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Zen to introduce 100GB download allowance on legacy Home products
Sunday 03 December 2006 21:18:00 by Andrew Ferguson

When service providers change usage limits it is unusual to give so much notice, but Zen are giving almost four months notice to its legacy Home 1000 and Home 2000 customers. The Zen Home 250 product which is still available for purchase at £17.99 a month will remain unlimited, as will any Zen customers on an existing Home 500 service who have not converted to a Zen 8000 Active or Pro package (20GB and 50GB download allowance respectively). A copy of the email sent out to customers can be read on our forums here.

The new limit that will take effect from the 1st March 2007 is 100 GigaBytes of download traffic per month. If a customer does hit the limit the web page requests will be redirected to a portal where they can buy extra allowance for £1.49 (inc. VAT) per GB.

There will be complaints that usage limits are killing the growth of broadband and how it can be used, with sites like YouTube often getting a mention, but to break 100GB in a month takes serious work. A 90 minute movie on Sky Anytime is generally under 1GB in size, and playing an online game non-stop for 24 hours will consume between 0.5GB and 5GB depending on the game and the amount of extras it has like video and audio comms. The average broadband user is still only using around 5 to 15GB of downloads per month.

Hopefully all providers will make use of forthcoming price cuts due in April 2007 from BT Wholesale to reassess their usage allowances, and balance price reductions to consumers against increasing average usage from customers.

Comments

Posted by scarymonkey over 10 years ago
Isn't 1st March only 3 months away? Since the announcement was made at the end of November this would make it just over 3 months notice not nearly 4 months?
Posted by DooGie over 10 years ago
Seems pretty fair to me. I think if Pipex had a policy like this instead of their seemingly underhanded way of dealing with things then there would be a lot more happy peeps about.
Posted by doc_holiday over 10 years ago
"Legacy" in this case means existing 1 or 2mb customers who did not move to max. New customers who come will be put on max and there is a 50gb limit on the top end home product.
Posted by Madcelt over 10 years ago
DooGie - Couldn't agree more. I would much rather have a resonable download allowance such as this, that the way Pipex are currently handling the situation.
Posted by Bruce over 10 years ago
Even 50GB doesn't go far these days. Listening to 128Kb MP3 internet radio consumes 1GB per day, if you leave it running 24 hours a day. So an average family, using internet radio, downloading a few movies each week, as well as the latest service packs etc, adds up to quite a bit.

What's going to happen with internet TV & HDTV becoming a reality. 50GB will not be enough for many.
Posted by minglong over 10 years ago
Although watching movies and such at the moment isn't too bandwidth intensive in the UK, now that the speed is there, content providers will start offering much higher quality movies in the future (xbox's Live HDTV download is an example) at which point, you're no longer watching a 90 minute movie at 1GB large but rather at 4GB or more.
Posted by stevie8abes over 10 years ago
This is where techy Eutopia meets BT economics. It costs the ISP for people to stream and download vast quantities of data so all they're doing is passing this on to the consumer by making people pay for what they use. A good move by Zen in my eyes as it will allow them to reinvest in the network and provide the service they've become renowned for and enable the majority of users not to be penalised by those who take the mick by using the bandwidth at a cost to Zen.

It's about time if you ask me. :o)
Posted by -Shane- over 10 years ago
With the internet growing and companies offering their movies for download becoming more popular capping customer is very short sighted imo. This cap wouldn't actually effect my usage but I totally disagree with being capped, i want to use the internet anyay I want with no restrictions. Zen have now lost my custom.
Posted by isomer over 10 years ago
Don't forget that this is probably not a decision that Zen have made though choice. BT Wholesale changed their pricing structure to be geared for download volume rather than speed.

The fact that Zen will be continuing to offer these "legacy" products earns credit in my book, even with the 100GB limit. And if that means that they can pass some of their savings onto us customers, its fine by me! ;-)
Posted by jsaville over 10 years ago
No cap was my main reason for choosing Home 2000, which at £35/mo is at least double the cost of typical home packages. I rarely hit 100gig, but it was important to know a heavy month wouldn't disable my access! For that money many business packages are available, which is exactly what I intend moving to. If broadband media (radio, film etc) is to take off, ISPs have to get realistic about the bandwidth-otherwise I see a rash of second lines being installed (£125 from BT). Come to think of it, you'd also get responsive surfing while your streaming data is coming in on the other line. Hmmm.
Posted by mac600 over 10 years ago
I've been with Zen for 12 months and got the Home 2000 product that was billed as unlimited at the time.

As they've set the cap at 100gig I can't see many people having a problem with it.
Posted by atsw over 10 years ago
This is not a cap restricting anyone’s usage to 100Gb a month. It’s simply Zen saying that if you choose to use more than 100Gb in a month, then you have to pay for that extra bandwidth. The economics of the situation dictates that there has to be a line, and Zen are making it quite clear where they see that line being drawn. Not only that, they’ve given plenty of notice to those currently using more than 100Gb to either budget for the extra monthly cost of their activity or move off somewhere else. All very clear and transparent.
Posted by peertwo over 10 years ago
All of the above fail to take into account that Zen stated on their website when Home 500/1000 & 2000 users signed up that:

"No Usage Restrictions From Zen:

Unlike the growing trend being adopted by more and more ISP's, Zen Internet offers a genuinely 'uncapped' service with no usage restrictions or bandwidth limitations"

This questions what are T&C and what is a contract ?
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