms of this AUP to notify users of the impact they are having and require them to move some of their activity into the less busy period.