Zen Internet Doubles Broadband Usage Allowances

ISP Zen Internet is doubling its monthly download usage allowances for Zen Lite, Zen Active, Zen Pro and Zen Office from Tuesday 01 June 2010.

The download usage allowance for new and existing customers will automatically increase. There will be no changes to the prices for these broadband services.

‘We are making these dramatic changes because we want to provide great value for money for our customers and because we recognise that internet usage for both business and residential customers continues to grow. Put simply our customers need and want more internet capacity,‘ said Andrew Saunders, Head of Product Management and Marketing.

British web users are spending 65% more time online than three years ago, according to research of net habits. The average surfer spends 22 hours and 15 minutes on the net each month, according to the UK Online Measurement company (UKOM). (www.bbc.co.uk).

More time spent online usually means more usage. Browsing web pages and sending emails are typically low usage, whereas high-definition video streaming, downloading TV programmes and movies can be very high usage. However Zen’s customers can now be safe in the knowledge that their usage won’t be instantly swallowed-up and more importantly that the extra usage is free.

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 are free to 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 an 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.

Also by having usage allowances on its service Zen is being up front and honest rather than hiding potential restriction in a FUP. Zen believes the use of FUP and traffic shaping can be 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 World Cup and Wimbledon 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.”

“Recent investments in our network, including elements of BT’s 21st Century Network (21CN) project, support these broadband usage increases,” said Saunders.

Later this year Zen will also be launching Fibre broadband services that will provide a minimum 15Mbps download speed and the potential for ‘up to 40Mbps’.

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