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Fair Use Policy

A couple of weeks ago, I found on Airtel’s website that they had introduced new (unlimited) plans for broadband users. I was very excited since it meant I could upgrade to higher speeds for the same price. Unfortunately I also found out that they had imposed bandwidth caps in the guise of ‘Fair Use Policy.’ I was puzzled. Had Webster’s changed the definition of unlimited? I hurriedly googled it. No, the definition was the same, so what was this all about?

I decided to find out something about this so called FUP. What I found was horror, anger and betrayal. I’m not talking TV soap, just the reactions of consumers to the FUP. I found this petition going around with around 2000 signatories. Also one user had deciphered the FUP to layman’s language right here. Be sure to look at the spreadsheet showing deficiency in service. It would have been funny if it wasn’t so real.

As I see it, the company can either remove the unlimited plans or at least charge us half the rates for half the speeds. I do not understand in what world is it ok to charge consumers for service you aren’t providing. Since the rationale is that they cannot provide the consumers with more bandwidth than the limit arbitrarily imposed, then what are we paying the company for? Charging customers the same price regardless of service smacks of profiteering and not a genuine technical problem. It looks as if Airtel is punishing the customers who actually expect to use the service.

Apparently Airtel thinks that I need 512 kbps speeds just to browse and check my mail! If I actually use the bandwidth I need and paid for, I’m probably misusing it…they cannot think of any other reason I might want to use the Internet. What era are they still stuck in? 

I might as well check out YouTube, while I still can.

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