KARACHI: Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) has imposed a surcharge of Rs5,000 on its DSL customers who exceed 300 gigabytes in downloads per month with effect from February 1, The Express Tribune learnt on Friday.
The largest broadband service provider is contacting and notifying its DSL customers who exceed 300GB about the newly imposed limit, said Ammara Durrani who is General Manager Public Outreach and Corporate Communication at PTCL.
Responding to a question, Durrani said a very small percentage of users fall in that category and the step is aimed at providing uninterrupted and quality service to the 99% of its customers who will not be affected with this limit, hence only 1% of total users download more than 300 gigabytes.
According to an industry official, when the broadband giant launched its DSL service it had no restrictions on bandwidth to its customers. However, in September 2011 it imposed a surcharge of Rs1,000 on its customers whose internet usage exceeded 50GB, added official.
An average user downloads around 20GB per month, which is very high, said an ISP official. Pakistani users download a lot of data, especially multimedia content, resulting in increased bandwidth consumption – that’s because data usage is determined by both uploads and downloads, something many users don’t even know.
Pakistan, according to sources, has 1.4 million broadband users and that number is increasing every day while internet users in the country are estimated at around 20 million. With the rise in data consumption, other ISPs are also likely to impose similar charges for their broadband users, sources said.
Some ISPs are already charging their customers for additional data usage. Wateen Telecom charges Rs100 per GB of data consumption – in excess of the original package – from its customers.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 4th, 2012.