Beware broadband plans charging by the MB

In the world of broadband internet there are Kilobytes (kB), Megabytes (MB), and Gigabytes (GB), not to mention the all mighty Terabyte (TB). Generally speaking these denominations of broadband data work much like the decimal system, with each one being 1,000 times larger than the previous.

If you are on a broadband plan that doesn’t shape (slow down) your speed when you reach your allocated download limit, you’ll most probably incur excess usage charges. When these data fees are charged by the MB, or god forbid the kB, (instead of by the GB as it should be), you may find yourself with a humungous bill on your bank or credit card statement.

For example, if you are on a standard ADSL2+ broadband plan with Exetel you have the option of paying 50 cents per GB for any usage over your download limit. This is pretty cheap, as wholesale data prices for internet companies cost around 15 cents per GB.

Now, have a look at the $29.99 Bigpond ADSL1500 2GB plan. Here excess data is charged at 15 cents per MB. This equates to $150 per GB! With a paltry 2GB monthly data limit before excess charges kick in, you can imagine a bill costing over $1,000 a month is not unheard of, and you know people are going to be very upset.

When international roaming, internet data on mobile phones or mobile wireless broadband SIM cards can often be charged by the kB. This is the most common cause for a massive bill, and it arrives just after you had your relaxing holiday.

Be very careful with all broadband internet plans and data packs you sign up to, as a small cap with a high excess data rate could leave you feeling very frustrated indeed. Look for broadband plans that charge by the GB for excess usage, or that slow your speed down when you reach your download data limit, eliminating the risk of extra fees altogether.