Saturday, August 10, 2013

Is PLDT's (Mybro/SmartBro) Fair Usage Policy (FUP) fair?

If you are currently a MyBro (formerly SmartBro) subscriber, then you already know and experienced what I am about to tell you. But still indulge me so that you may get additional insight about the matter and please do share this article to others so that they get informed. By spreading the word, we might make PLDT/Smart to rethink about its Fair Usage Policy.

If you are not yet a MyBro (SmartBro) subscriber, you are in luck. Please read carefully and when you fully understand what has been written here you still wish to subscribe, then all the best to your browsing in the coming months.

From the TV ads, Smart has been using the term unlimited to their MyBro plan 999. No matter how you try to interpret this, it will always mean that you get unlimited internet access with up to 2Mbps. Please note of the phrase up to that just because the 2Mbps is there, mean that you will get 2Mbps internet speed. I will let other users to comment on it but just to give you a hint, a 1Mbps speed would already be very good.

myBro (SmartBro) Plan list
List of MyBro plans including their monthly data usage limit. Plan 999 and 1299 states unlimited.
But wait, let us go back to their much trumped umlimited data usage. myBro has this thing called Fair Usage Policy (FUP). What is this and why would you care? Well, because this means each month you are actually limited to only so much download and upload (combined) data per month. How much? Many says it is about 15GB a month but PLDT has a very vague description of it. Below is an excerpt of it:

"Conditions Covering Fair Usage Policy. Certain peer-to-peer and machine-to machine software/applications are used by customers to send and receive files containing very large amounts of data. These activities may cause network congestion and can negatively impact the quality of service that other subscribers will experience. myBro fulfils a service level that is based on equitable share of network resources among all of its customers. Thus, the service level and/or connectivity to users of peer-to-peer and machine-to-machine software/applications is modulated to ensure that all customers get the best fixed wireless Internet experience.
Upon reaching the optimum volume allocation for a single user, the subscriber will still be able to enjoy unlimited access to the Internet, but at a lower speed. This was implemented to manage overall internet usage and to ensure that all myBro subscribers can enjoy satisfactory internet service."
Well, to be fair, it stated that you will not get disconnected but your speed will be reduced then by the next month, all will be back to normal. But many will attest that by reduced, it means it will go down to a crawl that a dial-up would even be better. So much for unlimited huh?

The reason for such a policy they say was for them to ensure the integrity of the network so they can continue to provide a fast and reliable connectivity and that all subscribers will have fair access to network resource. How noble, but say what?!

First off, why use the term unlimited to a service that is actually limited? At least they should have the decency to say that all users are subject to myBro's fair usage policy. Why are users being penalized for their usage patterns for an unlimited service that has been promised them? Why does Smart not upgrade so they can provide better service instead of penalizing them for downloading so much for using their (I will say it again) unlimited network service? If upgrade is not an option, then don't accept anymore subscriber. Shouldn't this be more fair?

Secondly, people use the internet a lot these days. They use facebook, skype (or any other VOIP services), e-mails, youtube, online games, system/software updates, file downloads (like e-books), the cloud (iphone music for example) and yes peer-to-peer sharing. Accept that all these are just normal for a user to be doing over the internet aside from the usual Google search for a how to, what is or for the latest news/gossip. Ask anybody if it is normal to be using peer-to-peer software and you will get a resounding YES. What then, will Smart want to change this behaviour? Like I said, stop using the word unlimited that way no one will get deceived and state flat out how much data they are allowed to use each month.

As if that is not enough, they added:
"myBro reserves the right to suspend or terminate service to customers whose practices or use of the internet far exceeds that of a personal consumer and, as a result, impairs the quality of service that other customers experience. myBro also reserves the right to modify the Fair Usage Policy without immediate notice in order to maintain the integrity of its network services."
If I am to understand it, it is all up to them to do no matter what they please so that they could provide a fast and reliable service. Ah! All in the name of good service. Is that what you can call fair? Fair to whom?

How about existing subscribers prior to the implementation of the Fair Usage Policy? They were promised unlimited network access, no conditions. Unlimited, period. Why apply to them? I almost forgot, they reserve the right to modify their policy, right! Well, could Smart at least give them the right to opt out from the subscription even within the lock-in period? The answer is a resounding NO.

OK I am done babbling about this policy. But just to give some insight as to  how far a 15GB will last for an average user (note, not a power surfer) here is a summary of usage with corresponding data. Please note this are only estimates and in no way is it measured scientifically.

Youtube (1min of video = 2MB; average youtube video per month = 1350 minutes that is 45 minute video per day) = 2.7GB <- note that you can download video faster than you can play them and most times you don't watch the entire length of the video especially if that video is not what you are looking for but you have already downloaded the complete video.

Facebook (50 pictures upload/month at 6MB/picture; 15MBper page @ 150page/month; 3MB per photo view@ 400 photo/month = 300MB + 2.25GB+1.2MB or roughly 3.75GB/month.

Skype (2.2Gb/hr; 20 hours/month) = 5.5GB/month <- me and my wife use more (way more, like 4 times more, than this every month).

Online Games (approximately 50MB per hour at 50hours/month; hahaha a little more than an hour a day of gameplay but indulge me) = 2.5GB/month

System/Software updates = roughly 1GB/month

This alone will already give you 15.4GB of downloaded data and that is a very conservative estimate. How about the bits of cookies and such that are also downloaded not to mention that each page you visit, you are also uploading some data. I also have not included a user's numerous Google search as well as page visits to different sites. Note that this is only for a single computer. What if you have more than one connected via a router? And let us not forget peer-to-peer download which could easily use 10GB in a month.

Lastly, to be fair, it is also worth noting that myBro is not alone in implementing a data limit. Globe as well as others have also their own data limit.

My advise learn your surfing habit and if you think you are within this limit then you can try subscribing otherwise look for an alternative. A local ISP perhaps that has no data limit or at least higher limit? But if you don't have a choice and you are a heavy user, then I feel for you. You may try prepaid plug-it and subscribe an UNLISURF 200 good for 5 days. I have inquired through their service representative and to this day,  this is still not covered by the FUP but most of the time it is also very slow (at least in my case). Just don't buy the dongle with a very limited settings selection in its UI like MF180 and MF190 by ZTE. It automatically connect once it is plugged and there is no way you can disable its autoconnect. I have that experience with the MF180, trust me it is a pain to use. Loosing my load before I could register it to UNLISURF.

Let me ask again, is the Fair Usage Policy fair?

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31 comments

John Michle August 13, 2013 at 2:53 AM

Its really good to know about that the facts and the other informative points given here are quite considerable and to the point as well would be good to look for more of these kind.

Field Service Management Software

Anonymous

I don't think its fair because we applied for unlimited bandwidth......... i can accumulate that 15Gb for less than 10 days. I am a heavy user..... what about comp shop using this isp...... hell...... maybe they should increase their limit as much as 60Gb+ for their customer satisfaction..... i hope so

Julius Emman August 14, 2013 at 10:42 AM

Hi John, thanks and good to know that you find the points laid out here to be of value. Please do come back to find out more of this kind of posts on this blog.

Julius Emman August 14, 2013 at 10:47 AM

Hi Anonymous, I do feel for you. Which is why it would have been fair if after the revision of their policy, your previous agreement with Smart gets voided as well making the lock-in period unemplementable no more so you can terminate your subscription within getting penalized for not completing the lock-in period. Now that would have been better.

Anonymous

hi julius thanks for the info. its really unfair to subscribers since thsy sign a contract wtih smart re unlimited surfing. in fact i for one is suffering right now since i always communicate with my brother abroad thru videocall via fb. it is really slow. i talked to one of their agents and to give you info they offered me the pldt dsl at 1999. i think its a marketing strategy for existing mybro subscribers to upgrade from 999 to 1999. what a rip off

Anonymous

My data bandwidth at the moment is approx 50 GB (I used networx software). 15 GB is not true. They would like you to think that way so that you will be force to limit your usage.

John Michle September 3, 2013 at 6:26 AM

Its really informative, some facts and other points given here are quite considerable and to the point as well, would be better to look for more of these kind for efficient results.

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Anonymous

hi do you think they will allow me to terminate my subscription and contract to mybro plan 999? this smart is realy a big dissappointment so i want to stop it asap..what will be the more effective reason that i can give to them so that they won't ask me to pay the pre-termination fee and terminate it immediately? pls reply tnx.

Julius Emman September 7, 2013 at 7:46 PM

Hi Anonymous,

Regarding your termination of your subscription, I don't think they will allow that. This is one reason why many subscribers are furious, specially those that signed-up prior to the implementation of the FUP. Unfortunately, there is no other way out of it than paying the charges involved when you wish to terminate your contract within the lock-in period.

Oh! Maybe you can try telling them you are a golf buddy of MVP :) (that's just a joke).

Anonymous

Thanks for this very useful information, I was just about to apply for the 999 plan when i heard that they increased the speed to 2mbps. I was asking the agent that is currently located at a kiosk outside our subdivision on how much is the termination fee if I wanted to disconnect from their service, she told me that I have to pay the whole 24 months lock-in period if i want to terminate the connection. I was a myBro subscriber below when it is not yet advertised with PLDT, I thought that when myBro is now advertised with PLDT that they will remove the f*cking FUP. Good thing that I researched first and found this blog. I will talk again with the agent and reject her offer face to face. Thanks again for the blog.

Anonymous

this line : myBro subscriber below
should be : myBro subscriber *before*

Christian Drey September 17, 2013 at 9:19 PM

THIS!!! I love this article! New Smart subscriber from Globe here... first month palang ako into our subscription and I already reached my 15GB limit :3 Nung sa globe pa ako.. 21-25GB per month yung limit nila for the WiMax 1mpbs subscription (which in my area can reach up to 2.5mbps)....

ang labo naman ng smart LOL and I have 2 weeks of waiting until my connection goes back to its normal speed.. nakaka inis.. and I agree 15GB is really not enough.. I am so sad right now :(

Anonymous

I stopped pay smartbro years ago.. they send me this demand letter that i will be sued in court!!!, what the... I still here... no case filled agaist me.....

Elmer R. October 20, 2013 at 6:50 PM

Just bitten by this. The other sad thing is, they cant/wont/will do something about it. Sana pwedeng ma reset kapag tumawag ka sa CS.

Anonymous

Saan ba isla pwedeng reklamo na gov institution para matigil na ang pang gagago nila satin mga subcriber.

Anonymous

for now i know bout it,, goodby smartbro...its unfair to me i used it panaman in 4years,,, but i will cut my subscription of canopy,,smart,, nagtaka ako bakit humina sa bi nag upgrade [ara lumakas,, ayun pala para bumagal , yun yung upgrade nila,,,hehehehe, bulshit yung smartbro,,,baka kasali ito sa fork barrel...tara na, padesconnect na tayo sa canopy, NO GOOD SERVICE...

Anonymous

Kaya siguro bigla nalang bumabagal ang smartbro namin pag dating ng 5pm everyday. Over 3 years na kame naka smartbro pero pinaputol na namin kasi bigla nalang pumanget ang connection.

Anonymous

boss puro tayo reklamo. wala bang mmataas na tao dito para makarating sa ntc or media mga reklamo natin para magawan ng paraan? sana naman meron. thanks.1

Anonymous

wala naman papansin sa atin dahil yung mga ntc is corrupt.. even imbestigador are not checking for this concern. for all the God sake naman... they are using also ISP na tulad ng smart and globe... wala talagang gagawin sila.. i even tried to have a conversation in one of the blogger ng imbestigator. but ayaw nila makialam.. dumulog muna daw sa NTC..

eronwah wah December 29, 2013 at 9:08 AM

wala tayo magagawa policy nla yan eh .. but sana man madagdagan kahit 3gb- 5gb /day ang FUP :( masaya nako dun

tadeo andrade January 23, 2014 at 12:53 AM

khit sana madagdagan ng 5gb a day. wala nman talaga mapagreklamuhan, tama corrupt yan NTC.

Julius Emman January 23, 2014 at 10:36 AM

I really can't think of any other to this problem at the moment other than to educate fellow users and would be subscribers about the matter in the hope that they will not fall prey as I have and other like me/us. This is why there are fb pages created specifically to air their discontent and gather as much following in the hope that they might get Smart/PLDT's attention. Which is also why it is important for us who already knew to share this article or such article to our friends and/or family members for us all to be informed and make the right choice.

To be fair ISPs outside the Philippines also use similar policy the only difference is that they have much higher data cap.

Apoljuice January 31, 2014 at 12:31 AM

In fairness, you could certainly go prepaid and for about 1200 a month, you can download all you Want, no capping, no throttling, no slowing down. That's on the prepaid plug it device. Also, if you put it into a tablet, just a 3G tablet, speeds are blazing fast. Now I do all my downloading through my tablet.

Anonymous

Nung middle ata ng January 2014 ng-change ung Smartbro namin to MyBro. Lumabas ung pldt website na MyBro. Nag-browse2x ako, sabi ko "wow mabilis ah". Sige2 ako sa download ng 20+ movies (700mb each) , sige din sa youtube, facebook etc. Akala ko mabilis na talaga. Hinde naman pala, nung Feb 12, 2014 ko lang nafeel. tsk. tae tlga.

Anonymous

kung meron mang hacker i hak niyo ung site nila o anuman tapos baguhin mo ung policy nila na hanggang 100gb

Anonymous

Ganon pala. Sana pala iba na lang ang Ipinakabit namin Internet. May Limit pala. Nung una. 1 - 2 MBPS ang DL Speed nung tinest ko sa Speedtest.net tapos ngayon 0.18-0.20 na lang ang DL Speed.

Anonymous

Just now I tried surfing about the policy of mybro plan 999 because i suffered the same way. I found this page. My speed is too slow. I ask the customer service and i got the same answer. This is totally F---G hell... I grabbed this offer because of the word unlimitted. WTF. I am really disappointed with this provider. SMART? you are too SMART.. SMART of deceiving people. KAKARMAHIN SANA KAYO...

Anonymous

SHARE KO NGA SA FACEBOOK

melvin clores March 28, 2014 at 11:36 AM

WAG KAYONG GUMAMIT NG PLAN NATO KC MADAYA ANG SMART PLDT ABOUT SA FAIR POLICY USAGE...SOBRANG BAGAL AT WALANG KWENTA...!!!

Website Designer April 9, 2014 at 12:11 AM

That 15G is way too low. If it is 7Gigabite per day, I think it is ok. With our world being in digital age, 15G a month of internet badwidth usage is just WAAAAAAY too low. File sizes are getting bigger, yet internet bandwidth allowance is getting smaller. tsk...

Anonymous

hahaha! sux big time.. I already got curious about it when I downloaded a 14gb game 4th week of last month... my internet started to crawl to the max. Unfortunately.. the game didn't worked coz it needs to DL and patch the game with another 7gb DATA.... I stopped the patching process coz I have suspected my speed going down was due to this... when this month came in everything seemed fresh and "fast" but the game patch and my son's new online game (another 7gigabyter) clocked my DL usage to 14 gb... Dang. I haven't even reach mid month and I'm already smacked with slow internet.. I can't even log in to my regular onlne games anymore..

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