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'Super-fast' Unlimited Broadband: Can it be a Waste of Money?
May 28, 2010 (11:05 AM EDT)
CAMBRIDGE, England, May 28, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- While all the talk right now is about 'super-fast' unlimited broadband, consumers could be tempted into expensive deals they won't get value from, warns broadband comparison site Broadbandgenie.co.uk. Essentially, consumers need to work out what they really need before committing.
Products such as Virgin Media's unlimited 50Mb broadband (around GBP35 per month) and BE's 24Mb unlimited broadband (around GBP20 per month) are at the forefront of UK broadband, but does the average person on the street need such a package?
In many cases, the answer is no. For households where the internet is used on one or two devices for checking email, surfing the web and for a small amount of streaming or downloaded content, cheaper deals are more than enough.
There are broadband-only deals available on the Broadband Genie comparison tables from as little as GBP6.49 per month with Plusnet and GBP6.99 from TalkTalk, which could offer consumers a considerable saving on their monthly bills.
Many of the cheaper deals have download limits of 10GB, 5GB or even 2GB, but while this may sound small compared to 'unlimited', its often more than enough. Simple web browsing is estimated at around 1.5-25MB per hour - pretty good when you think there are 1,024MB to a GB.
Similarly, instant messaging only uses up to a 1MB per hour, and 100 emails around 1-10MB. Photos can be up to an average of around 2MB, while even songs are only around 3-8MB. The big usage comes when either downloading or streaming large software, game and video files. Even then, a film may be around 1GB of your monthly allowance.
Broadband Genie editor Chris Marling said: "It is vital for Britain the likes of Virgin Media, BT, TalkTalk and O2 continue to improve broadband speeds. However, it doesn't automatically follow that consumers need, or will even notice, these increases in the short term.
"Presently, super-fast broadband speeds are of great advantage to heavy downloaders, gamers and people with multiple devices running from a single broadband connection. However, until the technology catches up with the speeds, other broadband buyers should think twice before spending big on a service that won't fully utilise.
"We're very excited about the future though. Internet-connected television platforms such as Project Canvass promise to bring some fantastic services down our broadband cables in the not too distant future. But for now, we suggest you do some research before signing up for a new broadband package."
NOTES TO EDITORS
1. Broadband Genie is the UK's leading independent broadband and mobile broadband comparison website, providing consumers with an unbiased source of information on broadband prices and contracts and allowing them to compare broadband providers in an independent environment. Broadband Genie was launched in March 2004 as the first dedicated consumer comparison site for broadband, while Mobile Broadband Genie was the first independent mobile broadband comparison site, launched in October 2007. The sites were combined in 2010, with the addition of smartphone comparison. The site is one of the most popular in its field, regularly featuring in the national press. http://www.broadbandgenie.co.uk
2. All queries and interview requests should be directed to Chris Marling at Broadband Genie: t +44(0)844-415-5531 / f +44(0)871-6618553 / m +44(0)7908-327303 / firstname.lastname@example.org