NIXI root cause for implementation of <<<***FUP***>>> by all major Indian ISP's


Founder, Hayai Broadband
Jun 22, 2009
^^^then what does the gateway do? is it like having a store without any supplies .:silly:

...No. It allows them to provide international data services that only a few ISPs in India can currently offer. How they do that is up to them, whether it's purchasing bulk capacity on an existing cable system and reselling it, buying in to an existing cable system, or building their own.

Anurag Bhatia

Jun 28, 2013
Hi folks

While yes NIXI has been quite inefficient and recent move of x-y surely helps. But I won't call it for the reason of FUP. A very large amount of current traffic flows outside of NIXI because traffic flow is no more between ISPs but from content players to eyeballs ISPs. NIXI doesn't allow content players (because it does not allow any network to peer without a license) but there are some good private as well as non for profit exchanges now which are helping with interconnection.

A large of networks like Google, Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, and more have PNIs (Private Network Interconnects) with ISPs where they see a fair amount of traffic (usually in 1Gbps+ levels) and for small ISPs, they mostly peer via exchanges. Mumbai has now become a key hub for interconnection of the content players with eyeball ISPs.

Anyways, returning to the original question - the reason for FUP.
There are a few:

  1. Large ISPs like Airtel, BSNL etc came with old copper-based infra with limited speeds. They mostly were doing very low FUP until recently as many of you would recall. The overall system capacity on those copper lines was quite limited and more the people use them together, more the interference is between tightly packed copper strands. Thus likely some MBA profile person sold them an idea of 95% or so odd users using very low (say ~60GB a month) and hence it's just remaining 5% users causing all the strain. Hence just cap and keep them in check.

  2. Besides last mile, a large part of present broadband infra whether from large telcos or small ISPs (all excluding Jio) ride over NLD circuits of large telcos (Airtel, Vodafone, IDEA, Powergrid, Railtel etc) and a large part of that infra is TDM based which is expensive to maintain, gives limited capacity. Thus selling usually done in STM1 levels (155Mbps). That again discourages traffic and pushes various networks to limit traffic via FUP. Upgrade of that infra to all IP with DWDM costs a lot and upgrades aren't easy on a live network. Think of how many devices one has to upgrade say for a link between Delhi-Mumbai?

  3. A threat from OTT players. Various networks in India saw how "cord cutting" happened in developed markets and hence very high-speed data with no FUP can encourage people to quickly move away from cable TV (and DTH) offering to OTT. While I would disagree but a large number of ISPs hate to become dumb pipes and even though the move to OTT is happening at a reasonable pace now, various ISPs do not want to heavily encourage it.
Oh, and btw Jio also seems to be talking of FUP whenever they talk of their fixed line plans. I heard there's no hard FUP as yet but still being mentioned. For them, the reason might be very high speed out of shared GPON OLT port. Remember each OLT port has 2.5Gbps bandwidth which is shared/split across users. One can split it into as many 1:128 users but then you can't offer 1Gbps to each. One can surely do say 1:64 and give 100Mbps-500Mbps to each user assuming that no one will really saturate their pipes for long and would stay happy with apps like speed test. :)

With that being said, smaller ISPs in larger cities (where they can get direct dark fibre to well-connected datacenter) can offer no-FUP plans as they can offload 7-80% of traffic via peering and as long as they do not offer speeds above 100Mbps, it's unlikely no-FUP will cause any harm to them.