I knew it! I knew that there was a catch behind Orange's glitzy launch! The trojan horse turned out to be a Fair Usage Policy applicable on all broadband connections! (link to the ADSL tariffs)
Here's the explanation of the Fair Usage Policy from Orange's FAQ:
1.11 why do I have a fair usage policy?
It is designed to make sure your broadband service is as fast as possible and reliable whenever you are connected.
Some of our broadband customers use file sharing software and download large files like music and videos. This uses up lots of network capacity leaving less available for others. This means that the speed of your broadband service is then affected.
i. am I likely to be affected by the Fair Usage Policy?
If you don't regularly use file sharing software or download large files from the internet it's unlikely you'll ever be affected by this policy.
ii. what will happen if my use is very high?
If you only occasionally have very high usage, we're unlikely to be concerned.
If your usage continues to be very high, we'll advise you if your usage is excessive.
Ultimately, if your usage still remains excessive, we may have reduce the transmission speed of the service whilst we monitor your usage.
iii. can I track my internet usage?
Go to My Internet Account on www.orange.mu to check your internet usage online. You will need to identify with your ADSL login and password.
What does this mean?
1. Your connection is being monitored for any type of excessive usage - not only p2p, bitorrent or file-hosting (rapidshare) downloads, but also your day-to-day usage (updates, downloads, surfing)!
2. Your connection is capped - once you go beyond your cap, you will get a slower connection.
For example in New Zealand, the Fair Usage Policy is such that if you download 2GB in a day, then your connection drops to 64kbps. & if you download 20GB in a month, then you get 64kbps for the rest of the month.
& for Orange ADSL, no one knows what's the cap limit? It may be anywhere between 100MB to 1GB - imagine having your 512k connection speed drop to 64k after having downloaded 500MB! & once you are blacklisted, you do not know for how long you'll have to endure your reduced speed - a few hours or a week?
& if you are a habitual offender, well, better try Nomad.
Recently My.T users have been witnessing stable speeds... the reason being the replacement of the Guaranteed QoS... by the Fair Usage Policy!!! (My.T offers’ tariffs)
Wanadoo Adsl was supposed to be an unlimited connection, no caps, unlimited in every sense. (except that it was affected during peaks) That was the only reason why it was highly priced for its reliability (compared to My.T).
But with the new Fair Usage Policy, there's no distinction between Orange ADSL & My.T!
So actually Orange ADSL users (like me) are the biggest fools in the world for paying Rs. 750 for a 128k connection while My.T offers a 256k + a livebox + a DVB-T receiver for the same price!?!?
While Orange has lavishly taken over Cellplus & Telecom Plus, they've also quietly stabbed all Mauritian Internet users in the back... With this capping, there's no doubt connection problems would be more widespread than ever - all our connections will attain the My.T syndrome.
I have been claiming this for a while now that Mauritius is running out of bandwidth, & this move by Orange is yet another evidence. Instead of improving the speeds & the reliability of its service, Orange is trying to curb the traffic - obviously because its network is reaching its max capacity.
Despicable spectators as we Mauritians are, we allow Orange to juice every drop of money from our pockets... Our Internet is doomed - but what else can we do? There are no competitors, Eassy is stalled... We are stuck with Orange & even lower speeds that before!
P.S.: Orange fanboys! You were very excited by Orange’s coming, no? Now... suffer!!!
Actually it might be illegal to impose new Terms to the original Wanadoo contract that guaranteed constant speed… Here's the ORIGINAL WANADOO ADSL contract terms.
Learn more about Fair Usage Policy:
Is it really fair?
BT Broadband Fair Use Policy
The FUP sucks... & because of Orange's monopoly over Internet in Mauritius, we can't do anything about it!
I’ve been browsing around OrangeProblems.co.uk & I found this:
We need to let you know that the average monthly usage on your broadband account across October and November was 64GB. This is in breach of our Fair Use Policy (please visit http://www.orange.co.uk/terms to see the policy) and it heavily affects the performance for our other broadband customers.
When you signed up for Orange broadband, you agreed to our terms and conditions which say we can suspend or terminate your account if you breach the Fair Use Policy. However, we would much rather you reduce your usage, especially at peak times, so that you won't be in breach of the policy.
So we're writing to let you know that at peak times (6pm-midnight), we may start reducing your usage by cutting down your connection speed. We'll keep an eye on the usage for a while, and if we see that it's changed sufficiently to meet our policy requirements, we may restore your connection speed during those times.
We're doing this so that we can give all our customers the best internet experience that we're able to provide.
& from other details I’ve dug out, the cap for an 8Mbps Orange connection in UK is 50GB. & if you go beyond that 50GB, you will first receive this letter & then your connection will go to 512kbps for 24/7 for a week & then 512kbps between 6pm to 12pm for an “observation” period of 3 months. If you download moderately during this period… it’s only then than you get your full 8Mbps back. & the cap limit (50GB) is contained only in the terms available to the Orange staff. No wonder Orange is the worst ISP in the UK!
& now apply it to our local context… Sounds fun, no?
Unless you want to receive a warning letter like above, it's best to stick to a download diet.
Here's a few tips:
- Download NetMeter & monitor your traffic usage.
- Try to stick to a self-imposed cap - no more than 1GB per day or 10GB per week.
- Avoid torrents. Traffic is monitored for both download & UPLOAD! Torrents require you to upload whatever you download, which will explode your bandwidth usage!
- Avoid p2p (Limewire, eMule, etc.) for the same reasons. Try direct downloads or file-hosting services (RapidShare, MegaUpload).
- Avoid multi-tasking your Internet - browsing while you are downloading (with download managers). It slows down your downloads, bytes are lost & your bandwidth usage will increase.
- Do you really need to watch that particular YouTube video? Cut down on your streaming media (videos, radios, podcasts)
- Restrain your indiscriminate attitude towards downloading! (Do you really need to download that CAM or R5? Wait for the aXXo!) & speaking of movies, in dire times, dire measures are required - drop Xvid/DivX & go for x264! Try VBR instead of 320kbps mp3s!
Note: No one knows what the daily/monthly cap is for Orange ADSL 128k, 256k or 512k. Not even the customer service (8900)! So I would advise you to tread carefully until it's revealed or until someone gets punished!
P.S: I'm waiting 2 weeks to observe what happens next... If Orange does nothing about the discrimination towards 128k users, i'm moving to My.T or Orange Livebox 256k.
edit: Inf also posted about it: Orange is here, your connection suffers!
Avinash as well: What is the fair usage policy?
Reactions from the press here: Orange ADSL getting cheaper?