O2 DSL "fair use" inquiry

7 posts in this topic

Posted

Hello,

 

I'm new to this forum so I hope this falls into the right category.

 

I have a new flatmate, who is offering to bring his phone+DSL O2 contract to our place.

 

Our current provider offers us phone + DSL (standard 6Mb/s) for 39€/month

His provider offers phone + DSL up to a whopping 50Mb/s for 35€/month

 

This would normally be a no-brainer, but I do have a few reservations:

 

Up to now our current provider has never been able to offer us faster then 6MB/s due to location and limitations on their side. I find it strange that O2, who supposedly uses the same general telecom infrastructure as our provider (that is, the hardware laid down by the historical phone provider, Deutsche Telekom), is apparently able to offer much faster speeds, for even cheaper. Does anyone know how this would be possible?

 

My other preoccupation is that as most of you internet denizens know, the Fair Use feature started to roll out this year in Germany starting with Deutsche Telekom, meaning that there are now caps to how much DSL bandwidth a customer can use before their speed is limited to a ridiculous trickle, from what I've gleaned during my research from 380kbps to 128kbps in the harsher situations. In our current contract we don't have this limitation, and I'm grateful since there are three of us in this flat and we consume relatively insane amounts of bandwidth through several subscription services such as game digital purchases or video streaming. If we had fair use on our contract I am pretty sure we would hit our volume cap pretty quickly and that's just not acceptable.

 

I've peered into O2's contract details for phone+DSL bundles to see if there was mention of this "fair use" thing, and didn't find anything in the small print. Can anyone currently set up with O2 tell me if there is such a thing of if their offers aren't limited by fair use?

 

Many thanks in advance for any info!

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Posted

The quick answer is that it probably isn't possible. O2 would sell you the high-speed contract happily, only to inform you at a later juncture that sadly, the desired speed isn't available at your location after all.

 

Furthermore, you will not be able to terminate your current ISP just because you have a new flatmate.

 

Last but not least, the bandwidth caps will not be enacted before 2016, if they are even enacted at all, which is a big if considering the regulatory hurdles they face.

 

And just as an aside, Telekom has already backpedaled on the potential throttling and stated that the throttled speed will be at least 3 mb/s, which will be more than sufficient for anything but torrents and streaming HD video, which are the bandwidth hogs they're trying to suppress in the first place.

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Posted

Hello, and thank you very much for your reply.

 

 

The quick answer is that it probably isn't possible. O2 would sell you the high-speed contract happily, only to inform you at a later juncture that sadly, the desired speed isn't available at your location after all.

To be honest this is the situation that I am envisioning. However the guy on the phone confirmed on several occasions to my new flatmate that this is indeed possible, and their website verfugbarkeit function seems to confirm this, while my current provider still caps at 6Mb/s. Unsavoury commercial practice or actual opportunity, it's hard to tell at this point. Just to clarify, I am under the assumption that O2 uses the same infrastructure as my current provider, but I may of course be wrong, which is why I came here for answers in the first place.

 

 

Furthermore, you will not be able to terminate your current ISP just because you have a new flatmate.

I have already been several years with the same provider and I do believe that I am now well out of any contractual obligation on my part to stay with them so it should be a cinch to cancel my current contract.

 

 

Last but not least, the bandwidth caps will not be enacted before 2016, if they are even enacted at all, which is a big if considering the regulatory hurdles they face. And just as an aside, Telekom has already backpedaled on the potential throttling and stated that the throttled speed will be at least 3 mb/s, which will be more than sufficient for anything but torrents and streaming HD video, which are the bandwidth hogs they're trying to suppress in the first place.

Thank you very much for clearing that up, this information is super useful. 3Mb/s would definitely be a setback, but still perfectly usable for general day to day surfing. At any rate we still have a ways to go before this system comes to fruition. I am curious however how this fair use thing will be implemented. Is it something that will automatically apply to all German ISPs as soon as Deutsche Telekom rolls it out, or will each provider retain the freedom to implement it or not? Will each provider have different conditions for reaching caps and how to "unlock" them?

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Posted

When did you last check on the VDSL availability from Telekom (your current provider, I assume) on your connection?

Any speed over 16Mb/s being offered by either Telekom or O2 assumes a basic fibre based internet structure (necessary for VDSL speeds) connected to a box close to your home. If one is offering then the other should be able to unless they are short on port quota in your exchange (Telekom allocates ports to other providers, and it can sometimes be the case they run out of their own ports when another provider still has some available)

 

Being "several years with the same provider" does not necessarilly mean you are out of any contractual obligation as the obligation will have been automatically renewed. Most providers including Telekom renew your contract annually unless you cancel within 3 months of the anniversary of the contract commencement. If that last anniversary, was say in April, then you can't cancel until next April. Worse still, if the anniversary will be in September, then you can't cancel until September 2014 as you would need to cancel in June to be able to escape by September 2013

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Posted

Just because you have been with your current provider for many years does not mean you are free to leave. It is not like the UK where after a 2 year contract is up, you may leave at any time. In Germany, the contract automatically renews for the same time period again, so you will be contracted in for a certain period of time. As you have to give notice at least 3 months before the contract renewal date, in a worst case scenario you could be stuck with your current provider for another 27 months (if on a 2 year contract).

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Posted

Oh dear. OK this looks far more complicated than I thought. Thanks for the info everyone, I'll do my best to get to the bottom of this.

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