Sky Broadband can't decide whether they're throttling or not
If you're a Sky Broadband customer then keep an eye on your inbox in the next couple of days; Sky are making pretty bold promises as well as changes to their services. For example, did you know that Sky is the only broadband provider that doesn't throttle its service at peak times?
"...however you use the internet, you can be sure that in Sky network areas, we don't slow our broadband speed down at peak times - unlike other providers."
Which is great news, except it completely contradicts Sky's own usage policies:
"To ensure we provide a sustainable quality broadband service to our customers, we continuously monitor and efficiently manage the Sky Network as a whole. To do this, during peak times (from 5pm to 12am each day), we may slow down the speed that all Sky Broadband Connect customers can get on certain applications which we consider use up a lot of bandwidth..."
"We will monitor your Sky Broadband usage during peak times from 5pm to 12am each day. This is when the majority of customers use the network and when speeds could be affected by the excessive usage of a minority. If we consider that your usage is excessive during peak times we may slow down your connection for the rest of the day so that it has less affect on others."
Gotcha, Sky. By saying your customers can do whatever they want and you'll never throttle their service, what you really mean you will throttle the service if you don't like what they're doing. Clear as mud. Sky are also telling customers that they can expect to be automatically upgraded to a more expensive tariff if they exceed their broadband allowance more than once in six months. Of course you can always drop back down to the lower tariff if you behave yourself, but it might cost you:
"We will charge you fair and reasonable costs for your usage (and any reasonable administration costs) in excess of your Usage Cap."
It'll be interesting to see what administration costs Sky put in place for straying a MB or two over your allowance. After all, if they can automatically upgrade you surely they can automatically downgrade you? Regardless, they're getting serious about it - from November customers are encouraged to monitor their own usage online at sky.com/usagetool.