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O2 Lifts Restrictions on iPhone Fair Usage Policy

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There is a cosmic karma to the universe which dictates that for every negative there must be a positive reaction...

Following the nasty shock that the UK's iPhone launch on Friday will result in a new relocking edition of handset software (1.1.2), O2 has given us the great news that it has rethought and subsequently scrapped its stingy 200MB fair usage policy.

This is fantastic not just for iPhone users but - in all likelihood - O2 Web Bolt On customers too who similarly have a tight 200MB monthly allowance. In fact, so chuffed am I with this development that I'll let my new best friend Sally Cowdry, marketing director at O2, explain in full:

"When we announced our new iPhone tariffs back in September we broke new ground for O2, introducing unlimited use of mobile data services and The Cloud's public Wi-Fi network. The iPhone offers the best internet on mobile experience in the market and we want customers to enjoy this without limit or worries about being charged a penny more.

To avoid abuse of this offering, a fair use policy was set in place at an amount that's miles beyond expected average use. This policy was intended to prevent commercial exploitation or using the iPhone as a modem, both of which would put everyone else's experience at risk. We now appreciate that having set limits as part of the fair use policy conflicted with our objective of encouraging internet usage on the iPhone. People don't speak in megabytes and customer feedback has been that if we say unlimited, it should be unlimited.

We have listened to our customers and will be lifting these limits so that our original intention - for you to use your iPhone to your heart's content - is what it's all about with no confusion or distraction. We look forward to our customers enjoying the fantastic internet experience on their iPhone when it goes on sale next Friday."

One modicum of caution to this: there has to be a cut off point somewhere (a more industry standard 1GB perhaps?) and O2 hasn't revealed what that might be.

Guess who is on the case... ;)

Update: Interesting official response from O2 on that fair usage bar: there is no set limit. From the horse's mouth:

While there will be no set limit, a fair use policy remains in force to prevent abuse of the service. The tariffs are designed for personal internet use, email and Visual Voicemail for the iPhone only. Customers may not put their SIM card in any other device, or use the SIM card or iPhone for continuous streaming of any audio/video content, enable P2P or file sharing or use them in such a way that adversely impacts the service to other O2 customers.

Link:
O2 iPhone FAQ - note all 200MB references have been erased. Yay!

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