What is a ‘Fair Use’ policy?
Most broadband providers have a Fair Usage policy. Home internet is a contended service, meaning you share the service with others on the same network.
To ensure there is no slowing of the service speed, your internet provider likely uses a Fair Use policy to share the bandwidth across all users. This ensures there’s a balance between different connections on the network.
How does a Fair Usage policy affect you?
Internet service providers either measure data use by day (i.e. a daily data amount after which you are slowed down) or by month (i.e. a monthly data amount after which you are slowed).
Read the provider’s Fair Usage policy to know what happens when the data amount is exceeded. Exceeding the Fair Usage amount can incur additional charges and it can result in reduced speeds.
Aptus’ Fair Use policy states that there is a slowdown in your high-speed internet performance when the daily use amount is exceeded. However, there are no extra charges. This means you are never locked out from accessing the service, and performance restrictions are lifted at midnight.
How much data does each activity use?
There’s no one set rule for how much data a device or program uses. However, here’s a guide to data use by activity:
- Video: streaming a high definition (HD) video on Netflix, Now TV, etc. uses about 4GB of data per hour. Streaming a video on standard definition (SD) reduces data use. Watching SD video on the same platforms uses about 1GB of data per hour. At the extreme high-end, Ultra HD uses 3GB to 7GB per hour of streaming!
- Online gaming: most people are surprised by how little data online gaming requires; it’s between 0.04GB and 0.3GB per hour. Online gaming relies on high speed internet rather than data use.
- Music streaming: Spotify, for example, uses approximately 1GB per every 7 hours of streaming.
- Browsing online: things like online banking, social media, checking emails, etc. are very low on data use. For every 10 hours of this type of use, about 0.25GB is used.