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Xtra limits ‘unlimited internet usage’ plan


24 November 2006

Xtra limits ‘unlimited internet usage’ plan

Consumers’ Institute has lodged complaints with the Commerce Commission and the Advertising Standards Authority over Xtra’s Go Large broadband advertising.

The Go Large plan, touted as “unlimited internet usage at maximum download speeds” is, in fact, subject to Xtra’s ‘Fair Use Policy’ and ‘traffic management’.

Xtra’s Fair Use Policy states: “If in a single day you use more than 700MB of data during the peak hours of 4pm to 12am (midnight) then we'll get in touch with some advice on how to reduce your usage.” Consumers should not have to reduce their usage on an unlimited usage plan – unless it isn’t unlimited.

“By Xtra’s own admission, 700MB equates to approximately downloading 1 movie or 1 CD. It suggests this sort of usage is in breach of its Fair Use Policy.” says David Russell of Consumers’ Institute. “Internationally, downloading movies or music over the internet is common usage, not excessive usage.”

Consumers’ Institute is also concerned that Xtra’s traffic management negates their claims of maximum speeds. Customers using applications, such as those used to share music and video files, will have their maximum download speeds limited. Xtra’s ‘traffic management’ of download speeds for these applications means that, in our view their advertising is misleading.

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