Please Note – This page is for people who do not take UNLIMITED products with us i.e. a product that does not have UNLIMITED in it’s name.
What is Internet data use?
A number of our broadband packages now have Internet data usage limits associated with them. Essentially whenever you go onto the Internet and visit a website, download an email, send an email, download music, view videos online you will download or upload an amount of data using your broadband connection. These amounts of data vary depending on what you do, for example viewing a simple website or sending a standard email will use small amounts of data, whilst viewing videos or download music can use far higher amounts of data. For example viewing a web page uses around 50 kilobytes (KB) of data whilst downloading a song may use 5 Megabytes of data (100 times larger). There are 1000 kilobytes in every Megabyte and roughly 1000 Megabytes in every Gigabyte.
This data usage is logged any time you use your broadband connection and at the end of month we do a final calculation as to the total you used over the course of the past month.
Why are there data restrictions in place?
- Most importantly, restrictions are in place to ensure that the broadband network is fast, reliable and responsive for EVERYBODY. We at Community Action Suffolk believe in fairness for all users and don’t believe it is a fair for a small group of high end users to disrupt the quality of the network for the majority of those lower end users. We aim to provide an excellent broadband service to 99.9% of all customers who use the products in the way they are designed.
- We, and other suppliers, discovered on the previous speed based restriction system, some users were using very substantial amounts of data each month, therefore causing other users on the network to experience slow usage. We believe that the new system will be fairer for ALL.
- We as your supplier of Internet services, get charged by our own supplier and BT per Gigabyte of data. We have no option but to pass on this cost to our customers accordingly.
Why has this system changed from previous systems?
The broadband world is rapidly evolving and to meet the needs of the UK, the systems to maintain good network speeds are also changing. Because more and more users are using the Internet for viewing TV, movies and videos, to ensure the Internet does not grind to a holt in the UK, providers have had to introduce these systems for the benefit of all of us. Community Action Suffolk is faced with the same situation.
Previously, our broadband services were restricted but in a different way. They were restricted in terms of the speed of broadband connection that you could receive. The more you paid, the higher speed it was. Now it is still restricted but data usage is restricted instead. So although your data usage is now restricted, from April 2008, the broadband speed you had before was automatically increased, free of charge, to the maximum your line could physically take which in many people’s case could be by up to 16 times.
In line with the vast majority of other suppliers we have also adopted these new types of restrictions.
What causes high data usage?
Some examples of online activity that cause higher than average data usage can be seen below.
- Watching and downloading programmes on BBC IPlayer and other TV on demand players
- Downloading music
- Downloading films
- Downloading software
- Downloading content from games consoles such as Xbox or Playstation
- Skype and Video Conferencing Programmes
- Streaming Radio services such as BBC Listen live services
What is the best product for me?
If you are a home customer and you only use the Internet for browsing website and sending and receiving a few emails a month then we recommend either the HomeMAX1 or HomeMAX2 tariffs. If you are a home customer who browses websites quite a bit, sends and receives quite a few emails and downloads the odd song each month then we recommend the HomeMAX5 tariff. If you browse the website several hours a day, send and receive several hundred emails per month and downloads quite a bit of music, software and videos then we recommend either the HomeMAX10 or HomeMAX Unlimited tariff. Please note this is a not a strict guide but is a rough estimate as to the product you should be on. To estimate more accurately your monthly usage please use our tool below.
What happens if i go over my limit?
If you use use over the publicised limit for your tariff then you will be charged for the additional usage. This usage is charged at £1.25 per extra 1GB of data usage and is done in accordance with our terms and conditions. At Community Action Suffolk we have a policy where we will round up or down to the nearest GB the monthly usage and charge accordingly. For example if you have a 2GB data limit and you use 2.4GB for that month we will not charge you extra. If you use 2.8GB for another month then we will charge you an additional £1.25 for this extra usage. The extra payment will be added to your bill for the next billing date after the month that you exceeded the limit and we will write to you confirming all of this. You do not need to do anything, in terms of contacting the bank and changing direct debit payments.
What options are available to me if i keep going over the limit?
You have 2 main options available to you.
1. Upgrade your package to one that better fits your monthly usage by calling our helpdesk on 01473 345305 or continue to be billed your normal monthly amount plus any additional usage you use
2. Moderate your usage of the Internet and Internet applications to ensure you don’t go over your package limit.
Can you tell me what is causing my high usage?
Following a conversation with you, regarding what you have been using it for, we can indicate the types of usage that could be causing this high usage of data. It is not possible to pinpoint this definitively but we should be able to give you an idea.
Can i check my usage level?
Currently Community Action Suffolk does not have any systems that enable users to check broadband usage levels. However, we have been able to test free software developed from other companies for this purpose. Please visit https://www.suffolkonline.net/2016/03/02/want-to-monito…and-data-usage/ and follow the instructions on this page. Please note this is not Community Action Suffolk software and whilst we will do our best to help you with it, we cannot guarantee the functionality of this. This system does not tie in directly with our usage systems, so the levels you get from this may differ from ours and also your usage would need to be calculated on all your devices, if you use multiple devices in your property. This should however give you a good feel of your usage across the month.
You are also able to call the helpdesk on 01473 345305 and we can tell you your usage up to the last few days of the month.