Fair Usage Policy (FUP) is a policy adopted by many Internet Service Providers (ISPs). The policy helps the ISPs to reduce a user’s upload or download speed after a specified data limit is reached. Until very recently, unscrupulous service providers often marketed their plans as unlimited, while maintaining an FUP. It is important for companies to disclose such terms to subscribers.
TRAI on FUP
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) had asked ISPs to be transparent, as pe a directive issued in 2012. TRAI asked operators to inform customers about varied plans and FUP associated with them.
The directive stated that the companies should not reduce the speed beyond a certain minimum limit. It further said that the company should notify the user when 80% and 100% of the data is used.
TRAI asked companies to avoid misleading the customers with false advertisements. ISPs need to clearly disclose the details of the plans in their advertisements. They also need to provide a URL or customer care number, where subscribers may contact them with any queries.
TRAI has stated that a plan having a fair usage limit should not have the word ‘unlimited’ associated with it. However, a number of operators continue to mislead users with the word, ‘unlimited’. Users, who did not notice the fine print, later find that after reaching a certain data cap, they are only given low speeds or are charged extra to access the earlier speed.
Many telecom operators misguide the customers on varied internet plans including 3G data plans, dongle data plans, as well as broadband plans. They do not specify the limitations and extra charges of the plans. TRAI has been unsuccessful in regulating such telecom operators.
The Internet in India
The condition of internet access across the country, although improving, is still very poor. In June last year, a report from Akamai ranked India low at 115th in the world, in terms of internet speeds.
The National Optic Fiber Network (NOFN) got approval in 2011, but was only initiated in 2015. It aims to offer broadband services to 2.5 lakh Gram Panchayats and 631 districts. The Digital India program has also been launched. It plans to offer broadband services to villages, 4 lakh public internet access points, and Wi-Fi in 2.5 lakh schools and universities.
Tikona Digital Networks
Tikona Digital Networks does not lure customers with the promise of unlimited plans, but it delivers on promised connectivity. Tikona broadband is renowned for its high-speed. The Mumbai-based company strives to be transparent and ensures that customers are not misled. It complies strictly with TRAI’s regulations. Its business strategy focuses on customer value. Initiated in 2008, Tikona serves 2.75 lakh happy customers in the country. Many of them have shared their experiences in the Tikona review section.