No matter where (or from whom) you buy a satellite broadband service, it is almost always the satellite operator (owner) that manages the traffic on their satellite.

On the latest generation of (Ka technology) satellites, most packages are sold according to a fixed amount of monthly data. The satellite operator is responsible for managing the collective data (or traffic) that all customers are downloading or uploading. To help them do this they may apply a FAP and/or Traffic Management policies.

Below you will find an overview of how and why FAP and Traffic Management is used. We then have specific pages relevant to the service that you have with Avanti or Eutelsat (Tooway).

Summary – What is a Fair Access Policy ?

When any network is busy, if no action is taken by the (satellite) operator, all users will see their speeds reduced as the network capacity is shared across all users. This does mean that users that have already consumed a high proportion of their monthly data allowance, would still receive the same performance as a very low user.

Some operators will manage their network capacity such that, after certain relative use, higher users will be given a lower priority than lower users when the network is busy – this is commonly referred to as a Fair Access or Fair Use Policy (FAP or FUP).

Hence, the purpose of the FAP is straightforward – to share the available satellite broadband network fairly across all customers. So customers that have used lower amounts of data recently are given preference over customers that have already recently used higher levels of data. This means that the lower use customers will see faster speeds than those customers that have already enjoyed a share of the available network and whose speeds will slow down. This seeks to ensure that the available network bandwidth is shared as fairly as possible over time amongst all users.

How each individual satellite operator chooses whether and how to implement any such measures gets a little more complicated. We have set out below links to the two main operators that we currently use.

If you would rather talk to us about this, please just call us on 0800 130 3131.

Where do you want to go now ?

Avanti policies

Eutelsat/Tooway policies.

Avanti Services

This section covers the following current Avanti services.

5GB 10GB
  1. There is no Fair Access Policy applied at any time.
  2. There are no standard traffic management policies that apply to time based or application based restrictions other than peer to peer and associated activities as set out below in the Acceptable Use Policy.
  3. There is an Acceptable Use Policy that is designed to ensure that if a user attempts to use the service for what are generally considered to be unacceptable activities, their usage can be suspended or if required, terminated.

Put simply, you are free to use the monthly data allowance associated with your package as and when you wish to do so.

Any variation in speeds will simply be due to the overall use of Avonline's Avanti customer base on Hylas 1 or Hylas 2 (the two Avanti satellites that we use).

Within our Unique Service Promise, we agree to deliver an average speed of 9Mbps measured over Avonline's entire Avanti customer base on a rolling 30 day measure. Individual speeds and averages may vary depending on specific use and timing.

Acceptable Use Policy (the "Policy")

The Acceptable Use Policy forms a part of our Terms and Conditions of Service. By using our Avanti service, you agree to this Policy

  1. General Terms and Policies.

    Avanti Broadband Limited is a private company providing a commercial gateway to the Internet. Avanti Broadband equipment and facilities may be used to send electronic mail, conduct commercial transactions, access the World Wide Web, newsgroups and private networks, engage in on-line chat sessions, transfer files, enjoy audio and video programming, and otherwise participate in all legal aspects of the Internet (these uses are referred to in this document as "the Service"), subject to this Policy. Any use of the service is subject to any restrictions listed below.

  2. Coverage.

    This Policy applies to all users of the Service. A violation of this Policy and Policies by anyone using your account will be treated as a violation by you.

  3. Grounds for Termination.

    You agree to comply with this Policy, as well as the applicable rules, regulations and policies of any network, bulletin board, newsgroup, web site or Internet Service Provider accessed through the Service. Any violation of this Policy or the other rules, regulations or policies noted above may be seen as a breach of this agreement which may result in the temporary suspension or permanent termination of your Service. In the event of a Termination, you may also be liable for additional charges as set out in any prevailing Terms and Conditions of Service.

    • a) Using the Service in a way which constitutes violation of any applicable statute, law, court order, tariff, regulation, or treaty (including, but not limited to, intellectual property, communications, privacy, criminal and international law);

    • b) Using the Service in a manner intended to abuse or violate the privacy or property rights of others, including but not limited to sending of unsolicited bulk e-mail ("spamming");

    • c) Using the Service in an attempt to break security, or so as to actually break security of any computer network (including the Service itself), or to access an account, message, or file to which you have no legitimate rights of access;

    • d) Using the service for peer to peer and any similar file sharing activities which Avonline considers to be detrimental to any other user of the Service;

    • e) Using the Service in such a way as to forge or misrepresent headers, addresses, or other identification in electronic mail or USENET postings, or using any other method to disguise the sender/s identity or location;

    • f) Posting commercial messages to a USENET group where the posting is not approved by the specific USENET group in its charter;

    • g) Using the Service for unauthorised relays through any third party systems;

    • h) Attempting, in any way, to interfere with or deny service to any user or any host on the Internet;

    • i) Using the Service for mail-bombing, which includes any instance where multiple messages are sent to a specific destination with the intent to render the recipient and/or the electronic system serving that recipient dysfunctional;

    • j) Using the Service to add or attempt to add addresses to any mailing list (yours or a third party) without the explicit positive consent of the addressee(s);

    • k) Using the Service to forward or post unsolicited "chain letters" (multiple forwarding) of any type;

    • l) Attempting to cancel, supersede, or otherwise interfere with e-mail or USENET posts other than your own;

    • m) Engaging in harassment, whether through language, frequency, or size of messages;

    • n) Using the Service in a manner which may reasonably be considered by Avonline as harmful to the business reputation or interests of Avonline, Avanti Broadband or any associated or group companies;

    • o) Using the Service to engage in sync flood attacks, which are defined as overburdening a recipient computer system by sending a high volume of spurious data which effective impedes or totally disables functionality of the recipient system(s), or any other methods of denial-of-service attacks; or,

    • p) Furnishing false data on your sign-up form, contract, or online application, including providing fraudulent credit card or other payment information.


Eutelsat & Tooway services

This section covers the following current and legacy Tooway consumer packages.

Active Sales period
Tier 1
Tier 2
Tier 4Special Promotion
Tooway 3GB
Tooway Lite
Tooway Regular
Tooway Extra
Tooway Medium
Tooway Large
Tooway XL
Tooway XXL Tooway Absolute
Tooway 8 (2012)
Tooway 12
Tooway 18
Tooway 18 Max  
2011/12 Tooway 6
Tooway 8
Tooway 10
Tooway 10+ Tooway 10/10+ Unlimited


Eutelsat operate both FAP and traffic management across their Tooway product range. There are traffic management policies in place that set thresholds on peak time usage within the monthly data allowances. If you exceed peak usage or monthly thresholds, you should expect to see your service slow down, especially at peak times, in order to allow fair access to other lower users. You can identify whether your service is being impacted by FAP/traffic management via the Customer Portal.

Managing the satellite broadband network

As the most established service in Europe, Eutelsat is proactive in managing customer traffic (data) to ensure that, when necessary, the resources of the satellite are shared on a fair basis. As the satellite operator manages traffic more closely, more customers will see the impacts of the FAP being applied by the satellite operator at times when the network is busiest.

As a result of recent commencement of activities of the satellite operator, we have received a number of common questions about the FAP and traffic management so we have set-out additional information below to help you.

August 2013 Fair Access Policy ("FAP") Update

The FAP has been expanded with additional information to assist all users. Traffic management criteria are now being applied by the satellite operator so it is important that you understand how and when this may impact your service and what you can do to maintain your quality of service. Within the detailed definitions below, Avonline Broadband is the distributor, the satellite operator is Eutelsat.

1.1. The Fair Access Policy

The sole purpose of the FAP is to ensure that during times of heavier network usage, those customers across all packages that have used proportionately higher data than others (a "Heavy User") may see their speeds reduced to allow those with lower usage a fair opportunity to use the available system resources.

The satellite operator will set the criteria for a Heavy User and in addition they carry out all of the measurements. As an example, the measurement criteria for customer data usage may be relevant to their package profile or to other users. It also may be relevant to the time that the data was used i.e. data used during the busiest network periods may be weighted more heavily than data used when the network is quiet. The criteria current at the time that this update was prepared are shown in section 1.4. In the event that these criteria change, we will endeavor to update the website within 7 days of written notification by the satellite operator

The application of the FAP is one part of the overall traffic management that the satellite operator manages. The allows the satellite operator the capability at any time, to best manage the available bandwidth on any spot-beam. With multiple resellers under any one beam, this is not a company specific policy eg. something that only applies to Avonline customers. It is applied unilaterally to all customers under the beam, irrespective of their supplier. It is up to the satellite operator to implement appropriate measures that in their opinion will allow them to allocate bandwidth resources on the fairest basis.

To be affected by traffic management under the FAP at any point, a Heavy User must have already used a higher level of the available network resources than most other associated customers.

1.2. Traffic management and Heavy User policies

In order to deliver fair network access, the satellite operator monitors the network usage under any spot-beam on a dynamic (real-time) basis also factoring historic usage patterns in order to manage the available beam bandwidth fairly across all users.

The satellite operator is solely responsible for managing the available resources most efficiently. As a result, the criteria that they set and the measures that they apply may change over time if required - they will adapt to changing customer usage patterns.

This does mean that there are no fixed rules for determining what a Heavy User is on a permanent basis. The satellite operator will review and refine their policies over time as the customer base and the usage habits change, in order to deliver fair access to the services. Heavy User policies and measures used today maybe changed by the satellite operator at any time without notice.

However, at any point in time, the satellite operator will be measuring against criteria which, based upon recent patterns allows them to specify which users are classified as Heavy Users. There may be one single Heavy User group or there may be different pools of Heavy Users linked to the volume or time that have used the network resources eg. usage of data during peak hours may be a more important assessment criteria than usage during the daytime or overnight.

At points when the customer demand for the bandwidth is high, the satellite operator will then restrict the bandwidth available to the Heavy User group(s). In doing so, this allows those users not classified as Heavy Users reasonable opportunity to share and use the remaining bandwidth in a fair manner and maintain the best possible quality of service as measured over all users.

1.3. The impact of traffic management and heavy user groups

As covered above, the impact of traffic management and Heavy User groups is that during busy periods the Heavy Users will receive proportionately less of the available bandwidth in comparison to the other (lower data) users.

Lower data users will therefore see the best possible download and upload speeds depending upon the number of live users and way that they are using the network at that time.

The Heavy User groups will see their maximum download and upload speeds reduce. This will also be dependent upon the number of concurrent Heavy Users and the way that they are using the network at that point in time.

Since by definition a Heavy User has been recently assessed as a higher than average user, the transition from high bandwidth use to restricted use may be result in a dramatic reduction in available speeds. During higher use periods where Heavy Users are restricted, if they do continue to seek to use higher levels of bandwidth this is done in competition with other similar Heavy Users so the speeds can slow considerably during periods of traffic management.

Traffic management is only activated by the satellite operator when they deem it necessary to do so. It does mean that whenever there is no traffic management being applied to a specific Heavy User group, all users, whether they are lower users or Heavy Users will be sharing the available resource equally with all other users.

1.4. Heavy User criteria effective August 2013

The satellite operator has informed us that the following criteria are currently being used to identify Heavy Users :-

Package Data Threshold
Measurement Period
Period of Data Usage
Tooway Medium
5GB Weekly 16:00 to 23:00
Tooway Large
5GB Weekly 16:00 to 23:00
Tooway XL
6GB Weekly 16:00 to 23:00
Tooway XXL & Absolute 10GB Weekly 16:00 to 23:00
Tooway Absolute 50GB 30 days 07:00 to 23:00

NB : as explained in section 1.1, the satellite operator can change the Heavy User criteria under the FAP at any time if in their opinion it will allow them to allocate bandwidth resources on a fairest basis.

Definitions :-

Data Threshold – the data usage (total of upload and download) above which the user may be classified as a Heavy User;

Measurement Period – the historic period over which the usage of data is measured;

Period of Data Usage – the relevant time period each day that data usage is measured.

If a customer's usage exceeds the current threshold in the measurement periods shown, they may be classed as Heavy User. They will remain classified as such until such time as the next reporting and measurement by the satellite operator sees them fall under the relevant threshold. The satellite operator is currently updating those threshold measured over one week on a daily basis and the 30 day measurement period is updated weekly.

As such, it is possible to move out of Heavy User classification under the Weekly measures in one or more days and out of the Tooway Absolute classification in one or more weeks as soon as the customer's usage falls under the threshold.

1.5. Tooway Absolute, unlimited data packages and traffic management

On our standard Tooway and Enterprise packages, most services have a capped data limit each month. This means that when that data has been used within each 30 day window, the service will effectively stop (ie. have a restricted maximum download restriction of 256Kbps) until the start of the next data cycle when the monthly capped data is replenished.

Only our Tooway Absolute service has no data cap i.e. there is no contractual data limit set in the month above which the service stops.However, the Tooway Absolute package is still subject to the FAP and so the satellite operator is able to set thresholds above which they may consider a Tooway Absolute customer to be a Heavy User in contrast to other Tooway Absolute users.

In doing so, at times of high network usage when the satellite operator applies traffic management measures, an Absolute Customer that is a Heavy User will see their service slow down when it is deprioritised against lower users as explained above. The service and the download/upload capability does not stop and out of any traffic management periods will enjoy open access to the network the same as other users. The service remains unlimited in monthly data allocation but always subject to the FAP.

In addition, as per the table in section 1.4 Tooway Large, XL and XXL have unlimited night-time usage between 23:00 and 07:00. During these hours, there is no data cap for these services but all traffic is still subject to the FAP. Even if the customer has exceeded their 30 day data cap the system will still allow unlimited overnight usage in the 23:00 to 07:00 window.

1.6. Consumer services vs Enterprise services

At present, the satellite operator has only introduced traffic management policies across the Tooway Consumer services. We have not been advised of any active criteria being applied to Enterprise services. However, all Enterprise service remain subject to the FAP.

What this means today is that at points of higher usage, Enterprise customers will simply be sharing the available bandwidth allocation between the number of active users. Hence, solely linked to the growing number of active Enterprise customers using a spot-beam at any one time, all concurrent users may see headline speeds reduce moving forward. At a point where a small number of heavy user Enterprise customers are reducing the overall network performance as measured across all Enterprise customers, we do expect some measures relevant to heavy user Enterprise customers to be applied.

1.7. Common Questions

What happens if I exceed my traffic usage, will I be cut off?
No, you will not be cut off but your bandwidth will be severely reduced until you start the next monthly cycle.

Can I buy more data if this happens?
Yes — you have two choices. If you think that you would be better suited with the data allowances on the next package, we can upgrade you quickly, usually on the same day that you ask us to. You will continue the period with the remaining pro-rata data allowance. Alternatively you can purchase 1GB, 10GB and 50GB data tokens which can be added to you account at anytime.

Can I check how much traffic I am using?
Yes, you can request a copy of your FAP graph from our support team or visit if you are a customer.

How can I check what download or upload performance I am getting?
We recommend using: this will show both the upload and download speed of your service and is designed to operate with a satellite broadband service which many test services are not.