CenturyLink High-Speed Internet connects customers to the people, things and information important to them. Whether downloading music or photos, watching videos or TV shows online, e-mailing or any number of other activities, CenturyLink High-Speed Internet, is fast, reliable, and full of features to help customers navigate the Internet.
The majority of CenturyLink High-Speed Internet customers make great use of their high-speed service and comply with the CenturyLink High-Speed Internet Service Agreement. An extremely small percentage use CenturyLink High-Speed Internet excessively, or at such extreme high volumes, that they violate the terms of their CenturyLink High-Speed Internet Subscriber Agreement. While this high volume use is very rare, CenturyLink makes it a point to talk to these customers and help them find a high-speed Internet solution to better meet their needs.
Beginning November 21, 2011, the CenturyLink EUP policy will be updated to include the following "bulleted" changes:
Policy will now provide download usage "Limits" based on customer purchased HSI speed.
Customers purchasing service at speeds of 1.5Mbps and below, have a usage limit of 150 Gigabytes (GB) of download volume per month.
Customers purchasing service at speeds greater than 1.5Mbps, have a limit of 250GB in download volume per month.
Policy applies to Residential HSI customers and is only enforced in the "downstream" (from internet to customer) direction.
Business Class lines are exempt from the download "limits" but will still be subject to EUP policy compliance and future updates.
Not all CenturyLink regions have metering capabilities but the EUP policy will be enforced as required manually for all CenturyLink regions.
All customers should have 30 calendar days between their notifications. The enforcement will be applied via a 3 stage process for compliance notifications/walled garden message to disconnection notice within 12 month period.
CenturyLink PRISM video traffic is not included in the limit
There are no overage charges or metering fees for usage as part of the Policy
Q&A Posted on Centurylink.com
Q: When does this policy become effective?
A: The CenturyLink excessive use policy is effective as of February 2012.
Q: How much data usage is included in my CenturyLink High Speed Internet service?
A: Residential CenturyLink HSI service customers purchasing speeds up to 1.5Mbps or less are allowed 150 Gigabytes (GB) of downstream data usage for each calendar month. Residential CenturyLink High Speed Internet service customers purchasing speeds greater than 1.5Mbps have a limit of 250GB of downstream data usage for each calendar month.
Q: Will CTL charge a fee if I go over in a month or am I charged per byte I download?
A: No, at this time, there are no overage fees or charges for usage.
Q: Does this policy apply to business grade data and HSI services?
A: No. This policy only applies to residential HSI subscribers. It does not apply to business grade customers.
Q: What is considered normal data usage on the Internet?
A: Customers monthly usage varies widely based on how customers use their high speed internet connection. Median consumer usage is approximately 7GB per month with most customers having downstream usage in the range of between 1 to 30 Gigabytes per month.
Q: What is considered excessive or high volume use?
A: In any given month, less than 0.5% (one half of one percent) of customers approach these listed limits. This small group of customers is on the extreme margin, downloading 30-1,000 times the amount of data compared to a normal customer in a month crossing into business grade / commercial-grade usage. This high usage would equate to millions of emails, tens of thousands of photos or MP3 files and hundreds of hours of streaming videos.
Q: Will every customer that exceeds the limit be contacted?
A: Not all customers that exceed limits will be contacted.
Q: Do I have to do anything after CenturyLink contacts me about my usage?
A: CenturyLinks notification process gives customers time to reduce their usage after we contact them. If you are warned about excessive usage, then you must take action to either migrate to a different service or reduce usage to acceptable levels.
Q: Where can I read the CenturyLink HSI Subscriber Agreement?
A: Please view the CenturyLink HSI Service Agreement at
»www.centurylink.com/Page ··· ableUse/
(Section 7(a) covers the CenturyLink HSI usage limit policy.)
Q: I am a CenturyLink PRISM TV customer and have High Speed Internet. How do these limits apply to my service?
A: Video services provided by CenturyLink PRISM are not subject to the usage limits. However, your High Speed Internet usage is subject to the policy.
Q: Does CenturyLink collect or store the applications that I download?
A: No. CenturyLink does not collect or store any usage data associated with sites visited, applications used, or the actual data or files transferred while monitoring customer usage. CenturyLink may collect the aggregate amount of usage data that customers download.
Q: Does CenturyLink include things I upload to the Internet as part of my usage activity?
A: CenturyLink collects upload and download usage per customer but only uses the downstream direction data in the usage limits. This means that uploading photos or doing backups to a site are not counted toward the usage limit, but downloads are (i.e., viewing websites, streaming music or videos, or any downloading of files, photos or videos from the internet).
Q: How is the CenturyLink HSI excessive use policy enforced?
A: For the small amount of customers who are contacted, CenturyLink will advise the customer of their excessive usage, explain what the limits are of their current service, and allow them time to reduce their usage. Customers also have the option to upgrade to a business-class service if they choose. Service may be disconnected after the third month of excessive usage in a rolling 12-month period.
Q: What happens if CenturyLink contacts me to discuss my excessive Internet usage and I continue to use my CenturyLink HSI service at extremely high volumes?
A: If you and a CenturyLink representative are not able to find a solution to better meet your high volume high-speed Internet needs, CenturyLink will continue to monitor your CenturyLink HSI usage. If your usage remains excessive and continues to violate the terms of the CenturyLink HSI Service Agreement, CenturyLink reserves the right to terminate your HSI service.
Q: If I am found to exceed my usage limit, what are my options?
A: Residential HSI customers purchasing 1.5 Mbps service or lower may choose to reduce their monthly data usage, upgrade their speed to a residential service with a higher data limit if available, or upgrade their service to a business grade data service. Residential customers purchasing HSI service at speeds greater than 1.5 Mbps may choose to reduce their monthly data usage or upgrade their service to a business grade data service.
Q: Will the data usage limits ever change?
A: CenturyLink will continue to monitor its network and may periodically make updates to this policy. Any changes to the policy will be posted on the Centurylink.com website.
Q: Does CenturyLink include network overhead in my usage?
A: All network protocols and network connections will have some overhead, some of which will be included in your usage data. It is a very small percentage of the total and is included in all customers data and the overall population usage statistics, which are used in determining usage limits.
Q: Is the data per 30 days or per calendar month?
A: Currently monthly limits are per calendar month.
Q: If I am contacted due to excessive usage, am I allowed to switch to Business class HSI or a higher speed and remain a customer?
A: Yes, if customers have not reached the stage of disconnection, switching to a business class product will remove them from ongoing Excessive Usage warnings in future months. If customers have not reached the stage of disconnection, they will also be allowed to upgrade speeds (if available) to have the next usage level (example from 1.5Mbps to 12Mbps) but please note that the usage warning level will not reset previous warning stages will stay in place, thus exceeding the next limit will trigger the next stage of warning.
Q: Is there a usage meter?
A: Currently, customer usage history will be shown via a web-based message in select markets to customers who are contacted. An on-demand usage meter rollout is pending and will be communicated to customers when available.
Q: How do I upgrade my service if I need more bandwidth?
A: Contact a CenturyLink sales associate by phone or visit www.centurylink.com.
Q: If I do not use my monthly usage allotment, does it roll over to next month?
A: The usage allotment does not roll over from month to month.
Q: Does CenturyLinks premium services (e.g. STARZ Play, MLB) count toward my usage?
A: These premium services and all Internet-based traffic will be included in usage data.
Q: Could my HSI service be disconnected if I am found to have exceeded the usage limits?
A: Yes. Customers who do not take the recommended actions of either reducing their usage or migrating to another service will be disconnected after multiple warnings. However, we will work with you to migrate you to a product that meets your usage needs.
Q: What is the definition of usage vs. bandwidth?
A: Bandwidth is the available connection speed of your HSI service. For example, in some locations CenturyLink offers bandwidth speeds up to 40 Megabits per second (Mbps).
Usage is the volume of data transferred over your HSI connection. The speed is still there for you, but usage reflects the amount of data you download over your HSI Internet connection. Usage is described the same as the storage of files on a hard drive, USB Key, etc., as Kilobyte, Megabyte or Gigabyte (1,024 Megabytes (MB) = 1 Gigabytes (GB)).
Q: I suspect someone is using my CenturyLink HSI service over Wi-Fi.
A: Wi-Fi (wireless Internet) is a great way for CenturyLink HSI customers to connect multiple computers and maintain mobility with their computer equipment. CenturyLink recommends that CenturyLink HSI customers who use wireless Internet make sure their networks are secure. If you are concerned that someone may be using your CenturyLink HSI wireless Internet connection, please visit »qwest.centurylink.com/in ··· ess.html
to learn how to secure it. It is your responsibility to secure your home network and any usage will be attributed to your service.
Q: Could spyware, viruses or bots on my computer cause my CenturyLink HSI usage to be classified as excessive?
A: It is extremely unlikely that malware (malicious software) could generate data usage levels that would meet the usage limit. However, if you feel your computer has a malware infection, please visit »www.CenturyLink.com/inte ··· dex.html
to learn how to protect your computer.
Q: Our children each have an MP3 player, do online gaming and are frequently on the Internet. Could this usage be termed excessive?
A: Its not likely that the vast majority of households with this type of usage would reach limits.
Although file sizes and streaming rates vary widely depending on quality, these limits equate to downloading 15,000-80,000 high resolution photos or MP3s; or watching hundreds of hours of streaming shows per month.
It is important to know that all data usage for a household is included in the aggregate monthly usage data. This may include, for example, 1GB of web surfing, 10GB of video streaming, 3GB of photo downloads which in this case would equate to 14GB of downloaded data in a month for the line.
Q: We have multiple VoIP phone service over our residential CenturyLink HSI connection, often with multiple simultaneous calls. Could this be considered excessive usage?
A: Multiple lines of VoIP phones rarely would be considered excessive usage; however the usage includes all traffic being downloaded over the line.
Q: We often watch movies through an online streaming website. Could that use be considered excessive?
A: Depending on the quality of the streaming, it is possible to watch multiple movies per day and still not have reached excessive usage limits. However, video (streaming and downloading) is a large consumer of usage and extreme amounts of video data consumption may cause a customer to reach the usage limits.
Q: I work from home and am connected to a corporate VPN five days per week. Could that usage be determined as excessive?
A: For the vast majority of VPN and remote desktop technologies, even a full-time, work-at-home employee would rarely exceed usage limits of the CenturyLink HSI service.
Q: I own a graphics design business that requires me to transfer extremely large files back and forth to clients each day. Could that usage be deemed excessive?
A: Only download direction is counted for CenturyLink usage limits. Most likely your usage would still be considered normal depending on volume, under the terms of CenturyLink HSI Service Agreement, even with large files. If youre using a residential service to operate your business, consider changing to a business class HSI product.
Q: What if I have game systems, many laptops, tablets and VoIP all using the same connection, will all the usage be counted?
A: Yes, any device that is using the connection will have its downstream data counted in the total. The usage on a connection does not distinguish between where the data is going in the home only that it passes through the line.
Q: Wont operating system and application updates, virus definitions, and other streams that I did not manually initiate count toward my usage?
A: Yes. These data usage types will count toward the CenturyLink usage limits. However, this type of data is usually a very small amount of the total and will make up a fraction of the data usage limit.
Q: Do webcams and services such as Skype count toward the usage limit?
A: Yes. Data usage associated with webcams and services such as Skype that require data streams to be downloaded over the CenturyLink HSI service will count toward the usage limit. Note that steady state and/or long-duration viewing of other webcam streams may add up quickly over a one month timeframe. Video traffic in a home coming from a camera going upstream to the Internet is not included in the usage for that line.
Q: Will I be notified if I am coming close to reaching the usage limit for my HSI service?
A: Currently, there is no advance warning provided. However, when you are found to have exceeded the usage limit, CenturyLink will contact you and advise you of the usage limits and allow time to reduce usage or migrate you to an alternative product that better meets your needs.
Q: How do I upgrade my HSI service to a faster service or a business grade data service?
A: Visit CenturyLinks website at www.centurylink.com for more information about contacting CenturyLink Customer Care.
Call Center Q&A
Q: What is my usage?
A Currently, CenturyLink does not offer an external tool for the customer to monitor their usage.
Q: I thought DSL was unlimited? -- I'm paying for a 7 Mbps line, why can't I use it as much as I want? -- I thought DSL was dedicated to me, and that this was a cable problem?
A Our excessive use policy is in place to ensure that our high-speed Internet network is being used in ways for which it was designed in order to deliver an optimal Internet experience for our customers.
As demand for Internet capacity grows, ISPs face increasing pressure to charge usage-based fees in order to ensure that network traffic is managed properly, as certain wireless carriers have done for some time. Due to increasing demand for Internet capacity and a federal government requirement to recover network costs from end users, CenturyLink has modified its policy regarding excessive use.
Q: I'm the parent and I have 4 kids in my house. I dont believe I am causing this overage. How can I control our usage or find out where the usage is coming from?
A Even a highly connected family is very unlikely to have excessive usage. File and video streaming/downloading is the largest contributor to extreme usage. Everything that connects into your HSI line will be counted against the usage.
Q: How can I watch my usage? How do I know when I've reached the threshold?
A CenturyLink is working on an external tool that will allow customers to monitor their usage. This tool will be available at a future date. Until the tool becomes available for customer access, all requests will need to be made by calling HSI repair support.
Because we are a customer-focused company, CenturyLink works closely with customers who have been identified as excessive users in order to give them every opportunity to either reduce their usage or migrate to an alternative high-speed Internet service such as our business-class Internet services.
Our process includes 3 different communications to customers (this may be electronic notifications via a walled garden message, a call to the customers, or a letter) who are identified as having excessive use per the terms of their subscriber agreement.
These customers are able to contact our support department to discuss usage and receive assistance. Options may include migrating to an alternative broadband product. In other words, if we get to that point, we will work with you first rather than discontinue your HSI Service.
We do not have overage or fees for usage at this time. Our excessive use policy is designed to ensure that our network is being used as it was designed in order to deliver the most optimal Internet experience for our customers.
Q: Can I pay more for higher usage level on HSI?
A Customers have options to upgrade their service, which would increase their usage limits, if they apply:
Customers with speeds of 1.5 Mbps or less can upgrade their speed (if available).
Customers with greater than 1.5 Mbps speed usage limits increase to 250 Gigabytes per month. Customers may want to consider upgrading their residential line to a business class of service if consistently exceed the limits.
Q: Can I switch to another ISPInternet Service Provider while still using CenturyLink HSI?
A You certainly may change your ISPInternet Service Provider; however, you are still bound by the same terms of service in your CenturyLink HSI Subscriber Agreement and you will need to reduce your monthly bandwidth usage.
Q: Can I buy another CenturyLink HSI line and split my usage across them?
A Yes, but each line will still fall under the terms and conditions of the CenturyLink HSI Subscriber Agreement.
Q: Can I speak to your manager?
A Yes, you can speak with a manager, but let me try to assist you first. Follow current escalation path if customer insists on speaking with a manager.
Q: Can I log in to see my usage on CenturyLink.com like I do with my wireless minutes? Or can you email me when I reach the usage limit?
A CenturyLink does not offer this type of service for CenturyLink HSI customers at this time. I can give you general guidelines of certain types of download files that will contribute to high usage:
The monthly usage on your line is a combination of the volume that is used by all applications and devices in your home. For example, in a month a household may watch 10 movies at 2GB each, download 100 photos at 10MB (1GB equals 1,024 MB) each and browse the web during the month; all added together would equal around 26GB.
Q: How are you gathering this data? Or are you looking at my applications?
A We will not look into the content of your email, websites visited or other communications for marketing purposes without first informing you and giving you a choice about whether you want us to do so.
If customer needs more information, refer them to the online FAQ document (CTLHelp.com).
Q: How many notices will I get?
A Our process includes 3 different communications to customers (this may be electronic notifications via a walled garden message, a call to the customers, or a letter) who are identified as having excessive use per the terms of their subscriber agreement under the enforcement.