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A guide to broadband fair use policy (FUP)

Despite being called unlimited, a few broadband networks will still measure how much data you are using and cap you based on their fair usage policy. This was designed to stop a user from hogging all of the traffic space at the exchange, however it’s rare for a provider to act on this policy these days. To find out more check our guide below or contact your provider’s customer service team.

By on July 18, 2014 at 14:30 PM
A guide to broadband fair use policy (FUP)

Although few broadband providers will act on their fair usage policy, it's worth asking about before you make a switch to a new deal. Fair usage policies are designed to stop a small number of users from essentially hogging all of the traffic at the exchange by downloading huge amounts of data each month. If you go over a network defined cap, whether you're broadband policy is marked as unlimited or not, your broadband speed could be slowed down to a crawl.

For the best advice when switching to a new network, give our broadband experts a call on 0800 542 4704. We'll give you all the information you need to make the best choice about which deal is the right one for you.

Broadband providers' fair use policies:  

Fair usage policy and usage caps

Usage caps, or a data allowance, are very different to fair usage policy. These are the strict limits set by your provider on your contract, and will often result in you being charged more should you exceed the cap. For more information on data allowances, as well as advice on how much data you are going to need, head to our quick and easy guide.

Fair usage (FUP) and traffic management policies

While usually placed under the same umbrella, an FUP and traffic management policy are two very different things.

Traffic management policies are strictly limited to the peak times, when broadband usage is at its highest. At these times you might notice a reduction in your broadband speed if you are regularly using a large amount of data, this is to avoid the network slowing down for everyone in the area.

Fair use policy and investigation of your online activities

Some ISPs reserve the right to investigate any suspected violation of the FUP relating to your policy, especially any complaints from concerned third parties. This relates more to an illegal or immoral use of the internet service provided by the ISP, rather than to straight forward over-use of data. 

We advise you to check regularly for updates to your Internet Service Provider's FUP, by visiting their website, and if you are concerned about the implications of over-use of your service, to switch to a truly unlimited broadband package from an ISP like Sky or TalkTalk with less stringent usage rules.

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