View Full Version : Stop UK ISPs falsely advertising unlimited broadband!

15th March 2007, 12:54
A lot of people in the UK (including myself) have been getting annoyed with the move by most ISPs to introduce Fair Use Policies that contradict their packages they advertise as "unlimited" broadband.

Therefore a petition has been launched on E-Partitions to stop Broadband Providers from advertising "unlimited" services that are in fact limited in the small print or by un-defined fair use policies.

If you wish to sign this petition and try to stop this then please do by going to:


Stephen Coates
15th March 2007, 16:20
I'll sign it.

I think it is a good idea to offer limited connections, but there should be unlimited ones avalaible as well and it definately isn't good to advertise a limited connection as unlimited.

15th March 2007, 17:15
Signed the petition - it's one of my personal hates as well. How can it be both unlimited usage but usage restrictions apply?

If a car hire company offered unlimited mileage when you hired a car for a week but then in the small print said if you do an (in their opinion) unreasonable amount of mileage, which for most people won't be a problem but is possible to achieve in the period you've rented the car for, then you'll have to pay extra they'd surely be done for false advertising. What exactly is the difference with ISP's?

If the ISP's can't handle the traffic - don't take on more customers! Or upgrade the network so it can handle the traffic.

15th March 2007, 17:48
I myself have an "unlimited" broadband package which throttles p2p d/loads and has a fair usage policy so it is pretty f*ckin far from unlimited in my eyes.
Signed, sealed, delivered.

3rd July 2007, 13:57
The PM has responsed and sided with the BB companies.

"Qualifying an 'unlimited' claim with a fair usage policy in the small print of an ad is allowed as long as it really is fair and not misleading. For example, if 80% of domestic customers fall well within the limit specified by a broadband provider and the remaining 20% fall outside of it, then it may be considered a reasonable claim."

WTF? 1 in 5 people can find it unreasonable yet it's still fair!

3rd July 2007, 15:31
I didn't trust him when he was in charge of our budget and I trust him even less as PM! This just enforces why. :mad:

And this quote from ISPreview UK sums up the current UK ISP issues quite well:

"It may be worth noting that most ISP’s now advertise “unlimited” in terms of access as opposed to service quality, with the advent of traffic shaping meaning that heavy users are now more likely to be slowed than they are to be kicked. Meanwhile the remaining issue over vague and often misleading fair usage policies looks set to continue."

So unlimited now seems to mean that you can use the service at all times? So all the packages that don't claim they are unlimited cannot be used all day then? :hmmm:

My ISP has said in the past that they don't perform any kind of traffic shaping, but I've noticed that my download connection speed definitely seems to drop during the daytime which is very odd if they are not!

I'm still looking for a real unlimited bandwidth ISP in the UK and have yet to find one unless I choose to pay a lot more for a business grade connection.

3rd July 2007, 18:03
Hmm ... this sounds familiar. I used to deal with this exact same crap (about 2 years ago) from my ISP company. I didn't think much of it initially, considering I didn't download that much - certainly not as much as the hardcore folk who occupy their connections full-throttle 24/7. But then, the ISP introduced a 40GB quota in an attempt to cut down traffic. Users who went over the quota got their connection speed throttled down to 64kbps.

While 40GB sounds like a lot, in reality, it's a piece of cake to go over it - especially considering they counted downstream traffic as well as upstream. Now, when you're a BitTorrent user, you're pretty much always uploading while you download, so the download quota for me was basically nearer to 25GB a month. I can practically exceed that simply by surfing websites.

In the end, the data limit was lifted after the affair received some publicity in the newspapers, and a few consumer organisations got involved.

I don't know the name of the most influential consumer organisation in the UK, but I think they'd be your best bet, assuming they aren't already involved.

3rd July 2007, 18:50
Bugger, I missed this one.
Couldn't have got much publicty around the sites I normally visit.
Politicians cosying up to big business, no suprises there.
The system of big donations stinks.
There should be a maximum donation per person and it should be pretty low as well.

13th August 2007, 15:03
Anyone seen this story:


That's absoutely ridiculous imo. ISP's in the UK are now saying their networks may not be able to cope with the increases in music,video and all the stuff we were promised when broadband was first launched. The cost of upgrading the networks will be passed onto the customer (which means tighter caps for those not willing to pay extra).

13th August 2007, 15:20
Completely ridiculous! While some of our neighbours on the continent are enjoying amazingly fast fibre connections at £10 a month we are still being ripped off and this only goes to show it is going to get worse!

Typical of UK infrastructures. Instead of the companies spending out at the beginning to lay down the current technology available they instead would rather continue trying to use very old and out of date technology until it can finally no longer cope, then instead of updating the hardware so that it can then meet demand they instead impose restrictions on the customers. It happened with the railway network, it's starting to happen with out road network, and now it is happening to the communications networks too.

There is one way to reduce the traffic using UK broadband. Ban all pointless web services such as Facebook and all similar dross from being allowed online. That should free up about 50% of all bandwidth!

And there is something else that wasn't mentioned once in that article. SPAM. PC Pro mentioned the PDF spam that has suddenly appeared over the past couple of months, as we discussed on here recently. These PDF SPAMS are quite big in file size compared to traditional html based text SPAMS so are each using up more bandwidth when sent to their target. SPAM is estimated to be anything up to 40% or all traffic online which is a huge chunk of the available bandwidth. Therefore shouldn't the ISPs first find a way to successfully stop all SPAM before charging their customers for the bandwidth SPAM is using?

13th August 2007, 21:53
Harrison wrote:

Completely ridiculous! While some of our neighbours on the continent are enjoying amazingly fast fibre connections at £10 a month we are still being ripped off and this only goes to show it is going to get worse!

That's true. In Sweden you can for example get a 20mb connection for a bit over £20 per month (after what I've heard), and that is of course with unlimited usage. You can probably get it cheaper than that if you go with alternative providers. In Norway the prices are not high as well, and I don't know of any company that puts restriction to downloads or uploads.

I also read about something completely insanse and that is also in Sweden. This company is offering a 200mbit connection for.. about £23 a month!!

Swedish Broadband (http://www.svensktbredband.se/)

The text in the site the text links to is in Swedish, but here is a quick translation:

"Swedish broadband is a product that brings you the fastest and cheapest broadband connection in Sweden today, without startup fee, and via fiber which gives you a more stable connection. For 229 (Swedish kroner) a month, you get up to 200mbit/s free traffic in both directions (uploads and downloads)."


13th August 2007, 21:55
Hmm. Sweden isn't far. Maybe it's time to think about moving! :lol:

13th August 2007, 22:00
Tell me about it! Broadband is cheaper and faster over there, so why not? ;) Besides, if you got a job in Halden or something, you could easily work in Norway and live in Sweden. You would save a fortune in food, beverages, broadband and such. Not to mention the savings on tobacco! (I know that doesn't count for most people here, but for me it does:D)