Fair Access Policy

What is the Fair Access Policy?
Your HughesNet service is provided through a set of shared resources, including satellites and the radio spectrum to communicate with them. These resources must be shared across all HughesNet customers. In order to protect the quality of your service, Hughes implements a Fair Access Policy to ensure that heavy users do not take an unfair portion of the shared bandwidth. You might be surprised to find that the top 1% of users download 9 times more the average user. By providing a Download Allowance, more of the shared bandwidth is made available for everyone to use.

What is a Download Allowance?
The Download Allowance is the amount of data (in bytes) which can be downloaded by a subscriber without restriction within a rolling 24-hour period. As you download at a high rate, your allowance will be depleted. During periods of low use, your remaining allowance will slowly recover.

How does the Fair Access Policy work?
The policy is implemented automatically by monitoring your usage over a rolling 24-hour period. Each HughesNet service plan is assigned a Download Allowance – when your usage over the past 24 hours exceeds that allowance, you will enter the Recovery Zone, and your download speeds will be reduced. During the Recovery Zone, your Download Allowance is slowly replenished, and after approximately 24 hours, your download speed will be restored. If you continue to use your service to download in the Recovery Zone, it may take more than 24 hours for your Allowance to be replenished and your speed to return to normal.

Does the Fair Access Policy apply to uploads or downloads?
Currently, the Fair Access Policy applies only to downloads – that is, data that you receive from the Internet. Uploads, for example sending photos in an email, are not counted against your Download Allowance.

Who is affected by the Fair Access Policy?
Most users will have a better experience as a result of the Fair Access Policy. However, some users consume much more bandwidth than the average user, and will experience reduced download speeds as a result of exceeding their Download Allowance.

Online activities such as viewing Websites, checking email, watching video clips or similar short streaming media, and automatic software updates are unlikely to cause you to exceed the download threshold.

Typically, on the Home plan, you can download 200 Web pages, a full MP3 album, 100 photos, and a typical software update every day, without exceeding your Download Allowance.

What activities may cause a subscriber to exceed their download threshold?
Some activities are more likely to exceed the download threshold and trigger the application of the Fair Access Policy. Several examples are listed below:

  1. Full-length movie or video downloads (e.g., Netflix streaming movies)
  2. Downloading very large files (i.e., file sizes that are close in size to the download threshold of your service plan)
  3. Peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing programs such as Napster, Kazaa or LimeWire
  4. Continuous downloading or viewing streaming media content such as audio or video programming
  5. Hosting of server devices such as email, FTP or Web servers
  6. Hosting computer applications such as Web-cam feeds
  7. Internet-based PC backup services that archive your data on a central server
  8. Extensive downloading of attachments from Usenet Newsgroups (NNTP)
  9. Use of BitTorrent applications

Excessive downloading or use of the services described above may cause subscribers to exceed their Download Allowance and have their download speed reduced under the Fair Access Policy.

Note that all data downloaded to your PC or PCs will count against your Download Allowance. We encourage you to take a close look at the software you install and understand how it will use your Internet connection.

What will my Internet access be like in the Recovery Zone?
During the Recovery Zone, when your Download Allowance is exceeded, you will experience reduced download speeds for about 24 hours. During this period, your HughesNet service can still be used for activities such as Web browsing and viewing emails, but speeds will be significantly slower than your standard plan rate.

If I exceed my Download Allowance, what should I do?
You have a few options: 1. Hughes offers a Restore Token, which immediately restores your download speed. 2. Or, by minimizing your download usage, you can ensure your Recovery Zone is as short as possible (as little as 24 hours). 3. If you continue to download heavily during the Recovery Zone, the period will be extended. If you frequently exceed your Download Allowance, or if you find that your Download Allowance is too small for your needs, you might consider upgrading your service plan. Or, to get the most out of your service, you can schedule large downloads to occur during the Download Zone using the Download Manager.

How do I verify whether I have exceeded my Download Allowance?
The easiest method is to download the Status Meter – a small application that will alert you automatically if you exceed your Allowance. In addition, you can check your modem’s System Control Center as described in this Knowledge Base article. Finally, you can track your past usage and Fair Access Policy status by going to the Check Usage site.

What is the Download Zone?
The Download Zone is the off-peak hours of the day, when you can download data at full speed without counting against your Download Allowance. The hours of use start at 2:00 am and end at 7:00 am, Eastern Time.

Why was the Download Zone implemented?
This period has been provided for HughesNet subscribers to schedule the downloading of automated updates or to download other large files.

Are there any limitations to what I can do during the Download Zone?

  1. Download speeds are not guaranteed during these hours; and
  2. The HughesNet Acceptable Use Policy is still in effect.

What do you recommend I do during the Download Zone?
We recommend that you automatically schedule your system updates during the Download Zone. If you install HughesNet Tools, your Windows Updates will automatically be scheduled for this period.  You can also use a download manager software application to automatically schedule large file downloads to occur during the Download Zone.

Do you recommend a particular download manager?
The HughesNet Download Manager works with your browser to automatically schedule downloads to happen during the Download Zone.

If I have exceeded my Download Allowance, will using my service during the Download Zone extend the duration of my reduced download speed?
No, downloading during the Download Zone will not extend the Recovery Zone.

What will happen if I'm in the middle of a large download at the onset of the Download Zone?
If your speed is reduced at the start of the Download Zone, your download speed will return to your normal plan rate, and the downloaded data will not increase your recovery time. If your speed was not reduced (that is, you had not exceeded your Download Allowance), your usage during the Download Zone will not be counted toward your Download Allowance.

What will happen if I'm in the middle of download at the end of the Download Zone?
If you were over your Download Allowance at the start of the Download Zone, your download speeds will be reduced again at the end of the Zone. If you were not over your Download Allowance, then the usage during the Download Zone will not count against your allowance, but the portion of the download that occurs after the Zone ends will begin to count against your Allowance.

How does the Restore Token affect my Download Allowance?
If you redeem a Restore Token, your Download Allowance and rolling 24-hour period will be immediately reset, and your download speed will be returned to normal. In other words, you get a clean slate right away.

Can I still use the Download Zone if I have already exceeded my Download Allowance?
Yes – during the Download Zone, all users may download without any speed restrictions, subject to your plan’s rate and available capacity.

My Download Allowance meter does not seem to match my usage reported on the Check Usage page. Why?
The Download Allowance status, available through the HughesNet Status Meter application or via your terminal’s System Control Center, reflects the actual number of bytes you can download before your download speeds are reduced. This status comes from your gateway in real time as you receive data. The Check Usage page displays the total historical data downloaded and uploaded from your terminal. This data comes from usage records which are updated hourly. Based on network policies and system status, some data transmitted to your terminal may not be counted against your Download Allowance, but all data will be recorded on the Check Usage site for reference. For example, any data that you downloaded during the Download Zone will be reflected on the Check Usage page but will not be counted against your Download Allowance. Your Download Allowance will always be at least the amount specified for your service plan.


Home Plans

24-Hour Download Threshold
  Basic 250 MB
  Power 150 350 MB
  Power 200 450 MB


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