Monthly Data Usage Allowance Guide

Published 13/05/2004 11:48   |    Updated 16/04/2008 12:18
What is a monthly data usage allowance?

Depending on the BT Broadband package you are using, you are entitled to transfer a certain amount of data each month, this is known as a data usage allowance. Your data usage statistics are reset on the first day of each calendar month. Unused allowance is not carried over to the next month.



Understanding the monthly download allowance

BT Broadband comes with an inclusive monthly usage allowance. This varies from 10GB to 30GB for home users.


This figure is the amount of data you can download and/or upload each month. Data transferred between your computer and the Internet is measured in Kilobytes (KB), Megabytes (MB) and Gigabytes (GB). 1GB is equal to 1,024MB and 1MB is equal to 1,024KB.



What does this mean?

To help you pick the right package, look at the table below and see what you can do with the different usage levels each month.


The packages compared below are BT Broadband Options 1 (Basic), 2 (Value) and 3 (Deluxe).


Sample allowance usage

Online activity

10 GB

20 GB

30 GB

monthly download allowance
allows you to do all of these activies:

Surfing the net

24 hours a day

24 hours a day

24 hours a day


100 tracks a week

150 tracks a week

200 tracks a week

video clips

100 x 2 minute
clips a week

150 x 2 minute
clips a week

200 x 2 minute
clips a week

Listening to
online radio

40 hours a week

60 hours a week

80 hours a week

Receiving emails
(no attachments)

2,000 emails
a week

3,000 emails
a week

4,000 emails
a week


*Note:  The above table is intended solely to illustrate what your monthly usage allowance might enable you to do. Any comination of these or other activities is possible. The figures above are approximate, the size of each webpage, download, email and picture varies considerably.




Audio streaming runs at approximately 128kbps (kilobits per second). On its own, this equates to approximately 173 hours non-stop or 5¾ hours a day for 30 days listening on a 10 Gigabyte download allowance.


Video streaming uses a higher rate. For example, a 300kbps video stream would use up 10 Gigabytes of download allowance in 74 hours (approximately 2½ hours a day). Higher quality streams will use more of your download allowance.


Software downloads

Software downloads (for example Operating System and Program updates) sometimes exceed 100 MegaBytes, however many software applications are between 5 and 20 MegaBytes.



Click here for more information about how to check your broadband usage statistics.


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