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Unlimited broadband is not profitable, says ISP

Plusnet, an independent ISP with more than 200,000 customers, revealed that eat-as-much-as-you-can (opens in new tab) broadband is not sustainable in the long run as wholesale costs have remained static while retailed prices have gone down, in some case, to zero.

Plusnet says that a customer paying £10 a month and downloading more than 70MB per day is apparently not worth it.

A quick search on shows that, using that benchmark, most broadband companies are not making money out of broadband with many (like O2 or Bulldog) using other services to cross-subsidise the broadband service.

Plusnet has a £19.98 double play package which offers broadband, line rental and phone calls but they have been feeling the pinch from the likes of Sky, Virginmedia and Talktalk.

Many broadband users that have signed for unlimited downloads have been lied to according to Neil Amstrong, the marketing whiz at Plusnet.

Most broadband providers have some kind of control mechanism like traffic shaping or Fair Usage Policy which prevent people from downloading as much content as they want.

The average cost of 1GB in UK starts from 50p while the average amount of 6.5GB downloaded monthly with an increase of 30% from 2006.

Plusnet is one of the last independent broadband providers, a dying breed of ISPs that have not been purchased by bigger companies

Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.