(Un?)fair usage policy in 2023 and the cheating internet speed

The Fair Usage Policy (FUP) secretly slows down your internet speed. Photo: redmangoanalytics

The wonders of modern technology like WiFi, unlimited internet packages and mobile data plans promise to keep you connected 24/7. They live in a time when everything seems possible, from sending emails to streaming movies on demand.

It’s almost as if the Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are playing a cruel trick on you and, on the one hand, luring you in with the promise of unlimited data with the best internet speeds. It’s like going to an all-you-can-eat buffet only to be told that once you’re full, you can’t eat anything else. You paid for the unlimited plan, so why can’t 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 aren’t as unlimited as you think since the Fair Use Policy (FUP) is in effect. Sure, you might have the freedom to stream and surf to your heart’s content, but the FUP has other plans.

How does it work? Representative picture

Well, the Fair Usage Policy, better known as FUP, is the bouncer in a party when it comes to internet speeds.

Many of you have become victims of slow connections and get frustrated when downloading or uploading files with kbps despite having subscribed to high-speed internet packages. You can expect 1-hour unlimited data plans to get you as much internet use as you want in an hour, but after consuming 1GB of data, speeds drop to 256kbps, severely degrading the experience.

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According to some ISPs, with a 60Mbps internet package, you cannot exceed the 50GB daily bandwidth or your internet speed will be downgraded to 5Mbps. Generally, if you subscribe to a 60Mbps package, you can upload/download a file at around 7.5Mbps, which is not a bad speed.

However, once you exceed the 50GB daily bandwidth in a single day, your speed will drop to 5Mbps. This means your download speed will be around 625 kbps or even less. Maybe you’re just afraid to think about the frustration when a person using the internet at a speed of 7.5 Mbps finds that their internet has been throttled to 625 Kbps.

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

Nepal’s case Photo: Nepal Telecom

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

For example, for Vianet’s unlimited 60Mbps plan, data usage below 1000GB does not impose any speed caps. However, if you consume more than 1200GB of data, your internet speed will be throttled to 6Mbps. Vianet’s fair use policy also includes an increase in the fair use quota, which is between 250 GB and 300 GB depending on the package subscribed to. The same goes for almost all ISPs and any unlimited personal internet subscription.

Many of you are unaware of such a fair usage policy and may have experienced frustration when your internet slows down despite subscribing to high-speed packages or assuming you can use unlimited data within a period of time.

By the way, the ISP implements a fair usage policy to maintain the stability and constant speed among all users. It means that it has no ill intentions towards you.

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Because of this, the only way to avoid frustration is to carefully read the terms and conditions of your internet plans and keep an eye on your data usage.