One thing Hughesnet customers should be aware of, and has created alot of confusion in the past, is the Fair Access Policy “FAP”. Being a Hughesnet technician for many years, new customers would always ask me about this during their installation. The FAP is a way for Hughesnet to make sure the that all customers on the network have a quality connection. So how does it work and why is it in-place?
You can think of the FAP as a bucket of water sitting under a facet. Imagine the facet is slowly dripping water into the bucket, but there is a hole in the bucket. If the water flowing out of the hole is at a faster rate than the water dripping from the facet the bucket will eventually be empty right? The FAP works in this same way. Basically, depending on your internet plan you have a set amount of data “water” you can use in a 24 hour period. The faster you use that data the bigger the hole in the bucket gets, and the faster your water runs out. What customer are commonly confused about is the time period. The data does not reset every 24 hours, instead data is dropped off by –one hour– every 24 hours “a rolling 24 hour period”. For example: Say one day you get home at 5:00 p.m. from work and spend two hours browsing the internet. In the first one hour you use 20 MB of data, and the second hour you use 10 MB of data. The data that you have used will continue to count against you for the next 24 hours in both cases. The 5:00 p.m. data will drop off at 6:00 p.m. the next day, and the 6:00 p.m. data will drop off at 7:00 p.m. the next day. Still confused? Take a look at the diagram below.
Next question, why is it in place? The Fair Access Policy is becoming a common tool that many internet service providers “ISP’s” use in the world today. Although Hughesnet has practiced this for awhile, recently companies like Comcast and AT&T have also place limits on customers download abilities. Why, you ask? The reason is simple, bandwidth. Bandwidth has a couple of different meanings and in this case we are talking about the amount of data flow. I will put another picture in your head. I have never been to New York, but I hear the traffic is terrible. Most people have heard about the great Lincoln Tunnel traffic jams. Imagine that bandwidth flowing on the internet acts like a tunnel. The more cars that are trying to fit into the tunnel the slower traffic is. So at rush hour when thousands of people are getting off work and going home, the resulting product is a traffic jam.
The reason why ISP’s need these policy’s in place is to avoid traffic jams. In today’s age of movie and music downloading, files are only getting bigger. This will continue to be a problem until someone comes up with a form of compression that is effective enough to not sacrifice quality. ISP’s who do not use a FAP will probubly eventually put one in place. Not to say that Hughesnet does not support movie and music downloading, you just have to choose your time when you can do it. Currently from 2:00 a.m. until 7:00 a.m. eastern time Hughes net will allow you to download as much as you would like. The next question customers ask is “What if I am not up at 2:00 in the mourning?!?!”, well Hughesnet has developed a way to set up a time when large files are automatically downloaded at this free time. This product “the download manager” is free with any plan. But what if you go over your limit? Will you be cut off?
If you happen to go over your limit you will not be completely cut off. However, there is a penalty. Your connection will be slowed down for the next 24 hours at the time you go over. This is where your restore token comes in. Every month Hughesnet gives you a free restore token. This will allow you to take the penalty off and restore your speed. These tokens can build up and carry over for 3 months.
So does the FAP compare to competitors? Here is an example compared against AT&T and Verizon wireless, “other commonly used rural internet providers.”
|Hughesnet||AT&T Wireless||Verizon Wireless|
|Basic Plan Data Limits||250 MB daily
“7.3 GB monthly”
|5 GB monthly||5 GB monthly|
|Overage fee||None||$10 per 1 GB||$10 per 1 GB|
If you would like more information or have additional questions about Hughesnet please contact us. Brads Electronics