Data Transfer Usage Policy FAQs

What is data transfer?

All activity online is about transferring data. A web page is in essence a file, and when you visit a web page you are downloading that file, and everything included on the page, such as the pictures. You may also send/receive email, download files from the web, stream video, play games, or upload files. All this activity transfers data back and forth in various amounts.

Why have a set amount of data transfer usage included with each internet service level?

Transferring data uses up network bandwidth, the same network bandwidth that all users in your area utilize to access the internet. So if one user in your area utilizes 1000 times the bandwidth that everyone else does, the network may suffer for all. In those cases, it takes additional resources to manage the network to ensure reliable internet access for everyone. That is why we have to actively manage each network and have a plan in place to provide for additional network resources when needed. By allocating bandwidth based on the service level, we can optimize our resources accordingly.

Why charge data transfer fees for use beyond the included data transfer amount?

When a network's usage is unbalanced, such as when a small percentage of the people on the network use a large percentage of the network's bandwidth, then it takes additional resources to manage that network and to make sure that all users on the network can access the internet according to their service level.

We believe that a fair solution is to have those heavy users contribute more towards the management resources required to accommodate their additional network use. Therefore, we have set a monthly data transfer amount that is included with each internet service level, and reasonable fees for additional data transfer usage beyond those levels.

100 GB of data transfer usage is included with all levels of internet service at no additional charge. High Speed 15 and above also include an additional 200 GB of usage, for a total of 300 GB. If you exceed the included data transfer amount within the calendar month, then you will be charged an additional data transfer fee. The fee is $5 for the first 1-25 GB over the usage amount included with your service level, and $5 more for each additional 1-25 GB over that.

How are the included data transfer amounts determined?

We determined the included data transfer amounts for each service level based on the bandwidth usage needed to optimize the network for all users. We also wanted to make sure that the included amount was high enough that the vast majority of our users would never approach it, and therefore could continue to use the internet as they do now without worry. We set the included data transfer amounts for each service level at well above the monthly usage for more than 99% of our users.

What counts toward the data usage transfer amount?

All activity that takes place over your internet connection that involves data being transferred (downstream / downloading and upstream / uploading are aggregated for purposes of determining your consumption) during each calendar month. This includes all devices in your home that utilize this internet connection, including laptops, desktops, gaming consoles, or handheld devices.

What happens if I use more than the included data transfer amount?

If you exceed the included data transfer amount within in the calendar month, then you will be charged an additional data transfer fee. Your internet service will continue to work, and will not be limited in any way, subject to our Acceptable Use Policy. The fee will appear on your next billing statement. You can track your internet data transfer usage at any time with our Data Transfer Tracking Tool. You can also sign up to receive an email notification when you are approaching the usage amount included with your service level.

How much is the Data Transfer Fee?

If you exceed the included data transfer amount within in the calendar month, then you may be charged an additional data transfer fee. 100 GB of data transfer usage is included with all levels of internet service at no additional charge. High Speed 15 and above also include an additional 200 GB of usage, for a total of 300 GB. The fee is $5 for the first 1-25 GB over the usage amount included with your service level, and $5 more for each additional 1-25 GB over that. For example, if the data transfer amount included with your account is 100 GB, and your use during the calendar month is 142 GB, then your Data Transfer Fee for that month will be $10.

How can I purchase a Usage Allotment Upgrade?

If you are regularly incurring data transfer fees, you may want to consider moving to High Speed 15 or above, which have a higher data transfer allotment, or increasing your monthly allotment by subscribing to Allotment Upgrades at a reduced rate of $10/month per 100 GB block.

For example, if the data transfer amount included with your account is 300 GB, and your use during the calendar month is 387 GB, then your Data Transfer Fee for that month would be $20, or you could subscribe to a usage upgrade for only $10/month to increase your allotment to 400 GB.

You can purchase Usage Allotment Upgrades by calling us at 1-866-928-3123 or requesting one at your local Astound retail store.

Will my internet service be cut off if I exceed the included data transfer amount?

No, your internet service will continue to work and will not be limited in any way, subject to our Acceptable Use Policy. You will be charged a data transfer fee for use beyond the data transfer amount included with your internet service level.

How do I know what my data transfer usage is?

You can track your internet data transfer usage at any time with our Data Transfer Tracking Tool. You can also view the last three months of data transfer activity and billing, as well as sign up to receive an email notification when you are approaching the usage amount included with your service level.

On your billing statement, you will only see a data transfer fee if you have exceeded the data transfer amount for your service level during the previous calendar month.

Can I be notified when I am close to the amount of data transfer usage allocated to my account?

You may sign up to receive an email notification when you are approaching the usage amount included with your service level.

What if there are multiple internet users in my household?

We are tracking data transfer usage at the internet service account level. We cannot track usage for individual users on that account. So if all members in the household are using the same internet service account, then all their data transfer activity will count towards the overall account usage.

Will my internet activity be tracked?

No, we are only tracking the amount of data being transferred, not what that data is or any actual internet activity, subject to the terms of our Privacy Policy and Acceptable Use Policy.

Can you give me the details on my data transfer usage?

You can track your internet data transfer usage at any time with our Data Transfer Tracking Tool. You can also view the last three months of data transfer activity and billing, as well as sign up to receive an email notification when you are approaching the usage amount included with your service level.

However, we are only tracking the amount of data being transferred, not what that data is or any actual internet activity, subject to the terms of our Privacy Policy and Acceptable Use Policy.

My reported data usage seems too high, or doesn't match the days I've accessed the internet. What might be causing this?

If you have multiple internet users in your household using the same account, internet activity for all users will be aggregated at the account level. So it may be that other users in your household may account for the usage.

If you use a wi-fi router in conjunction with your internet service, that wi-fi connection may not be properly secured and other users outside your household could be using the connection, adding to your data transfer usage. This can also present a serious security risk to any personal data on your computer(s). If you subscribe to our Wireless Home Networking service and are unsure if your wi-fi connection is secure, you can contact our 24/7 technical support group to verify. If you are using your own router and are unsure if your wi-fi connection is secure, follow the manufacturer's instructions to verify.

You may have a virus or malware on your computer that accounts for the additional data transfer usage. Properly installed and regularly updated anti-virus software should protect you from this possibility, in most cases.

What are the data transfer amounts for typical online activites?

Each internet activity is unique, but here are some average file sizes to give you an idea of what your data usage might be:
Average email: 59 KB
Average web page: 130 KB
Average song file: 4 MB
Average digital photo: 5 MB
Average standard def movie: 2 GB
Average hour of online gaming: 15 - 30 MB

 

If the amount of data transfer allocated to your account is 100 GB, then that would be equivalent to: If the amount of data transfer allocated to your account is 300 GB, then that would be equivalent to:
  
Sending/receiving 1,694,915 emails, or Sending/receiving 5,084,745 emails, or
Viewing 769,230 websites, or Viewing 2,307,690 websites, or
Downloading 25,000 songs, or Downloading 75,000 songs, or
Downloading 20,000 photos, or Downloading 60,000 photos, or
Downloading 50 standard movies, or Downloading 150 standard movies, or
Downloading 20 HD movies, or Downloading 60 HD movies, or
Online gaming for 3,400 hours Online gaming for 10,200 hours

For more information on data transfer and bandwidth usage, please view our Data Transfer Usage Policy.