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Hughesnet / unfair access policy

1 United States Review updated:

Check out the new Hughesnet "Fair Access Policy". If you use too much bandwidth than your plan allows, they shut you down. That's not new, but the punishment period is! If you exceed your bandwidth, they close down your net for a full 24 hours. Yep, if you accidentally go over your limit, you have to wait an entire day before you have your internet back.

Oh pardon (Hughesnet would be quick to remind you), you DO have internet, just at reduced speeds. Reduced speeds? Try TWO kilobytes per second. No, I'm not exaggerating; we get 2-3 kbps when we're subject to FAP (Fair Access Policy). I surfed faster in the 1980s.

The kicker? Hughesnet doesn't tell you when you're approaching your limit. There's no real-time way to look it up. And they don't provide any means of estimating how much bandwidth you might be using, when it resets, or when it might run out. Lastly, there's a nice clause about how they can keep your net shut down if you "continue bandwidth-intensive activities" while you're subject to FAP.

... So basically, Hughesnet can just shut down my internet for as long as they want, without any warning, without any conceivable way of me knowing when that's going to occur.

Great plan, guys. You need to be sued.

Hughnet's new FAP (as of April 2007) reads in part:

"The Fair Access Policy is straightforward. Based on an analysis of customer usage data, Hughes has established a download threshold for each of the HughesNet service plans that is well above the typical usage rates. Subscribers who exceed that threshold will experience reduced download speeds for approximately 24 hours.

During this recovery period, the HughesNet service may still be used, but speeds will be slower. Web browsing, for example, will be significantly slower than subscribers’ normal browsing experience. Subscribers will return to normal download speeds after the recovery period as long as they minimize their bandwidth-intensive activities. If they continue these activities during this recovery period, reduced download speeds may continue beyond 24 hours."

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Comments

  • Ho
      29th of Apr, 2007
    0 Votes

    Not only is all that true, but if you do the math the bandwidth allowed is actually LESS than dial-up. Now that they've eliminated the so-called "refill bucket," you're allowed a flat total of 200 Mb a day, which comes up to less than 1.5 kb per minute. For this, we're paying $70 a month. As soon as my contract is up, I'm going back to dial-up.

  • Je
      2nd of Jun, 2007
    0 Votes

    Oh, very strongly agree. Before the policy change on 18 April, I imagine we exceeded bandwidth limits maybe once a month with the resulting 6-8 hour inconvenient slowdown. We barely noticed it. You can pull reams of FAP reports and see NO all the way to the 18th when it abruptly changes. Hughesnet says that the new figures are real whereas the pre-18 April ones were unreliable. (Huh?!?!?) Before 18 April, things were, well, OK. But after 18 April our speed went down to a crawl and after checking out technical reasons for the slow speed, we came upon the new policy.

    I think the new policy doesn't look for a spike in usage as it used to but creates a 24 hour period and adds up. Hughesnet has the audacity to tout this as a benefit! "Just think, folks! We're giving you more--yes, you heard us--more bandwidth! Yes, now you can download software updates!" Actually, you can't. I take my laptop to work and do all the updates and downloads there because I wouldn't dare try one at home. I find it almost impossible to believe we're among the teeny percentage of bandwidth hogs. My son occasionally downloads a podcast and he used to see an English football match now and then when he couldn't get it on (US) tv. But otherwise, no downloading of movies, blogging, website FTP-ing, updating, and even any new software since 18 April. I do use Blackboard from home to read and mark student assignments but it's hard to believe that devours bandwidth.

    I believe we are a captive audience in rural Michigan so Hughesnet can do as they please and we're stuck with them. But Comcast is now only 2.5 miles away and is expanding rapidly in our direction. They will be site-surveying our place next week. AT&T also appears to be aiming for inclusive access, considering their site asks for email addresses to notify you when it's available in the area, so relief is coming, slowly. In the meantime we seem to be paying $60/month for dial-up.

    Off topic a bit but while corporate America talks a good game about responsiveness to consumers, instead the consumer is now subject to being squeezed for cash relentlessly as service is incompetent/ indifferent/ considered an unacceptable cost of doing business. Sorry for this digression. Customer care, my hind end! This company is shameful!

  • Th
      4th of Jan, 2008
    0 Votes

    My experiences have been the same as all of the other Hughesnet customers. We have been with Hughesnet for 4 years now and can't wait until we have another broadband option (hopefully very soon)! One thing we did recently that seemed to get the attention of Hughesnet is to file a complaint with the national BBB. We immediately got a response from the BBB asking for more details and what we wanted for a resolution. Since we know after 4 years of poor customer service and marginal service, the only thing likely may be restoration of our original download limit of 525 mb/day. So far, all that has been offered is a credit of 59.95 for our inconvenience, not what we want at all. We are still working at getting at least our original capacity restored.

    I recommend that everyone contract the national BBB and file a complaint. I have included a contact here;

    Mr. Kevan Tavakoli
    Trade Practice Consultant
    Better Business Bureau
    1411 K Street Northwest, 10th Floor
    Washington DC 20005-3404

    Your complaint can be filed easily online. Hopefully with everyone making a complaint, Hughesnet will finally learn that they exist because of customer like us.

    Good Luck!

  • Aw
      8th of Feb, 2008
    0 Votes

    The problem is simple. Hughes keeps adding more customers, which taxes the bandwidth on their already over-burdened satelites. Rather than use the revenue from all the new customers to add more satellites and improve service, they are simply pocketing the profits.

    Greedy corporate slugs.

  • Bi
      18th of Feb, 2008
    0 Votes

    Everyone Sucks. That's why I go to Burger King with my laptop and buy a cup of coffee and sit there all day. Well, at least until the manager comes out, or the cops show up, or I need a shower.

    /Wait
    //What?

  • Bi
      18th of Feb, 2008
    0 Votes

    Do I get my Double Cheeseburger for dissing Hughes?

  • Il
      8th of Jan, 2010
    0 Votes

    I agree will all of you their Fair Access Policy is a crock! When I first had them installed they told me my speed was slow due to the age of my computer. When I used my brand new laptop I still had the same problem. I work from home and I constantly go over their Fair Access Policy at least once or twice a week! I told them I wanted to cancel my service with them because they didn’t have the capabilities to give me the service I need. They said since I have a 2 year contract and I didn’t cancel my service within 30 days so I could not cancel my service without being charge $400! I tried to work with them by upgrading my service but no matter how much I upgraded which included giving them more money I still would go over their threshold. They told me well you could always download what you need between the hours of 2am – 7am. Who has time to get up at those hours just to download!! I feel like they are extortionist. Give me more money and I’ll give you more download capabilities or give me $400.00 and I’ll let you go.

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