BT is cracking down on heavy internet users who are habitually breaking its monthly download limit, suggesting they either pay more or shop elsewhere for their internet access.
BT has agreements in place with users of its ADSL broadband service that limit them to up to 40GB of downloads per month. However, although the incumbent telco claims to be relaxed on occasional breaches of this limit - and has no automatic blocking in place once a limit is exceeded - it reports some users are taking liberties and regularly downloading up to 200GB each month.
A spokesman for BT told silicon.com: "I think it's fair to characterise these people as broadband hogs. You would have to be downloading pretty much all day everyday to manage that level of downloading."
Now BT has said enough is enough and has contacted 3,200 customers identified as excessive users. The letters offer customers the chance to pay for their excess bandwidth consumption or seek service from another provider.
Last October BT sent a similar letter to 1,800 users and while "a small percentage" of users agreed to a new payment plan to cover their monster downloads, the majority saw their contracts with BT terminated. The spokesman suggested "it would probably be fair to extrapolate out those results" in terms of a prediction regarding the likely outcome of the current crackdown.
Such high levels of downloading are certainly far from typical for the average user and are likely to indicate a heavy diet of large media files such as music or movies.
If these users were downloading music for example, at a rate of 200GB per month they could nearly be filling an iPod Nano twice over every single day - or 50 times over in just one month. That's approximately 50,000 songs.
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The Weekly Round-Up: 24.03.06