Limited Unlimited

Techdirt asks whether advertising something as “unlimited” when in fact use is limited constitutes misleading advertising. Techdirt also references an article by Glenn Fleishmann which examines the limited unlimited plans offered by the big three US mobile operators (Verizon Wireless, Cingular and Sprint).

So while an operator may advertise a plan as being “unlimited”, such as plan may actually be limited:

(1) to specified caps;
(2) to some sort of “reasonable use”; or
(3) by prohibiting the use of certain applications that typically consume a high level of bandwidth.

Canadian operators also advertise unlimited plans that contain inherent limitations. For example, FIDO offers certain services on an “unlimited basis” but half way down its service agreement, sets out its “fair use policy” which requires users to agree not to: (i) create an unusually large burden on our network or (ii) generate levels of traffic sufficient to impede others’ ability to send or retrieve information; or to use the Service in an abusive manner in connection with any unlimited packages, options or promotions; or (iii) operate a server.

Yak’s Unlimited VOIP service, which is advertised as offering unlimited calls per month within the United States & Canada is limited in a footnote to 3000 minutes per month.