With most high-speed internet plans, there is a cap on broadband usage, which means that you can only download and view so many things online. If you use the internet heavily, such as downloading large files or working online, than you might want to get unlimited broadband. This is a fairly recent service offered by providers who recognized the need for a plan for those who spend more time on the internet than they do sleeping or close to it. Thus they came up with unlimited broadband, which sounds like the best thing since the internet was invented or since they started capping bandwidths; you can take your pick.
Checking The TOS
Before you leap at signing a one-year contract or begin downloading all eleven seasons of M.A.S.H. though you should check out the fine print for your provider carefully. Many internet providers have a Fair Usage Policy for their unlimited broadband plans. This policy dictates that the internet provider is allowed to place a limit on how much users with unlimited plans are allowed to download, a technique called traffic shaping that tries to curb heavy users.
What Does Unlimited Connection Really Mean?
This has led to the assertion that these companies are misrepresenting themselves because the plan is not actually unlimited. Internet providers have pointed out that these limits are only placed on heavy users who download so much that they are going to interfere with the download speeds of other users. Companies do this to protect the majority of their customers. Some companies even have “time-capping,” which means that they allow their customers to download more during non-peak times, such as the middle of the night.
What is Fair Usage Policy?
If you do exceed the Fair Usage Policy constantly you could get your internet speed reduced, because some providers half your speed for a period of time, or suffer some other penalty from your company, such as paying for the data that exceeds the provider’s limit. It will probably be necessary to read the fine print to find out what those penalties could be before you find yourself with added charges or a terribly slow internet rate.
Evaluating Your Needs
If you find that the Fair Usage Policy is going to be a problem for you there are a couple things you could do. You should search around for an internet provider that will give you a high download rate for your unlimited plan. There is also the option of upgrading to a higher-end plan, but that does mean your internet bill will be more costly. For some people, this may be worth it. While not for everyone, unlimited broadband is useful for people who download vast quantities of files and are not willing to sacrifice speed.