Skip Navigation

BT Total excess usage charge to rise to £1 per GB
Wednesday 18 February 2009 13:08:03 by Andrew Ferguson

The BT Total Broadband Fair Usage Policy page has updated to reflect a number of changes to the policy that will come into effect on 1st April 2009.

Customers using BT Option 2 will benefit from an extra inclusive 5GB data allowance, giving a 20GB monthly allowance for the combined upload and download traffic. BT Option 1 will retain its 10GB allowance, Option 3 will be unlimited. Option 1 & 2 users need to be careful about exceeding their allowance, since if you exceed it for two months in a row the excess usage charges rise from 58p per GigaByte to £1 per GB.

On reading the fair use policy we noted that BT Option 1 customers are subject to a traffic management limit of 896Kbps on streamed video between 5pm and midnight every day. Watching a higher quality video on BBC iPlayer averaged out at 877Kbps for the few minutes we measured, but as the picture below from our tbbmeter tool shows the player likes to buffer video by transmitting it in bursts up to your line speed. By limiting the download rate for the video the time taken from clicking play until a video actually starts (i.e. the initial buffer period) will be higher and any small glitches are likely to result in a further rebuffer. Of course the more expensive products do not have this limit, but it seems at odds for a product that is sold as being good for 25 hours of iPlayer streaming a month.

Broadband bandwidth meter screen shot showing streaming video pattern
Click image for larger version


Posted by Rroff over 8 years ago
I wouldn't wanna bet on the more expensive products not being limited like that too...
Posted by ruskin0 over 8 years ago
lol of course they will lmao,unlimited rofl enough said.
Posted by Spectre_01 over 8 years ago
BT Broadband simply isn't fit for purpose.
Posted by chrysalis over 8 years ago
to comply with ofcom dont BT have to reveal all their throttling specs? or is the very vague FUP page enough?
Posted by comnut over 8 years ago
no Ofcom are BT's lapdog..... Not the other way around, sadly...
Posted by collinc over 8 years ago
I have been complaining to BT for years on and off, and constantly since December 2008. I'm an option 3 customer, and I don't think I could EVER reach even 10gb limit due to the line speed. Less than 1/2 a mile from exchange, option 3. As Spectre_01 says,, BT are NOT fit for purpose!
Posted by comnut over 8 years ago
yep - that is why the best is to go LLU, that is not limited by BT - look at, find a 1 month contract until you can see the reality of your line ability..
Posted by Rroff over 8 years ago
thats all well and good... but only LLU at my exchange is talk talk, AOL/Orange none of them providing faster than 8mbit anyhow... I'd rather stay with BT than those options.
Posted by ruskin0 over 8 years ago
BT still got customers then!
Posted by comnut over 8 years ago
well it depends what you want... about 70% only surf one or two sites a day, and minimal email...
A bit like getting a 'supercar', and only driving two miles a day...
Posted by serviceman1 over 8 years ago
BT is a bit like the politicians
promise you everything and
give you nothing
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 8 years ago
BT offer a clear policy with email warnings, and an unlimited package of not-excessive price.

Also, the limit to streaming is on their option 1 service, and can be placed firmly at the foot of the BBC and their forcing of the iPlayer onto L3.

I can certainly fault them for not simply throttling the service to a minimum level and for the excessive level of their charges, but not the way they communicate the limits.
Posted by chrysalis over 8 years ago
Dawn so you have no issue with BT not telling customers what speeds to expect on p2p/nntp etc. during busy times?
Posted by rrvvee41 over 8 years ago
I am BT Option 1 and have received their update on the service limit. But the question is how much do I use month to month? BT don't tell me anywhere on my bills!!
Posted by mikeblogs over 8 years ago
The lack of transparency remains poor.

Restricting iPlayer to 8XX Kbps when it is attempting to send files in 2MB chunks will have interesting effects until it is fixed.

The user needs to be informed of the full potential of their line and allowed to mark their own traffic accordingly.
Posted by jerrymartin over 8 years ago
I phoned BT to ask where I find out how much of my monthly allowance I have used and they couldn't tell me!!!!. As much as I hate Tiscali at least you could monitor your broadband usage.
Posted by jerrymartin over 8 years ago
With BT Broadband unless they become more obliging which they wont because some people would try to use all their allowance. You have to guess and hope you don't go over and incur charges. (I have already recieved a email advising that if I go over my limit again I will incur charges). BT are being very one sided with this policy, charging you for going over but not allowing you to monitor your usage.

You could try using the tbbmeter tool to monitor your usage for the mean time.
Posted by comnut over 8 years ago
rrvvee41: you need to get TBBmeter, it will tell you plenty of info..

Posted by comnut over 8 years ago
If you dont have .NET and cannot stand the 23M download, plus 8.4 M for TBBmeter, there is a simpler, smaller solution...

Get netmeter from:
less than 1M, doesnt need anything else!!

I use it myself, it has nothing 'strange' that some paranoid peeps say... :)

It will give a very comprehensive table of down/uploads (daily, projected, weekly, monthly..) for those on a very limited connection..

Posted by OGPete over 8 years ago
An excess usage charge of £1 per GigaByte seems very reasonable to me here (temporarily) in Australia, where I grapple with a dongle attaching me to 3-mobile broadband. If I exceed 2 GB per month, then I would be charged 10c per MegaByte, ie $100 (about £46) per GB. Compared with this, BT's charge seems most reasonable!
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 8 years ago
OGPete - Oh, the BT mobile BB excess charge is similar to that. If not higher.
Posted by broadsword49 over 8 years ago
i have been with bt opti0n 1 and only got 2 months left of an 18 months contract, thank goodness.they are billing me, over usage charges.
next month, they are the worst isp i have been with.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
quote"BT offer a clear policy with email warnings, and an unlimited package of not-excessive price."

Er hold on so its unlimited but they send you email warnings.... You sir are a genius.
You must be logged in to post comments. Click here to login.