When does “Unlimited” not mean “Unlimited”? Virgin Media given a slap by regulators

Mobile phones

Whoops! It seems that if you advertise “unlimited” mobile broadband, you probably shouldn’t reduce users’ download speeds when they hit a pre-defined limit – at least according to the Advertising Standards Authority.


As spotted by ISP Review, the advertising regulator has given Virgin Media a good telling off for throttling download speeds to just 0.38Mbps if mobile customers download more than 3.5GB on its £20/month “unlimited” VIP Plus Tariff.

Though the throttling was mentioned in the small print, it wasn’t good enough for the ASA, which said in its judgement:

“Because we considered the limitation imposed on speeds to be more than moderate, we concluded that the claim “unlimited data” was misleading.”

Presumably Virgin is currently lining up a lazy fat bloke to replace current mascot Usain Bolt.

James O’Malley
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