back to article Virgin Media eases off bandwidth throttling

Fewer Virgin Media subscribers will fall foul of the cable company's bandwidth-throttling policies for shorter periods when they are rejigged in the new year. High speed internet is at the centre of new boss Neil Berkett's plan to turn around VM. From "early 2008" the top three per cent of uploaders and the top three per cent …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.

Page:

Unhappy

"Theoretical 20Mbs" is a very apt description!

I'm on that plan and I don't think I've EVER come close to reaching it. I'm lucky to get 2Mbs down at most times. I uploaded one of my own videos to my FTP server (hosted in California it must be said) and never went above 750Kps for the whole time.

I'm locked into the 12 month contract for the VIP package (a total rip off!) until March, at which time I'll be downgrading to the 2Mbs broadband and dumping the rest of the package (I don't watch Sky Sports or Sky Movies, nor do I have ANY use for a second cable box).

List me as another ex-Telewest user who loved Telewest but hates VirginMedia, but hates the BT crapola ADSL even more!

0
0

Not Bad.....

But could be better.

If they were going to halve instead of quarter the top pack I might consider it.

Seems like the 4mb is still the best way to go.

0
0
Thumb Down

No change then

Given I can get nowhere near my 20Mbit line speed (most I've ever see is around 8Mb, central Edinburgh), even if they did cap me I'd see no difference then. The Virgin network is horribly slow at the best of times. Can't wait until they release their 50Mb service. At least then maybe I'll get over 10Mbit. *sigh*

0
0
Bronze badge
Thumb Down

What about ADSL users?

There's nothing about ADSL users anywhere. Are Virgin marginalising those users?

0
0

Any idea of how we'll know?

Or will it just be for "reasons of bandwidth allocation"? I.e. nothing I can take them to task for because I can't get any proof?

When this was a limited trial in one area (reported on The Register) I phoned and told them if the rolled it out to me, I'd leave. The lady told me it was only because that particular area (Rochester? Can't remember) was bad and was not going to be rolled out UK wide. Smelled piscine to me.

So they rolled it out

So I left.

They couldn't keep their promises then and why should I believe them now? I don't.

0
0
Silver badge
Unhappy

Getting there...

A move in the right direction...

Of course I'm on crappy copper, so I dream of downloading 300mb in 4 hours!

0
0
Anonymous Coward

How much is enough?

Is this the boss of VM who only a few weeks ago was saying that the UK didn't need a new network infrastructure because 50MBit/sec was "enough"? Or was that a different boss of a different Virgin Media?

0
0

An upload limit?

That's a cheeky inclusion - there was no limit on upload at all until now....

This isn't easing off at all.

0
0
Thumb Down

Theoretical speed

Theoretically, an ISP can offer 100Mbs. Reality is more like 1Mb.

While I'm not a 'valued' customer of VM, a colleague of mine is and he says at night, he'd be better of on dial up.

My own 'provider' promises me 16Mbs, which in reality is around 3Mbs. Not bad but could be bettter.

They'd all be better off not promising the earth and delivering Watford Gap. Invest in infrastructure methinks. Customers before profit because looking after your customers will improve profitability in the long run for these short-sighted gits.

0
0

@BoldMan

Given that you don't use half of what it included in the VIP package surely its your fault for signing up for it not that its a rip off. Given that if you do use all the parts of the VIP package it costs considerably less than buying those parts individually it would be hard to call it a rip off. When I when onto the VIP I got better services for about 30 quid a month less than I was paying. Can't say I feel ripped off.

0
0
Happy

Speed was never a problem...

..for me when I was a Virgin customer. Had their 2mb line and got exactly that.

Worked best when grabbing stuff straight off their newsgroups mind....

0
0

4Mb package unfairly hammered

Considering the cost of the 4 meg package (2/3 of the cost of the 20 meg), it seems a touch unfair to throttle it to just 1/4 the speed: Halving would be more palatable. I also think this should be the case on the alleged 20 meg service (although plenty of colleagues and friends tell me that they might as well be permanently capped seeing as they never actually get 20 meg they're supposedly paying for).

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Tech savy

I'm as tech savvy as they come and find it difficult to translate their policy in to an end user experience, but why oh why must consumers be barraged with nonsensical numbers. If t > 1800 and D < 300 then Apply_Limit [Let T1 =-4x60] else ....

you get the picture.

Im also not convinced that throttling based on a percentage (3%) will give the desired result. Percentages scale with magnitude of the underlying number, so whether this means that traffic is being appropriately managed I remain unassured.

0
0
Alert

Good News...

... But from the sound of it the M & L customers wont be getting a speed increase in the near future so left out in the cold again!

I think the M ones limits before throttling is good, but the higher plans should have bigger limits and I agree 20MB should only be halved like the others!!!!!!!!

If they really want to be known as premium broadband provider they should increase the plans to the following:

Medium: 4MB £15.00

Large: 10MB £25.00

Xtra Large: 20MB £37.00

XXL: 50MB £50.00

0
0

makes me think i've been conned

I have the L package, and actually get around 3.5Mb/sec!!

I can't say i've noticed this throttling, but i must exceed the current limit on a daily basis, 750MB is next to nothing!

I do hope virgin realise that they are the closest thing the country has to a decent broadband infrastructure (scarey isn't it?) and remove these limits entirely.

0
0
Stop

How can fewer be affected?!

They are counting the upload now as well as the download, so more will be affected not less.

They have even extended the 4 hours to 5 hours!

And guess what! instead of dropping you down to 2Mb you'll be dropped to 1Mb!

So let's recap.

Let us disregard the 3% Virgin are saying, they would say that because we were getting sick of hearing the 5% everytime. 3% sounds so much better than 5% but not as good as maybe 1& they'll come up with the next time.

Anyway, let's recap.

Upload is now counted, so will affect more people than it did before as it was only download that counted before.

2Mb was bad enough, now let's have something to really complain about, you'll now get only 1Mb.

Instead of that slow 1Mb for 4 hours, it's been extended another 1 hour to 5 hours!

Everything's so much better now!

SUPERSONIC BROADBAND! YEH! YEH! YEH!

0
0

theoretical 20mb is wrong

I have no difficulty getting 20mbs down from various high capacity servers around the world.

The problem that most people complain about not getting much over 2MB is just that they are talking megaBYTES not megaBITS,

Or they are talking about upload which is not 20mb but is < 1mb or they are visiting oversubscribed sites that do not have the bandwidth to spare 20mbs on a single visitor.

0
0

Boldman...

blimey,, you know... ntl/telwest/VM whatever badge they put on it, the infrastructure is the same.

Look,, this is what happened. they got the customers on board but didn't invest in the network because of all the debt and posturing and waiting to be bought out by Liberty et al... Now the merger is fully underway and the re-branding is full steam ahead, money is starting to be spent on upgrading the network. DOCSIS 3.x... etc

They are letting go of the reigns a bit because they can. It's still better than BT, and since there are only 2 networks in the UK you might as well choose between BT and VM. (Virtually everyone else is backhauled over these two)... But since BT rely on ADSL, you have to choose VM simply because ADSL is a complex and tacky service, bolted onto an old network, whereas Cable is a very high bandwidth network that is much more scalable and manageable.

0
0
Coat

bloody hell...

...you lot don't know you're born!

"i wish i could get the full 20Mbit out of my connection"

i remember when the internet moved at the speed of mashed swede! because some of the backbone was made of it...

0
0

Re: Theoretical 20Mbs

20Mbs is the download speed ... VM cable is asymetric and for XL the upload speed is 768kbs max ... so if you had 750kbs for a transfer to west coast US then it was working pretty well.

N.b. one point is that it is now potentially throttling uploads - previously I think it was downloads. This may be another nail in the coffin of iplayer etc as the argument was that ISP only metered/throttled downloads so it didn't matter if iplayer was continually uploading data from you PC!

0
0
Thumb Down

Wonder if it will work too?

I'm on their 20 mb "service" and am getting quite fed up of their throttling kicking in without my system having either uploaded or downloaded. I am a heavy user at times but that is what I (expected) and paid for.

I am currently on a 3 month freebie with them but when that ends I am downgrading as its simply not worth paying 37 quid for broadband you cannot use.

0
0
Thumb Up

20mbit fine in Leeds

In the Leeds area (Headingley and previously the nearby town of Harrogate) I can get full 20mbit whenever I connect to something capable of giving that to me. Now, I'll tell you this for sure, that is a rare occurance. Not much on the net is designed to feed you stuff at over 2MB/s, but I have a client on a 100mbit dedicated host and I can get top speed from that server at nearly all times of the day. It's slightly less in the evenings - around 1.5MB/s.

I used to see those speeds on a regular basis before 10/23... sniff.

0
0
Thumb Up

Re: Theoretical 20Mbs

I get 2Mbytes/sec pretty consistently on VM both inside and outside of the threshold times, so no complaints at all on that front.

However I, like a lot of people I'd wager, would happily forfeit some of the insane download speed (especially in light of the capping) for more upload speed. Not looking to host a website or anything but it would be nice to be able to stream my Sky box output at a nice bitrate. :)

0
0
Thumb Up

Heh...

So glad I got off all these "Fair Use Policy" ISP's before the fit hit the shan. Zen is my new home. Granted, I have a 50gb max download per month before I'm capped...but providing I don't go mad with downloading I'm usually good. Also no cap on uploads, no traffic shaping or anything which makes most ISPs bad. ;)

0
0
Dead Vulture

Too little Too late

I was with virgin for 5 years. In that time I have exprienced the level or competance akin to a ameba ordering a meal in McDonalds with Burger king vouchers. The indian call center is a waste of my hearing and has NEVER done anything for me. I only ever got joy dealing with the liverpool call center - sad but factualy 100% my experience.

I see people with cloned modems left right and center - campaigned for VM to sort, told then how to do it. they have not done a thing, instead only cripperling paying customers. So I joined them after I foolishy refered 3 friends only to find no 3x£30 loaytay payments, no. It actualy cost me. After 2 months chassing the payments due to me and also the extra charges to call them to sort out there many mistakes I though fuck em and got a cloned modem and there is nothing there going to do about it.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Theoretical sppeds

The highest i've got out the 20mb package is 18.6Mb/s or 2.3MB/s.

That wasn't it just peaking out, it ran at that speed for a few hours.

Since then it seems to have dropped abit, late at night/early in the morning I get around 15Mb/s.

At the minute (17.12) i'm getting 11.3Mb/s 1.4MB/s, will probably drop to around 8Mbps as the evening goes on.

Not experienced any throttling that i'm aware off, I think the evening slowdown is just general net congestion, and I've seriously abused this connecting over the past month.

I'm a happy camper :)

0
0
Unhappy

WTF

Never having read any of the c**p VM have sent me, I didn't even know there were download limits, I'm sure my original Telewest (Birmingham Cable) connection had no limits !!!!

Anyway the whole thing has become so sloooow since VM took over, don't know what they've done to it.

And in all the years it was Blueyonder, it was only offline for about 12hrs in total (over about 5yrs) now the bloody thing never works. VM load of sh1t.

0
0
Thumb Down

I get 20Mbit easily

... Off peak anyway. And I don't believe for one second that it only applies to the top 5% of people, I download bugger all compared to some people (i've seen figures of 1TB+ a month from some, I don't manage that in a whole year) but I still get capped come 3GB and 4PM when I do feel the need to stretch my downloading legs.

The new caps don't sound like easing off at all, I don't think anyone will be fooled by this announcement.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: How can fewer be affected?!

Hi,

A few points to reconsider:

They have halved the length of time when the restrictions can be triggered.

A possible 2x4 hours of throttling becomes one instance of 5.

And upload and download throttling will be treated separately, and as the update page notes: "There is some overlap in the 3% of uploaders and the 3% of downloaders. Our data has identified that the top 3% of uploaders and downloaders makes up fewer than 5% of all users." Currently it's five per cent across the board.

Yes, there are negatives such as the 2Mbit being cut to 1MBit for "L" users, but the overall effect for people who are caught by throttling will be positive. Cheers,

- Chris

0
0
Tom

Hmm

I'm on 8Mbps VM ADSL and generally pull 5.5Mbps. Sometimes it goes slow and can hit 1.5/2Mbps. Once or twice those it has ground down to like 100kbps

0
0

@Anigel

You say "I have no difficulty getting 20mbs down from various high capacity servers around the world" - can I ask which ones? My standard test is "wget http://blueyonder.linux.tucows.com/files/Eagle_2_2_0.iso" as

- the server's on their network (I think!)

- it's a big enough file to iron out fluctuations

Best I've ever manged is 1.2 M BYTE/s against a theoretical 2.5ish for 20Mbit but atm I'm getting 100k BYTE/s tops...

0
0

It all seems so odd

I often see comments in the tech press that Europe routinely has speeds between 30Mbps and 100Mbps, and decrying Verizon's FiOS service for not offering higher speeds. I have FiOS, I get 2Mbps upstream and 15Mbps downstream, without throttling at any time. Other than Verizon having totally destroyed "my" router once by trying a remote firmware update, the service has been highly reliable.

And now I see the UK is suffering the woes usually attributed to us poor benighted colonials.

Schadenfreude.

0
0
Flame

ADSLosers

Yet again, VM prove they are all about *cable* broadband users.

What about us poor sods on their shockingly bad ADSL service?

What of the recent traffic prioritisation work (about 2 weeks ago) that meant all streaming/video/VoIP/gaming data was treated as P2P, and throttled right back - which, due to the time-sensitive nature of gaming packets, meant that gaming was broken? And, when it wasn't broken, latency was 220-280ms!?!?

Just have a look at:

http://bazza.dyndns.org/rrdstats/baz14all.cgi?p=1y

And you'll see the poor latency for yourself.

Actually, see if you can guess the month when I moved onto their ADSL service?!

But, what do I care? Branson can stick his ADSL broadband service up his jacksy. I'm off to Be. Should be activated tomorrow.

I hope Beardy-Branson takes the £50 "exit fee" I'm having to pay, and puts it towards more infrastructure. Because, they sorely need the investment.

0
0

@Paul

I believe I was mis-sold the VIP package, when I wanted to get a V+ box installed, I was assured that the VIP package would cost me LESS and give me MORE than I would have got if I bought the packages separately and transferred my BT line to VM. I was dumb enough to believe them when they said I'd actually get 20Mbs out of my line! As it stands I'm paying over the odds for services I eitehr don't get or don't use so I can now definitely say that my dropping the VIP package and just buying the bits I want I'll save about £25 per month and probably not notice the "drop" in broadband speed!

True I do actually get more in the VIP package than I used to have, but I don't watch Sky Sport or Sky Movies, so that "more" is redundant. I hold my hand up to making a mistake in goign for this package in the first place, but what really rankles is that I was tied into it for 12 months, even though I've been a customer of Cable London/Telewest/VM ever since they put fibre into my building back in 1999, and had Blueyonder broadband as soon as it was launched by Telewest back in... whenever it was 2001/2?

0
0

RE: It all seems so odd

"""I have FiOS, I get 2Mbps upstream and 15Mbps downstream"""

I get nearly that fast on my regular old cable connection. And it never slows down. I regularly queue newsgroup downloads 40GB at a time, and I have definitely pulled down 200GB in a weekend.

The only real irritation is that they block incoming traffic on ports 80 and 21, mostly to get people to upgrade to their insanely expensive commercial grade connection.

I guess I should feel lucky...

0
0
Pirate

@ Martin Richards

I regularly pull around 18.8mb / 2.3 MB a sec off newshosting.com newsgroup servers in europe with 8 concurrent conections - a full 4.7 MB DVD iso in 50MB chunks takes in the region of 30 to 33 mins - the same film ... errr - test object in xvid format ~760 mb in 15MB chunks takes in the region of 5 mins 30 secs.

That is not a speed I am going to complain about or realisticly get with an ADSL provider considering I am more than a stones throw from my nearest exchange (Zen and BeBroadband both said I would should expect next to bugger all as I live 7 miles from an exchange)

And all the people with cloned cable boxes and TV services - where I live 50 odd miles north of London, they have started shutting down the cable boxes & the guys who make/chip the TV Boxes recon they are for the crapper any time soon (my guess is new years eve so when you come home after a night on the sherbert no more free Pr0n - not that UK cable pr0n is even worth watching - we had to check it out for *cough* research reasons you understand)

Anon as I like my service

*disclaimer*

Any downloads were all done as part of research. Downloading TV eppisodes due to "Lets fsck up a bank next" Beardy Branson being able to agree with meglomaniac Murdoch supports lost at sea cannoists and Osama Bin Hiding. You shouldnt do it.

This post may contain traces of nuts and will only help with weight loss as part of a callorie controlled diet.

0
0
Unhappy

@ barry et al

that wasn't just VM-ADSL. The backhaul everywhere is f00ked(excuse northern slang) and the roleout of ex-chinese-govt.-comms-arm company manufactured MSAN into the variously hammered Rings over the last month or so has helped fractionally but the infrastructure is still woefully innadequate.. ADSL still sucks. not to mention the knock-on perceptual 'failings' in lower tier ISPs as the BT/VM backhaul fails more for them than the owners of the big networks. They're hardly going to harm their own public clientel when they have business 'partners' with a client base ready and willing to move to the bigger two..

Then there's the idea of 'Contract Negotiations' at company level for supply of the backhaul network in some areas.. being held to 'ransome' as your business is entirely contingent upon supply of a fundamental component owned and controlled by a rival..

I get 235kbps downstream on VM and go and get some sleep, my expectations are not generated by the companies providing the supply.. they just lie. My sympathies to the rest of the virtual world with requirements above and beyond having a little patience... I too remember the un-alloyed joy of getting a dial-up to do 46kbps..

0
0

Ummm....

By BoldMan

Posted Monday 10th December 2007 16:13 GMT

Unhappy

I'm on that plan and I don't think I've EVER come close to reaching it. I'm lucky to get 2Mbs down at most times. I uploaded one of my own videos to my FTP server (hosted in California it must be said) and never went above 750Kps for the whole time.

Not to split hairs but VM's XL package is [up to] 20Mbs Down and 750Kbs Down.

It was on the contract you signed and Telewest had a lower upload limit.

I'm in central Edinburgh and I can get 12Mbs most days but it changes over the day.

I guess even though we're on fibre we still get bottlenecked with all the analogue traffic, Why exactly will the digital switchover take 4 years ?

0
0
Thumb Up

Cable is fine.

Got a 20Mbit VM cable connection.

Typically used to only max about 7.2MBits and complained a couple of times to VM but they told me that I'd only ever see max speeds at 4am.

Ioverlooked several things though. :D While studying for a N+ decided it was best to ditch my wireless Netgear rangemax and try a "borrowed" cisco switch.

I then ditched the "mainstream" broadband testers in favour of a download manager & popular "legal" movie download site.(based in Russia although you have to pay $1.99 per movie :(...)

My next words were along the line "Holy flaking Christmas".

Downloaded a 690Mb AVI file in 4 Minutes 41 Seconds. :D That included about 20 seconds of sourcing time by the download manager.

Surely a fluke.

Tried it again with a different movie - exact same speed ~20MBits/second or roughly 2.5MBytes per second. Even during peak times.

Downloaded some MSDN software at a similar speed & just downloaded the ISO pointed out by Martin Richards above and it managed to build up to about 9Mbits/s before it finished through the download manager. I expect it could have gone higher as it found 19 sources but only managed to trigger 8 of them before the download completed(about 14 seconds).

Turns out my Netgear couldn't handle multiple connections.

Tried a belkin and it stopped responding when I sourced from 8 or more.

I thought I was tech savy but obviously I missed this one.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Cable ? What Cable ?

'I can get full 20mbit whenever I connect to something capable of giving that to me.'

Yet my experience of the joys of VM cable was that the BBC newsite would time out

during the evenings, perhaps I should complain to the BBC ? Once or twice I actually used dial-up on my laptop to read the news because it was faster !

Cable = technically superior solution crippled by muppets

0
0
Anonymous Coward

What about them sorting out the ADSL???

The acceptable use policy for the 300,000 of us poor baxtards using VM ADSL is a joke as the top 5% of downloaders in peak time (4 till 12) have their bandwidth throttled the week after for seven days..

So every week VM are throttling the bandwidth of 15,000 paying customers to "up to 512kbs" , 1/16th or 7%

And thats not for 5 hours, thats 56!!!! Thats right 56 effing hours of less than 512kbs right when you want to use the bloody thing.

I'm buying myself out of my contract in a couple of months as i've fallen foul of this twice now and i don't do sod all downloading in comparison to my mate on BT and he's never had a single problem

0
0
Thumb Down

A few months ago

I got a new PC and once I had the OS installed I started downloading updates and drivers and VS Express and a couple of games (mostly through Steam). It didn't take that long for my connection to get throttled, and I had to leave some of it going overnight. I'm also pretty sure that VNC has ended up throttling my connection occasionally.

I've said it before and I'll say it again - there's no point VM supplying a service which it can't provide. Everyone will get hit by throttling once in a while, and when they do it will piss them off as much as a 'heavy downloader'. If you can't provide constant 20mbps to everyone you sell the service to, then don't sell that service. If 8mbps or 4mbps were still the top speeds for home connections they would have no need to throttle it, and who really needs 20mbps for a home connection? Maybe they could offer an inbetween work from home connection for those of us who have heavy demands on file transfers when we're working at home for a price that companies wouldn't mind paying for, but that home users alone might not afford. Until we have a much better backbone we shouldn't be supplying anything above 12mbps to home users as shown by VMs aggressive throttling and other ISPs' capping.

0
0
Black Helicopters

slightly pointless for XL users

its slightly/stupid for XL users. i am myself with the XL package and never recieve move than a speed of 2Mbit/s between these peak times as it is... maybe they should focus on actually giving the speeds they advertise first just so i can download this amount of information first... mmmm large amounts of porn...

0
0

XL Goodness

I'm on the 20Mb plan & I get 20Mb - downloads occaisionally hit 2.6MB/s from the fastest sites. I have no problem at all with Virgin's cable connection. The company is shit but the product is fine.

0
0
Linux

@ Nexox Enigma

Its idiots like you which are the reason the network is f**ked in the first place.

I pay for the XL service, i am in Manchester and have made a point to do a speed test on mine most evenings, every night is under 1mb, roughly between 0.7/0.9Mbs, so a) yes think yourself lucky b) what in f**ks name do you need to download 200gb in a weekend? just so you can tell your mates you have 200gb worth of shit on your hard disk??

0
0
Stop

stop whinging

You're lucky to have a decent speed connection in the first place. Out in the Devon countryside I have a 512/256k adsl connection, with no prospect of it ever getting faster. So when you get "throttled", you're still on a far faster connection than little old me!

0
0
Thumb Down

cowboys

I obviously don't check my email often enough, as I was not aware of any change in policy. I rarely use my 2Mb connection but had to reboot the modem at the weekend when i wanted to use it. After I did, I found I was getting downloads of around 23K/s from most websites and speedtests confirmed my downloads as being somewhere between 1.3Mb and 1Mb. I know speedtests aren't completely accurate, but when I ran them under T/W I was always getting much higher results.

As someone who doesn't really download anything outside of work, i'm a bit miffed that i'm being throttled when i've done nothing wrong.

All I can say is I never had any issues when T/W ran the service....

0
0
Thumb Down

Still crap

'L' customers throttled by a quarter! Much worse than the current setup.

Virgin just love slapping their customers..... avoid!

0
0
Tom
Thumb Down

New CEO with a new 'view from the bridge'

I'm sick of these idiots, how many CEO's has this poor fated company been through? At least 5 in the past 6 years, how can they follow a game plan when some cheesy mofo pops his two penneth in to try and show the shareholders he was worth the x ammount of millions they get paid. I used to work for Telewest in sheffield many moons ago, I know how much of a shambles it was behind the scenes then, god knows what its like now.... Poor sods who have to deal with irate customers sent thier way from hidious desicions made by the upper echeleons of the adminisphere.

0
0
Heart

Well I'm a VM fanboy...

...can't disagree though Telewest were heaps better!

I can still grab a 700MB XVID "file" in 11 minutes and I'm on the 20Mbit package, all I know it's waaaay faster than driving to my local video shop :-D

0
0

Page:

This topic is closed for new posts.

Forums