BT pulls limits from "unlimited" broadband
By Stewart Mitchell
Posted on 1 Feb 2013 at 13:45
BT is to start offering unlimited broadband services that actually deliver what they promise.
With ISPs worried about P2P file sharers clogging the network, many put "fair usage policies" in place on so-called "unlimited" packages so they could restrict or slow traffic to heavy downloaders.
ISPs offering genuinely unlimited connections – notably Sky – have been the exception rather than the rule, and BT's decision follows convoluted changes to the way "unlimited" could be advertised that came into effect last year.
The changes affect several packages - Unlimited Broadband, Unlimited Broadband Extra, Unlimited BT Infinity 1, Unlimited BT Infinity 2, BT Total Broadband Option 3.
"We believe we have boosted our broadband offering by moving our best broadband deals to totally unlimited," said John Petter, managing director of BT’s consumer division.
"Customers told us that they wanted to be able to enjoy catch-up TV, streamed films and other bandwidth-eating applications without having to worry about going over their limit or being slowed down by their ISP."
Download limits/fair usage policies are becoming unpopular, especially as household data consumption is growing all the time
BT's decision will put pressure on other ISPs, according to experts, with companies such as Virgin looking restrictive by comparison.
Virgin Media has previously won plaudits for being open about its "traffic shaping", but with BT and Sky – the UK's biggest and third biggest ISPs, respectively - now both offering truly unlimited packages, it is looking out of kilter.
"BT’s decision to make all their unlimited packages ‘truly unlimited’ is pivotal for the broadband industry," said Dominic Baliszewski, telecoms expert at broadbandchoices.co.uk. "O2, Sky and most recently Plusnet all have ‘truly unlimited’ broadband deals already, but BT is the biggest broadband provider in the UK in terms of market share and where it leads, others follow."
"Download limits/fair usage policies are becoming unpopular, especially as household data consumption is growing all the time," Baliszewskis said.
BT's fibre growth
The announcement comes as BT reported better than expected results for broadband in its latest figures.
According to the company, demand for fibre broadband has been strong, with the number of customers taking fibre via Openreach’s fibre network - BT's retail side and reseller ISPs - reaching 1.25 million
The company also claimed it was now the UK biggest fibre network, saying it passed more homes and businesses than rival Virgin.
"BT now has the biggest fibre broadband network in the UK in terms of the number of premises that can access the technology," the company said. "We passed more than 13m premises with fibre in December, overtaking Virgin Media’s footprint."
Truly excellent news!
I recently moved from sky unlimited at 16mbps to BT infinity at 80mbps, yet the throughput quickly dropped to 16mbps, so the only benefit I got was higher upload speed. I hope that this change means that I get my 80mbps back?
By PsYcHoTicTac on 1 Feb 2013
It depends on what you are doing, where you live and the package you are on AFAIK.
By tech3475 on 1 Feb 2013
The symptoms you describe are probably to do with contention. They won't be due to the package you're on - unless you've changed it.
By AndyChips on 4 Feb 2013
I'm on BT Fibre (through Plusnet) and get 72mbs down and nearly 20 up (tested yesterday). Its been totally reliable and I can't recommend it enough to anyone on a DSL connection.
By roblightbody on 4 Feb 2013
if "umlimited" meant "limited, what does "truly" really mean?
By harryajh on 4 Feb 2013
roblightbody;... the word unlimited has nothing to do with download/upload speeds. It refers to the amount of data you can down/upload over your connection.. e.g 2GB per month, or 20Gb per month
By machan52 on 7 Feb 2013
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