FUP Meaning in Recharge and Broadband

The myth that the internet is ‘unlimited’ has always existed in the telecom industry. Customers have often believed that they can frequently use as much data as they please. However, while the internet user does get ‘unlimited’ benefits according to the data pack bought, there is also a limit applied to the internet speed for every user.

That is where FUP (Fair Usage Policy) in broadband comes in. The broadband and mobile data service providers have several users who receive the same network. Therefore, if one user happens to exploit the data limit, the bandwidth connection of the entire network gets disrupted. It ultimately results in drop or slow connections that affect other users.

In 2009, all the Internet Service Providers in India, spearheaded by Airtel and Tata Indicom, decided to introduce FUP meaning. That means if any customer crosses the FUP threshold, the speed will automatically be halved. However, even after a decade, the meaning of FUP is still vague for many.

Last updated in: September 2022

What is the meaning of FUP?

The full form of FUP is ‘Fair Usage Policy’.

FUP refers to the limit set by broadband and mobile network service providers on the data download speed for the customers. Once the user reaches that limit, the internet speed is reduced, resulting in a slow network for the particular user.

 

The Difference between Data Package Limit and FUP limit

Often, the data package limit provided by telecom service providers are confused with the FUP cap offered on base plans.

While data package cap refers to the specific amount of data that the user can use in a particular period (as per the billing period mentioned), Fair Usage Policy (FUP) is a policy that limits the bandwidth usage of a user to a certain amount of data per month.

Unlike data package allowance, which targets all the users, FUP is meant for only a small group of customers who abuse the bandwidth with unusual amounts of high data consumption. 

 

Why is it called Fair Usage Policy?

FUP is called ‘Fair Usage Policy’ because it acts as a safety net for other internet users. When a customer is going beyond the specified limit, his abusive internet usage will also disrupt the internet speed of other users. 

Therefore, a fair usage policy has been set to prevent such heavy users from affecting the network speed of other customers. It stops the abusers from disrupting the bandwidth of others and causes slow connections. 

 

Who is the Fair Usage Policy for?

Various broadband service providers have brought the Fair Usage Policy for those who have heavy internet usage. FUP is introduced to protect the network speed of others, and the network speed drops, post FUP limit is crossed. Therefore, FUP helps to let the subscribers use data in moderation. 

The fair usage policy affects all those who have unusually high data traffic. But those who generally use the internet for basic activities like web browsing, social media, video calls or video conferencing, streaming content, etc., are not majorly affected.

However, problems with FUP data policies are always not apparent. Therefore you might not get to know until your telecom service provider notifies you that you are crossing the limit set. 

 

What is an example of a fair usage policy?

Let us say that you have subscribed to a broadband network plan of 8 GB. You receive the download speed of 512 Kbps unlimited plan (every month). So, the cap or the FUP limit set on your monthly usage is 512 Kbps. 

If you cross the threshold of 8 GB at any point during the month, your internet speed will be reduced to 256 Kbps for the remaining month. 

 

Do unlimited plans come with a FUP?

Even though the plans are called ‘unlimited’, caps are placed on their usage limit. Usually, the consumers do not check the limit before buying and ultimately end up with reduced speeds later. Therefore, it is advised to check the FUP limit before buying a base plan. 

 

What are the different FUPs for telecom providers?

Even though FUP limits the internet usage and access by the user, network service providers generally set the limit quite high so that the majority of the customers cannot reach it. In this way, they have placed a fair limit and do not disrupt users' network speed. Telecom giants, like Airtel, BSNL, Jio, and Vi, have several mobile data and broadband recharges available. They have accordingly set different FUP limits for different plans.

 

What is the FUP offered by Airtel?

According to its fair usage policy, Airtel has confirmed that it has capped its unlimited data plans at 3333GB or 3.3TB. And, if the users reach the limit, the users can still browse at 1024 Kbps. 

Airtel XSTREAM broadband plans offered for 30 days include:-


Base Plan OTT Subscriptions Unlimited Calls Internet Speed FUP Limit
₹499 3 apps Yes 40 Mbps 3333 GB
₹799 3 apps Yes 100 Mbps 3333 GB
₹ 999 5 apps Yes 200 Mbps 3333 GB
₹1,499 5 apps Yes 300 Mbps 3333 GB
₹3,999 5 apps Yes 1 Gbps 3333 GB



 

What is the FUP offered by Jio?

According to the fup meaning in Jio, users get a 3,300GB per month limit for all their truly unlimited plans. Jio Fiber Broadband Prepaid Plans are listed below:-


Price

Internet speeds

OTT Apps

Unlimited calls

Validity

₹399

30 Mbps

Yes

30 days

₹699

100 Mbps

Yes

30 days

₹999

150 Mbps

14 Apps worth Rs 1,000 per month

Yes

30 days

₹1,499

300 Mbps

15 Apps worth Rs 1,500 per month

Yes

30 days

₹2499

500 Mbps

15 Apps worth Rs 1,650 per month

Yes

30 days

₹3999

1 Gbps

15 Apps worth Rs 1,650 per month

Yes

30 days

₹8499

1 Gbps

15 Apps worth Rs 1,800 per month

Yes

30 days


Jio Fiber Quarterly Broadband Postpaid Plans with no installation charges are listed below.:-


Base Plan

OTT Subscriptions

Internet Speed

FUP Limit

₹1,197

NA

30 Mbps

3300 GB

₹2,097

NA

100 Mbps

3300 GB

₹2,997

15 apps

150 Mbps

3300 GB

₹4,497

15 apps

300 Mbps

3300 GB

₹7,497

16 apps

500 Mbps

3300 GB

₹11,997

16 apps

500 Mbps

3300 GB

₹ 25,497 

16 apps

1Gbps

6600 GB


 

What is the FUP offered by Vi?

Vodafone has promised various unlimited plans for the customers. In Vodafone, the FUP limit is based on FUP minutes. It means the calling minutes are capped, and the tariff is charged upon exceeding the cap.

Additionally, there are three beneficial offers:


PLAN OFFER
Double Data Offer Doubling the FUP cap
Weekend Roll Over Allowing using unused data from weekdays on weekends
Unlimited Data from 12 am to 6 am Cap-free unlimited data


What is the FUP offered by BSNL?

Recently, BSNL has revised its various plans to offer faster internet speed to its customers. Bharat Fibre broadband with FUP limits have been listed below.


Price

Internet Speed

FUP limit

₹777

100 Mbps

1000 TB

₹779

100 Mbps

1000 GB

₹849

100 Mbps

1500 GB

₹949

150 Mbps

2000 GB

₹1,277

200 Mbps

3.3 TB

₹1,999

300 Mbps

4500 GB

₹2,499

300 Mbps

5000 GB

₹4,499

300 Mbps

6500 GB

₹5,999

300 Mbps

8000 GB

₹9,999

300 Mbps

12000 GB

₹16,999

300 Mbps

21000 GB


How to avoid violation of Fair Usage Policy?

Generally, avoiding violating the Fair Usage policy should not be hard as the service providers set the limit quite high so that the majority of the customers cannot reach it. 

However, suppose your activities do involve multiple downloads and uploads. In that case, the following precautionary steps can be helpful:

  • Do not stream high-quality content (either for downloading or uploading) for prolonged periods

  • Avoid frequent activities that eat up the bandwidth (like transferring files, archiving huge amounts of files online, etc.)

  • Rely more on infrequent activities or on-off data transfers

NOTE: If none of these work in your favour, the best option is to choose an ISP that does not have a FUP limit.

 

Unlimited plans without FUP

Few companies have announced unlimited plans without any FUP, including Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel, and BSNL.
 
Reliance Jio Plans without FUP:


Base Plan

Validity

Data Package

₹127

15 days

12 GB

₹247

30 days

25 GB

₹447

60 days

50 GB

₹597

90 days

75 GB

₹2,397

365 days

365 GB


BSNL Plans without FUP:


Base Plan

Price

Validity

Free SMS

Unlimited Calls

STV398

₹398

30 days

yes

yes


Bharti Airtel (Prepaid) Plans without FUP:


Base Plan

Validity

Data Package

₹97

14 days

1 GB

₹148

28 days

3 GB

₹129

28 days

2 GB

₹597

28 days

6 GB

₹998

336 days

12 GB


Difference between unlimited plans and truly unlimited plans

The main difference between unlimited plans and truly unlimited plans is that while unlimited plans claim to be ‘unlimited’ but have hidden caps, truly unlimited plans are truly cap free. It means that FUP in telecom service providers for truly unlimited plans cease to exist.

 

How to check my FUP usage?

  1. Download the app or visit your internet service provider’s website on mobile or laptop (like Airtel Thanks, My BSNL App, MyJio, etc.)
  2. Navigate to the 'home' screen.

  3. The data plan you selected and are using, and consumption details (by day and month) will be displayed there.

 

What are the issues with breaking a Fair Usage Policy?

Violating the Fair Usage Policy (FUP) will cause various problems besides the drop in internet speed. For instance, you have to pay the full price, irrespective of the network speed. 

For example, if you have bought the base plan for ₹750, you must pay ₹750 even after your speed has dropped for the entire month after reaching the FUP limit.

 

Reasons for breaking FUP

FUP breaks when the user uses unusually high amounts of data beyond the norm. According to FUP Hathway recharge plans, reasons for breaking the FUP limit include:-

  • Indiscriminate use of broadband without adhering to its specified limit

  • Not identifying the broadband internet used in a month by not managing the data traffic

  • Streaming large files during peak hours

 

Effects of breaking FUP

Once the FUP limit set by the internet service provider has been crossed, some of the possible scenarios include:

  • The internet speed will be reduced for the rest of the month

  • If it is your first time, your telecom service provider might issue a warning for future

  • You will be most likely asked by your telecom service provider to move on to a different package for a better experience and that suits your daily usage needs

  • Additional charges may be incurred by your telecom service provider. 

  • Your telecom service provider might break the contract with you if repeated breaches of the FUP are found.

 

FAQ

What does no FUP mean?

No FUP means that your data package is ‘uncapped’ and has no limit set on its download cap or speed downgrade condition. Therefore, if you like a FUP-free broadband or internet connection, do go for it as nothing will affect the condition of your internet speed. However, those packages are overly expensive.

How do I check my FUP usage?

  1. Download the app or log in to the website of your internet service provider on mobile or desktop (like Airtel Thanks, My BSNL App, MyJio, etc.)
  2. Go to the ‘home’ screen.
  3. The data plan you have chosen and are using, along with the usage detail (by day and month), will be shown there.

What is the FUP limit in Jio Fiber?

The FUP limit set for Jio Fiber for unlimited plans (in general) is 3300 GB. However, its postpaid plan (costing ₹25,497) has a FUP limit of 6600 GB. For more information, visit the official website of Reliance Jio here.

Why is there a FUP limit in India?

The internet service providers want to control their costs and make sure that they are not overcharging their customers. Also, they want to protect their infrastructure from being overloaded with too much traffic, which would lead to poor service quality for all users.

 

Updated on 30 Mar, 2022

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