UK ISP O2 Clarifies Policy on P2P Throttling, Data Caps
Details emerge of O2′s revised Home Broadband packages which the ISP has made in public in order to clarify exactly what kind of connection speeds customers can expect for P2P “activities” throughout the day as well as the amount of monthly data usage allotments."Words like “unlimited” have been tossed in favor of the more legally ambiguous “As much as you want / like.”
One of the complaints that many Broadband customers have had over the years is the fact that what an ISP promises and what you actually receive are oftentimes two different things.
ISPs advertise features like “unlimited usage” while at the same time performing contradictory behavior like monthly data caps and peak hour traffic throttling under the pretext of network management.
The consumer group uSwitch lambasted UK ISPs back in June after a survey it conducted reportedly found that some 15 million people in the UK either have no idea what their monthly data cap is, or wrongly believe their connection is “unlimited.”
O2, after revising and relaunching its Home Broadband and Home Phone packages, finally came out and added some clarity to what customers can expect from their Internet connections. Words like “unlimited” have been tossed in favor of the more legally ambiguous “As much as you want / like.”
It has also detailed precisely how fast your connection speed will be and when as well as the monthly data usage allotment.
For its “Basics” package there is a 20GB monthly usage allowance. For the “All Rounder” its 100GBs, and for the “The Works” its 250GB for The Works. If you use more than 20GB in any month, O2 will give you a written warning (by email or otherwise).
“If you exceed these limits or we feel that your activities are so excessive that other customers are detrimentally affected, we may give you a written warning (by email or otherwise),” reads its new TOS. In extreme circumstances, if the levels of activity don’t immediately decrease in line with our instructions after the warning, we may terminate or suspend your services.”
Where it gets tricky is when it comes to P2P services. During peak hours connection speeds for P2P “activities” will be throttled by more than half in some cases. The Basics will drop from 100kb/s to 50kb/s, The All Rounder from 150kb/s to 100kb/s, and The Works from “as fast as your line can support” to 250kb/s.
Seeing it in cold, hard print may be a shock for some, but you have to admit it’s at least refreshing to see some honesty from an ISP. Nobody, I think, rejects being throttled or data capped, they just dislike not being told about it. As long as there’s healthy competition consumers are free to take their business elsewhere if they disagree with what an ISP’s offering. It’s only troublesome when an ISP uses words like “unlimited” and then turns around and puts limits on your connection every chance they get.
It’s nice to see O2 is finally being honest with its customers.
During peak hours connection speeds for P2P “activities” will be throttled by more than half in some cases.
"Nobody, I think, rejects being throttled or data capped"
....... Oh yeah!
Again we see a broad brush being drawn across P2P in general when other high use systems are left alone. So where is the change between "Unlimited" and "As much as you want / like" ? Both expressions when related to most ISPs services are totally untrue.