Virgin Media's latest throttling rules

Broadband ISP Virgin Media has updated its rules on download/upload use to show when it'll start throttling net speeds by 50 or 75 per cent. The chart is here. What do you think - fair for the majority of users, or a slippery thick end of the wedge to fully choked web access?

This topic was created by diodesign .

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@Dig

I have 5 machines (one of them dual-booting) in the house, 4 of which are used for gaming with Steam on different accounts. 2 games consoles. Windows updates x 5 + OS X updates * 1 + Netflix + Steam + Bittorrent (mostly legitimately free music from various chiptune artists out there, occasionally also games from the Humble Indie Bundles, software from Sourceforge, or films/tv from the likes of Vodo) + occasional commercial software purchases/trials + regular Linux ISO downloads + Youtube/Vimeo + emusic account = a %^&*load of network traffic.

I pay for the top-level service from Virgin because I know that's what my usage pattern needs. Until these ridiculous new terms were introduced, that was fine. Now I'm in a situation where even if I can do it during what they call daytime hours, buying one new game on Steam and installing it puts me over my usage limit (every big new release I've bought since Portal 2 has been a 10GB+ download, and that's before we start about downloads on different accounts - and no I couldn't be arsed with manually copying files between machines, that's why I was paying for the fat pipe from Virgin).

If they don't understand why an uber-fast connection with stupid "fair use" limits is pointless, $%^& 'em. Why on earth would I want 120MBit broadband if the data caps are such that I'll barely have started using it before I get throttled?

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Trollface

"Why on earth would I want 120MBit broadband if the data caps are such that I'll barely have started using it before I get throttled?"

Don't tell me downloading a TV episode from iTunes in 20 seconds doesn't make the ladies foam?

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Go

Well i've been playing out.

Lastnight I was lmited down after 10GB but was adveraging 50-60mbps so that didn't stop me carrying on downloading and streaming HD

Right now I am 4GB into my 20GB allowance and it's running at full speed. If it's like 50MB STM was there's no STM between 3-4PM so that's another potential 40GB to be got.

Someone said on the VM forum that most customer's don't know about the forum - so most customers won't know about the STM as that's where it was announced. I've seen nothing in the press giving this information - have you?

So for me whilst it's annoying that I am dropped down wher 50 to 100MB users just go back to what they were used to, it's also managable. I will ensure I squeeze every drop I can from it.

On a final note - someone on the VM forum said " we should have 1TB a month limit total - max!

DON'T be a tool!

If you do your full 30GB allowance in peak times thats 900GB a month - There is no limit on what you can do after the STM times and overnight. I regularly do 150-200GB overnight. no probs!

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Go

I hit my 20GB 1 minute after 3pm and it's still going - so I guess it is off between 3-4PM.

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Windows

this is more exciting that live cricket commentry

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WTF?

anything is more exciting than that!

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FAIL

I've sent a video of Skyplayer buffering every 10 seconds using VM to trading standards - I have a very fast speedtest however.

Switched to my backup ISP and skyplayer is running fine - it's only a 6MB connection!

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Found their details from last year

Here's a post from an official Virgin employee responding as a virgin representative when a thread goes on about traffic management

---------------------------------------

I can confirm what other posters have said . The 100Mbps service is not throttled, which is why there is no reference to it here. That links also explains the throttling of P2P (except games) and Newsgroup traffic.

There is an FAQ regarding the detrimental use policy here. Currently 100Mbps service users are not subject to the detrimental use policy. Although there are no plans to change this, I cannot guarantee that this won't happen at some time in the future.

Regards,

John Haggerty

Help & Support Forum Team

---------------------------------------------------

And here are two links showing the then 50 and 100 charts, note the lack of management on the 100 except for newsgroups/p2p

http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/69/virginu.jpg/

http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/42/virgin2.jpg/

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WTF?

SO maybe yesterday I was not being STM'd maybe it was just usual slowdown - would make sense. To limit a product at 50mbps but give it 60-70 seems sloppy.

I can't see the FAQ as I am banned from the forum. (for airing my views as a paying customer) such a lovely company (NOT!)

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I was also getting 70mb/s yesterday ... might have been a wider area thing.

I don't believe that virgin have throttled me yet ...

I have downloaded over 300GB in the last 7 days and uploaded about 250GB

Personally i think that constitutes quite a bit of usage ...im a software developer though so i would also expect my usage to be above average and when you consider that overall i have used about 42GB per day and i only use the internet when im home and not in bed so thats between the hours of 6 and midnight (so about 7GB/hour) ... acceptable use seems reasonable.

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I've done 3.1GB in this 4-9 period and been throttled. You can tell as web pages take a bit longer. Also i've gone from 108.6mbps solid to between 60-74mbps which is still more than enough.

My upload is still 10.7mbps

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WTF?

wahey! done 3GB and back to 4.7kbps :/

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So this has just been half term!? STM is starting to be applied this weekend and our area isn't on the list yet!

Oh my :/

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Anonymous Coward

It's total loosing the purpose of "throttling P2P", when the management started to apply. I can't even open up google's home page! take 10 minutes to load the youtube home page!

The only one benefits from this policy is Virgin Media, because they don't want to invest in scaling up their infrastructure in order to handle large traffic, instead, they cut meat from their lovely users with a shitty software to cut down cost.

BTW, this shitty software is probably introduced by some PhD or stupid professors as half done research project - seems smart but shitty algorithms.

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Are Steam downloads affected?

A quick question to the Steam users out there. Have any of you been limited when you have been downloading games? The VM Traffic Management Policy says it only targets p2p downloads (ie torrents). As far as I can see Steam uses http and port 27033 so Steam downloads should not be affected.

Has anyone been limited when downloading Steam Games?

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Bronze badge

Re: Are Steam downloads affected?

Never been a problem for me. Steam isn't p2p for downloads though, it's just a download from their servers.

Blizzard Downloader among others use p2p though, so they'd probably count.

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Re: Are Steam downloads affected?

Steam servers can't keep up with my connection.

I know because I can pause a steam download that is doing say 8MB/s down and immediately get say 11MB/s down from an MSDN server.

I find steam gets slow at peak times like anything else.

But officially ... to answer your question ... no steam downloads should not be affected, but if people are having trouble with the likes of the google homepage after STM kicks in you can be sure of the fact that it would affect steam too.

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Alert

missing the point

ive also been hit hard with this stupid stm. but everyone seems to be missing the point by saying they have upgraded the connection and only cut it 40%

what is missing is they are capping either side of the bandwidth which hit their limits, first of all its 50% on the up side, then its 75%.

i like a lot of users have 120mb connection, i also shift vast amounts of data across my network and streaming my media server to friends and family. my up side is often capped to 1.3mbs which makes it useless for streaming. the ping also increased (ive seen it as high as 120ms) so when i access gmail it asks me to load the page for slower connections - not bad for a 120mb connection.

I was also sold the package as unlimited - you wont be traffic shapped or throttled like others.

Virgin has been very quiet about the new stm, i wonder why - thier userbase would probo drop an good % overnight. Why are they not required by law to advertise it as often as they drop letters though my door advertisng their services!!.

another thing is i think (also the cs rep said he thinks this is also the case) that virgin has secret bandwidth caps, if you use over 100gb (for example) they will automatically cap you during stm. I prooved this today as i have have used around 400gb this month, yesterday my modem was off until i called customer services to disconnect, my connection was 33mb down and 1.4mb up - only a few mins into the stm (this was hard wired not wifi btw) - i had used no data since the evening before hand (just to proove the point). my capping fell of around midnight and im back to 113mb down now.

Basically im now paying for 120mb connection and getting only 33mbs back.

the really sad part is i actually get faster connections now of my mobile phone using hspda+, if i need to upload a file to dropbox during the stm i can upload over 3x faster to the box from my phone than i can on the fastest broadband connection in the country.

virgin has taken a excellent internet connection (barring the superdud) and flushed it down the toilet, roll on sky fibre pro coming soon to my property.

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