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We are doubling our broadband usage allowances

20 March 2012: Zen Internet, one of the UK's leading Internet Service Providers (ISPs), is doubling its monthly download usage allowances on all its broadband services from the 1st April 2012 – including its range of fibre optic broadband services.

The download usage allowance for new and existing customers will automatically increase, meaning that users of Zen's entry level 'Lite' will enjoy a generous usage allowance of 20GB which is equivalent to approximately 60 hours of standard definition BBC iPlayer viewing. Whilst usage on the top of the range Office Max, increases to a massive 2000GB, but there will be no changes to the prices for any of Zen's broadband services.

We don't take our awards and positive feedback for granted. To stay at the top and provide value to our customers, we need to keep improving. We've been listening to how our customers' internet use is changing and what they want to see from Zen. It's clear that as more of us watch our favourite TV shows through online catch-up services, check out the latest viral video clips or simply watch the news live online, the amount of internet bandwidth we consume is growing

This isn't just an issue for home broadband. With the Olympics on the horizon many businesses are considering their policy on allowing employees to watch the news or sporting events at their desks. In addition, with the faster speeds available now through fibre optic broadband, businesses are taking up services such as video-conferencing or cloud based services which can utilize high amounts of bandwidth

Andrew Saunders, Head of Product Management and Marketing, Zen Internet

Broadband Lite Active Pro Office Office Max
Current Monthly Download Usage 10GB 50GB 100GB 200GB 1000GB
New Monthly Download Usage 20GB 100GB 200GB 400GB 2000GB
Fibre Optic Broadband Fibre Lite Fibre Active Fibre Pro Fibre Office Fibre Office Plus
Current Monthly Download Usage 10GB 50GB 100GB 200GB 500GB
New Monthly Download Usage 20GB 100GB 200GB 400GB 1000GB

Despite the doubling of its usage allowances, Zen is sticking firmly with the policy of no Fair Usage Policy (FUP) and no traffic shaping. This means that with Zen, unlike many other ISPs, users can enjoy their usage allowance at the fastest speed their connection can support at anytime, no matter what type of application and service they want to access or what type of media they wish to access.

Many broadband services, including most contracts for unlimited broadband packages will include a FUP. A FUP will state a rate of usage, determined by the ISP a customer signs up to, that they deem to be unacceptable. If customers hit this rate ISPs tend to slow down a customer's speed, apply a charge for exceeding the limit, or actively manage a customer's service along with other heavy users. For persistent heavy users the ISPs may try to make the service seem so unattractive that the customer chooses to leave of their own accord.

Zen firmly believes that easy to understand usage allowances for its services is an up front and honest approach, that is a better solution for customers rather than hiding potential restriction in a FUP. To support its customers Zen provides simple mechanisms for customers to monitor their usage allowance. Zen believes the use of FUP and traffic shaping can be mysterious, confusing and even potentially misleading for customers and therefore does not implement either of these practices. A FUP is in effect additional T&Cs that may apply restrictions to "unlimited downloads" and means that many "unlimited" services are not what they appear to be.

To support the increase in usage limits and avoid FUP and traffic shaping Zen is continually measuring the usage across it network and predicting future requirements. It then ensures that upgrades are implemented in a timely fashion so that capacity is available ready to satisfy actual demand. This will mean Zen's customers can look forward to this year's Olympics safe in the knowledge that their online viewing won't be compromised.

Whether you are a home broadband or business broadband customer, we recognise that you are using your broadband for so much more now. For this reason, and because we are truly serious about our mission "to provide the best ISP service in the UK", it's time for a dramatic increase to our usage allowances

said Saunders

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