All satellite internet providers have what they call a Fair Access Policy or FAP. This policy places a ceiling on the amount of information a user can download and upload within a given span of time. With Wildblue this amount of data will accumulate within a 30-day rolling period (each new day another day will fall off from 30 days ago). The usage limit is determined by whatever package one would choose to go with. A customer is notified via email once they reach 80% of their limit. If the given threshold is exceeded then the user’s speeds would be reduced to around twice that of dial-up until they are back to 70% of the threshold. The speeds would then be restored to the original levels by the next day.
Wildblue has set their usage limitations significantly above the amount of data that is used by a typical customer. Most normal applications such as web-browsing, sending/receiving e-mails, downloading pictures, even downloading a reasonable amount of music or video clips will only amount to a small portion of what is allowed. For example: A user could listen to 16 hours of streaming audio per day or watch 2.5 hours of streaming video every day without going over their limit when subscribing to the Value Plan. However; if a user is downloading high quality full-length movies, enormous quantities of music files, operates a web cam or other similar high-bandwidth activities then they will likely exceed their FAP limitations. It is very easy to keep track of how much data has been uploaded or downloaded. By simply logging in to Wildblue’s usage site one will have access to a graphic display that explains in detail where they’re at compared to their threshold.
Wildblue’s Fair Access Policy will only affect the extreme heaviest five percent of their users. The reason for the FAP is that a very small percentage of Wildblue customers could use more than half of the available bandwidth if allowed to do so. Unlike a land based provider (Cable or DSL) which have virtually unlimited bandwidth, satellite internet works with a limited data transfer rate. All things considered FAP is actually a good thing as it helps to keep the speeds more consistent and the entire system running smoothly for everyone.