UPDATE (1 Feb / 3:00 PM): Maxis has responded to this story with an official statement. Read further for more details.
ORIGINAL STORY (31 Jan / 11:59 PM):
Maxis has implemented the Fair Usage Policy (FUP) on Hotlink Prepaid Unlimited users from 8:00 PM to 12:00 AM on a daily basis throughout the on-going Movement Control Order (MCO) period. This was revealed by its customer service agents in their reply to customers via WhatsApp and Facebook.
Under normal circumstance, the FUP would only kick in once a customer hits the ceiling data allocation for their respective Unlimited passes. As noted inside the FAQ section of Hotlink’s website, the Unlimited daily pass comes with 5GB limit while the weekly and monthly passes are limited to 15GB and 50GB, respectively.
When the FUP is activated, his or her Internet speed would be reduced from 3Mbps or 6Mbps to 512kbps. So, based on the response from the customer service agent below, this means that the Internet speed for all Hotlink Prepaid Unlimited customers is being throttled to just 512kbps for four hours each night during the MCO 2.0 period.
— LeeKW (@leekokwan) January 30, 2021
In another response, the telco claimed that the MCO’s FUP was implemented to make sure that all customers can utilise Hotlink services without interruption. That being said, reducing user’s speed to just 512kbps at this time and age seems rather unjustified especially given the fact that customers were not informed of this move beforehand.
Well, if you are a Hotlink Prepaid Unlimited user and have been wondering why your speed is so slow at night recently, this might be the answer that you have been looking for.
(Thanks for the tips, @leekokwan!)
UPDATE (1 Feb / 3:00 PM):
Maxis has responded to this story through an official statement that we received via e-mail earlier today:
Firstly, Maxis would like to apologise for the miscommunication on the Hotlink Unlimited Fair Usage Policy (FUP) which only applies to certain situations. Maxis would also like to clarify that we do not manage speeds to 512kbps during the MCO period.
Our focus during a surge in network traffic especially during the MCO period is making sure that access to a reliable and fast mobile internet network is available to everyone for essential activities such as web access to important information, e-learning and work from home.
This network traffic management for Hotlink users during limited busy hours at night from 8pm to 12 midnight is not to be confused with Fair Usage Policy. Instead, it is an interim measure to ensure less data congestion to ensure a good user experience.
We continue to monitor traffic and quality levels, and optimise network capacity while accelerating upgrades to retain a good mobile data speed experience. We encourage customers to reach out to our customer service team for any further assistance.
Based on our understanding of this statement, the telco seems to admit that it did throttle Hotlink user’s speed from 8:00 PM to 12:00 AM to lessen the stress on their network. However, the telco also pointed out this is an interim “network traffic management” and separate from its FUP implementation.
Hence, this leads to several new questions. For example, the statement didn’t clarify whether this measure affects all users or otherwise.
The telco also didn’t mention the actual throttled speed that users would experience. We have since relayed these questions to the telco and will keep you posted once we receive the response from Maxis.