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
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
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
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.