Airtel's Fair Usage Policy

By Abhijit Menon-Sen <ams@toroid.org>

2011-05-14

This morning, I got an email (and SMS) alert from Airtel:

Dear Airtel Customer,
You have consumed 100% of your high speed data transfer limit of 10000
MB. Now you will be getting a revised speed till the end of this bill
cycle (as per the bill plan subscribed by you) and the speed will be
back to normal at the beginning of the new bill cycle. You are still
on an unlimited plan and all your data transfer remains free.

Airtel was forced to institute a Fair Usage Policy for "unlimited" data transfer plans, because A very small number of customers use an excessive amount of the network bandwidth, to the extent that it can impair the experience of others. But …needless to mention, the usage levels set are very generous such that most customers will not be affected. And remember, they're only defining a "fair usage level", not a "limit".

I humbly apologise to everyone whose "experience" I unfairly impaired by downloading 10GB at 512Kbit/s in one month. The strain on the Airtel network must have been enormous.

But wait, there's more! The email goes on to say:

However, if you need a higher speed, you can visit www.airtel.in/sod
and subscribe to speed on demand - a service from Airtel where you
can increase your browsing speed by paying a nominal charge.

Oh good, I should have known a nominal charge could fix everything. I feel so… unlimited now.

(P.S. airtel.in/sod says "Unexpected error" when you try to sign up.)