Kick off is only a day away and many football fanatics will be planning their schedule to make the most of World Cup viewing – something that will be made considerably easier with live TV streaming and catch up TV services now available through their broadband connection.
Fans can now watch the action at home, at work, even outside if they have a mobile broadband connection. However many viewers may be unaware they are at risk of breaching the download limit/fair usage policy administered by their broadband provider and landing themselves with speed throttling or a hefty fine.
Michael Phillips, product director commented:
"The convenience of internet TV coupled with the immense popularity of the World Cup games means a significant number of people are now more likely to be tuning in through their broadband connection. Unfortunately this also raises concerns over download limits and fair usage policies. Streaming just one world cup match in HD alone will use up around 2.4GB^, but with over 50 games scheduled to be broadcast in June online football fans could easily breach the terms of their contract.
"Any football fan who experiences speed throttling will find it seriously impairs their viewing experience. Furthermore those who breach the terms of their broadband download limit may find themselves paying anything up to £1 per additional GB downloaded* - with over 60 games to watch in total, this will mount up very quickly. We strongly urge any World Cup viewers planning to watch through their broadband connection to check with their broadband provider before downloading any content. Even if they have an 'unlimited' package there are still likely to be rules in place they must adhere to."
Broadbandchoices.co.uk’s top tips for watching the World Cup online:
Pick the right ISP – Some providers like Be Broadband or O2 Broadband are designed with heavy downloaders in mind. Although their 'unlimited broadband' packages come with fair usage policies attached, both ISPs are more generous with their allowances than most. The top packages from Sky and Virgin Media have no download limits or traffic management policies attached. Ultimately, you need to compare what is available in your area using an Ofcom-accredited comparison calculator to find the best deal for you.
Track your usage - If you have a set download limit, or you’re concerned about exceeding your fair usage allowance during the World Cup, then installing a free Broadband Download Monitor is a great way of tracking your downloads and you can even set alarms to alert you as you near your limit.
* Over-usage fee based on Plusnet Value 10GB download limit; £5 per additional 5GB – note usage between midnight and 8am won’t count towards monthly allowance
^ Based on 0.6GB per 30 minutes of HD viewing. One match equals 90mins plus half time and pre- and post-match commentary.
For further information please contact:
Michael Phillips/Jon Ingram Broadbandchoices.co.uk 020 7400 6234
Gug Kyriacou/Emily Church Polhill Communications 020 7655 0550
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