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NTL appears to ban Virtual Private Networks (VPNs)
Saturday 08 February 2003 16:00:00 by Andrew Ferguson

Following on from our article regarding NTL downloads limits of 1GB per day, it would appear from reading the new Terms and conditions that users on the 'Home' services who run a VPN are now not allowed to do so. An extract from section 18 of the T&C's is:

18. Use of Virtual Private Network (VPN)

As stated above, the ntl Internet and/or Interactive Services are for residential use only and we do not support the use of VPN. If we find you are using VPN via the ntl IP network we may instruct you to stop using it and you must comply with this request. This is in order to prevent problems to ntl (eg network performance) and other Internet users.

The banning of VPN's seems to be tied to both bandwidth use, and ensuring that people only use the home service for non-commercial reasons. For many people who work in the IT industry, the ability to run a VPN into the office late in the evening to save going into the office to fix a fault, is a useful option. There is a difference between someone doing the odd bit of work via a home connection, and a permanent home workers line that is paid for by a company. Do British Telecom monitor phone usage and insist you buy a business line if they catch you making the odd business phone call from home? No!

There is some further information on the bandwidth limits available at The Enquirer. They have an email from an NTL user who has dragged some information out of NTL, apparently the 1GB/day, is averaged over the month, which is not so unreasonable. Initially people who exceed this will receive a warning letter, but if you persist your account may be converted to a business account.

Interestingly NTL is still advertising the cable modem service with such wonderful phrases as Unlimited surfing so you don't have to worry about high call charges. Which is interesting, since if you surf excessively, which is fairly easy in a household of 2 or more people, you may find your monthly bill increasing to business level pricing.

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