Three lifts fair use restrictions on unlimited broadband plans

Three has announced that it has “permanently” removed its “fair use” data limits from its unlimited broadband plans.

The operator had set a limit of 750 GB for its unlimited plans, with charges per GB if the unlimited plan limits were exceeded. In the telecom industry, this practice is allowed within a loophole called “fair use,” a limit set by the operator to reflect what their ultimate tolerance is for customer usage.

“The usage limits were originally lifted in March 2020 to give customers using more data from home the peace of mind and comfort that they can use as much data as they need in Ireland without hitting a fair usage limit ‘ Three Ireland said in a statement.

“The usage policy will be removed from a total of nine unlimited plans – five 5G plans and four 4G plans.”

Vodafone Ireland previously removed its “fair use” restrictions on unlimited data plans, but replaced them with an “excess use” restriction on unlimited plans. Earlier this year, the Irish Independent revealed that the operator had banned “unlimited” data users who had exceeded Vodafone’s “overuse” limits.

A spokesman for Three told the Irish Independent that the operator would not be introducing a limit or fee for “excessive usage”.

When the Irish Independent Three pointed out that its legal terms still set 750GB as the limit for Three “unlimited” broadband users, the operator said that this was a “broadcasting error and will be updated in the coming days”.

Three’s CEO is Robert Finnegan.

Meanwhile, EU regulators’ plan for Alphabet’s Google, Meta and Netflix to absorb some of the cost of the bloc’s telecoms network would distort the telecoms market and hurt competition, a group of small telecoms operators said on Tuesday.

The warning from MVNO Europe, whose members include Comcast’s pay-TV company Sky, which has its own mobile service, German mobile operator Freenet and Poste Italiane unit PosteMobile, underscored the risks involved.

Big players like Deutsche Telekom, Orange and Telefonica have long complained about tech competitors free-riding on their networks.

Their lobbying paid off when the European Commission announced earlier this year that it would propose legislation by the end of the year that would force technology competitors to partially fund network costs.

Such moves could do more harm than good, MVNO Europe said on its website.

“We fear that the proposed network investment contributions would seriously affect competition in telecom markets, directly harm MVNOs, and ultimately harm both consumers and business users,” it said.

MVNOs (Mobile Virtual Network Operators) do not own their own network infrastructure, but piggyback onto larger competitors to provide their services to their customers.

“Achieving the proposals in the legislation could disrupt current peering and transit markets, which currently operate competitively based on established business practices,” the group said.

“This proposal could lead to the undesirable result that the largest telecoms providers have their network services not only paid twice (by customers and by content and application providers), but even three times (thus also by alternative operators who, however, already pay network access fees)” , it was said.

“Digital rights activists have also warned of the risk to Europe’s net neutrality rules that support an open internet. Continue reading

France, Italy and Spain supported the idea in a joint proposal.

https://www.independent.ie/business/technology/three-removes-fair-use-limits-on-unlimited-broadband-plans-41952074.html Three lifts fair use restrictions on unlimited broadband plans

Fry Electronics Team

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