What happens if you exceed your monthly broadband data limit?

Matt Sayer 21 August 2017

man-wifi-router_shutterstock

Internet providers can have wildly different excess data policies. We've broken the big ones down for you right here.

While super-fast Internet might be a lifesaver when you're trying to watch the latest episode of Twin Peaks at the same time the rest of your house is streaming music, downloading games and obsessively refreshing Facebook, it starts to lose its lustre when your monthly bill arrives sporting a nasty surcharge for exceeding your data limit.

Thankfully, most Internet providers have shifted away from excess data charges in recent years, opting instead to throttle or shape your connection. To throttle or shape your connection simply means they are slowing it down.

This has taken much of the sting out of accidentally going over your monthly data limit, though it can still be mighty frustrating when Netflix goes all blurry thanks to your housemate overindulging on YouTube cat videos.

Luckily, managing your data usage has become considerably easier in the last few years now that you have the ability to track your downloads and uploads through your provider's website and set up alerts to notify you when you exceed certain thresholds. Still, it can be tough to monitor your online habits 24/7, and it's worth knowing exactly what consequences you'll face should you inadvertently blow past your limit.

That's why we've gathered up all the excess usage policies for the biggest Internet providers below. Find yours, and you'll know just what to expect should you binge too hard on every season of The Vampire Diaries.

Telstra

Home broadband

Telstra does not charge excess usage fees on its home broadband plans. Instead, it slows your Internet speed down to 256kbps for the rest of your billing cycle.

Mobile broadband and wireless broadband

If you exceed your monthly limit on a Telstra mobile broadband plan or a Telstra wireless broadband plan, Telstra will automatically add an extra 1GB to your limit for that month and charge you $10 for it. If you use up that extra 1GB, Telstra will continue to add data at the same 1GB/$10 rate for the rest of the month.

Optus

Home broadband

Optus does not offer capped home broadband plans, only ones with unlimited data.

Mobile broadband and Wireless broadband

Once you exceed your monthly limit on an Optus wireless broadband plan, Optus will automatically charge you $10 for an extra 10GB of data to use for that month only. It will continue to do this up to a maximum of 50GB on top of your base data limit, at which point your Internet speed will be slowed to 256Kbps for the rest of the month.

Going over your limit on an Optus mobile broadband plan will cost you $10 for every additional 1GB you use, up to a maximum of 150GB total per account. If you hit that 150GB limit, Optus may continue charging you at the same rate, or it might restrict your data use for that month.

iiNet

Home broadband

All iiNet home broadband plans will reduce your Internet speed to 256kbps for the rest of the month if you exceed your monthly data limit.

Mobile broadband

If you exceed your monthly data limit on one of iiNet's mobile broadband plans, iiNet will automatically charge you at a rate of $10 per 1GB of data used. If you go more than 10GB over your monthly limit, iiNet may continue to charge you at the same rate, or it might restrict your data use for that month.

Dodo

Home broadband

Dodo charges you $.002 per 1MB (approximately $2 per 1GB) for any excess data you use over your monthly limit. If you rack up more than $20 in excess data charges, Dodo will block your Internet service and redirect you to a web page where you can purchase additional data blocks to get you through the month.

Mobile broadband and wireless broadband

For Dodo's 4G Small, 4G Medium and 4G Large mobile broadband plans, any excess data usage will be charged at a rate of $12 per 1GB. All other Dodo wireless broadband plans will run you $15 per 1GB of excess data up to a maximum of 5GB, at which point Dodo will suspend your service. You'll then need to contact Dodo to discuss alternate billing options.

iPrimus

Home broadband

On any of iPrimus's home broadband plans, your Internet speed will drop to 256kbps if you go over your monthly data limit.

Mobile broadband and wireless broadband

If you're on one of iPrimus's old 3G Speedster wireless broadband plans, you'll be charged at a rate of $.03 per 1MB for any excess data you use, up to a maximum of 2000MB. Hit that, and your Internet speed will be limited to 128kbps for the rest of the month.

For iPrimus's current 4G mobile broadband plans, excess data usage is charged at $12 per 1GB.

TPG

Home broadband

TPG will throttle your Internet speed if you exceed your limit on any of its home broadband plans. Unlike most other providers, TPG doesn't throttle to the same speed for all plans, instead slowing your connection to different speeds depending on what plan you've signed up for. Throttled speeds range from 4Mbps all the way down to 32kbps.

Mobile broadband

Excess data usage on TPG's Pay-as-you-go (PAYG), Extra Small and Small mobile plans is charged at $.10 per 1MB. For TPG's Medium, Large and Extra Large mobile plans, going over your limit will incur a $10 charge per 1GB of excess data. Since TPG's mobile broadband plans operate on a pre-paid basis, attempting to use excess data when your balance can't cover the cost will cause your mobile data service to be deactivated until you top up.

Internode

Home broadband

Internode will drop your Internet speed to 256kbps if you go over your monthly limit on any of its home broadband plans.

Mobile broadband

If you exceed your data allocation on one of Internode's NodeMobile plans, you'll automatically be charged at $10 per 1GB of excess data. If you use more than 10GB over your monthly limit, Internode may restrict your data use until the end of your current billing period.

Foxtel Broadband

Home broadband

Foxtel will reduce your Internet speed to 256kps for the rest of your billing period if you go over your monthly data limit.

Vodafone

Mobile broadband and wireless broadband

Going over your monthly data limit on one of Vodafone's mobile or wireless broadband plans will see you charged at $10 per 1GB of excess data.


Latest broadband headlines

Picture: Shutterstock

The latest broadband offers on finder

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on finder.com.au:

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com.au is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder only provides general advice and factual information, so consider your own circumstances, read the PDS or seek advice before you decide to act on our content. By submitting a question, you're accepting our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.
Ask a question
Go to site