BT Broadband usage policy

If you're on one of our Unlimited broadband services, you don't need to worry about your broadband usage, so feel free to skip this page. But if you're not on Unlimited broadband, you need to know about the allowances we set on how much data you can use. If you find these allowances don't suit you, it's easy to upgrade your broadband to Unlimited.

As a result of coronavirus we removed caps on all of our broadband packages so every customer has unlimited data. This will apply from February 2020.

All customers who currently have limited broadband packages will automatically get unlimited data. This is a permanent change, BT will no longer have limited broadband packages.

There will be no changes to the way your product looks on your bill. You will just no longer incur charges if you go over your data limit.

You don't need to do anytihng, unlimited data will be applied automatically, so there is no need to call us.

And if you're looking for information about the way we manage internet traffic over our network, see our traffic management page.

What is broadband usage?

Broadband usage is how much data you upload or download from the internet.

There are two main factors that contribute to the total amount of usage we measure on your line:

  • The number of devices you're using to access the internet at any one time: for example, computers, laptops, smartphones and tablets
  • The kind of things you're doing and how long for: for example, whether you're browsing social media sites, watching videos (such as YouTube) or TV (such as BBC iPlayer) and updating software on your computer or mobile device, to name a few.

Some activities involve more usage than others. Watching a video, for example, involves downloading loads more data than looking at a simple web page or sending a short email. The table here shows what kind of usage is involved with some common activities.

 

Activity type Typical usage*
High definition movie (2 hours) 4.2 GB
Standard definition movie (2 hours) 1.9 GB
Online catch-up TV service (1 hour) 644 MB
Video streaming: for example, YouTube (1 hour) 429 MB
Online gaming (1 hour) 43 MB
Music (1 album, 10 tracks) 80 MB
Photo (1 photo) 5 MB

 

*these sizes are approximate and can vary.

What are monthly usage allowances?

Different broadband products have different usage allowances to suit different types of customer usage. If you're not on an Unlimited package, you'll have a usage allowance which starts from the first of the month and runs to the end of the month.

Monthly usage allowances vary depending on which package you're on. From October 2017 we increased all our limited product usage allowances for our existing customers: 12GB went to 15GB, 25GB went to 30GB and 45GB went to 50GB.

How am I kept informed about my usage allowance levels?

If you exceed your monthly usage allowance your service won't be affected. We'll email you when you're reaching your maximum usage allowance. The table here shows when you'll get warning emails.

Advisory emails will be sent to your active BT primary email address (for example, your @btinternet.com email address) that was set up when you ordered broadband or an alternative email address that you have given us for the purpose of contacting you.

 

Usage allowance Warning email 1 Warning email 2
15GB 9GB (60%) 12GB (80%)
30GB 21GB (70%) 27GB (90%)
50GB 35GB (70%) 45GB (90%)

 

To avoid overloading your inbox, if you go over both reminder levels in the same day, we'll just send you one email.

You can also track your broadband usage using our award-winning My BT app. As well as seeing what you've used so far in each usage period, you can see the split between download and upload usage. The app will tell you when you reach 80% and 100% of your allowance.

How to use the My BT app >

What happens if I go over my monthly usage allowance?

If you go over your usage allowance, you'll be charged £2.20 per GB or part of. This will appear in your next bill and you'll also be sent an email to let you know what the charge will be.

How can I keep an eye on my usage?

Use the My BT app

If you've an Android or Apple smartphone, the easiest way is to use the My BT App.

How to use the My BT app >

Log in to My BT

You can do this by using our broadband usage monitor. Just log in to My BT at www.bt.com/mybt.

  1. Scroll down to see the "My products" section
  2. Under the "My broadband" option select the "View your broadband usage" link

Here you can see how much of your monthly usage allowance has been used and how much you've got left for that month. This is updated daily in the afternoon and shows usage up to the midnight the day before.

Log in or sign up to My BT now >

How can I check my broadband data usage? >

What can I do if I regularly go over my usage allowance?

It can be tricky knowing how much broadband you're using. And if a lot of your time online is doing things such as watching TV (like BBC iPlayer), streaming video (like YouTube) and downloading films, you can use your allowance quite quickly. If this is you, why not upgrade to one of our unlimited usage packages.

Find out what broadband packages we offer >

If you upgrade your broadband before the end of the month then you won't be charged for any additional usage in that month.

Can I carry over any unused allowance from one month to the next?

Any remaining unused allowance can't be carried over to the next month's allowance.

Is everything I do taken into account under broadband usage?

There are certain things we don’t count towards the total monthly usage displayed on the usage monitor. These include:

  • Watching BT Sport via the app
  • Using BT Cloud

And, if you've taken a BT TV subscription of 12 months or more (even if your contract has now finished):

  • Watching on demand content through the BT TV box
  • Using the BT Player on YouView
  • Watching other on demand players on YouView or the Youview+ box

 

Do the Premium TV channels use my broadband?

Yes, there's less broadband speed available for other services when you're watching BT Sport over broadband or Premium TV channels. So when you've finished viewing an Premium TV channel it's best if you change to a Freeview channel, or turn the box off.

 

Do Premium TV channels count towards my broadband usage?

No, the Premium TV channels don't count towards your broadband usage, so you won't see any charges for usage on your bill.

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