How does the FUP affect me?

FIRSTLY, here are some figures to show you how it could affect you.

Here is a spreadsheet which shows how the Airtel Fair Usage Policy affect the services provided by the company to the end user.

SECONDLY, you may say to yourself (and one can only conjecture that whosoever framed this policy thought along these lines): “Who cares? This would only affect people who are downloading pirated movies, music and software. It won’t affect me.” Well, you would be wrong. The following are some legitimate uses of bandwidth-heavy internet applications, which even if you don’t use today, will definitely want to use tomorrow. Unfortunately, if the FUP is allowed to continue, you may not have the option of meaningfully using it.

Video conferencing/telecommunication – Here are a few possible uses of this technology:

  • Video chat for families that are spread over the globe to keep in touch with each other.
  • Companies could conduct job interviews anywhere in the country. So sitting in Delhi, you could interview for a job in Bangalore, without having to fly/train it there.
  • Companies and businesses could use it for conference calls between their different branches spread across the word.
  • It is also quintessential for students who are enrolled in e-learning courses to virtually ‘sit’ in a classroom.
  • Video streaming is increasingly being used as an educational tool enabling a person sitting in any remote corner of this country to get the latest cutting-edge education. In fact our very own IITs and IIMs offer such educational videos which require a very high speed unlimited internet connection. In addition, it also allows the common Indian student to enroll in online education courses from universities and institutions around the world. For example, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, which is undoubtedly one of the finest and most renowned educational institutions worldwide, offers such videos and programs through its “MIT Open Courseware” website. One can appreciate the value in our country of a student sitting in a village being able to read lecture notes and watch videos of actual MIT courses.

    Distribution of legitimate software – You would be well aware of the cost advantages of using the internet as a distribution medium by companies making software. Progressively, more and more companies will sell their software products at a cheaper rate (or even free!) but only so long as the end-users have the ability to download large installation files without the apprehension of being penalized for doing so. For example, the emergence of Linux as a formidable Operating System would never have happened if it was not for the collaboration of tens of thousands of users, downloading huge distribution files every week, which was possible only because of an “unlimited Internet.”

    Legal distribution of movies, music etc. – You would be well aware of the tremendous potential of the Internet as a marketplace for both independent artists offering their art for free, as well as for big studios who have realized that the internet has immense potential as a marketplace. The success of iTunes, Netflix, and other online media services, only serve as a reminder that online distribution is the future of the media business.

    Work from home – The Internet today enables millions of people to work from home by connecting to and collaborating with associates and clients all around the globe. The work from home formula is so successful that not only are people capable of earning livelihoods working solely from home, but many multi-national companies are encouraging their employees to work from home as it not only makes them happier, more productive, well-rounded employees, but also saves the companies millions of dollars every year.

    Connecting businesses – The Internet today enables businesses abroad to productively collaborate with businesses in India. In fact, without the Internet, the BPO, KPO, LPO etc. boom would never have reached our shores. Companies and firms abroad cannot have a meaningful commercial interaction with India in terms of back office work, without the presence of unfettered high-speed broadband internet.

    VOIP – Voice Over Internet Protocol, simply put, is an alternative to traditional voice communication technology. The average internet user would recognize this as “Skype.” As you are well aware, VOIP is emerging as a technology in the mainstream with a tremendous potential to revolutionize the telephone industry. Curbing download/upload speeds virtually renders this technology useless. Read more about VOIP here.

    THIRDLY, even if you are not an Airtel user, the very existence of the FUP serves as a dangerous precedent for other ISPs to follow suit.  It also gives leeway for ISPs to start controlling how end-users use the internet.  Today it is putting “caps” on unlimited internet plans.  Tomorrow, it would be restricting which sites you can view and which you cannot.

    27 thoughts on “How does the FUP affect me?

      1. Mobeen

        i agree with u brother… airtel does dth… i think they just want to stop people from consuming media through any other means. Plain and simple…

    1. S.Sujit

      The Fair Usage Policy or rather call it the Unfair policy of Usage is ridiculous and makes us feel going backwards like the rationing and license raj.I will not have peice of mind if tehre is any quota for downloads and eacch individual’s needs differ. The very reason I went for this UL plan was that I will be able to download unlimited amount at 1MP speed.I request Airtel to reconsider this new rationing system and revert the original plan. Failing which we will surely look for alternate ISP providers. I have already enquired and also learnt the procedures to close my current Airtel account.

      1. Simar

        I do think that Sujit is correct. I chose a plan which offered me good speed and i thought i could download as much as i want but after sometime bam! now instantly one day airtel messages me saying that I exceeded the FUP quota. Now i wont get speeds till the next billing month, I really do think that airtel should reconsider this plan.

    2. Manoj

      I will surely cancel the connection if they ever tried this option, I will love to be without internet connection if I dont get any other ISP but I will not use such plan with FUP thing.


      1. sahadeb

        FUP is totally unfair policy. It is a policy to mint the extra money without providing better connectivity.

    3. Mohankumar

      After my huge support for airtel iam now thinking to switch to some other ISP. So bad airtel just thinking of how many customers does airtel is going to loose.

    4. Karthik

      I will surely look for a different service provider, no point sticking with Airtel anymore. Not even an intimation regarding it.

    5. Ellimist

      As stated, the successful implementation of FUP will provide a clear indication to other ISPs that they can get away with implementing similar policies without a public backlash.

      However, Airtel, supposedly being the first to implement such a policy, is very likely to experience a significant reduction in their customer base. Such has been the case in other countries, where ISPs that throttle speeds have a significantly low user base than ISPs who don’t.

    6. Sachin

      I dont think this petition will change Airtels fair usage policy.Because they are thick skinned fools who are hell bent on ruining their customer base.This petition is just a waste of time and peoples energy.Even complaining to the TRAI is not going to help.PLAIN AND SIMPLE ITS A WASTE OF TIME,THEY HAVE MADE UP THEIR MIND AND NOT GOING TO CHANGE IT……..

    7. Airtel Owner

      Now i am using airtel postpaid and next itself i planned to use it from BSNL and not from airtel

    8. sankar

      Apart from BSNL which companies are the competitors for AirTel in this field ? The prices of AirTel connection is much more cheaper than Vodafone or Hathway in Chennai. AirTel user base has swollen a lot due to BSNL’s pathetic service and no equal competition at all. The end of this nonsense by AirTel is likely only when we have a healthy competitor.

    9. Kshitij Sinha

      Reliance Broadband seems good. But even that has been a prey to various rumours that its thinking of implementing their own FUP. How true is that only time will tell.

    10. Shrikant

      FUP was never a good idea
      on a very generic note if you look at all the private enterprises – who are there to make money at the cost of service quality – they are all getting away with all their malpractices because they know how poor the Indian legal system is and the poor consumer will have to – if he even dares to think – fight for the rest of his life if legal issues are taken up against such powerful companies.
      this is also true in terms of power distribution esp. from companies like Reliance which are squeezing people under the context of one or the other charges.
      FUP is definitely like a noose and not a collar in the neck of the dog which one could tighten any time to choke off ones use of the internet. This policy is at the cost of people’s hard earned money.

      If we talk of liberalization, Indian consumer is facing a double whammy.. the global forces are giving us more choices which is very confusing but at the same time, the quality of all those choices is deliberately being kept very low so that every one gets trapped into this consumer mentality and we end up lapping up whatever pieces of crap they throw at us.
      The Indian legal system needs to get more up with times to help the consumer and the common man.

      FUP needs to GO ..

    11. Jagannath A

      Instead of screwing every customer, they should just watch for any abnormal usage patterns for finding out just the handful of abusers if there are any. They should make an intelligent and robust system instead of these foolish gimmicks to increase their bottomline. FUP is not Fair Usage Policy.. it is F**k U Policy.

      1. Nitin

        with due respect to your comments, how do you exactly define the abnormal usage patterns? When one is paying for an "Unlimited" bandwidth, is the "unlimited" word not enough? If there was no such plan called "Unlimited", i assure you that none of us here would have been posting their comments :) This is the service provider's incompetency to keep up to the customer's/consumer's growing demands even when they're already ripping money off their customers/consumers.

    12. Chandan R

      Firstly not being informed that the FUP will be active is a bitch. India already lagged behind in internet speed service, when other countries have speeds like 64mbps, what India had to offer was 8mbps, which had a limit on it. Internet rates is a blasphemy in India, outside it is dirt cheap. But who cares, we are ready to pay whatever, give us the goddam speed and unlimited internet back. This is definitely a step backward for India, my internet speed now is what i used to have 7 years back. What the hell, who would agree to this crap. I hope they revoke this policy asap, before they drive people nuts. All this corporate bullshit, hope our country moves forward, rather that backward.

    13. Saurabh Sharma

      I have the swift1099 plan. And I remember Airtel website quoted about 100 GB of usage as download cap.
      Being reduces to 15GB is obviously reuction in services without reduction in FEE !!!!
      Now this is a scandal. They should either restore our service or reduce their price.
      See, a cap from 100GB right down to 15 GB is not acceptable.

    14. Shalini Advani

      Airtel tells me that this is a TRAI policy and not theirs. They say all providers have to do this absurd rationing. Does anyone know if this is true? Or is it just smooth sales talk?

    15. Ritesh

      Cut all the stuffs…I have got just one simple thing to say.. while several technologically backward nations are providing unlimited broadband services @ a very high speed and much cheaper price, without any such “FUP” crap. FUP is nothing but another strategy of making more money out of consumers… that is how they force you to buy top ups so that you enjoy the speed.. WHAT DOES UNLIMITED PLAN MEANS THEN?… It is a shame that being a nation with one of the widest electronic networks, multiple service providers for air and wired lines, on top of it.. a nation which is known as the largest hub of IT solution…. we are still living with the “namesake” broadband services… enough for the world to mock… How they fool us? well … I bet that more than 35% of the broadband users are still not aware that the Bandwidth and Download speed are two different things… Bandwidth ideally means a pipe through which a certain volume of data can pass and download speed means the significant amount of data getting downloaded through the bandwidth in lesser time than usual.. the ratio that we have been constantly coming across, as told by the service providers about the dependency of download speed against the bandwidth, which is 1:8 is bull shit… besides…the term used by them as “upto 8 mpbs / 2 mbps” is greater crap than that. There has to be a committed download speed!… although in a 2 MBPS plan they ought to say that one would receive not less than 128 kbs of download speed, it ideally don’t go beyond 40 – 70 kps… no matter how neat and advanced your computer technically is. Which I would call is a breach of trust. 2MBPS line doesn’t means a shared 2MBPS line… because it is running on ADSL technology and is ain’t no cable internet supplied through cat cables. If your service provider says that you have subscribed for 2 MBPS plan, it means you must get the download speed on an average, which is at least 1 mpbs. Depending upon the conditions of being a tropical place, let’s say… 500 kbps at least since the data transmission gets affected due to heat conditions and wireless congestion too…. How ever… I don’t remember I have ever seen such a great download speed anywhere in India, so be it of any self proclaimed “high quality” service provider.


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