A number of recent developents in the IT world have encouraged me to finally write this post. In Mauritius, the cost of Internet access for customers has fallen quite a bit in recent years. Connection speeds have doubled a couple of times in the past years, which is very good.
As you probably know by now, Orange has announced a price cut on its ADSL packages, and a speed-doubling measure on its MyT packages. The discussions have been raging on for the past few days on various fronts, including Twitter and CarrotMadman6’s Article on the price cuts.
MyT users are probably rejoicing by now. ADSL users too maybe, but probably in a lesser measure. I’m an ADSL user. I’m definitely not rejoicing. I believe Orange has successfully performed corporate tricks on its users, and has come out with a profit, all while announcing the price cuts / speed boosts.
Let me begin with the more obvious of the ripoffs:
Orange (and Mauritius Telecom), have just announced our Christmas gift for the year 2010: ADSL users can expect a reduction in prices and MyT users will see their current speed doubled. The changes will start taking effect as from 1st December 2010.
Update 0: I put this as Update Zero because it’s most important: MyT Users with NO TV option will get neither speed boost NOR price cut, as confirmed on TheMediaGuru’s comment section. You will have to pay Rs. 999 (Rs. 151 extra!) if you want more speed.
Update 1: According to the user “Sab” on TheMediaGuru’s article (see link below), there won’t be any speed boosts for ADSL users, only the Rs. 100 reduction in prices.
Update 2: The price decrease / speed boosting is not pleasing everybody. There are some complaints coming from Jeyen Chellum and ACIM that Orange has done something weird or how it was ICTA’s role to announce the price cuts. I’ll admit, I didn’t understand what the problem was myself. Moreover, commenters on the L’Express article would prefer a price-cut over a speed boost. I personally prefer a speed boost over a price cut. I am opening a poll for you to answer this question.
Update 3: FUP no longer applies to MyT. Not that it was ever applied…
Update 4: You may be interested in this article too…
Here is a summary of the changes for ADSL (All prices are Vat Inclusive):
- ADSL Home 256 Kbps(3GB Cap Limit): Rs. 499 → Rs. 399
- ADSL Home 512 Kbps: Rs. 848 → Rs. 759
- ADSL 128 Kbps for Rodrigues: Rs. 499 → Rs. 399
- ADSL Business package prices fall by 10%. New prices will probably be:
- ADSL Business 256 Kbps: Rs. 1840 → Rs. 1656
- ADSL Business 512 Kbps: Rs. 2875 → Rs. 2587.50
- ADSL Business 1 Mbps: Rs. 5750 → Rs. 5175
- ADSL Business 2 Mbps: Rs. 10235 → Rs. 9211
- Dedicated Lines fall by 24%
MyT prices remain unchanged, but the speed doubles:
- MyT 512 Kbps → MyT 1 Mbps
- MyT 1 Mbps → MyT 2Mbps
- MyT 2Mbps → MyT 4Mbps (!!)
MyT will also offer 3 new channels – Boing, MCM Top and Motor TV and add more titles to its Video on Demand service.
There is no word yet on whether the speed doubling will be applied to existing ADSL users (like me). I hope the Christmas gift comes to us ADSL users too. I’ll update this article as more details surface.
If you have any more information, please do share!
Hat-tip to TheMediaGuru for sharing the initial news.
I did say I was going to blog about Orange some time again. There was a news item that told how Orange suggested that prices remain constant and that speed increases, and ICTA wanted that prices fall while speed remains constant, which is plain stupid. However, something nicer appeared on the front of Le Mauricien today (Edit: Today = 26th Feb 2009, I am blogging this article after midnight).
If the news is correct and if what it says really happens, we are going to have a 35-45% price fall in ADSL prices. Do you believe that? A friggin 45% decrease in ADSL prices! MyT is going to follow soon according to that same article! New prices applicable as from 1st March 2009!
Seriously, this is wicked cool. Is it really? Wait a bit, you will see.
There is something I didn’t catch. There is X allowance (X is an integer) and Fair Usage Policy (FUP). I think allowance is a quota where you pay more after exceeding it, while fair usage, you don’t pay but speed falls. That’s me, so don’t consider these words to be a fact.
First lemme give you the prices and other stuff. Everything below refers to ASDL, so no MyT’s for now. 128K refers to 128K ADSL. All prices exclude VAT. Got it?
128K home (1 GB allowance) goes to 256K with 3 GB allowance. Price goes to 434 from 650. 33% fall.
Nothing yet for 128K home (with FUP). It was not mentioned in the article, saying the info was not obtained from MT.
512K home (with FUP) falls to Rs. 750 from the current Rs. 1360.,
The very best news now: There is a new package! 1 Mbps (with FUP) priced at Rs. 1360! That’s the price of the old 512K connection! Theoretically, you can now get twice the speed for the same price!
Then for ASDL Pro, for those who interested. Vat Included I think.
256K goes to Rs. 800 from Rs. 950 (3GB cap).
512K goes to Rs. 1300 from Rs. 1540.
For Rodrigues, same thing for ADSL home. For ADSL home 256 goes to Rs. 1600 from Rs. 1860.
Personally, I think this is good news. If not for the ridiculously low capping. (3GB on 256? Seriously? That’s less than a Linux distro DVD!) I also appreciate the introduction of the fair-priced 1 Mbps and I might even consider moving to that one when the new price policies start. That’s how 1 Mbps should have been priced from the very start! Now I can call it accessible. And I can finally thank Orange for listening to me: More speed for the same price. They did just that. I don’t know why ICTA was initially rejecting that, but they were not being rational.
Also, as you noticed, the FUP does not tell what exactly is the limit. I’d greatly appreciate some more information on that. Not this time I guess.
I am done now. Let’s hear your views. Happy? Not happy? What about the capping? Fair? Fair Usage Policy? Love it? Hate it? Suggestions?
Today (Today = 27th Feb 2009), news about MyT offers came out, and it’s very good news for them: Their speed doubles for the same price! 256K users will now have 512K. 512K will have 1Mbps and 1 Mbps will have 2 Mbps! Amazing!
Some new offers were also added, such as a MyT 512K with added TV channels (15 of them) for Rs. 999 / month. There will also be a 2Mbps offer will be available at Rs. 2999/month!
However, as Morinn has pointed out, there must be a catch!
I believe personally have two theories. Either Orange had the possibility to offer those speed and prices from the very start, but for some weird reason, they did not.
Or the more sombre reason: Capping and FUP will now be strictly enforced. As you probably noticed, for some users, even if they exceeded the unknown FUP limits, their speeds were not affected. I don’t know the limits, but I guess they must be around or less than 10GB. The question is: how can Orange offer twice the speed to all users, without making any upgrades to their networks or buying more bandwidth on the SAFE. Maybe I have missed something that was announced, or that it was done internally, but without upgrades, there is no logical way this can be done! Unless capping is strictly enforced.
This will keep heavy downloaders from leeching all the bandwidth, and redistribute the saved bandwidth to other users.
This is just a supposition, but a terrifying one none the least. We don’t know the limits, and therefore, don’t know when or how we are going to be capped.
Also, a commenter mentioned that 3GB capping. There seems to be a difference between capping, properly said, and Fair Usage Policy. As I said above, the “capping” policy is that if you go over the limits, you pay for additional MB’s downloaded. Whereas for FUP, it’s just that your speed decreases. Probably some kind of limit imposed, or that your connection is given less priority.
Another scarier issue: if capping (as in speed reduction) is enforced, it means that connections of users will be monitored to know what they are doing, how much and what they are downloading and from where. All this is just suppositions, but isn’t this called invasion of privacy?
Btw, remember how I was ranting about how my speed on Rapidshare was breaking and resuming every 4-5 seconds? It’s back! My download manager reports a download speed, but my router lights don’t flash. Ewww!
Note: My connection was automatically upgraded to 1Mbps today. I am having around 90-95KBps even 100+ KBps download speeds! AMAZING!! I noticed my upload went to 256 from 128! (Here I come, online gaming!!)
Ok, I stop here now to let you folks talk. I’m out of ideas. Let’s hear yours! 😛
Finally, the issues about FUP have hit the local newspapers! Guru just sent me a scan of the article, and here it is, for you to feast on!
This article brought me out of my temporary blogging hibernation (due to exam), but had to blog on it! I couldn’t resist! I must thank News On Sunday for publishing the article and Yannick Rivet for reading Mauritian blogs, and considering our opinions. At least, we now know that Mauritian bloggers are being taken seriously!
Btw… Congrats CarrotMadMan! Your title (Stab in the back) goes to print! 😀
Here is Mr. Avinash Meetoo’s heavily commented and discussed post about FUP. I’m really sorry since I forgot mentioning this great article.
I dunno how that Orange
propaganda brochure (as if there wasn’t enough Orange advertising already) landed at my place, but I thought I’d look through it. And guess what? It lands on GeekScribes! I ain’t got a scanner, so bear with the cam-pic quality! Here’s the cover:
Take that orange fans! :/
The company is here, and as soon as it lands here, it starts changing things. Sometimes for the best, most of the time, for the worse! Read on!