It seems I’m always late with catching up the latest news updates! 🙁
Anyways, according to TheMediaGuru, the Orange FAQ, particularly the sections on FUP (Fair Usage Policy) have been updated. They can be accessed here. Bear with me for the long analysis. This will probably be the last FUP article for a while, since I’m kind of tired about writing on the same subject over and over, specially when we are dealing with unreasonable limits, and unfair practices.
Here goes my dissection of the FUP:
With 1GB internet Data volume on a 1 week span, you can get:
- 5 hours of web surfing
- 150 emails (received and sent)
- 20 emails with attachment received and sent
- 5 music tracks downloads
- 10 minutes of video or trailers
- 0.5 hours of online radio
- 0.5 hours of online games
- 1 software downloaded ( average size : 100MB)
Note : these are only estimates
So now my ISP gets to dictate my usage? I’m only allowed 5 hours of browsing per week? What if I like to browse? I spend at least 10 hours per day minimum on the Internet. Browsing, checking RSS feeds, Youtube, Facebook, downloading, chatting, blogging and whatnot. All my activities take time. That would make my weekly consumption around 70 hours!
I rarely send emails, but I do sometimes download music tracks. 5 tracks per week, meaning 20 tracks per month. If a track is around 5MB, that makes 100MB in music. Agreed? Don’t come telling me a music track is 1MB unless it’s a hamster song or whatever.
10 minutes of video. In one week. Come’on! I’ve got nothing to say here! Do you watch only 10 minutes of TV per week?
30 minutes of gaming and online radio. That’s worse than the restrictions my mom used to place on me! I was allowed at least one hour of gaming per day! Orange says 30 minutes per week!
Funniest for last. 1 software downloaded. 100MB. Have they checked out the latest Linux distros that come on LiveDVDs? At least 4.5GB. Want an example? Check Sabayon. OpenSuse. So if I were to abide by this policy, I must download the 4.5GB in 4.5 chunks of 1 GB? Then I’m not allowed to browse or do anything else. Hey folks? I thought we were in the 21st century? Where filesizes in GBs were common? Where megabit links were common? Oh right, we are in Mauritius… Sorry.
1.11 why have we introduced the “fair usage policy”?
We have introduced the Fair Usage Policy in April 2008 to ensure that all our Orange ADSL customers get the best possible and most reliable surfing experience.
Picture a motorway where you should be going fast, say at 90 km/hour. Now picture a few heavy container trucks rolling along the same motorway all day every day. It’s obvious you will not be able to drive at optimum speed as you would have to share the road with those trucks.
This is similar to what is happening on our networks: those container trucks are the heavy users on our internet networks. They download very large files 24 hours a day and 7 days a week, leaving less bandwidth for the rest of you. And we think it’s unfair that you should not be getting good speeds when you surf the internet because of a small number of our users.
Bla bla motorway, bla trucks. I never knew trucks downloaded files. 😛
Good. It was education for me. I remember my driving lessons. When there is a vehicle obstructing you, there are places you can overtake right? On a motorway, there are 2 lanes, one being used mainly for overtaking? What kind of motorway is that, where I can’t overtake? Is it a 1-lane Orange motorway? People, think out your analogies before writing. Btw… is it a discrimination against container truck drivers? Are they not allowed to use the roads because they are slow?
So, here’s a speed limit (capping) on them according to this analogy. A police officer says “Hey you! You used the road too much this month! You are not allowed to go more than 20kmph then! You are CAPPED!”
WTF! If I made the truck go any slower, won’t the other drivers slow down even more? Another issue. I never knew heavy users were comparable to trucks! I thought heavy users had high-speed connections, implying…hmm Porsche? Lol @ analogy! Won’t it make sense just to widen the motorway, to say, 8 lanes so that everybody gets to use it? Trucks, cars, bicycles, pedestrians? Well… widening the motorway would imply, increasing network capacity, something which Orange doesn’t want to do apparently.
i. how do I know if I am a heavy user?
Are you a big fan of peer-to-peer and continously download large files? Then there is a great chance that you are a heavy user. For example, if you are an ADSL Home 512K customer and you download over 5,000 music tracks per month or more than 30 movies per month and keep on doing this type of download every month, then you would qualify as a heavy user. This type of download is a large amount by any normal standard of usage.
5000 music tracks, estimated at 5MB each, gives around 25,000MB. Or… around 25GB? 30 movies, assuming dvdrips, going 700MB each, makes… 21GB or so? That qualifies a heavy user as somebody who downloads around 46GB each month. Is that the cap limit? 46GB? I don’t know. It wasn’t mentioned, yet again!
ii.how will the “fair usage policy” be put into practice?
Your FUP threshold, i.e the amount of data that you can download will depend on the offer to which you are subscribed to. Monitoring of your downloads will be done on a monthly basis and if you exceed your FUP threshold over a period of 2 consecutive months, you will be subjected to FUP on the third month.
So, for example:
- you exceed the FUP threshold for your package during month 1 and 2
- during month 3, you again exceed your threshold, say on the 21st of month 3
- after the 21st until the end of month 3, you will be subject to speed restrictions
- at the start of month 4, your speed will be back to normal as long as you do not again exceed the FUP threshold
- if you are being speed-restricted quite often, then we will contact you and may advise you to move to another package that is more suited to your download needs
iii. what happens after I have been speed-restricted?
You will be moved back to normal usage the following month but you will be speed-restricted again if you exceed the set threshold. If we find that you are being speed-restricted continuously, we will contact you to propose a package more suited to your needs. Speed restrictions will depend on the package you are subscribed to
Monitoring of your downloads – Uhhh! I hate seeing this word on the Internet! It always makes me look over my back, like somebody is peeping over my shoulder! Big brother is watching folks! This says “Invasion of Privacy in progress!” in big bold letters, at least to me. What do they monitor? Your download sources? Your favourite download sites? What protocol you use? The contents of your downloads? Uhh…
Funny thing. ” you exceed the FUP threshold”. How do I even know I exceeded the FUP? There is no formal limit posted anywhere I looked. So I just download, use, download until I get a call saying “Hey bro? Know what? You just went over limit. TWICE! Now, you are dead-meat!” Is that it? Sudden death?
“as long as you do not again exceed the FUP threshold” – may I know what this FUP threshold is?? “the set threshold”? What is that threshold? I was never told of any threshold! So, is it a floating threshold, that Orange can set arbitrarily?
“If we find that you“- this reminds me of college and university! “If we find that you cheated…” and so on! Are Mauritian Internet users being treated as kids? 😛
iv. what if I need to download large files without being speed restricted?
Then you should move to another package with a higher bandwidth. The fair usage threshold for a My.T 512K is higher than that of My.T 256K, which means you are allowed heavier downloads with My.T 512K than My.T 256K. This is applicable across the board for all My.T and ADSL offers as well.
Higher bandwidth? This implies more speed. Usually more speed, implies more downloads, right? Since downloads complete faster? That’s some vicious circle to me! Download. Exceed imaginary limit. Move to higher package. Pay more. Download more. Exceed higher imaginary limit. Move to higher package. Pay even more. And so on.. Is this a new business model?
v. what if I am not a heavy user?
Then you have nothing to worry about. Even if you downloading heavily for one month but not the next, you will not qualify as a heavy user. More than 95% of our subscribers are NOT heavy users.
vi. can I track my internet usage?
Go to My Internet Account on http://www.orange.mu/my-account to check your internet usage online. You will need to enter your ADSL login and password.
So, if I download 70GB in one month, then 2 GB the next month, then 60GB the next month, then 3 GB after, I’m not a heavy user? Weird mathematics.
“More than 95% of our subscribers are NOT heavy users.” – This puzzles me. From this, I understand that 5% of the users, are causing so much damage to the network that FUP has to be introduced. Assume one user out of those 5% has a 512Kbps connection that is used 24/7. Average on 512Kbps is 50KBps. That would make around 180MB in 1 hour, and 4.3GB in one day, right? Optimistically, that would make a maximum of 129GB per month. I’ve never personally known somebody who can download this much in one month, but let’s move on. 5% of users, that would make… around 1000 users. Making a whooping 129TB downloaded per month, which indeed, is extremely heavy usage, for only 5% of users.
I think these people would really need FUP imposed on them, if ever some people who download this much in 1 month exist.
FUP might be a good thing, I don’t say no. However, the limit placed on the users must be reasonable. We are in 2008. Giga-sized files are very very common, and perfectly legit. More and more people are buying content online, and downloading high-definition media. Youtube is becoming very popular, as well as online radio. All these services require bandwidth. They need to find a right balance for their limits. I doubt people would accept anything below 20GB. 30GB seems reasonable for most users in all categories, whether MyT or ADSL.
A suggestion would be to implement restrictions only during peak hours, and release the restraints off-peak. Let our heavy users abuse the network anytime from off-peak. Then, even if they leave their downloads on 24/7, it won’t affect light users during the day, when there’s most users. It’s very unfair to see your connection capped for a whole month when you really need it, and you being treated as a network abuser because you have high usage.
I pay for my connection, I do whatever I want with it. This goes for both heavy and light users. The ISPs must be able to satisfy most of its users. It just made Rs. 2 billions in profits. It could at least spend some of this upgrading the infrastructure, right? Upgrade that Information Superhighway!
As conclusion to this long article, I’ll make a polite request to Orange to kindly reconsider the FUP terms, taking into account new services like video streaming, online radio, Web TV,… which literally EAT bandwidth, and review their limits. Even legal software updates take up a lot of bandwidth to download nowadays. And also, to tell its users what the official limits are. When you don’t know the limit, it’s very easy to go beyond it, or to cower in fear of exceeding the limit.
If you are still here, I thank you for reading. Comments & opinions appreciated. 🙂
Apparently, as far as I know, and from Information circulating on the Mauritian blogosphere,
The FUP Limit on 128Kbps ADSL is 10GB and that of the 256Kbps MyT is 3GB. This remains unconfirmed though.
Tags: Fair Usage Policy, FUP, FUP Updated, Mauritian Internet, Orange, Orange Fair Usage Policy