The recent switch from counting just download traffic to counting a sum of the download and upload traffic on BT Total Broadband products carried a small adjustment to allowances. The Fair Use Policy for the BT Total Broadband products reveals that further changes to allowances are due starting 1st July 2008.
Option 1 which has a standard monthly fee of £15.99 will see its usage allowance rise from 5GB to 10GB per month. Option 2 gets an extra 7GB taking its allowance up to 15GB for the £20.99 monthly fee. Option 3 remains as an unlimited product, but subject to fair use policy.
It should be pointed out that the fair use policy applies to all the BT Total products mentioned. The way the BT Total traffic management is thought to work means that even occasional peak-time users of applications such as peer to peer may see things slowing down. This is because we believe BT Total allocates allowances across its whole network for specific applications, and if a lot of people are using them, then this allowance gets split into ever smaller slices.
There is a downside to the increases in allowance, those who regularly exceed their Option 1 or 2 allowance will from 1st July be charged 60 pence per GB rather than the current 30p per GB.
With the average usage per broadband user creeping up as people start to consume more and more video and other services, seeing allowances increase is welcome. The big caveat is that an increase in allowance has to be managed carefully, e.g. backed up by adding extra capacity to the broadband network. Given the price reductions in costs from BT Wholesale that have occurred for the last couple of years, this seems feasible.