back to article O2 limits unlimited broadband packages

Just as it runs a high-profile advertising campaign boasting it is "nobbling broadband niggles", O2 has begun telling users of its "unlimited" broadband packages that they shouldn't download more than 10GB in a month. Those who ignore the warning face disconnection, which might be considered a niggle. The new policy affects …


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  1. John F***ing Stepp

    Download caps.

    First thing I look at.

    I mean really, there are Internet firms out there and there are fakes.

    So I would look at the download cap first.

    (not saying that O2 is is a fake, or a poser, or a fucking cheap piece of shit.)

    Just look at the download cap first.

  2. DannyAston
    Thumb Up


    I must be pushing 1.2TB this month - still no contact from 02....

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Idiot Marketing.

    The O2 Marketing department are idiots. Dont ever advertise something as unlimited if it isn't, even if you say it isn't in the small print. Their new home phone service is even more self defeating, with all sorts of hidden costs and rubbish tech support!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      No, they're not idiots... my direct experience, they're frauds.

      I'm retired and disabled, and it's not that long since I had an O2 mobile phone - bought specifically for use in an emergency - sitting unused on my sideboard for a year. No local signal whatever in an area they had assured me had high signal strength - apparently I was just 'unlucky' - though they still took over £400 of my limited income that year, backed up with a threat of legal action. Pulled every delaying tactic and trick in the book to sidestep my consumer rights (not helped by a local Trading Standards Dept that was about as much help as mammaries on a male bovine).

      All very calculated, and not in the least bit stupid. Though I did get some entertainment when they phoned me after the contract expired to express their astonishment that I had declined to renew their 'market-beating' package!! A month later I got an angry letter from them telling me their latest attempt at Direct Debit (which of course I'd instantly cancelled) had failed!

      Nothing about this current story surprises me in the least. I'd buy a carrier pigeon before I'd ever do phone or internet business (or any kind of business) with O2 again.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward my direct experience, they're frauds.

        Just so. They wouldn't invest in Arsenal if they were kosher.

      2. Anonymous Coward

        Sounds like....

        You have an axe to grind because you bought the wrong product. No signal? take it back and cancel your contract. You have a period of time to do this, typically 14 days. You bought a contract phone on a relatively expensive tariff just for emergencies? that doesn't ring true and sounds like you actually just bought the phone and assumed you were stuck with it.

        Trading standards didnt get involved because you clearly chose to not exercise your rights and just wanted a moan when you got lumbered. Your retirement and disability dont appear to be a very good excuse for not taking any interest in what you are buying, or sending it back when it is unfit for purpose.

        I doubt any other mobile company would have treated you any differently.

        I don't like O2's marketing, but your story smacks of your own failings, not those of o2. Why didnt you get a cheap pay and go and £10 top up?

        I understand that you may be miffed and O2 dont really help when it comes really great customer care but i am not at all impressed with your tale of "woe".

        1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

          How comprehensive you are

          And what an astute observer.

          Pray tell, do you or did you, per chance, work at O2 ?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward


            i actually work for a large multicarrier telecoms company. I get to see a lot of crap marketing and listen to a lot of moany people who take no care whatsover over what they want, as they only see the "free" devices they are being offered. They all gloss over the fact that they are entering a contract and that the documentation they get tells them what to do. I should point out that i am not a customer service advocate, but look into customer complaints as part of a general adherance to legal and regulatory process.

            If this bloke's story is true, then he clearly waited longer than 14 days to complain, and even then didnt actually demonstrate a lack of signal because all mobile companies will disconnect a customer who simply cannot use their handset due to signal issues (given some offer of returning said handset). More likely is that the phone doesnt work in his house and that annoyed him to the point that he decided to blame O2 for every little mistake. £400 for an emergency phone? the bloke has very poor judgement if you ask me.

            It happens with all operators (t-mobile used to be quite bad for inhouse coverage) and it happens with all devices that need to connect (especially laptops, where the 3g coverage in houses is rubbish on most networks).

            I get sick of hearing the whinging, but in some cases it is justified. if O2 offer "unlimited" broadband irrespective of whether you LLU or not, then thats what you get. 10 gig is bugger all these days so they shouldnt really be bandying that number about. The biggest gripe with that sort of thing though is the fact you have to pay to tether to the iphone even though you have unlimited data on that. No other offering is as restrictive and it seems that Jobs can get away with blue murder.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    If I was a lawyer with such a connection I'd be sorely tempted to come up with ways to burn as much bandwidth as possible to get them to disconnect me, then sue their pants off for breach of contract.

    Alas, I'm not and I don't, so someone else will have to take up the slack.

  5. abigsmurf

    Not happy with O2

    Haven't got a bandwidth letter from them (think my line is unbundled) but I have noticed a massive drop in connection speed. I've gone from downloading at around 650k/s to less than 300k/s.

    Looking at switching, especially as my line should be 20mbps by the end of the year. Any recommendations for a non-limiting ISP?

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Sky the same

      I phoned SKY and said my line has dropped from 700kb/s to 150kb/s. They checked and said the speed is all I can expect. I said it used to be faster, when I asked them if my exchange was over subscribed, they went all shifty and avoided my questions. I pushed and they almost. sort of, not quite admitted that they vastly over subscribe to ensure the costs stay down.

      I dropped them and simply bought a cheapo 10MB from VM. Shite company but at least they are clear on what you get and when you can use it, and you do get 10MB constantly, not like BT's shitty ADSL speeds that change if a sparrow farts within 10 feet of the line!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      yeah Be

      Be is the best home ISP on balance at the moment. True unlimited and consistently decent speeds up to 24 meg. Ironically however, they're owned by O2 and O2 share their network, although they don't seem to have influenced Be's policymaking -- yet.

      1. AndrueC Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Close but no cigar

        If you read the article again you'll see that this only applies to O2 customers on the Access package (ie;connection runs over BT's IPStream). Be don't have such a package so by definition are unaffected.

        Still - you're quite right. Be are one of the best ISPs at the moment. Beaten only by O2 which offers almost the same service (via LLU) for a lower price.

    3. Pax681

      try bethere bud

      try bethere. i am with them and i download like an internet hoover. they don';t give a shit, no bandwidth management what-so-ever!

      both 02 and bethere are owned by telefonica but bethere remnains as it was before the buy out. free from limitations of any sort.

    4. Danny 14
      Thumb Up


      BE internet. Its even great for those of us who cant get 8mb (even on ADSL2+).

  6. Lusty


    Glad to see Be still apparently not even interested in looking at our usage. They can keep my custom :)

    1. Wasn't me
      Thumb Up


      You know BE is owned by O2, don't you?

      Just checking...

  7. Pyers

    In this day and age?!

    I have recently discussed this issue with my ISP who cap at 30GB, I am on a rural exchange and therefor on BT equipment. BT push me back into contention automatically if I do more than a couple of gigs a day.

    My point is that, in this day and age, even 30 gigs let alone 10 is ridiculous. You can burn through several gigs a day just watching a couple of HD programmes on iPlayer. I have had to watch in SD and limit my iPlayer usage just to get back in limit. Why should I have to hold back? It is completely at odds with progress on the internet with more bandwidth hungry content whilst the ISPs cut back. 10 gigs a month is PATHETIC.

  8. Scott 67


    What services are gonna get the stick from this?


    Xbox Live?


    OnLive (If that even surfaces)?


    Seriously, the UK is a dump for broadband right now, the MPs are going "OH HO WE SHALL INVEST THIS MUCH", yeah, really seeing it here.

    1. Elmer Phud

      The stick is even close to home

      How about BT Vision?

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Thank goodness I'm with Be

    Currently they're not cracking down, and I've been downloading a fair bit of (legal) software. On one particular day rebuilding home servers a couple of months ago, I downloaded well over 10GB in a day (not difficult with a couple of apps, Solaris and some large free games).

    If you're only doing casual web browsing, 10GB is plenty. Add media into the mix and it's easy to break the limit.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    I'm on O2 Access and the only consolation when my connection is throttled to less than 1 megabit every afternoon and evening is that although it's slow, I can leave it downloading overnight and get there in the end. So now I'm paying for shit speeds *and* 10GB limit on an 'unlimited package'?


  11. Gary F

    Very mean of O2

    10GB is what many ISPs offer as a basic or starter package. O2 should be ashamed of what they've done.

  12. probedb


    They do seem to throttle occasionally but recently my download speed seems to have halved in the evenings. It's fine the rest of the time.

  13. Chris_B

    Damn and blast

    Just moved from PlusNet to O2 because of their unlimited policy. Used to blow PN's 15Gb limit in 3 weeks every month.

    With 3 teenages in the house and the school holidays looming I'm stuffed.

    10Gb is absolutely pants in this day and age. Jeez even the French are ahead of us !

    1. Rob Beard

      Terms and conditions

      IIRC you have something like 7 days cooling off period so if you're still within this then you might want to jump ship to another ISP with a 30 day contract while you can. You might even be lucky and have 30 days to jump ship. If you're on a O2 Access (i.e. you can't get O2 LLU) then don't cancel it, get a Mac code and switch that way. You'll have less down time and you won't be charged a cancellation fee (which BT now charge).

      You may also find a change of terms and conditions might mean you leave with no penalties (this is what I did to leave my AOL contract early).

      Sadly it seems that there aren't any true unlimited ISPs when you can't get LLU unless you're willing to pay a premium (last time I checked it was in the region of 70 quid). Best I could suggest is an ISP which is limited during the day and unlimited overnight (Enta does this via resellers such as Vivaciti and UKFSN).

      One last thing to check is if you can get any other LLU providers by going to and entering your phone number and seeing what exchange you're on and if any providers offer LLU.


    2. CADmonkey

      Maybe you should have upgraded and stayed with Plusnet

      I did and now the limit is 80Gb a month for £16. I get about 6500kbps up/350 down

      I've only ever had one ISP account since 14K dial-up

      They've never been broken enough to need fixing.

  14. Rogerborg

    This'll take a lawsuit to sort out

    Not some pussweed quangos asking "pretty please, clarify your marketing".

    It'll take someone with most money than sense to actually drag these clowns into a court of law and have the parently absurd "...unless we don't feel like it" clauses struck from their contract.

    Batter up!

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    re: abigsmurf

    Zen have just doubled their monthly allowances to either 50Gb or 100Gb a month. At least they are honest that they have a limit, and they have the best reputation around for speed/reliability/support. Try switching to them.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

      I hope you mean GB, not Gb?

  16. fLaMePrOoF


    Never mind Ofcom's pathetic 'code of practice', it's about time Trading Standards brought consumer legislation such as the trade descriptions act to bear on Broadband providers in order to restrict what they can hide in FUP's and stop them using terms like 'unlimited' in misleading and unethical and illegal ways!

  17. Andy 97

    O2, the problem network - bunch of chancers!

    Download caps? now there's a novel proposition.

    Can't someone take this bunch of brand-mad chancers to court for misleading advertising?

    It strikes me that the word "unlimited" has a singular definition in the dictionary. If you can't make good on your claims, don't make them in the first place.

    In other news Zen Internet still are excellent.

  18. The Fuzzy Wotnot

    BT just don't get it.

    Virgin are nobs, but at least they state clearly on the 10MB line agreement, these are times you have to be under this limit, the rest of the time you can more or less do what you like. PC's have schedulers to line up downloads, so I can beat my line to death all I like outside the limits and I only pay £15 quid a month. My ADSL was costing me £20/month for 5MB line.

  19. Craig McAllister

    I recon O2 should only provide LLU-based broadband.

    Ideally O2/Be would just cease providing service over non LLU lines.

    The unbundled service they provide is amazing - the BT-based one, on the other hand, is a load of tripe. It gives people who don't understand the difference a bad opinion of o2 broadband overall.

    Leave BT to provide BT-based broadband, and let the market sort out the rest.


  20. Anonymous Coward

    title required

    I am getting piss sick of people advertising things as unlimited, only to be told a FUP applies.

    Its not just ISP's, mobile telico's and the rest are just as bad.

    I am not even sure how its legal to advertise something as unlimited when its really not, but one things for sure, it has to stop. It might not be legally wrong, but its morally wrong.


    Rant over!

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Not legally wrong ?

      Since when is imposing caps on an "unlimited" service not legally wrong ?

      It hasn't been tried in court yet, agreed, but there is no lawyer worth his diploma that can possibly defend such a practice.

      The only thing is that nobody has had the balls (or the money) to stand up to the weasels who are illegally imposing caps.

  21. matt 115

    Lower than average

    so do they just want everyone to be below the average usage? :)

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I hope

    Anyone who doesn't approve of such restrictions votes with their feet. Of course they won't, they'll complain. Then maybe complain even more when they get suspended.

    10GB is pathetic though. I've seen the best part of a gig go through our connection in a day when my housemate spends the day hungover on iplayer, if you're an average family with kids you could easily do that in a month without even going near peer to peer.

    1. AndrueC Silver badge

      They probably can't vote with their feet

      The reason they are on the O2 Access package is because O2 haven't unbundled their exchange. Most likely that means their exchange is too small to bother with and only BT have connected it up. For economic reasons a fair chunk of that cost is spread across the entire network so the really small, out of the way exchanges are probably subsidised by bigger ones. That's likely why IPStream is never the cheaper option. It's the only service available on every exchange and it carries a premium as a consequence.

      It really is hard to find anyone to blame here. Such exchanges are expensive to supply by their nature (mostly rural exchanges but also some decrepit urban exchanges). The regulator and the market have encouraged people to think that broadband should be cheap. Your comment about how 'little' 10GB is is typical of that kind of ignorance.

      Until/unless people are prepared to pay a decent amount for their connection they will continue to suffer limitations. Those in sparsely populated areas will suffer the most.

      1. The Original Steve

        RE: They probably can't vote with their feet

        "It really is hard to find anyone to blame here"

        Yes there is... OfCom. Believe BT have wanted to lower the cost they charge ISP's for sending data over the Colossus backbone but OfCom won't let them.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    ofcom and their voluntary codes of lip service

    Ofcom are to blame for this along with the lack of jurisdiction and willing by the advertising standards.

    As long as unlimited can be claimed then limited the consumer is always going to get the raw deal.

    Instead of investing more tax payer money in BT backhanders for fibre, perhaps the new government could give ofcom some powers to stop these advertising lies!!

    The term 'fair' as in fair usage is subjective in the extreme so cannot be fair to give as a measure for customers.

  24. steve smith 6

    Home Access?

    So how does one know if the service is O2 Home Access or not?

    1. Luther Blissett

      Sam Knows

    2. kwikbreaks


      Strangely enough because when you sign up you see the product name plus there are pricing differences too between Access and the 3 LLU options.

  25. Nathan 13
    Thumb Down


    adjective: not limited or restricted; infinite.

    What part of that do O2 (and 100s of other shitty companies) not understand. I still cannot grasp how any company can get away with saying their service is unlimited when it isnt.

    I use broadband, and every one of their different broadband packages states exactly what the download limit is, and doesnt traffic shape whatsoever. It is possible to provide broadband in the UK without lies and bullshit.

  26. Gulfie

    Time for a new ISP...

    ... and Zen have just written to me to say that my £25 a month package with no shaping or protocol nobbling now has a 50Gb a month limit, up from 25Gb (beyond that you pay for more bandwidth). That should be enough for many 'heavy' users...

  27. AndrueC Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Sort of

    > may see a move away from unbundling and back to BT reselling.

    Sort of. I think the LLUOs will go for GEA ( ). That is a BT product but it's not really reselling and still gives the CPs the ability to install and manage their own backhaul. That means they are limited to the same sync speeds as BT resellers but they can still have lower prices and/or better contention ratios.

  28. Paul Goodwin

    Customer service up the swannee

    Can't help thinking it's a planned cull of their customer base - if access is a loss leader then maybe they've reviewed profitability recently or altered their strategy for LLU exchanges. When I signed up a few years ago it was suggested that they were rolling out LLU across the country and they would probably do it at my exchange sometime soon.

    I've had no communication from O2 since then until I got an email from Felix Geyr, Head of Customer Services, last week saying that I had downloaded too much last month and if I didn't cut down next month they would cut me off.

    No replies to my emails asking how much and how I can actually tell, so I'm going elsewhere.

  29. bertino

    Here in Germany

    With T-com, I have a 50Mb/s download, 10Mb/s upload VDSL link, there does not seem to be any noticable slowdown at any time of day (the modem/router says it is synced at the above speeds too). It is not cheap (45 euro per month, including telephone line), but worth it. The company themselves are cack, they are always cocking other things up, but the line is very stable.

    I do get really good data speed too, downloaded linux distros in just over 2 minutes (~600MB .iso), Ubuntu reports the download rate for updates at 5MB per second (thats MByte!)

    In fact 2 machines are on wireless G only and that is the bottleneck!

  30. Chris Phillips

    Offender here

    I got a call about this recently, thanks to her indoors pulling down The Good Wife and Fringe in 1080p. 48GB in a month when I specifically signed up to them last year becuase they said they don't do this. At the time they said that people reguarly have users hitting 400GB/month and have never taken any action.

    I am on IPStream, half way out in the sticks... Luckily it'll be back to VM shortly in the abscence of an unbundled exchange.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    We're all used to the limited unlimited connection, but 10GB is just taking the piss! You could polish that off with Iplayer/4od very easily, especially when when the world cup kicks off and you're desperate to watch/hear about something other than football!

    Makes me wonder how low the limit of their publicly limited contracts are!?

    I'm on tiscali/talk-talk "unlimited"... It's actually working quite well at the moment, and the benefit of a company with notoriously pour customer support and technical ability, is they don't seem to be able to spot someone raping the sh*t out of the connection!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Me and my big mouth...

      After months of nothing more than the occasional 15 minute outage at 4am I've been offline from 15:30 until after 22:00... Grrrrr!

      It was a routing issue, traceroute got out about 8 hops and then packets just vanished.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "it's because you're consistently above the monthly average."

    So are 50% of the population, by deffinition!

    I'd write back and ask them to confirm I was above the 95 percentile, then I might consider asking them to refund my payments due to, breach of contract/unfair advertising, so I could take my business elsewhere.

    anyone who uses the term unlimited to describe a limited product is, in my opinion, scum.

    1. DPWDC

      I thought the same thing

      Seems pretty lame to use the average as a maximum limit!

  33. Mike Bird 1

    Unlimited (defined by dictionary)


    1.not limited; unrestricted; unconfined: unlimited trade.

    2.boundless; infinite; vast: the unlimited skies.

    3.without any qualification or exception; unconditional

  34. Mike Bird 1

    Unlimited (defined by O2)

    –adjective; restricted; confined: limited trade.

    2.nowhere and noway what our marketing team are saying

    3.up to a limit defined by an average based on our user population.

  35. Anonymous Coward

    F@#k!n BT again..

    O2 Home Access users are actually getting a BT connection which O2 are paying for by the MB.

    This is also the case with many ISP's ie VM when not on a cable connection.

    Its BT's extortionate charge by the usage not for the service provision techniques that cause these issuse for customers on exchanges that are not unbundled.

    I do think it is wrong for O2 and others not to make this abundantly clear to customers, And they should NOT offer Unlimited in these cases! It should be very clear that they are not on an O2 server and prices are dictated by BT.

  36. Parax

    Easy Fix

    "it's because you're consistently above the monthly average."

    I hereby call on all O2 Home Access customers to download MORE! for the sake of you fellow customers the AVERAGE MUST BE RAISED!!

  37. Joeykins

    BT resold vs Unbundled

    I'm starting to think that all of the ISPs who offer separate packages for BT wholesale DSL and for unbundled should just bite the bullet and withdraw from the BT wholesale market. They obviously don't make money and it just leads to confusion. Be (yes part of O2) tell you "sorry but no" if you're not connected to an unbundled exchange, hence why they only seem to receive positive comments. Still, all that these announcements do is muddy the waters and cause worry amongst the larger, unbundled user base.

    I've started advising people at work to check with SamKnows whether their exchange is unbundled for Sky or O2/Be; if yes then take one of those services otherwise go for Zen.

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not just O2...

    The entire industry is cynically making a profit from a service they're not actually in a position to provide - at least not if every single customer expects to get what they thought they were paying for. Not helped by technically-dyslexic top management who can't master their own laptops.

    So ludicrous contention ratios, useless connection speeds, and download limits more appropriate to a decade ago aren't the exception, they're the norm - and it's getting worse not better. The internet of 2010 is a high bandwidth animal - or ought to be - and that's not just what customers need and expect, it's what online businesses need to survive. High speeds and large downloads should be taken as a basic, not treated almost as petty crime. Currently, very few isps are up to the challenge - but they'll happily take your money and provide excuses and platitudes in return.

    I especially like the BBC's attitude that I need a TV licence for any equipment that 'can receive a TV program', including my PC. In my book that's patently unfair when applied to any PC with a limited download internet connection, where a single broadcast movie can take up a month's allowance, even assuming connection speed makes it watchable.

    1. david wilson

      @John 186

      >>"The entire industry is cynically making a profit from a service they're not actually in a position to provide."

      They can't *continually* make a profit from a service they can't provide, unless they have

      a) customers who don't realise that it isn't being provided (so presumably failing to hit invisible limits?)


      b) customers who just complain rather than actually acting.

      Whatever 'unlimited' might naturally lead someone unaware of the situation to think when they take out a service, once that person has actually run up against (or even heard ab out) a provider whose service isn't as unlimited as they hoped it might be, they shouldn't be misled by it again (fool me once, shame on you, etc.) even if they are still somewhat annoyed that it still happens.

      *Personally*, I think it would be much better if the ASA (or trading standards or whoever) prevented people using the word unless their service was truly unlimited, or at least unless any reasonable use limits were both unavoidably obvious in the offer, and also higher than the limits on almost all explicitly limited services available elsewhere.

      However, given that TPTB don't seem to be doing that, I can also see how it's hard for any one company to decide to be noble at the expense of getting business.

  39. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. iRadiate

      Another supplier ?

      Who ?

  40. Ian 55

    ASA, not OfCom

    It's the Advertising Standards Authority that allow firms to advertise services as "unlimited" when they are anything but.

    One "unlimited" service has a 30 megabyte limit - megabytes, not gigabytes! Another's ad used the word "unlimited" about three times in large letters before the tiny print admitted that they were lying.

    Once the ASA is persuaded to change its mind, we will see some ISP ads that could be called honest and truthful.

    1. AndrueC Silver badge


      ..or maybe not. The ASA has no power to force advertisers to do anything. In most cases the companies responsible to withdraw or modify the offending ad but it's on a voluntary basis.

  41. MattW

    Buy cheap, get cheap

    Why are people surprised that their 'too good to be true!' super cheap 'unlimited' broadband turns out to be too good to be true?

    You get what you pay for - go with Zen

    1. Anonymous Coward

      re: Buy cheap, get cheap

      £22.50 a month (if you don't have an O2 mobile number) is hardly "super cheap"...

    2. Peter Kay

      Not likely

      Zen has only recently become vaguely competitive. For well over a year after I moved to Be, Zen were still stuck on a more expensive, capped, slower service. It's still a tenner more expensive than Be's top product and has a slower upload speed.

      Be's higher end products are definitely not too good to be true.

    3. Anonymous Coward

      Really quite simple

      It doesn't cost them any more to provide what they're telling and selling. Stop lying about it or upgrade your facilities if you can't download your pr0nz fast enough at headquarters.

  42. Digital Freedom

    Hyprocritical Advertising

    You see them on telly slagging off other providers then O2 announce 10Gb cap on usage?


    "Here sir, have this wonderful new car but be sure not to drive more than 10 miles per month..."

    Any ISP's seen to be "downgrading" limits are clearly in great trouble.

    As for Satellite broadband I got a mail saying BIG 2Gb allowance per month. Like 3G dongles nobodys going to buy into these until the limits are increased by 10x-20x times than present allowance.

  43. ElNumbre


    When I was shopping around for a new BB supplier at the tail end of last year, O2 were very high on my list due to their reasonable pricing of an unlimited service. There was also no mention of usage caps, just a 'we will tell you if you're using too much' kind of warning which made me more than a little suspicious of its ambiguity.

    In the end I've plumped for a connection from AAISP who let you purchase as much as you need for a reasonable rate, tell you whats going on when something breaks (usually BT) and are pretty open about what they do and how they do it. Perfect for an experienced tech hand, but they are more expensive than many of the equivalent rent-a-BT white-box shippers. Its worth it though because it is vary rare to see contention issues, total service failure or the other crap services that the rest supply. I suppose its like comparing Aldi with Waitrose - you get what you pay for.

    Plus, if you phone them (Office hours only :( ) you don't get put through to a script machine in Bangalore.

    But please don't all sign up with them, you'll knacker it up for us exisiting users!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "But please don't all sign up with them"

      Not a chance, their prices are double what I already pay Be and they impose a ridiculous "Daytime usage" limit as well as a separate "evening/weekend usage" limit. Total cack.

      As you say, 90% of all cockups are BTs fault anyway so I fail to see what benefit there is to be had here.

      Like everything in life, you can pay a premium for the good stuff (Be) and then you can pay a premium on top of that for mediocre crap with a good marketing gimmick (e.g. Bose, AAISP etc).

      1. ElNumbre

        Not for all.

        Unfortunatly, BE isn't available everywhere (like my exchange) so I can't get service from them. AAISP at least offer service anywhere where BT IP Stream services are.

        Plus, I don't care about a daytime limit - I'm generally at work during weekdays, and if I am at home and using it, their unit based charging means that (provided you don't go mad for bandwidth hungry apps) it has a negligable impact on my utilization. Just have to remember to schedule large downloads overnight, when its more or less free.

        And I'm paying £24 a month - looking at the BE website, thats only about £3 more expensive than the BE Pro package which is the closest equivalent - not really double the price? I average about 86GB per month, so unless you download tones more than this, they're fairly equivalent.

  44. JP19

    Blame BT

    I have downloaded more than 10GB in a day with an LLU O2 connection costing less than an O2 access connection. Never seen a slowdown so their LLU network still has plenty of capacity.

    BT like they always have screw as much out of their customers as what's left of their monopoly allows.

    How can this be reconciled with our old (and new) government's dumb assertion that everyone needs ultra high speed broadband? So like they can use up their 10GB monthly limit in less than 15 minutes?

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What it really costs

    Nice article from Plusnet on how BT charges ISP for wholesale broadband:

    Problem with O2 Access is that they never paid for more capacity as they gained more customers.

    As others have said you get what you pay for and with a competent ISP like ZEN you will get good speeds and reasonable download limits for what its actually costs!

    1. Rab Sssss
      Thumb Down

      @ac 00.02

      Wrong they have done buts probably a losing battle, they should kill the access package TBFH.

      A number of posters on here can't tell the differnce between LLU and a IPS connection, which is kinda disapointing.

  46. Myopic Aardvark

    Still happy with Sky

    I've had a steady 1.2MB download speed since switching to Sky, despite plenty of other people in my area using the line and despite BT saying that my line couldn't handle any more than 500KB.

    I can stream HD from iPlayer without an issue and I can get Steam games downloaded within a couple of hours. And (after just checking my T&Cs), it is Unlimited. No caps, no nothing.

    Waiting for the other shoe to drop.

  47. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    BT engineers potentially going on strike soon

    good. I hope they strike for months on end until BT die a slow painful death and their infrastructure can be sold off to people where HasClue = True.

  48. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Calm down...

    To all of those raging over BT's high DSL costs:

    have OFCOM decided to stop ripping the rest of us off to ensure that LLU "succeeds"?

    It used to be, and might still be, that OFCOM forced BT wholesale to charge far more for IPstream and similar products so that LLU looked attractive to providers to build-out. That's why they can do so much with LLU and IPstream looks like the poor relation.

    Also, it's also far cheaper to run a network when you cherrypick the most profitable exchanges and leave the rest to BT. All this talk about a "monopoly" is ridiculous. If o2 wanted to build into every exchange in the UK, BT would let them (they'd be forced to). o2 just don't want to.

    (I speak as someone on a tiny village exchange where the chances of getting LLU are lower than Gordon Brown becoming Prime Minister again)

  49. Uplink

    The monthly average you say?

    "consistently above the monthly average" is their reason? Is the monthly average the figure they use when they set up limits?

    In that case, I guess it's time for a little benign trojan that makes all users in the UK use more bandwidth, which would raise the average, which will raise the value of infinity a bit, right?

  50. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    just had a call from O2

    Been advised I downloaded 65GB last month and that was too much. Less than 40GB and I wouldn't have been called, but "40GB isn't a cap". Call centre droid didn't seem to understand that retrospectively telling people they're using too much and saying usage is subject to a fair usage policy where they can't define what constitutes fair use doesn't really help matters...

    Basically i'm being kept an eye on and if they see me using more than 40GB for the next 2 months then they'll terminate my contract and give me a MAC key to move elsewhere. Quite tempting seeing as their throttling during afternoons and evenings gives me less than 1 Mb. I asked if I could expect this throttling to be reduced seeing as people were bring told to cut back and the droid said "of course" - I'll believe that when I see it!

  51. Anonymous Coward

    10gig? That's news to me

    As an ex Access customer and o2 Home Broadband employee, I'm very surprised to hear this (although not surprised the powers that be haven't bothered to pass this on to us on the frontline). The average Access user goes through around 20gig of data a month, and as far as us call centre drones are concerned it's when users start hitting the 40gig mark that's when they get the call to request that they calm down on the downloading front. Most customers are actually happy to comply because they accept the limitations of the Access service.

    I do agree that o2 should have been more transparent when they brought out the traffic shaping policy, which has completely killed peak time Access speeds for everyone, but before that unlimited did mean unlimited as long as you weren't taking the piss. I've heard of customers managing to download in excess of a terabyte of data a month. How the feck they do it on the current speeds I don't know, but the people who are chancing their luck really are spoiling it for those who only want to watch a couple of videos on Youtube etc.

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