Feeds

ISPA to members: play fair on fair use

Savaged by a dead sheep

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Internet providers' trade association ISPA has told its members to stop advertising "unlimited" broadband unless they are explicit and transparent about their fair use policies.

Over recent months public calls have grown louder for action against ISPs who hawk "unlimited" services, without monthly download limits or bandwidth throttling, only to threaten cut-off when unpublished limits are breached.

The policy has drawn criticism from within the industry too, with BT's Plusnet, and Virgin Media calling for more transparency.

In a statement, ISPA said: "ISPA advises its members to be transparent and to explain the consequences of breaking their bandwidth caps or fair usage policies prior to a customer signing an agreement."

"ISPA recommends members to incorporate any bandwidth caps, allowances or acceptable and fair use policies in their general sales and marketing literature, and on their websites. Information should also be given to the customer at the point of registration for a service."

Action against ISPs has not been taken by Ofcom or the Advertising Standards Authority, which says "unlimited" advertising is OK as long as the small print says there is a fair use policy. The details of the fair use policy do not have to be published, however, as Pipex customers recently dicovered when they were told they would be cut off if they didn't rein in their broadband use.

Ofcom's primary criterion for initiating an investigation is evidence of consumer harm, so if you've gone without broadband because of an opaque fair use policy, you can find details of how to contact the regulator here, and there's a Downing Street petition here. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Brit telcos warn Scots that voting Yes could lead to HEFTY bills
BT and Co: Independence vote likely to mean 'increased costs'
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Google+ GOING, GOING ... ? Newbie Gmailers no longer forced into mandatory ID slurp
Mountain View distances itself from lame 'network thingy'
Vodafone to buy 140 Phones 4u stores from stricken retailer
887 jobs 'preserved' in the process, says administrator PwC
Bonking with Apple has POUNDED mobe operators' wallets
... into submission. Weve squeals, ditches payment plans
Drag queens: Oh, don't be so bitchy, Facebook! Let us use our stage names
Handbags at dawn over free content ad network's ID policy
Comcast exec: No, we haven't banned Tor. I use it. You're probably using it
Keep in mind if, say, your Onion browser craps out on Xfinity
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.