Current trends on mobile internet usage require unlimited internet connection. This is the natural result of the popularity of smartphones and tablets. Globe Telecom and Smart Communications, the two biggest networks in the Philippines, offer unlimited internet in several forms and packages. But are they really “unli” in the true sense of the concept? The answer, sadly, is no.
I am a Globe user with a subscription plan that requires P1,799 monthly fee. This is already heavy as it is but I still opted for the plan, which has a lock in period of 24 months or 2 years, considering that I will be able to use LTE on my iPhone and use it whenever I want to, however I want to. This is the impression I got, as many of you surely got as well, when I heard the phrase “unlimited internet”. I was able to happily enjoy unlimited internet, alright, until I got a text message from globe which goes like this:
This is how Globe notifies users once they reach the data usage limit.
I was truly surprised at this as I wasn’t aware a Fair Use Policy of sorts existed. Nobody from Globe informed me about the limited nature of the “unlimited internet” feature of their postpaid plans so the Fair Use Policy notice came as a bit of a shock. It turns out, this Fair Use Policy has been there for quite some time, but it is on the fine print and unless you ask, chances are, you will never be informed it existed.
The main features of Globe’s Fair Use Policy
In summary, here are the basic details of the Fair Use Policy looks like, as stated by Globe in its website:
Globe is committed to providing you with fast and reliable mobile internet service. That’s why we’ve taken steps to implement an Fair Use Policy designed to reduce the speeds of only the 3% of users who are responsible for generating large volumes of traffic on our network which greatly impacts the service we offer to other paying subscribers. These customers often have file-sharing software or peer-to-peer/torrent apps on their phones or tablets, and download large-format files such as music, videos and movies consistently.
This means customers on an internet promo and plan who exceed 1 GB a day or 3 GB per month (whichever comes first) will experience browsing at 2G speeds.
This policy allows us to maintain the quality of our mobile internet service and give all Globe customers a fair opportunity to enjoy our network.
Our Fair Use Policy is aligned with the global industry practice of telecommunications providers anywhere in the world and is subject to change without prior notice.
Our Fair Use Policy applies to all surfing promos and data plans for Globe postpaid and Tattoo Lifestyle Sticks, except PowerSurf. It also doesn’t cover surfing charged with regular browsing rates (P5/15 minutes).
Mobile surfing offers from Globe are generally meant for emailing, browsing and search activities. Customers who frequently use file-sharing software or download large files are usually the ones affected by our policy. Media streaming and downloading of torrents also contribute to the excessive use of bandwidth capacity.
So there is a daily limit of 1GB data usage but in a month, you can also only use 3GB of data. In other words, if you consume 1GB of data for three consecutive days, your usage for the rest of the month will be throttled to 2G speeds, or a maximum of 64kbps according to the customer service representative I was able to talk to. You should also know that the Fair Use Policy applies to mobile data services (which include MySuperPlan All Unli Combo and SuperSurf Plans for prepaid and postpaid with unlimited mobile surfing) and Tattoo@Home Broadband which is either on Wimax or SuperSurf. Limits for SuperSurf are at a smaller 800MB data per day. If you want to know more about the terms and details of the Fair Use Policy from Globe, go here, here and here.
Is Globe’s Fair Use Policy fairly implemented?
The idea behind the Fair Use Policy seems reasonable in principle as it aims to make the internet experience for the majority of users decent enough. But is it fairly implemented? In my opinion, it is not.
First of all, why call promos and bundles “unlimited” when it is limited. Why not inform users and subscribers at the time they avail of the promos that there are conditions that will affect their usage? Second of all, it is bad enough that the Fair Use Policy is in fine print. What makes it worse is that Globe is quiet about it and is only currently making fuss about it. Third of all, a 3GB monthly allocation is so small for current internet users. YouTube, for instance, is as common as Facebook and Twitter but it consumes more data since it’s a video streaming service. And with subscribers mostly on smartphones and tablets, downloading of apps take too much data, especially for games which more often than not amount to more than 1GB in size. What I’m saying is, Globe should take into consideration the needs of current internet users. The throttled speed is so bad I wasn’t able to use Facebook properly. I can’t imagine using mobile internet at 2G speeds for 27 days after I easily consume the monthly 3GB allocation in only three days.
The Fair Use Policy has a good intention, but it should be implemented fairly so users are not blindsided when networks decide to strictly implement the policy. Subscribers should be made aware from the time they start the subscription, and it probably wouldn’t hurt if networks raise the monthly limit to more than 3GB, or raise the throttled speed to a usable speed.
What can you say about the Fair Use Policy from Globe?