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Home & Home Office Broadband FAQs

Questions about broadband speed

What factors determine my downstream broadband speeds?

How do I know what broadband speeds I will get?

Questions about usage allowance

What does my monthly download usage include?

Will I be able to see how much of my download usage allowance I have used?

Will I be contacted if I am reaching my usage limit?

What happens if I exceed my download usage allowance?

How much will it cost me to buy extra GB above my usage allowance?

Is the usage upstream and downstream?

If I do not use all of my usage allowance, can it be transferred to any following month?

When does usage reset?

What happens if I receive a Distributed Denial of Service (DDOS) attack?

Questions about the broadband service

How long does it take for a new order to be completed and service available?

What broadband services do you offer?

I am a customer with another Internet Service Provider, how can I move to Zen?

What is the minimum contract length for your broadband services?

How long does it take for existing customers to re-grade from one product to another?

Can I keep my current broadband service if I move house or office?

Are there any other Zen products that will enhance the effectiveness of my business?


What factors determine my downstream broadband speeds?

We will provide you with the fastest connection speed that your phone line will reliably support. The actual speed that you get will depend on a number of factors, such as the quality of your phone line and the length of the line between your home and the local phone exchange.

Although the connection speed will be set during the ten day testing period, the actual speed at which you can download will vary depending on a number of factors. Speed may then be limited by, for example, general congestion on the Internet or a number of heavy broadband users connecting to the same telephone exchange as you. We advise that during peak usage times it is likely that download speeds no greater than 3Mbps will be achieved.

Further information about factors affecting speed can be found in our Understanding Broadband Speeds article.


How do I know what broadband speeds I will get?

Simply enter your telephone number in the broadband speed checker and we'll test your line and give you an indication of the download speed that it will support based on an estimate of line length. Due to line quality issues which only become apparent once your broadband service is activated, the maximum speed may be below the original indication provided prior to ordering.

During the first ten days of service your line will fluctuate and you may get intermittent connection issues as it is tested to determine the fastest speed that it will support. You are more likely to stabilise at a higher speed if you leave your router on continuously or connect to the broadband service as much as possible. We recommend connecting your ADSL router to a BT Master Socket (where available) to maximise performance and stability.


What does my monthly download usage include?

Your download usage is measured against what you download from the Internet. It is important to note that this is not just storing a file or document from a website but also covers activity such as, watching videos on websites and listening to radio stations over the Internet. The list below is a guide to activity that is classed as a download and will be counted towards your usage allowance.

  • General Internet browsing
  • Receiving and reading e-mails
  • Downloading files
  • Listening to Online radio stations
  • Online Gaming
  • Watching videos and TV programmes on sites such as YouTube or BBC's iPlayer

Please note that anything you upload does not affect your monthly download usage allowance.

Our Download Usage Guide will help you to assess your approximate monthly download usage.


Will I be able to see how much of my download usage allowance I have used?

You can log into your personal account in the Zen Customer Portal to see your usage statistics. If you want to purchase additional GB to cover occasions where monthly usage may exceed your allowance limit, you will also be able to see the status of your "banked" amount.

In addition you can download the Broadband Usage Checker software to monitor your usage.


Will I be contacted if I am reaching my usage limit?

Yes. We will contact you by email once you start to near your bandwidth threshold, at 50%, 75% and 90%.

Please ensure that you check your contact and e-mail details in the Customer Portal are up to date.

At 100% you will be redirected to a special Zen website notifying you that you have used all of your allowance. This page will provide the option to purchase additional GB.


What happens if I exceed my download usage allowance?

If you exceed your monthly usage allowance, you will be automatically redirected to a special Zen website when you connect to the Internet which enables you to increase bandwidth allowance and re-enable normal Internet access. When you reach this site, you can select how many extra GB you wish to purchase from 1GB, 2GB, 5GB, 10GB, 20GB and 50GB. Any unused GB at the end of the calendar month will be held in a "bank" for future use.

In order to avoid any delays to your Internet connection by running out of bandwidth, you can pre-purchase extra GB at any time via your account in the Zen Customer Portal. This banked amount will only be used when downloads exceed the monthly limit, and will rollover to the next month if not used. Partly used GB will be rounded up to the nearest MB at the end of each calendar month, ensuring that the maximum amount is carried over into the next month.


How much will it cost me to buy extra GB above my usage allowance?

If you are a Zen Lite customer, the charge is £1.52 including VAT for each extra GB over your product's usage limit (50GB).

If you are a Zen Active or Pro customer and ordered your package after Monday 9th October 2006 you will be charged £1.52 including VAT for each extra GB over your product's usage limit (200GB and 500GB respectively). If you are a Zen 8000 Active or Pro customer who ordered your connection before this date you will continue to pay £1.02 including VAT for each extra GB over your product's usage limit.

Any part use of a GB by the end of the calendar month will be rounded up to the nearest MB and carried over.


Is the usage upstream and downstream?

No. The limits apply to downstream usage only.


If I do not use all of my usage allowance, can it be transferred to any following month?

Only the additionally purchased "banked" GB will be carried over into subsequent months. Any usage included in the monthly download usage allowance will not be carried over.


When does usage reset?

The usage statistics are reset at 12.01 GMT on the 1st of each calendar month and will last until the final day of that particular month. Due to the large number of accounts that need resetting on our system, it can take a number of hours to update them all.

Those customers joining the service at any point within the month will still benefit from the full allowance.


What happens if I receive a Distributed Denial of Service (DDOS) attack?

We are not responsible for any DDOS attacks. Our systems do not enable us to identify whether excessive usage is down to general heavy use or a DDOS attack, so we cannot therefore refund any allowance. Fortunately, because there are caps in place, this will restrict a DDOS attack from consuming yet more bandwidth resulting in customers being charged excessive amounts.


How long does it take for a new order to be completed and service available?

We expect to deliver your broadband service within six working days.


What broadband services do you offer?

We offer a range of services whether you require broadband for your home or business. Our Lite, Active and Pro services are designed for home users, small businesses or home office users.

Our Office broadband and SDSL services are ideal for larger businesses who regularly utilise technologies such as Video-conferencing and Virtual Private Networking.


I am a customer with another Internet Service Provider, how can I move to Zen?

You can move to Zen for free. To allow us to initiate a free migration, you should contact your existing Internet Service Provider (ISP) and ask them to provide you with a Migrations Authority Code (MAC). A MAC code is used to authenticate the migration request from your current ISP to Zen. The use of a MAC makes migrations between ISPs simpler and quicker to validate enabling the migration to be completed in a much shorter timescale than previously possible.

Please make the ISP aware that you are migrating to Zen Internet and do not want your ADSL service ceased (cancelled) until the migration has been completed.


What is the minimum contract length for your broadband services?

There is a minimum contract length of one month for our Lite, Active, Pro, Office and Office Max broadband services and a 12 month minimum contract length for our FTTC broadband services.


How long does it take for existing customers to re-grade from one product to another?

We expect to provide a re-grade within five working days. Your old broadband service will continue as usual until the regrade date and there will be no break in service during this process.


Can I keep my current broadband service if I move premises?

Yes. There is no problem in keeping the same broadband service when you move premises, simply use our ADSL Move service.


Are there any other Zen products that will enhance the effectiveness of my business?

Yes. We offer a range of quality products and services that have been specifically designed for businesses. Our Hosted solutions remove the worry of managing your own IT resource and our Online Data Backup services provide powerful, reliable and secure offsite data backup for your business' data.

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