back to article Virgin Media kills 20Mb broadband service

Virgin Media is urging existing customers on its 20Mbit/s broadband service to splurge a one-off payment of £30 to upgrade to its 30Mbit/s offering, which launched today. The company will no longer offer would-be punters the 20Mbit/s package, but existing customers do not have to upgrade to the new service as Virgin Media will …

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FAIL

Actually getting 20Mb would be nice first...

4Mb was about tops over the weekend, apart from when it was down altogether :-( When it's good, it can be very good (18.5 on speedtest.net) but it'll have days at a time where it's up and down - is upgrading to 30MB going to help that?

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WTF?

is upgrading to 30MB going to help that?

potentially yes, in reality perhaps not, but you stand a better chance it may if you do.

the so called upgrade offer like all their offers is VM's way to get you to pay in a round about way for their new DS3 modem you are legally renting in your consumer contact.

and in effect connecting and using that DS3 cable modem puts you on a separate virtual network and so virtually routed to different kit after the card at the other end and so you may get the better and more consistent speed your paying for.

now the world class Virgin Media PR Innovators may say its good for more family use as a way to bullshit you.

but the fact is they dont and cant officially allow you to pay them more to do the simple thing and get a second cable modem per household, as their billing system they payed massive amounts for only a few years ago simply did not allow them that option to officially add moor than one modem per house account, crazy as that sounds its true.

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FAIL

Try providing 20 before offering 30.

Every evening our 20mb service slows down to about 2.3, as it does for everyone in the area.

I think they have their priorities slightly wrong.

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FAIL

No thanks

The network can't handle current speeds nevermind upgraded ones. I'm not paying to upgrade until they sort out the ridiculous packet loss from 5pm onwards in my area.

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WTF?

Taking the p***

For the first time ever, I didn't upgrade from 20 to 50Mb because they charged for something I didn't see as worth it, then they call me repeatedly and offer it to me for an installation fee and an additional monthly charge. What sort of idiot do they take me for? Now, they want me to can a perfectly good 20Mb connection AT MY EXPENSE to go to 30Mb? No chance. If you want me off it, just do it.

Now, 100Mb. That's a whole new ball game :)

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Anonymous Coward

Urf

I have just (i.e. within the last two weeks) signed up for 20mb, what are the chances of them giving me a "goodwill" upgrade?

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Happy

zero

the 20mb is pretty good stick with it.

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depends...

They're a bit sneaky - they don't actually advertise the "deals" they offer to CURRENT subscribers - give them a ring and try getting the call escalated to UK support (if you're REALLY lucky you might get straight through to UK support apparently) and find out what they can do; remember, shy bairns get nowt.

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Anonymous Coward

what are the chances of them giving me a "goodwill" upgrade?, zero to none

"what are the chances of them giving me a "goodwill" upgrade?", zero to none

but saying that , IF your new and so they give you a cable modem as part of the rental.

then IF they give you/install the new Docsis3 curvy black case cable modem with 5 lights on the top rather than the old DS2 blue with 4 lights on the front than you are all set for the faster speeds as its just a case of them remotely sending the new cable modem config to that modem by upgrading your account details.

and they (retentions usually) May or not be convinced to give you that upgrade for free at some point if you protest and chase up the reduced costs they say they will give you but dont many times until you complain and complain again until someone takes notice and puts on the account as an official note.

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Grenade

This will be with their new 'hub' router/modems then

... which are not a drop in replacement for the old kit.

The new kit cannot (yet) operate as a bridge, so that those of us running our own firewalls with a slightly unusual configuration will find things stop working.

They have been promising for quite a while that a firmware update to enable bridge mode is coming 'soon'.

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New areas?

Do they just upgrade their existing customers' infrastructure now? I just keep hoping that they'll start laying cable again so that I can finally top 1.5Mbps.

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Laying Cable?

You've got no chance. Maybe if they got another round of handouts.

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Stop

A few sage words of advice

Before spending your hard-earned money on more bandwidth it might be an idea to see how much bandwidth you're currently using.

The Speedtest website can tell you what speed you're currently getting and using a simple tool like NetMeter can tell you if you're currently actually making good use of that bandwidth. No point in buying a Ferrari when you're only using it for the shopping run.

Finally take a close look at how much you're currently spending and compare it with the current deals on your provider's website. If you're spending over the odds for a poorer service then try bargaining for a better rate. I've known people who have more than doubled their bandwidth and halved their monthly bill with a half hour phone call.

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Go

Ferrari?

"No point in buying a Ferrari when you're only using it for the shopping run"

Actually, that's exactly one of the reasons to buy a Ferrari - so you can show off on the way to the shops. Pretty much the same reason they are offering 100Mbs service - so that geeks can boast about their service. As you say, the vast majority of users need nowhere near the speed they're paying for.

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Cheaper Than The 20meg Service :(

So I am on the second month of my 20meg 12 month contract at £30 a month, and they are now offering 30meg for £28.50 a month :(((

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Thumb Down

Sort out the packet loss first!

I recently upgraded to 20mb from 10mb, and I'm now getting erratic pings and packet loss in the evenings. Looks like the DOCSIS 3 UBR in my area is overloaded again. I'm seriously thinking of going back down to 10mb, as that's on the older network which isn't oversubscribed.

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FAIL

Wonderful...

I've just found out that my UBR is overloaded and they plan to fix it in... April!

So another two to three months of evening internet that's unusable for streaming or gaming.

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Pint

Another "free" offer to pay for :-)

VM do like their "free" offers which you pay for, especially given that extra 12 month lock-in and costs tied to phone plus TV bundles. It is all about customer numbers and keeping those customer numbers. You have to be pretty slow off the mark not to realise that.

As long as it also suits me I don't see it as a problem as I don't plan on defecting to another ISP; VM's broadband infrastructure has been brilliant in my experience, 19.8 on 20Mbps almost all of the time, STM hasn't been a problem for my usage. Upgrading to 30, 50 or even 100 Mbps would depend on the cost and what that really bought me; 20 is fine for me at the moment.

The rest of VM is a different story, especially off-shored customer support and out-sourced services.

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Thumb Up

Just me then?

I've been on VM for a couple of years now, and must be the only one with no problems? Get my downloads through the day, avoid the evenings. Got a 10MB service and phone, free calls 24/7, all for £28 a month. I got the calls because I run a business from home through the day. Just threaten to leave and you'll get the loyalty bonus. Lovely cable. No copper cable that gets shitty when its cold or wet.

Been with BT, Plus net, talk talk, BE, AOL, and Zen. Virgin have been OK. Zen where great till they offered a higher speed package than my old solid 2MB package. Never got 2MB again or the up to 10MB promised. So left.

Now, when do I get either a price reduction for 10MB or a free upgrade?

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Free upgrade

I got a free upgrade from 10 to 20 last year.

I wasn't even looking for one, I'd gotten bored and tried to access the customer portal thing. I couldn't because I'm a migrated NTL user and they didn't provision my account properly.

The nice chap pointed out that he could upgrade me to 20Meg and reduce my bill by a fiver without me committing to another 12 months. The only silly thing was that he had to ask me if I wanted to go ahead with the upgrade.

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Stop yer whinging

And try my 1Mbps at best ADSL. It's not the back of feckin' beyond either - two miles from a large town.

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Throttling

I had never noticed throttling before ( we generally just have general Internet use over a couple of laptops/phones) but I had a demo download session a few weekends ago, and saw the DL rate tumble after about 4Gb.

I thought metering was only at peak times - must check the fine print.

Otherwise I've been delighted with my NTL/Virgin cable over about 10 years now.

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Linux

The Phonecoop vs Virgin....

I'm supposed to be with one of the warmest and cuddliest ISPs, The Phonecoop. Last month I was charged an extra £9 for over use - using 17Gb extra than my alloted 40Gb.

I've used NTL then Virgin for years and their support is no worse than anyone else's and we had fewer outages over eight years with them than the problems we've had with ADSL over the last two.

Their throttled rates are significantly better than my full bandwidth ADSL.

I'm probably signing back up with them.

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Anonymous Coward

Please get my 20meg right before you upgrade to 30

I constantly lose my 20meg connection, which is great when its up but for any kind of gaming you regularly drop out.

Several calls to the no help centre, of course nothing can be found whenever I call and all I end up doing is restarting the modem 13 times... Wish they would get what they have now working properly before they constantly upgrade?

Although isnt the 30meg just a sofrware change anyway? Pretty sure the modem I have can go upto 50meg anyway (if not beyond).

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Thumb Up

Although isnt the 30meg just a sofrware change anyway?

"Although isnt the 30meg just a sofrware change anyway? Pretty sure the modem I have can go upto 50meg anyway (if not beyond)."

that depends on your modem they installed , if it's the old doc2 as is the case for most users although some are probably still on the older kit even today, then that DS2 can technically go above that.

however with that old DS2 VM choose not to allow that config file , if you now have the shiny curvy DS3 CM however then yes its just a remote config sent to you after they update your computer account (takes around 2 minutes at best, days when they screw it up).

all told if your getting a new install make sure you get the DS3 today and your all set for everything from the lowest to the highest 100Mbit, even the 200Mbit if they ever get around to that config in the future.

as a sade note will someone with the 30Mbit activated, PLEASE tell us what the actual real

UPLOAD rate as set in your modem is set to ? that info is here

http://192.168.100.1/CmOpConfig.asp

under the "Primary Upstream Service Flow" options Max Traffic Rate :=

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Go

Umph

I'm on the 10Mbit package because I upgraded to the 20Mbit package and saw precisely ZERO difference in speeds, measured at various times over a several day exercise. At no point have VM comitted me to a new package deal for upgrading - that's one of the advantages of a VM contract; once you've done your initial period you're free to chop and change at will. And 2 weeks to get a modem replaced? You're 'avin a giraffe!! My faulty modem was replaced in two business days, in the run up to Christmas. Maintenance and reliability is NOT a criticism you can levy at VM Cable services in general - OK so maybe you had a bad experience but in general they are good on that front.

Where they fail is customer service - call centres in Bangalore who have zero technical knowledge and operate via scripted question and answer sessions. I'm technically competent and if my problem falls outside the script you damn well better be able to help. VM Call Centres can't. (p.s. I've told them this too before the self righteous brigade start.)

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Anonymous Coward

Where they fail is customer service

Luck of the draw - I've spoken to VM people who seemed to know bugger all, and people who not only knew exactly what I was talking about but were able to do something about it almost immediately, so don't tar them all with the same brush.

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Alert

Upgrade means a new 12 month contract

Just phoned them about an upgrade, was told that because of the new router/modem all-in-one, it'd be a new 12 month contract. I didn't really want a new contract.

Since I wasn't going to pay £30 for 20Mb/s when I could get 30Mb/s for £28.50, I downgraded to 10Mb/s.

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Just upgraded from 10Mb

I just called them and asked how much it'd be to upgrade to 30Mb and was told an extra £6-ish per month so decided to it, but wanted to see how much I get off the £30. So I got transferred from India to the UK (FFS) and was then told that the 30Mb would be an extra £15 per month!

No thanks, but upon querying about how there is now a large price-gap in their products she went off and found out she could put me onto the (now discontinued) 20Mb for an extra 4 quid a month with no fee. So I took that.

So I wonder if I want to upgrade to the 30Mb soon then I could pay the one-off £30 and then get the new 20Mb I've got upgraded to 30Mb for the same price...

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FAIL

TinFoil Hat Time!

VM has done this so it can free up some iPV4 allocations so it can simply reship out 10Meg broadband services, getting most if not 90% of its customers to switch to the brand new IPV6 Box "super-hub" will not only be cheaper for virgin media in the short term it will show investors that VM is doing something "for the future" the only thing i can say is wait til them superhubs got faulty and you speak to some poor person in a call center in India who doesn't have a clue what the difference is between RAM and Memory so send out 2 men with not much education to unplug and plug back in again the superhub only to call the same guys up and complain "oh its faulty"

tbh i can see virgin media being purchased this year by a compeitor (BT)?

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Anonymous Coward

Free Calls to Mobiles, RUBBISH !!

If you THINK that you are actually getting FREE CALLS TO VIRGIN MOBILES from your Virgin landline, I suggest that you carefully check your invoices/bills because I too was under that ILLUSION when suddenly, after several months of free calls to a Virgin mobile number they started charging me for calls. I knew 100% it IS a virgin mobile but they were adamant and insisted vigorously that it was NOT a Virgin Mobile. I then provided them proof. They then told me the rules have changed and they are NOT free after all.

Virgin talk the talk, but do NOT walk the walk . Check your bills carefully.

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What's that got to do with...

Broadband?

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Docsis Upgrade

I recently had terrible connection problems. An engineer visited and switched me to the new cable modem/router which I assume is the Docsis 3 one. I now have rock solid 20Mb download and 2Mb upload speeds but having major issues with packet loss running a pingtest. It's currently losing between 30% and 90% of all packets. Engineer is booked to visit Friday morning, fingers crossed.

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FAIL

Oh dear - TS fail again

TS should have told you to turn off IP Flood detection (select Advanced then Services and uncheck the appropriate box)

It isn't really dropping packets it's just blocking the "flood" from pingtest.net.

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Headline Speeds.

I was told today by VM Tech that they can only help with speeds if it's slower than 30% of the headline speed.

So a 30 meg user will be able to get 9 meg. Nice..

It's the first time I have EVER been told by VM Support that their service is only a "Up-To" service and I shouldnt expect the headline speeds.

This is just some strange ploy to get wifi&docsis3 into everyones homes. I expect a firmware update is going to give us a new "wifi" zone company really soon!

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@kwikbreaks

Thanks @kwikbreaks oh I wished I checked back here before the engineer arrived this morning, scratched his head for an hour before calling their own tech support only to end up switching off Flood Detection!

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