Broadband customers worried about exceeding their 20GB monthly allowance take note. A single customer in Belgium recently downloaded nearly 2.7TB of data in one month, an ISP has proudly revealed.

If this sounds like heavy use, the unnamed account was only one of a list of bandwidth-hogging customers of Telenet the ISP has recently owned up to servicing, including several who exceeded 1TB in approximately the same period on the company’s high-end TurboNet, TurboNet XL and FiberNet accounts.

Most of these customers use nicknames which could be taken to suggest they are single users accessing P2P servers. This is impossible to confirm, but it does explain how easy it is for ISPs to spot P2P downloaders on their networks - just ask for a list of non-SME users downloading massive amounts of data and make an educated guess.

To put 2.7TB into perspective, this is equivalent to at least 570 DVD standard movies downloaded at a rate of 17 per day for the period mentioned from 4 July to 6 August when the news appeared on Telenet’s ISP forum. It is also roughly 50 times the consumption level of around 50GB-60GB normally reckoned to mark out the heavy home user.

The TurboNet account apparently used by the customer offers up to 30MB downloads and simultaneous use by up to 4 PCs. Despite having only a fair use download limit on this service, it seems likely all the users on the list were charged for their heavy consumption.

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