Hughesnet — unfair access policy
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."