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Satellite Internet Fair Access Policy

There you are downloading the latest batch of pictures from Grandma, when out of the blue comes the dreaded FAP. Your once blazing download speed drops to a crawl What is going on, and what is a FAP?

To ensure that all users of a satellites’ capacity have somewhat equal chances of having access to the internet, broadband satellite internet service providers, such as HughesNet and Wild Blue, have created “Fair Access Policies”.

The implementation of these policies involves counting the amount of data that is down loaded to each users P.C from the satellite. This is generally performed by the satellite internet modem at the user’s premises. When the modem detects that the amount of data transferred over the previous rolling 24 hours has exceeded the cap imposed on the user’s service plan, the modem implements a slow down. This slow down will generally reduce the data throughput to something similar to dial-up speeds. Ouch!

When you are “FAPPED”, as it is called, you must wait 24 hours for the satellite system to reset before you will be able to resume internet access at full speed.

So how can you avoid being FAPPED? The fair access policies of the satellite internet providers are designed to impose less and less restrictive limits as you move up through the more expensive service plans. The FAP limits are also published by the service providers, so you can also monitor your usage to ensure that you are not approaching the FAP limit.  The limits imposed by HughesNet are described in the table below.

 Plan  Threshold
 Home  200 MB
 Pro  300 MB
 ProPlus  425 MB
 Elite  500 MB
 ElitePlus  500 MB
 Small Office  500 MB
 Business Internet  1,250 MB

There are several ways that a user can monitor their bandwidth usage to ensure that they don’t get FAPPED. On HughesNet for example, a user can log into their HughesNet account online and view their rolling bandwidth usage. There are also several freeware programs that can be installed on a user’s computer to monitor the bandwidth usage. This will even work for a home network with multiple computers. One such program is called HnFapMon. This tool can be found using an internet search, and downloaded for free.

In the end, if you find that you are consistently bumping up against the FAP limits, it is time to move up to a larger service plan with a higher FAP limit.

How to Cope with Peak Hours and Fair Access Policies


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