Monday, June 6, 2011

Wi-tribe drops the cap, really?

Wi-tribe says that they are dropping the cap.

 source

Even the wi-tribe website has been redesigned. There is a big new graphic with the word "unlimited". Its also seen in newspaper ads.


Also, the fair use policy page seems to have been changed. It now says,


What is the Fair Usage Policy?
The Fair Usage Policy as stipulated in your Subscription Terms & Conditions are:
4. SUBSCRIBER DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
i)        Subscriber acknowledges that the wi-tribe Internet Bandwidth is shared among all wi-tribe subscribers and it may be necessary for wi-tribe to regulate Service to a very small number of extremely heavy users for the protection of other subscribers and to ensure fast and reliable Service.  Subscriber thus agrees that the Service is subject to wi-tribe’s Fair Usage Policy posted at www.wi-tribe.ph.  Subscriber undertakes to keep himself informed of any changes to the Policy by visiting said site periodically.
ii)      Subscribers who breach the Fair Usage Policy may experience a reduction in the upload and download speed and/or suspension or termination of the Service, even without notice to the Subscriber.
iii)     If Subscriber subscribes to a Subscription Plan that does not impose limits on the amount of data that may be downloaded or uploaded during a month, such “unlimited” plans are nevertheless subject to the Fair Usage Policy. The term “unlimited” means that wi-tribe will not place a limit on how much data Subscriber uploads or downloads during a month or other particular period, however, it does not mean that wi-tribe will not take steps to reduce Subscriber’s data rates during periods of congestion or take other actions described in the Fair Usage Policy when Subscriber’s usage is negatively impacting other subscribers.
Why do you need a Fair Usage Policy?
Whether an internet provider sends the information from a DSL, cable or WiMax connection, customers are sharing bandwidth – the total amount of data that can be transmitted and received by the internet provider for your neighborhood.
That means that you, and all of your neighbors who are accessing the same website or are using the same broadband internet provider, are splitting the potential amount of information that is delivered to each home.
While the vast majority of our customers use our services considerately and their usage levels during peak hours don’t disproportionately affect the shared network capacity, we know that a very small number of subscribers use an excessive amount of network bandwidth at peak time. Those users engage in substantial continuous download activity of a level greatly exceeding the normal levels for a residential service, to an extent that can impair the performance of the network, decreasing thereafter the speed of the broadband service available to all other users.
To guarantee that all the subscribers of wi-tribe have an enjoyable experience while using the Internet, wi-tribe has put in place the Fair Usage Policy  to ensure that there is an optimal service for all subscribers and that the service is fairly used by everyone.
Am I likely to be affected by the Fair Use Policy?
If you don’t use file sharing software or download large files frequently from the Internet, it’s unlikely you’ll ever be affected by this policy. Don’t forget that media streaming, including the streaming of internet radio contributes to your use of bandwidth and may, if left permanently on, cause you to be in breach of this policy.
All we ask is that you do so considerately. To get the best speeds, we encourage you to do your heavy downloading during the off-peak hours of 12am to 6am.
What will happen if my use is very high?
For frequent excessive high usage, we may suspend your service and/or possibly close your account. We don’t want to do that, and with your support and goodwill we’ll work with you to see how we can avoid this happening.
If you find that your Internet needs have increased, we suggest that you upgrade to the next higher plan, which will offer even better speeds and freedom of use.
What can I do to keep my usage on a normal level?
To help avoid this happening in future, here are some simple tips that would help manage your usage.
1. Avoid leaving your PC/Laptop on when not using it.
• All sorts of data is often sent to / from your PC to websites and software suppliers.
Turn off the pc when you are not using it, or at least disconnect from the internet.
2. Avoid opening multiple pages in your browser and leaving them open.
Web pages are continuously refreshing and updating, and leaving multiple pages open in your. browser will mean that images, videos and banner advertising are continuously pumped to your machine.
Close web pages that you are not using.
3. Avoid regular movie downloading.
Movie and music files tend to be very large.
Avoid regular movie downloading or at least do this in moderation. One movie every week or two is fine.
4. Avoid regular sharing / downloading of large files such as peer to peer file shares for music, videos, software, and games.
At a minimum, ensure you are using a zip file, which is compressed files, for large file transfers. Spread your file sharing over the month rather than having a heavy download over a few days.
5. Limit automated software updates.
Your PC/Laptop operating system and other software may have automatic updates turned on, which means it is using your Internet connection even when you are not aware of it.
Ensure you turn off any automatic updates on software you are using, and only allow updates that you need.
By following these tips you will help ensure everyone including yourself will enjoy the great speeds that we are committed to offering our customers.

My memory isnt what it used to be but, I could have sworn that the old FUP page used to list the gig limits for the plans.







However lets read between the lines. They said
but that it will also put in place its Fair Usage Policy to curb abuse of network bandwidth.
and
Despite dropping its data usage cap, Burckhardt said that wi-tribe will exercise its right to implement the Fair Usage Policy as a necessary tool for the broadband industry to survive.
and
"For very heavy user, there will be caps that we will be implementing. Nobody will receive less than what they have in the old plan. We will monitor it every day," he stressed.

However, Burckhardt did not disclose a definite usage volume for a subscriber to get a heavy user tag, nor did he reveal the particular consequences of going beyond the threshold other than saying the connection speed will be “throttled down."

He said wi-tribe has a system that is checking every customer's bandwidth usage, and that will be consequences that will be triggers should any one user exceeds and encroaches too much on the overall network bandwidth.

There are several possible interpretations. All are speculation since this is a new development and the details are still getting sorted out:

1. Whenever the network gets congested, those who used the most will be throttled first.
2. They will keep an extra special watch on known heavy downloaders and if they exceed a limit, their speeds get throttled until the end of the month. The actual gigabyte limit would probably be flexible/variable depending on network conditions and probably secret from the general public.
3. Of course, they could be sincere, with no hidden agenda or double speak

#1 would be easy to test. Get 2 neighbors who have wi-tribe. One is a light downloader. One is a heavy downloader. Wait a few months so that wi-tribe can log their average use then whenever the heavy downloader gets a speed reduction, check with the light downloader if he or she has normal speeds

#2 would also be easy to test. Get a light downloader and after several months, suddenly download a LOT consistently and see what happens over several months


The news article also says:
"The beauty is because we're small, we can be much more nimble and smart with how we [implement it]," Burckhardt said. "One of the joys of coming to a company with only thousands of subscribers, and not millions, is that you can be flexible."
IMHO thats a brilliant piece of marketing doublespeak. Instead of being an "unpopular" ISP because you have so few customers, you suddenly become "nimble". Thats a classic "turning lemons into lemonade" tactic.

The article never mentioned any reason why wi-tribe is doing this. The obvious reason is that they are having difficulty attracting new customers.

The end

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