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Have you ever been FUP’d?

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This is a family site, but sometimes you just have to address the topic head on!  Today we are going to talk about getting FUP’d!  Yep, it has happened to all of us at one time or another, but today I am going to tell you how you can avoid getting hit by the FUP.

Oh, hold on….  FUP?  What did you think I meant by that?

How to Move to the Philippines Manual

I am talking about the Fair Use Policy! FUP.  Don’t know what that is?  Don’t worry, it’s nothing vulgar, just keep reading.

FUPThe Fair Use Policy is something that has been adapted by Internet Providers in many parts of the world over the years.  It started hitting the Philippines in the past couple of years, particularly starting in 2013.

Basically, the FUP is when an Internet Provider, like Globe or Smart or others, will say that the account you are signing up for is, say, at a speed of 5 Mbps.  What they don’t tell you is that you must use only a limited amount of bandwidth or your speed will be cut way back.  For example, if you have a 5 Mbps account and you use too much data transfer over the Internet, they may cut your speed back to, for example, 500 Kbps instead.  Another example is that is you are using LTE, or 4G Internet, like I am (I recently wrote about it here), if you go over the allowable amount of data transfer, they will then cut you back to 3G.  What is the difference?  Well, I am getting speeds of up to 65 Mbps on 4G.  If I use 3G the speeds are more like 1 Mbps or sometimes up to 2 Mbps.  That is a big cut!

So, if you like fast Internet speeds, you don’t want to get hit by the Fair Use Policy!  You don’t want to get FUP’d.

How much can I use?

So, the question begs… how much internet can you use before the Fair Use Policy takes effect?  Well, it depends on your provider and what type of account you have.

For example, I have two different Internet accounts.

  1. Globe DSL – this comes in on a telephone wire, and I have been quite happy with the service for years now.  Under the Fair Use Policy that Globe has in place for this account, I can download up to 10 Gb per day of data before they will cut back my speeds.  So far, in the 4 years or so that I have been using Globe DSL, I have never been restricted for using too much bandwiidth.  So, I find the 10 Gb per day FUP to be quite adequate.
  2. Smart 4G/LTE – This is the account which is my main Internet account now.  I get very fast speeds of up to 65 Mbps.  Those speeds are not what I am getting during peak hours, but I get those speeds regularly in the early morning hours when I get up.  I usually get up between 3am to 4am, and my speeds are almost always 60 Mbps at that time, up until about 9am.  During the middle of the day, I get speeds usually between 20 Mbps to 40 Mbps.  Sometimes even during the middle of the day I get up to 50 Mbps, but that is rare.  Still very fast speeds.  The best thing, though is that the Fair Use Policy does not apply to this account!  I will explain why later.
Globe FUP

Globe FUP

Now, the way that the Fair Use Policy applies varies among the providers.  Smart and Globe treat it very differently.  Generally speaking, for a DSL/Wired line account, Globe gives a very generous bandwidth quota for Postpaid subscribers (that just means that people who don’t have to pay in advance – they bill you).  Truth is, I have found that even if you exceed the FUP, if you are a Globe postpaid user they don’t enforce the policy on you.  For prepaid subscribers (generally, you are using “load” to pay for your internet – in advance), they are very strict on the FUP, and they enforce it without exception.  Smart, on the other hand, is more strict on Postpaid subscribers, and very liberal on Prepaid subscribers.  It is exactly the opposite!

FUP strictly enforced for Mobile Internet

3GThe main place where FUP is strictly enforced is for Mobile Internet.  3G and especially 4G services.  Stuff that you can do on your cellphone, or using a “dongle” hooked to your computer USB port.  This is where you see a lot of expats complaining about their Internet being slow.  You will see it all over Facebook every day – expats complaining that they are using the Globe Tattoo stick and it is supposed to be up to 7 Mbps, but they are only getting 200 Kbps or something like that.  This is because they have been FUP’d.  The Fair Use Policy has been applied to them.  They exceeded their allocated bandwidth, and thus their speeds have been slashed.

Globe

For Globe, they have a policy for mobile internet that you can use up to a total of 3 Gb per month.  If you exceed 3 Gb per month, the speed of your internet is drastically reduced for the rest of the month until it is time for you to pay again.  Now, there is one other provision.  If you go over 1 Gb on any given day the FUP will be enacted as well, but only until midnight, and your speed will be re-instituted until you exceed the FUP again.

So, let’s say that you are using Globe, and on the first of the month you use 1.6 Gb of data.  The FUP was applied on you as soon as you crossed 1 Gb.  On the second of the month you use only 1 Gb.  FUP was never applied, because you are still under 3 Gb for the month, and you did not exceed 1 for the day.  However between the 1st and the 2nd you have used a total of 2.6 Gb.  On the 3rd of the month, once you hit 400 Mb for the day (0.4 Gb), then the FUP will be instituted and will remain in effect for the rest of the month.  You will have another 27 days of very slow internet.  Sorry, Charlie.

Smart

For Smart, their FUP is tighter than Globe.  You get a total of only 1.5 Gb for the month.  There are no daily limits, just the monthly limit.  So, if you use the same example as above and you consume 1.6 Gb for the first day of the month, the FUP kicked in after 1.5 Gb, and you will have crawling speeds for the rest of the month.  Not a good deal!

Getting around the FUP

If you are on Globe, about the only thing you can do is to have multiple SIM cards.  If you bump up against the FUP on your SIM card, switch to another SIM and use it until you have used up all of the FUP.  There really is no other way around it that I know of.  This can get expensive, because you will have to pay for a full month of service for each SIM, even though you may only get a day or two worth of use!

Same thing applies to Smart.  Multiple SIMs.  Pay a lot for Internet.

The secret way around it

There is, though, another way you can get around the FUP if you are using Smart (this does not apply to Globe, only Smart).  It is a way that is not promoted and rarely mentioned.  You see, Smart has a policy that the Fair Use Policy does not apply to “Value Added Services”.  What is a Value Added Service?  Well, basically it is a promo that you can add on top of your “regular account”.

For example, with the 4G/LTE Internet that is my main Internet these days… I have no account at all.  However, I use a service called the “Data Sachet” which is a “Value Added Service” that Smart offers.  Under the Data Sachet, if I pay P995, I can have unlimited LTE service for 30 days.  There are no data caps.  No Fair Use Policy.  No matter how much data I use, I will never be FUP’d.  It’s that simple.  Most people don’t know about this, and that is why you get a lot of people complaining, but never doing anything about it.  If they use a data sachet service from Smart, they will never have to worry about their Internet Speeds being severely limited, they can just keep surfing in speed, and no hassles.

So, don’t complain about slow internet.  Just educate yourself on how to eliminate the problem and get on with life.  It works for me!

Posted in

Bob Martin

Bob Martin is the Publisher & Editor in Chief of the Live in the Philippines Web Magazine. Bob is an Internet Entrepreneur. Bob is an American who lived in Mindanao from 2000 until 2019. Bob has now relocated back to the USA.

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James Speight
James Speight
8 years ago

BOB!!! HAD ME THERE. keep it up.

MindanaoBob
8 years ago
Reply to  James Speight

Hi James – Had you with the title of the article? I admit, I was being a little playful with the article title, but everything in the article is true, though. 😉

Richard Bowen
Richard Bowen
8 years ago

Bob, any advantage of signing up fake accounts or separate accounts in other family members names? My guess is it would not make any difference as it would still be the same IP address.
===
One other thing, Bob… I’ve been e-mailing your wife…Oh not that… I have been asking her about rental property or buying a house in Davao.
===
Take care, –Rich–

MindanaoBob
8 years ago
Reply to  Richard Bowen

Hi Rich – Firstly.. about your e-mail. Feyma replied to you the same day that you e-mailed her. I got a copy of it too, so I know she sent it. Maybe it ended up in your Spam folder, do you ever check that? Anyway, please take another look, because she sent you a fairly long reply to your e-mail. No need to sign up for “fake” accounts or use different names. You can sign up for as many accounts in your own name as you want. Each account will be under its own FUP. If you come up against… Read more »

John Weeks
John Weeks
8 years ago

Great info, Bob. Thanks again!

MindanaoBob
8 years ago
Reply to  John Weeks

You’re welcome, John. Glad you found it useful.

Paul Thompson
8 years ago

Bob;
My name is Paul and reread this twice but I still remain confused. (LOL)

MindanaoBob
8 years ago
Reply to  Paul Thompson

Sorry about that, Paul. Maybe we can schedule some 1 on 1 counseling?

papaduck
papaduck
8 years ago

Bob,
I sure wish we had LTE here, but I guess you can’t have everything lol.

MindanaoBob
8 years ago
Reply to  papaduck

Hi PapaDuck – I am betting that within about 2 years LTE will be available everywhere in the Philippines, except for very rural areas. Hang in there!

Jim Hannah
Jim Hannah
8 years ago

65Mbps????? Bah, you lucky lad. Apart from the absence of mosquitoes, flies and other insects and animals that can bite and kill you, the only thing I really miss about the UK since moving to Australia is snailspace internet speeds. Right now, I am on this: Mirror: Optus Data: 8 MB Test Time: 10 secs Your line speed is 6.82 Mbps (6819 kbps). Your download speed is 852 KB/s (0.83 MB/s). And when I have two kids on youtube a lot of the time…you can imagine. 4G??? Yeah, they keep talking about it, but it will be another year before… Read more »

MindanaoBob
8 years ago
Reply to  Jim Hannah

Hi Jim – The speed you are getting is better than most Filipinos get! 😉 But, getting good internet is one of my main factors in deciding where to live in the Philippines, right down to the neighborhood that I choose! 🙂 Seriously.

LeRoy Miller
LeRoy Miller
8 years ago

I learn things everyday on this site and not always restricted to the Philippines.

Enjoy it greatly.

MindanaoBob
8 years ago
Reply to  LeRoy Miller

If that is true, LeRoy, that makes me very happy! Thanks for visiting my site everyday!

Bill
8 years ago
Reply to  MindanaoBob

Bob,

Great hook at the beginning of your article. Still trying to get the hook out of my mouth. haha
If you’re going to conduct summer school – please put me in the same class with Paul. That way we can look confused together!

Great info for the computer geeks, but I’m going to worry about the FUP-ing when I get there! lol

Bill

MindanaoBob
8 years ago
Reply to  Bill

You will start worrying, Bill, when it takes 30 minutes to download a simple eMail! 😉

Bill
8 years ago
Reply to  MindanaoBob

That won’t happen! I’ve got Bob for hire to get me up and rollin’! haha

MindanaoBob
8 years ago
Reply to  Bill

You may find that I’m a bit expensive! 😉

Bill
8 years ago
Reply to  MindanaoBob

A 30 minute download for an e-mail? It’d be worth it! lol

MindanaoBob
8 years ago
Reply to  Bill

Ha ha…

Bob New York
Bob New York
8 years ago

For my last 3 visits I have been using the Globe Tattoo and as I remember I was getting a consistent 8 Mbps when ever I looked at the start up screen on the GlobeTattoo program. I was using prepaid ( load ). A friend put me onto a unlimited 5 day deal for 200 peso. Now, I don’t know if the ” unlimited ” included unlimited bandwidth usage or just unlimited time for 5 days. I never noticed any significant slowdown. Naturally of course I am there on a vacation so I don’t spend too much time on the… Read more »

MindanaoBob
8 years ago
Reply to  Bob New York

Hi Bob – Seems that maybe I went a little too technical with this article! A couple of people have said they didn’t understand or I left their head spinning. Sorry about that! 🙂

Bill
8 years ago
Reply to  MindanaoBob

I don’t count because Bob already knows I’m a Jerry’s Kid. Yup! We’re all going to summer school. haha

MindanaoBob
8 years ago
Reply to  Bill

Yep, I definitely went too technical! 🙂

Bill
8 years ago
Reply to  MindanaoBob

I need to eat more fish. They say it’s brain food.

MindanaoBob
8 years ago
Reply to  Bill

Ha ha.. I have gotten where I eat fish daily, sometimes twice per day! Maybe I’m overdoing it?

Bill
8 years ago
Reply to  MindanaoBob

You must be Bob! Try eating more beef. Cow’s have got to be nearly the dumbest animal. It should neutralize the fish a bit and bring you back down to the rest of us. haha

MindanaoBob
8 years ago
Reply to  Bill

Believe it or not, I only ate red meat once during May! I am eating mostly fish and a little chicken.

Bob New York
Bob New York
8 years ago
Reply to  MindanaoBob

I don’t think it was too technical, just so many variations on the various ways of getting internet there. I think the reason for so many subscription or payment plans, bandwidth caps, Throtteling , etc is to keep some of the costs within reach of the budgets of a majority of fiipinos. Similar to the very cost effective way the cell phones are there, no monthly bill, I dont think any roaming charges, no extra subscriber tax, etc. Just pay as you go, pay for what you use as little or as much as you want. I think it is… Read more »

MindanaoBob
8 years ago
Reply to  Bob New York

You know what’s funny, Bob? I felt like I only wrote about a very limited number of possible scenarios! There are many possibilities that I didn’t even mentions, trying to keep it simple! Ha Ha.

Bill Asberry
8 years ago

Great article Bob! When I got done reading it I had to convince myself I wasn’t dumb so i started reading books like Curious George and See Spot Run. lol

ian
ian
8 years ago

Thank you for a very useful article Bob !

MindanaoBob
8 years ago
Reply to  ian

Thanks, Ian, glad you found it helpful.

Hey, sorry I didn’t recognize you at S & R the other day. 🙂 I am terrible about that. After we finished there I asked Feyma who she was talking to, and was embarrassed to learn it was you and I didn’t recognize you! Ha ha… again, I apologize.

ian
ian
7 years ago
Reply to  MindanaoBob

no problem Bob- i know you deal with a lot of people and it has been a long time since we have talked. Next time I see you I will make sure to say hello !!

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