The charges are designed to help fund the soaring costs of international Internet access from the UK. Over the past four years access costs have risen from £1 million ($1.7 m) to £7 million ($11.1 m). However, the speed at which UKERNA has introduced charging has caught many departments by surprise. UKERNA calls the new fees "token charges" and hints that, in the future, different levels of bandwidth speed will be charged at different rates. Under the new scheme, for example, there is no access charges between 1am and 6am.

UKERNA hopes to raise between £2.2 and £2.6 million from the charges - about 10 percent of its annual budget. And in the long term the organization hopes to receive over 30 percent of its income from charging.