BT Broadband fair usage policy

ByKelvin Goodson
BT logo

My BT broadband contract mentions a fair usage policy. What is a fair usage policy and do any providers offer broadband without one?

What is a fair usage policy?

A fair usage policy is a way of restricting your broadband usage if it's having a significant impact on other users. This is sometimes referred to as a usage policy, or traffic management policy.

In practical terms, the fair usage system is imposed because your connection is almost certainly shared by anything up to 50 households. If one or more households are downloading excessive amounts of data it could have a negative impact on everyone sharing that connection, causing their download speeds to drop. So, fair usage policies are, theoretically at least, meant to protect the service that the majority of us received 

Does all broadband have a fair usage policy?

BT Broadband (Visit www.BT.com) is not the only provider to have a usage policy - the majority of providers have some kind of fair usage or traffic management policy in place which applies to some or all of their packages.

Does BT broadband with totally unlimited usage have a fair usage policy?

If you've signed up for a BT package that's advertised as "unlimited", you might be concerned about your fair usage policy and how it affects the way you can use your broadband connection. However, with BT Broadband you do not need to worry. If you're on any of BT's unlimited packages they won't place any speed restrictions on your service no matter how much you upload or download, even at peak times.

Customers on all other BT broadband products may have their speeds managed for non-time critical applications such as Peer-to-Peer services. BT says this is to protect the performance of the network and to ensure the best experience for all users of the service. This does not stop you using P2P services, but it means your downloads will take longer during peak times.

BT deals with totally unlimited usage

BT
BT
BT
Unlimited Broadband + weekend calls Unlimited Infinity 1 + Weekend Calls Unlimited Infinity 2 + Weekend Calls
Monthly cost £5.00 (for 12 months, then £20.00 per month thereafter) 1st year cost: £67.95 Monthly cost £10.00 (for 12 months, then £26.00 per month thereafter) 1st year cost: £176.95 Monthly cost £25.00 (for 12 months, then £32.50 per month thereafter) 1st year cost: £307.95
Up To 17 Mb Up To 52 Mb Up To 76 Mb
Weekend calls inc. Weekend calls inc. Weekend calls inc.
Go
Call BT on 0800 783 5390
Mon to Sun 8am-6.30pm
Go
Call BT on 0800 783 5390
Mon to Sun 8am-6.30pm
Go
Call BT on 0800 783 5390
Mon to Sun 8am-6.30pm

Does BT broadband with a monthly usage limit have a fair usage policy?

In addition, BT customers on packages with either 10GB or 40GB data limits will have BT usage policy applied. If you reach your monthly usage allowance your service won't stop working, but BT will send an advisory email to your BT primary email address when you reach 70 or 80 per cent of your usage allowance each month (depending on your broadband product) and further notification if you then exceed your allowance in a particular month.

What happens if I go over my BT monthly usage limit?

If you exceed your usage allowance, you'll be charged for additional usage in units of five gigabytes (GB), at £5 per 5GB. Charges will apply from the second month you exceed your allowance and will appear on your BT bill.

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