(Un?)fair usage policy in Nepal: Know why your internet speed is cheating you

Fai Usage Policy (FUP) Photo: redmangoanalytics
The fair usage policy (FUP) secretly makes your internet speed go down. Photo: redmangoanalytics

The wonders of modern technology such wifi, unlimited internet packages, and mobile data plans promise to keep you connected 24/7. You live in an age where anything seems possible, from sending emails to streaming movies on demand.

It is almost like the internet service providers (ISPs) are playing a cruel joke on you, luring you in with promises of unlimited data with the best internet speeds on the one hand. It is like going to an all-you-can-eat buffet, only to be told that you cannot have any more food once you have had your fill. You paid for the unlimited plan, so why cannot you have all the data you want?

But wait, is anything really unlimited in this world? As it turns out, even your beloved wifi and “unlimited” internet packages are not as unlimited as you think because the fair usage policy (FUP) is in effect. Sure, you may have the freedom to stream and browse to your heart’s content, but the FUP has other plans.

How does it work?

Representational image

Well, the fair usage policy, more popularly called the FUP, is the bouncer in a party in case of the internet speeds.

Many of you have fallen victim to slowed connections, experiencing frustration when downloading or uploading files at kbps despite subscribing to high-speed internet packages. You may assume that one-hour unlimited data packages allow you to use as much internet as you want within an hour, but after consuming 1GB of data, the speed falls back to 256 kbps, degrading the experience significantly.

According to a few ISPs, if you have a 60mbps internet package, you are not allowed to cross the daily bandwidth of 50GB, or else your internet speed will be downgraded to 5mbps. Elaborating a bit more, if you have subscribed to a 60mbps package, you can generally upload/download a file at the speed of around 7.5mbps, which is not a bad speed.

However, as soon as you cross the daily bandwidth of 50GB in a single day, your speed will be degraded to 5mbps. It means your download speed will be around 625kbps or even less than that. You may be just scared of thinking about the frustration when a person using the internet at the speed of 7.5mbps realises that their internet has been throttled down to 625kbps.

Don’t you think it is like going from driving a Ferrari to a golf cart in the blink of an eye?

Nepal’s case

internet fair usage policy
Photo: Nepal Telecom

Most unlimited personal internet subscriptions in Nepal also have a limitation due to the fair usage policy.

For example, for the 60mbps unlimited plan from Vianet, data usage of less than 1000GB does not attract any speed restrictions. However, if you consume more than 1200GB of data, your internet speed will be throttled down to 6mbps. Vianet’s fair usage policy also includes an increase in the fair usage quota, which ranges from 250GB to 300GB, depending on the package subscribed to. The same is with almost every ISPs, and every unlimited personal internet subscription.

Unaware of such a fair usage policy, many of you might have experienced frustration when your internet slows down, despite subscribing to high-speed packages or assuming that you can use unlimited data within a certain time frame.

By the way, the ISP introduce a fair usage policy to maintain stability and constant speed among all the users. It means it does not have any bad intent targeted against you.

That is why the only way you can save yourself from getting frustrated is carefully read the terms and conditions of your internet plans and keep your data usage in check.

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Pokhrel is currently a student and a part-time bug bounty hunter.

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