There's nothing worse than getting a bill that's bigger than you expect, whether it's for your gas, electricity, or phone. For many, the internet has become another key utility, and we often get asked what happens if you go over my monthly allowance. After all, we’re becoming increasingly reliant on our broadband connections for both work and play.
While the answer will vary depending on your provider your plan, the vast majority will simply slow your speed until the end of month. Some providers will charge you more, but at a mostly reasonable rate. If you're after a bit more detail, here's what you can expect from the major providers.
If you exceed your monthly data allowance, Telstra will slow your download speed to 256kbps until the next month in your billing cycle.
All of Optus' home broadband plans are now unlimited, so you don't need to worry about going over your monthly allowance.
If you have an Optus home wireless plan, you'll get an automatic 10GB top-up for $10 after you've gone through your allowance. You are however limited to five top-ups per billing month. After this, your download speed is slowed to 256kbps.
If you exceed your quota, iiNet will slow your download for the remainder of your billing month.
While many of TPG's plans are now unlimited, cheaper options still have a monthly usage quota typically divided into peak (8:30am to 2:30am) and off peak (2:30am to 8:30am). If you go through your allowance for either period, your speed will be reduced, but only for that period.
On cheaper TPG plans, your download speed will be slowed to 256kps. On pricier options, your speed will be slowed to 1Mbps.
If you go over your data allowance, Belong will slow your download speed to 256kbps until the end of your billing month.
If you exceed your data allowance, MyNetFone will slow your download speed to 256kbps until the end of your billing month.
If you exceed your monthly data allowance, Spintel will automatically top up your allowance with a 10GB block. This is billed at $3 per 10GB. You can however disable this feature under your account settings.
If you choose not to use automatic top up, Spintel will slow your service to 256kbps after you've used your monthly download allowance.
All of Barefoot Telecom's broadband plans are unlimited, so you don't need to worry about going over your monthly allowance.
All of Mate Communicate's broadband plans are unlimited, so you don't need to worry about going over your monthly allowance.
If you exceed your monthly data allowance, Dodo will charge you for excess usage. On ADSL plans this is billed at 0.2c per MB. On NBN plans, this is $2 per GB.
Of course, the best way to not worry about downloading too much is an unlimited broadband plan. Here's a few of our favourites.
Fast moving traffic light trails at night image from Shutterstock