Virgin Media trials complicated new traffic management policies, touting "efficiency". Uh-huh?

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virgin_media_speeds.gifVirgin Media has been throttling its customers’ broadband speeds for at least a year now, but it seems that the traffic management policy wasn’t complicated enough for them, so they’ve started trials of a new one.

Oh, it nicely messes up our Virgin Media Speed Throttling FAQ, too. Thanks Mr Berkett.

From now on, if you’re unlucky enough to be a Virgin Media broadband customer in Preston, Wigan, Blackpool, Camden, Dalston, Enfield and Haringey, you’ll have to get your head around some new policies. Here goes my attempt at explaining it. Let’s see if I get there before my brain numbs:

Forget a single set of peak hours (4pm – 9pm) — now there are three. Between 10am and 3pm, and again between 4pm and 9pm, Virgin Media will monitor how much is downloaded. These are totally separate, not cumulative. Between 3pm and 8pm, upload is traffic (perhaps this is when VM think most people are putting their home videos on YouTube?) but of course that overlaps with the second download window.

Different broadband packages have different limits, but generally the 10am-3pm window allows double the download amount of the 4pm-9pm window (ie for Broadband XL, it’s 6GB then 3GB). A quick glance at the original FAQ suggests that the capped speeds and other limits are still the same.

Think Broadband, who first published these figures, rather generously suggests that “One way of considering these limits and those from other providers is that the Virgin Media XL product is a 5Mbps cable package that will burst to 20Mbps for short periods but sustain 5Mbps speeds for much longer” but I seriously doubt Virgin Media customers will see it that way.

It’s hardly surprising, though, given that Virgin Media’s CEO thinks Net Neutrality is bollocks. I think that’s just one of the words VM customers will echo right back at ya, Mr Birkett.

(Via Think Broadband)

Related posts: Net Neutrality “bollocks” | VM to ban illegal downloaders

Andy Merrett

3 comments

  • Virgin Media are as bad as thieves. They literally advertise one thing and sell another, less adequate product. Like it or not, they are a problem. They dominate the cable realm in the UK.

    That needs to be changed, or they need to alter their methods. Who knows, maybe all of their little tricks may get out one day and they’ll soil themselves.

    Not sure what to do to avoid them really. It’s going to cost me an arm and a leg to get my BT line active. If/when I do, I can see that Be is the way to go for real broadband.

  • Further to my comment above, I’ve just discovered my local BT exchange gets upgraded in a couple of months. Virgin Media, “BE” afraid… 🙂

  • What the hell are Virgin Media up to? Surely they would want to come across as an ISP that understands it’s customers bandwidth desires?

    I hear even ADSL is catching up with Virgin’s cable speed rates these days, so why the hell am I paying for an XL package that is likely to be throttled?

    I don’t pay £30 a month to then worry about whether watching that Shiny Media review will tip me over my daily limit, or if I should only play on the Xbox for 20 minutes each night.

    Morons. Their marketing department must be screwing over how they’re going to counter this backlash.

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