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UK consumers need to ensure they check the fine print when contemplating any low-cost broadband deal, it has been claimed.

Tristia Clarke, Commercial Director at TalkTalk, warned that in some cases, customers may be heavily penalised for exceeding their monthly usage allowance.

She explained that with many of the cheapest broadband deals available, consumers receive only a very small data allowance.

"Ofcom found that British broadband households download an average 17GB per month yet some cheaper broadband packages only permit 10GB of data use over a month," Ms Clarke stated.

"The financial repercussions of exceeding internet data limits are significant. For example BT charges £5 per every 5GB extra used, so even if you go slightly over the limit you will still be charged the full amount."

She claimed that in the worst cases, households are being forced to pay an additional £40 per month for exceeding their usage allowance.

Ms Clarke said that TalkTalk's "generous" unlimited broadband data allowances do not constrain internet use and provide real value for money.

And with people using the internet more and more - for web-based services such as IPTV - she claimed this is all-important.

Consumers have peace of mind that they will not be hit with a surprise bill, Ms Clarke stated.

"We urge customers to read the fine print on any low-cost broadband offer to check that it really is offering the value that it is promising and you are not being heavily penalised for going over your data allowance," she added.

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