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BT is tightening up rules governing usage limits for its retail broadband service.

From this month, punters who exceed their monthly usage limits are to be emailed about upgrading their packages. Subscribers of BT's Option 4 package - which costs £29.99 a month and includes a 40 gig limit - will also be warned about their usage.

Customers who consistently breach BT's download limits (BT Broadband Option 1 costs £17.99 a month and comes with a 2 gig limit, Option 2 is £22.99 and 6 gig, Option 3 is £26.99 and 20 gig) can expect to be charged £1 for each additional gig used.

An insider told El Reg that the changes were being made to help claw back the additional charges BT is forced to pay out by users who exceed their usage limits.

In March, BT began pulling the plug on around 4,000 of its broadband punters because of "excessive usage". The giant telco said these punters - who make up less than 0.2 per cent of the firm's 2.3m broadband users - were consistently hoovering up more than 100 gig each a month.

These "exceptionally heavy users" were in "consistent breach of BT's fair usage policy and have failed to respond to requests to contact BT to discuss the matter", the telco said. ®

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