The medianama story on Airtel’s disastrous Fair Use Policy has got Airtel shills to comment with a stock, stale holding statement. It says,

â??Fair Usage policy is an internationally accepted norm among the global broadband operators. We have observed that few of our customers have been using an excessive amount of bandwidth, thus impairing the browsing experience of an overwhelming majority of broadband users. To ensure that all our customers enjoy the best quality broadband experience, we have introduced the Fair Usage Policy. This policy is aimed at encouraging responsible usage among the very few, who make inappropriate use of this service.â?

Considering the Speed Rationalization is a customer service issue, I wonder why it was signed by the Marketing Head of Airtel! Is it to sell the ‘speed on demand’ product? Bingo!

Also, I have terrible issues with specific words in the above holding statement.

  1. Excessive amount of bandwidth: What constitutes excessive amount of bandwidth? If I’m a student studying via video conferencing, I’d need high-speed internet all through the day. Is that excessive? How does Airtel distinguish between ‘good’ excessive and ‘bad’ excessive?
  2. Responsible usage: What is responsible usage? Who the &^%$ is Airtel to tell its customers what is ‘responsible’? Are we paying Airtel to advise us on ‘responsible’ usage of internet? Airtel (bandwidth police) = Shri Ram Sene (moral police)?
  3. Inappropriate use: Again, how does Airtel distinguish appropriate and inappropriate? How do they draw that line? Merely based on quantum of usage? Doesn’t that sound terribly silly?

End result? Airtel is saying that if we pay them extra, we can have any speed we choose. What a covert way of launching and selling their ‘speed on demand’ package!

If you want to protest against Airtel’s Fair Use Policy, join the 2 Facebook forums started for this purpose – Group 1 and Group 2.

And, sign this online petition.

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