As many of you will know from our community consultation last year and our most recent Mobile Internet update - at giffgaff we have been working to make sure that our network resource is being used as efficiently and fairly as possible, so that it’s delivering the maximum benefit to giffgaff members and allowing us to continue to grow in the future. We are doing this through data traffic management and the approach we are taking is to minimise wastage and illegitimate usage on the network.
We say data usage is 'illegitimate' when it is against our terms and conditions and one type of illegitimate usage is tethering on a goodybag with an unlimited mobile internet allowance.
In March, we got to a key milestone and we have since had access to new, detailed reports on some key tethering indicators in order to improve how we identify tethering on the network. This information has been used as part of a manual process to prevent illegitimate tethering on the network ever since - members who have been found to be tethering receive a warning email before any action is taken, but this can ultimately lead to a temporary or even a permant data bar for members who repeatedly break the terms and conditions.
However, this week we will start to move into the final stage of this project which involves having an automated tethering policy which will provide immediate feedback to members who are identified as tethering. Members who trigger our tethering indicators will be blocked from the internet for 30 minutes and (provided they are using a browser) will be re-directed to a new web page which will explain why the data bar is in place and ask the member to ‘un-tether’. The aim of this change is to move from a reactive process to a more positive approach which prevents the illegitimate usage from taking up network resource in the first place. In addition, the 30 minute block should just provide enough time for a member to un-tether, but then there's a short wait before they can use the internet again legitmately.
We will also continue to use the existing manual process for members who repeatedly break the terms and conditions of use.
The new automated tethering profile will start being rolled out gradually this week to members who are on an unlimited data goodybag. It may take a number of weeks before it’s applied to all unlimited data goodybag accounts.
However, as always, the ideal outcome would be if the tethering policy is never used and that illegitimate usage on the network stops without the need to enforce it. If you would like to tether on your mobile phone then please go ahead and purchase any goodybag or gigabag with a limited data allowance and you can tether to your hearts’ content.
We hope that the benefit of this will be a reduction in illegitimate data usage, so that more network resource is freed up for legitimate usage, therefore benefitting the majority of members.