You hear about internet service providers (ISPs) that offer “unlimited” broadband and wonder – is it really limitless? The answer is in some cases, yes. But whether or not broadband is truly limitless depends on a few factors, especially as it concerns the service offered by your ISP.
What Does Unlimited Broadband Mean?
Some ISPs offer unlimited full-fibre broadband packages, meaning there’s no limit on your internet bandwidth (measured in Mbps). Therefore, there’s no cap on the amount of data you can use with your home internet connection. Sounds great, right? Unlimited potential to serve the web whenever you want.
But not so fast. There are a few caveats to limitless broadband. In the past, ISPs would attach fair usage policies to their unlimited internet packages. These policies resulted in secret caps on your data usage – you thought you had limitless broadband but once you passed a certain amount for the month, your provider capped you.
Fortunately, fair usage caps aren’t common anymore. But ISPs have other ways to limit your “limitless” broadband.
Does Limitless Full-Fibre Really Mean Limitless?
What are some of the ways internet companies put constraints on your internet usage? The most common are acceptable usage policies and traffic management.
– Acceptable use
This kind of policy isn’t about how much internet you use, it’s about what you do with your internet. When you sign up for a broadband package with any ISP, you usually have to agree not to download or upload anything illegal. They also expect you to stay within reasonable limits for domestic internet use. So while your connection is “limitless”, if you’re uploading or downloading massive amounts of data – like a business with several employees would be doing – they’ll investigate you.
– Traffic Management
While you have unlimited data, your ISP might slow down your internet speed during peak hours. Providers use these traffic management policies to ensure that everyone has a smooth level of service. Unfortunately, that means your broadband speed could suffer based on the internet habits of your neighbor. If you want truly limitless internet, look for broadband packages that don’t use traffic management.
Do You Need Unlimited Broadband?
How do you know if you need an unlimited amount of data each month? Or if you’re a heavy user that might trigger your ISP’s acceptable use policy?
Limitless internet packages are well-suited for large families, students living in shared accommodation, or for people who download a lot of movies and frequently play online games. Below are some of the most common activities that require large amounts of download or upload data:
– Streaming video – If you stream a film or TV series, it takes less data than if you download it. But streaming still takes up significant bandwidth, especially if you do it a lot or if multiple people in your household do it at once. One hour of streamed video in standard definition will use about 250Mb; one hour of streaming in HD will use 2GB.
– File-sharing services – Regularly using file-sharing services to download music or movies could take up significant amounts of data as well.
– Downloading video – To download an entire film in standard definition, you’ll use around 700Mb. A high-definition film will take 4GB.
– Gaming – Playing games online doesn’t consume that much data, but buying games and additional content online does. If you purchase a game, you can expect a lot of downloading on your console or PC.
In addition to these heavy-use activities, you might consider an unlimited broadband connection if you work from home. If you’re trying to get work done at the same time your family is gaming or streaming, an unlimited package will keep everyone happy.
The Best Choice for Limitless Full-Fibre in London
For the best service in fibre broadband and unlimited internet, you have a few factors to consider. Some fibre connections provide faster speeds than others – it depends on what kind of fibre connection you have. The fastest, most reliable is FTTP (fibre to the premises), which runs fibre-optic cables directly to your residence. The next best option is FTTC (fibre to the cabinet). FTTC runs fibre-optic cables to the cabinet on your street, then uses copper wires for the rest of the journey to your house. While FTTC is fast, it’s not as fast as FTTP. And if you’re looking for limitless internet, then FTTP is your better bet.
Even if your ISP has acceptable use and traffic management policies in place, unlimited internet plans provide the fastest connection, especially if your ISP is full-fibre. Vision Fibre Media provides truly limitless full-fibre broadband in London, for even the heaviest of internet users.