The Difference Between Right and Wrong
By all means edit Reg. At the very least get a few friends to try the experiment and publish the results - Please.
“Virgin Media believes it is being shafted by comparison sites offering ISP speed checks, and has called on them to improve their techniques ahead of the launch of its 50Mbit/s upgrade.”
To pick up on the shafting from there, Virgin is certainly ‘improving’ its own ‘techniques’.
He’s a nice little test for you to try this coming morning.
Go here and look at Virgin’s posted throttling policy.
I’d draw attention to the 10:00-15:00 throttle-session.
There you’ll notice that you can attract a throttle if you *download* more than 1000MB in that time period. The theory is that if you don’t download more than that in that period, you don’t get throttled. Here is what Virgin is actually up to.
I’m on a 2Mb connection served, I believe, out of what it labelled as ‘Blueyonder, Livingston’.
On Tuesday 14 October 2008 and Wednesday 15 October 2008 I conducted the following little experiment because I was becoming increasingly convinced that Virgin had started running another scam in their throttling regime. I’d strongly suggest that others try this for themselves and see what results they come up with.
Launch your news-client and line up a download queue that will easily bust the 1000MB limit.
Set yourself a fairly generous ‘discount’ off of that limit (allowing for communication overhead etc.). In my case I reduced the Virgin enforced limit of 1000MB by 30MB – so I’m aiming to download 970MB. That isn’t going to bust the limit – I’m not going to get throttled.
Sit down and actually calculate the amount of time it would take, if you were running your connection at full tilt (in my case 256KB/s) to download that 970MB (or whatever value you calculated for your own connection rates). Remember, you’re not going to get your full rate so, in effect, this is a further discount on the Virgin imposed limit. In my case I calculated that out at 64 minutes to hit near to the 970MB. There is the communication overhead, but we’ve been generous in allowing for that and some of that will be mopped up because we ain’t going to run at full tilt anyway. All in all – we ain’t gonna get busted.
Okay, that’s us covered the download part of the experiment. Now we need to set up an upload part.
Now fire up a p2p client and set a queue such that you will *not* be downloading. You are *only going to upload*, OpenOffice, Linux distro – whatever. Fair enough you have a communications overhead for this but you have already discounted your download limit by more than 30MB and that 30MB (and a bit) should more than cover the download component of the communication overhead for your planned upload session. You should manage to *upload* for the remainder of the 10:00 – 15:00 period without getting busted for overshooting the 1000MB *download* limit. You can’t get busted for the upstream because there is no upstream throttle-penalty inside this time period.
Wait until 10:00. When it arrives set your news-client to start downloading. Time it. As soon as the system clock hits 11:04 shut the news-client down. As you do so pay attention to the download rate you had just as you shut it down. Two days in a row mine was around the 252KB/s mark i.e. I hadn’t hit the limit and hence wasn’t being throttled.
Okay, 11:04, start the p2p client to uploading. Should be uploading for the rest of the 10:00 – 15:00 period without difficulty, you can’t get throttled by Virgin for uploading in this period – Hey, it’s ‘unlimited’! Boy do you have another thing coming. I doubt you’ll get beyond 15-20 minutes and the throttle will step in. Have a look at what the p2p client is saying about the amount you actually *downloaded*. Within that 15-20 minutes I hadn’t even download 0.5MB. But, wait a minute (or 20) I had *uploaded* around 17MB.
Guess what. These charlatans, the ferkin sharp boys at Virgin have started *adding in the upstream* to count towards the *downstream throttle penalties* they’ve published on the web. And, as soon as your *upstream use* when added to the *downstream traffic you’ve already done in the period* busts the published *downstream limit* - you get busted.
I’ve tried it the last two days because I was so damned suspicious of the pattern of throttling I was being subjected to. I had calculated my rates, been generous with discounts – this had even worked for a while – and hey presto I was suddenly being throttled. And there it is. Likely this will Ofcon Approved ™ Or if it isn’t now, doubtless it will be in no time soon.
I still have difficulty in believing that a company, any company, can get away with the kinds of sharp, could even be claimed fraudulent, practices that Virgin evidently feels it has the liberty to perpetrate. But it has. ASA, Ofcon, the politicos have stood by and either ignored, tacitly approved of, or in Ofcon’s case actively engaged in shaping, Virgin and its business practices which to say the least amount to open fraud.
I keep scratching my head and ask, how this can possibly be? The answer I keep getting is that this has nothing whatsoever to do with ISP connection speeds, download limits or anything of the kind. This is to do with the shaping of future business politics and how it interfaces with the politicos. And all of this is happening because the future is going to be corrupt, they’ve started practicing now. Never thought I’d say that about the UK – but that’s the way it is. My oh, my, Beardie – you have come far, what company you must keep. Thanks to God the Courts had the sense to help keep your hands off the Lottery – guess they recognised a bad ‘un when it turned up to wax eloquent on the difference between right and wrong.
"I wonder if my share's been left in here. Ah! Nothing but whiskers."