ADSL promises to herald an age of always-on, media-rich Internet access, but one ISP admits Thursday its customers can expect no more than three hours download time and may find themselves thrown off the service if they hog bandwidth.
"Bandwidth hogs" have been the bugbear of the unmetered Internet industry but broadband is widely regarded as overcoming the problems caused by dial-up access. ISP PlusNet, however, believes the problems will continue to haunt broadband providers.
It overcome this, PlusNet's ADSL service has a daily bandwidth allocation per customer of 500MB. This would allow users around 2.7 hours of downloads. In its terms and conditions, PlusNet reserves the right to charge users who exceed this limit a higher monthly charge. "This would include applications such as transmitting or receiving live video, live audio or other similar traffic demands across the network," reads the statement.
This has left one PlusNet customer feeling that he has wasted the £150 installation fee. "Isn't that what ADSL is supposed to be for? How come streaming audio and video is now against their terms and conditions?" he asks.
According to one member of staff at PlusNet's call centre an always-on connection does not entitle customers to use the service all day. "It is not designed as a permanent connection, more a fast one," he says.
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