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Random Ramblings # 23- Fair Usage Policy = Unfair Policy

These days the trend amongst all the major ISPs and Internet providers other than the state run organizations is the fact that all of them have a fine print associated with their so called unlimited plans, in very fine print under the brightly coloured billboards there will be written conditions apply.

As a normal consumer you may begin to wonder how the hell can conditions apply when its clearly stated “Unlimited”. On closer inspection these sneaky lilttle conditions show that these companies are now implementing what they are terming as “FUP” or “Fair Usage Policy” where they offer you the high speed that you paid for and exect only uptil a certain data transfer following which they promptly will reduce your speed to nearly unusable speeds while retaining the moniker of Unlimited by not restricting your download limit, but common sense does beget the question does it not that if the speed is almost unusable then what is the point of offering a supposedly unlimited plan in the first case ?

The companies argument on this matter has a clear common thread whenever they are interviewed on this matter, they all say that this is being done to preserve the quality of the experience of using the network for all the customers as only a very small portion of the users are actually heavy users. Which in my opinion is just PR jargon for our backend systems will not be able to handle the load of actually delivering an unlimited experience and we don’t think the Indian market is worth enough to actually invest the huge sums required to pull it off.

Though as a constantly net connected citizen one does wonder that in the age of Facebook with its various applications, games and video sharing features, twitter with its constant stream of updates, youtube with its endless library of videos about everything under the sun and the hundreds of thousands of sites with highly interactive and interesting interfaces which are all data hogs can the ISPs actually afford to mislead the public in such a way and where in the blazes is the TRAI when all this is going on? Why don’t they crack down on these operators for this the same way they did with the Mobile Operators when the 1p/sec scheme was launched? Agreed that India is still a very nascent internet market which by no ways can be compared with other developed nations such as UK, South Korea or Japan but one must always consider the fact that nascent markets are the ones which have the potential to grow the most and offer the highest rewards if one times ones entry correctly and strategy correctly at the same time though this has the highest potential of backfiring when archaic policies are utilised by the companies involved because they feel that the market is small enough to be controlled by them and manipulated according to their demands as it might just set the country back by a few more years instead of propelling it into the future.

In the end though it is the end consumer who decides the path that these giants take as in the end consumer choice and demand is what they have to serve above all else so till that changes and we stand up for ourselves and demand it from them things are not going to change, The choice is ours lets see which one India makes in the days to come.

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