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'[OT] BT (uk) broadband fair usage policy'
2006\09\03@052306 by Chris Gavin-Egan

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Hi all

I have just been emailed by BT (my broadband supplier) to tell me that I
have gone over my monthly bandwidth by 18gb (how i don't know but I have
a whole family using the connection on 4 pc's LOL )

anyhow they advised me that next month, if I go over my bandwidth, they
will charge me £1 per Gb over the bandwidth allowance !

Interestingly - they don't give you any method of actually monitoring
your bandwidth usage on a hourly/daily/monthly basis other than this
email telling you.

I emailed them back today telling them that an example of BT's
behaviour/policy is saying to people that they can go into a buffet and
eat only as much as a plate holds, however we are not going to give you
a plate to hold the food on and we would like you to stop eating when
you think you have eaten as much as you feel a plate would hold... by
the way we will be charging you £1 for every sausage roll over and above
the plated amount... oh and lastly we'll be watching so we know how much
you have eaten !

I haven't heard back as yet, but I am interested in peoples opinion of
this situation, afterall, are they allowed to impose such charges when
they don't give you any way of metering your own use ?

Cheers Chris


2006\09\03@060031 by Tamas Rudnai

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Think it is the same as a phone line: if you use it more then you have to
pay more, but they include some 'free speak time' in the line rental fee.
Most of the ISP has the policy not to 'overuse' the internet, so for example
if you download lots of movies or watching video clips all the time you
could reach that limit very easy. If you would like to avoid tha 1 pound per
gig then tell all of your member of your family to stop downloading or
watching videos.

There is a possibility that you have a wireless networking enabled without
the limitation which device had access to it therefore somebody else uses
your account without your knowledge -- maybe they do not even know that they
use your access point instead of theirs...

BTW: I do not know BT, but most of the ISP has a secure website where every
customer could check the statistics of the usage.

Tamas


On 03/09/06, Chris Gavin-Egan <spam_OUTchrisTakeThisOuTspamgavin-egan.com> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

>

2006\09\03@064129 by Mat

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I'm on BT also, but as of yet have not received an email, I wouldn’t be
surprised if I did at some point. I'm currently on the business unlimited
package organised though another household member, however I routinely have
to backup/sync gigs of information each night. I have however recently
noticed BT traffic shaping, my connections keep dropping down to 30kB/s,
after a short period, unless I run them through encrypted connections. Has
BT policy changed recently, as I have not noticed this before?

Mat

{Original Message removed}

2006\09\03@072119 by Chris Gavin-Egan

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Well unless anyone knows any different - BT don't have an accessible
stats page for customers.



Tamas Rudnai wrote:
{Quote hidden}

>> -

2006\09\03@084113 by Tamas Rudnai

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For a short time I had a BT Broadband here in Ireland, and just logged in
using my credentials -- I could check it... is I had got still a
subscription from them.

In the UK just used the search button to find the relevant pages, it may
help you:

http://www2.bt.com/btPortal/application?pageid=framework_search&search_portlet_id=searchresult_page&searchType=0&siteArea=pan

Tamas


On 03/09/06, Chris Gavin-Egan <chrisspamKILLspamgavin-egan.com> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

2006\09\03@101544 by Philip Pemberton

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Mat wrote:
> I have however recently
> noticed BT traffic shaping, my connections keep dropping down to 30kB/s,
> after a short period, unless I run them through encrypted connections. Has
> BT policy changed recently, as I have not noticed this before?

PIPEX are doing the same thing. HTTP is about the only thing that doesn't get
throttled by their infernal traffic shaper...

--
Phil.                         | Kitsune: Acorn RiscPC SA202 64M+6G ViewFinder
EraseMEphilpemspam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTdsl.pipex.com         | Cheetah: Athlon64 3200+ A8VDeluxeV2 512M+100G
http://www.philpem.me.uk/     | Tiger: Toshiba SatPro4600 Celeron700 256M+40G

2006\09\03@103310 by peter green

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> PIPEX are doing the same thing. HTTP is about the only thing that
> doesn't get
> throttled by their infernal traffic shaper...
Wrong: international HTTP seems to be getting throttled here (downloading
from uk mirrors still seems unthrottled though thank goodness)

2006\09\03@180735 by William Chops Westfield

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On Sep 3, 2006, at 2:23 AM, Chris Gavin-Egan wrote:

> I have just been emailed by my broadband supplier to tell me that
> I have gone over my monthly bandwidth by 18gb (how i don't know)
>
Upload or download bandwidth?  Usually they're different...

Check to see whether you've been hacked.  Apparently it's relatively
common for inadequately protected systems to become file servers for
all sorts of illicit activity (music and video "sharing", porn,
DDOS attacks, etc.)

BillW

2006\09\03@213526 by Edward Cooper

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>> PIPEX are doing the same thing. HTTP is about the only thing that
>> doesn't get
>> throttled by their infernal traffic shaper...
> Wrong: international HTTP seems to be getting throttled here  
> (downloading
> from uk mirrors still seems unthrottled though thank goodness)

Not really the process of ISP based throttling is rather different to
contention on transatlantic routes - what you're experiencing.



2006\09\03@214101 by Edward Cooper

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There are plenty of ISPs that will let you consume 60GB or greater on  
there 'unlimited' policies
We have cable on telewest and on an average month move 250GB of data  
over the connection
- five students, open wireless for friends as well.

Just look around for an ISP that will give you more, BT isn't very  
competitive!

Ed

On 3 Sep 2006, at 10:23, Chris Gavin-Egan wrote:

> Hi all
>
> I have just been emailed by BT (my broadband supplier) to tell me  
> that I
> have gone over my monthly bandwidth by 18gb (how i don't know but I  
> have
> a whole family using the connection on 4 pc's LOL )

2006\09\03@220034 by peter green

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> >> PIPEX are doing the same thing. HTTP is about the only thing that
> >> doesn't get
> >> throttled by their infernal traffic shaper...
> > Wrong: international HTTP seems to be getting throttled here
> > (downloading
> > from uk mirrors still seems unthrottled though thank goodness)
>
> Not really the process of ISP based throttling is rather different to
> contention on transatlantic routes - what you're experiencing.
it doesn't feel like contention, it seems downloads start at full speed and
then slow down gradually until they are at about 20 kilobytes per second.




2006\09\04@042526 by Alan B. Pearce

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> I have just been emailed by BT (my broadband supplier) to tell me that I
> have gone over my monthly bandwidth by 18gb (how i don't know but I have
> a whole family using the connection on 4 pc's LOL )

Sheesh - what are you doing to over-run it by 18GB - and what is the
allowable amount anyway ??

2006\09\04@074801 by Howard Winter

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Alan,

On Mon, 4 Sep 2006 09:25:21 +0100, Alan B. Pearce wrote:

> > I have just been emailed by BT (my broadband supplier) to tell me that I
> > have gone over my monthly bandwidth by 18gb (how i don't know but I have
> > a whole family using the connection on 4 pc's LOL )
>
> Sheesh - what are you doing to over-run it by 18GB - and what is the
> allowable amount anyway ??

And do they publish the allowable amount?  It's not mentioned in their adverts...

My own ISP (Andrews & Arnold: http://aaisp.net.uk/) has charging based on a monthly usage allowance, and you select the level you want to pay for.  
But the usage allowance only applies to downloading, between 08:00 and 18:00, Monday to Friday.  Outside those times  you can download as much as
you like, and you can upload as much as you like at any time.  And you can overrun your allowance by up to 10GB a month, and carry it over to the
next month, without any extra charges, although you can pay to clear the overrun if you really want to.  You can configure when they send you an
email if your measured usage is getting a bit high - I have mine set to my limit -500MB, to give a bit of advanced notice, but so far it's never happened
- in fact I've never got within 1GB of my allowance.

Checking your usage online is available, with an hour-by-hour table of up- and downloads, and a minute by minute graph of activity on the line.  
They also check the line every minute, and send an SMS message to your mobile phone if your router stops responding (handy for people who resell
their service - which is quite common and completely allowed).

Basically, they are a no-nonsense organisation, and I am quite happy with them.

The downside is that they don't compete on price.  In the face of the claimed "unlimited" broadband for 18 quid a month as advertised by some of the
major players, they look expensive, but when you read the small print of those others you start to feel that the imbalance is quite a bit less than it
appears from the headlines.  A&A don't have small print, by the way!  :-)

They're not suitable for everyone - I wouldn't recommend them to a non-computerate [tm] average punter, but for techies they are excellent, IMHO.  
If I was to start up as an ISP, I'd use them as my model!  :-)  (No connection other than being a satisfied customer.)

Cheers,


Howard Winter
St.Albans, England


2006\09\04@082206 by Ruben Jönsson

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> Alan,
>
> On Mon, 4 Sep 2006 09:25:21 +0100, Alan B. Pearce wrote:
>
> > > I have just been emailed by BT (my broadband supplier) to tell me that I
> > > have gone over my monthly bandwidth by 18gb (how i don't know but I have a
> > > whole family using the connection on 4 pc's LOL )
> >
> > Sheesh - what are you doing to over-run it by 18GB - and what is the
> > allowable amount anyway ??
>
> And do they publish the allowable amount?  It's not mentioned in their
> adverts...

Do you have an open WLAN?

Anyone looking at TV or a lot of video snippets through the broadband? Those
video publishing sites seems to get more and more popular these days.

Does anyone in the network use torrent or DC clients to download movies? 4.5 GB
per movie.

Any malicious software that uses a lot of your bandwidth? Someone using your
computer and internet connecion as a proxy when doing illegal things to hide
their real address.

Any non malicious software that uses a lot of your bandwidth. The type that
borrows your bandwidth and computer power when it acts as a screensaver.

/Ruben

==============================
Ruben Jönsson
AB Liros Electronic
Box 9124, 200 39 Malmö, Sweden
TEL INT +46 40142078
FAX INT +46 40947388
rubenspamspam_OUTpp.sbbs.se
==============================

2006\09\05@075937 by Philip Pemberton

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Howard Winter wrote:
> My own ISP (Andrews & Arnold: http://aaisp.net.uk/) has charging based on a monthly usage allowance,
[snip]

They're pretty expensive though... More expensive than PIPEX, and they're
generally considered to be pretty overpriced for what they provide.

Over the past four months I've averaged 40.28GB per month download, with a
maximum of 51.63GB (last month) and a minimum of 32.99GB (two months ago).
Upload bandwidth was 29.89GB average over the last four months, with a maximum
of 37.55GB and a minimum of 25.28. Unfortunately my brother's a Youtube and
BitTorrent addict, so it's going to be VERY hard to get that figure down. I
tried blocking it, but all that got me was a snide comment from him about
'creating the Great Firewall of England'...

£215pm for broadband really is a bit excessive.. All I want is a 1MBit
unmetered line (or one with a 50GBpm limit) from a reliable ISP. I can live
without email (I have my own domain, and a dedicated server) but Usenet access
would be really useful.

It seems most UK ISPs have switched from 'provide a half-decent service' to
either 'gouge the customers for as much as they'll pay' or 'cripple the
service as much as possible while keeping prices high'.

--
Phil.                         | Kitsune: Acorn RiscPC SA202 64M+6G ViewFinder
@spam@philpemKILLspamspamdsl.pipex.com         | Cheetah: Athlon64 3200+ A8VDeluxeV2 512M+100G
http://www.philpem.me.uk/     | Tiger: Toshiba SatPro4600 Celeron700 256M+40G

2006\09\05@091254 by M. Adam Davis

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Some providers here in the US do one of two  (or both) things:
1) Indicate that you are on their "unlimitied residential" plan, which
has certain bandwidth restrictions "for everyone's benefit" and that
since you are exceeding these restrictions you would be better served
by their "residential pro" plan for an additional $10/mo or similar.
2) Perform bucket throttling.  They'll give you full speed until they
find that over the last x minutes or hours you've downloaded y amount
of data, and they throttle the connection back so that you can't go
over their limits.  Once you stop downloading the connection slowly
goes back up in speed.  Think of it as a bucket with a large inlet,
and a small outlet.  If you use the large inlet at full blast,
eventually the bucket will fill, so you have to slow the incoming down
so the bucket doesn't overflow.  For the average web surfer this
yields very quick page loads (a few kb every 30 seconds or so).  File
downloads that take less than an hour or so go at full speed.  But if
you want to get something very large, then it'll slow it down.

But in any case this is usually spelled out in the terms of service.

1 pound per gigbyte is not terribly expensive as bandwidth goes.
Still, that's worse than we have here - I'm certain I've downloaded
dozens of GB in a single month with no problems.  I'm about to move to
the middle of nowhere though, and will probably be using Verizon's
EVDO service then.  I imagine I'll be running into the same issue
eventually.

-Adam

On 9/3/06, Chris Gavin-Egan <KILLspamchrisKILLspamspamgavin-egan.com> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

>

2006\09\05@143107 by Howard Winter

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Phil,

On Tue, 05 Sep 2006 13:00:04 +0100, Philip Pemberton wrote:

> Howard Winter wrote:
> > My own ISP (Andrews & Arnold: http://aaisp.net.uk/) has charging based on a monthly usage allowance,
> [snip]
>
> They're pretty expensive though... More expensive than PIPEX, and they're
> generally considered to be pretty overpriced for what they provide.

Funny that - a lot of people say that, who aren't their customers!  Those of us who are their customers think we're getting a reasonable deal for the
money.  "What they provide" is a service without hassle - no silly rules or limits (apart from the one you pay for) - you can basically do what you
like with the line you have - share it with next door, run servers, set up a local WiFi hotspot, anything that isn't illegal!  :-)

> Over the past four months I've averaged 40.28GB per month download, with a
> maximum of 51.63GB (last month) and a minimum of 32.99GB (two months ago).
> Upload bandwidth was 29.89GB average over the last four months, with a maximum
> of 37.55GB and a minimum of 25.28.

Wow!  Over the past year I've averaged about 4.6GB during unmetered time, and 1.1GB during the metered time per month, and I thought I was pretty
active!  What on Earth do you do to move that much?  My highest unmetered was 10.5GB, max metered was 1.8GB.

> Unfortunately my brother's a Youtube and
> BitTorrent addict, so it's going to be VERY hard to get that figure down. I
> tried blocking it, but all that got me was a snide comment from him about
> 'creating the Great Firewall of England'...

LOL!  

> £215pm for broadband really is a bit excessive..

Where did that figure come from?  Ah, you're looking at their "Max 50" tariff?  Don't forget that A&A's usage is only metered 08:00 to 18:00 Mon-Fri, so
unless you do all your downloading during office hours, you'll probably find a similar ratio to mine: 4 : 1 "free" : charged.  Which means you might be
able to get away with Max 8, at about £47 if you can get your brother to do his stuff after dinner.

Mind you, with the usage you're talking about I'm not sure if I should be encouraging you to share the service I'm on - it's nice and fast at the
moment!  :-)

> All I want is a 1MBit
> unmetered line (or one with a 50GBpm limit) from a reliable ISP. I can live
> without email (I have my own domain, and a dedicated server) but Usenet access
> would be really useful.

I still can't work out what you're doing with 50GB, especially if you'd be happy at 1Mbps, because things like video would be pretty awful at that
speed.

> It seems most UK ISPs have switched from 'provide a half-decent service' to
> either 'gouge the customers for as much as they'll pay' or 'cripple the
> service as much as possible while keeping prices high'.

I'm not sure some of them *ever* had a half-decent service!  :-)

Cheers,


Howard Winter
St.Albans, England


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