back to article Virgin Media mops up CEO's 'boll*cks' outburst

Virgin Media (VM) today moved to calm fears that it will start throttling web video from providers who refuse to hand over a levy to deliver their content. A spokesman for the firm said it does not intend to hinder access to content providers who do not pay. Rather, VM could offer content providers deals to upgrade their …

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  1. Guy
    Thumb Down

    "We're not suggesting there will be any denial of access to those who don't want to pay."

    does this mean that they will be throttling video content unless you "upgrade" your conection to allow unfettered access. as opposed to just denying access if you don't pay. Pr doublespeak if you ask me

  2. Rob Scott
    IT Angle

    When Will We Learn

    As always, the average user loses out when believing words such as "unlimited" - there really is no such thing with most if not all of the main broadband providers.

    If you do happen to have cable broadband, however, you're a lot better off than we in rural North Yorkshire who have to contend with 'slightly better than dial up' speed levels, and an intermittent broadband supply.

    I actually found Australia offered better service to rural locations, where satellite broadband was a viable alternative to our overloaded and working above capacity ADSL lines.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Someone's going to have to pay?

    "...Yet it seems increasingly clear that someone's going to pay the price for the UK's lack of investment in a modern internet infrastructure. We suspect you can draw your own conclusions as to who it's looking like that'll be..."

    Heaven forbid it would be the service providers that pay to be able to back up the claims that they make about the services they provide to their customers. If I were with VM/Tiscali/other hard discounter, I would be happy to pay more, if they provided me with an accurate description of the service they provided.

    A few weeks ago the general idea about iplayer was that Auntie would operate a hub and spoke system whereby they pushed their content out to spoke servers in the ISPs internal networks. What's the problem with that?

  4. This post has been deleted by its author

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    One problem

    Someone could get vwery rich doing this.

    Mr Botnet owner:

    Give us £1,000,000 or we redirect 1 million machines to your website and download content. Therefore a) you will suffer DDoS and b) will be clobbered with a huge bill from whatstheirnamethismonth

    Mr Website owner. Err paypal Ok?

  6. richard
    Thumb Down

    Bollocks, all of it

    "...does not intend to hinder access to content providers who do not pay. Rather, VM could offer content providers deals to upgrade their provisioning if they want to ensure best access to to broadband subscribers...."

    I'm glad they think they can reverse logic and get away with BS like this. I don't want my ISP 'upgrading' provisioning (thereby downgrading 'the rest') for BS that I don't choose/want/need. Gimme my clean fracking pipe.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Happy

    bus lanes

    Bus lanes are designed to SPEED UP certain traffic (buses) when the rest of the road is congested - and buses have the choice of using any part of the road, unlike the rest of the traffic.

    Twit.

  8. M
    Alert

    Comes under the heading 'how the internet works'

    How can peering not be Neutral? Thats the point!

    Where do VM, Tiscali and the rest get off? They spend ages telling consumers "look, broadband, video on demand, lots of nice stuff" and then when a content provider provides it they try to penalize them.

    The point of an ISP is that it provides access to content on the internet. Sorry if that seems a little bit obvious, but maybe someone needs to point it out to VM and co??

    Delivering content is what ISPs do. Providing content is what content providers do (hence the name) and they are already paying to deliver that content to the ISP (where they do not have a peering agreement) through transit costs!

    The problem is that VM and co have been selling something they haven't got, a network which is man enough to handle what they say all their users can do. That's not the BBC's problem or any other content provider, its the ISP who failed to invest in their infrastructure and priced their product too low to pay for it.

    Duh

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Extended subscriber traffic management....

    What they have done recently has been to extend their STM (trotting) window in

    Preston, Wigan, Blackpool, Camden, Dalston, Enfield and Haringey, seemingly as a precursor to a national rollout on the cable platform.

    10am - 3pm Download only

    4pm - 9pm Download

    3pm - 8pm Upload

    During these times the following thresholds will be applied for upstream and

    downstream.

    10am - 3pm Download

    Size M: 900Mb

    Size L: 2400Mb

    Size XL: 6000Mb

    4pm - 9pm Download

    Size M: 450Mb

    Size L:1200Mb

    Size XL: 3000Mb

    3pm - 8pm Upload

    Size M: 200Mb

    Size L: 700Mb

    Size XL: 1400Mb

    Speeds will be cut as per http://allyours.virginmedia.com/html/internet/traffic.html

  10. Andy

    Not this crap again.

    "Bus lanes are designed to SPEED UP certain traffic (buses) when the rest of the road is congested..."

    Actually, taking the comparison literally, the reason for the congestion is often the very existence of the bus lane; there's less room for the other traffic, so everything gets jammed. A non-neutral network is simply an excuse from cheapskate providers to not invest in proper equipment and deliver the level of service they promise. Is it any surprise that the complaints about this come from the likes of Tiscali and Virgin?

    "The firm currently operates bandwidth throttling at peak times, but unlike many other ISPs does not use deep packet inspection technology to single out classes of traffic, such as peer-to-peer."

    I'm not sure that's true any more, sadly - last month I began to experience evidence of specific, as well as general throttling. I think they're rolling something out on the sly. Suffice to say, I am no longer with Virgin.

  11. gothicform

    lies, damned lies and...

    "Actually, taking the comparison literally, the reason for the congestion is often the very existence of the bus lane; there's less room for the other traffic, so everything gets jammed."

    Not exactly. You're looking at vehicle count, not passenger count. In central London the loading of buses is such that the number of passengers on them, even in off-peak hours, is still greater than those in cars.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Alien

    Free (cough) broadband ! ISPs listen please !

    choose A or B

    A :

    giving me 10% off at Boots, access to 100,000 songs you wish you had never heard , a free trouser press, useless AV software ( I USE LINUX FFS ) and a cuddly toy for signing up to a service for ten years which is more throttled than a bloke walking around with comedy horns strapped to his shoes at a funeral, all for £5 a month.

    or B

    I will pay you a decent amount of money to carry my data on a network that you can keep investing in and make a profit on.

    Its a no brainer ISPs, stop listening to your PR and Marketing departments and try to hear your customers for once !

    Why alien ? - because I wonder if I'm on the right planet sometimes

  13. I. Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects

    Speelapeal.

    Why is it that the BBC has to pay for the televising of its produce but expects ISPs to pay for the distribution of its produce?

    Something's not right there. There is a bit of a difference between ISP's picking up the tab for web pages as that is what they were in the game for and provisioning for in the first place. A substantial amount of webspace is given to ISP users by ISPs to produce websites in the first place.

    I don't see that the heavy goods coming on line these days has to finish up on the same platter. There aught to be a price for it.

    Unfortunately the price is that Microsoft is managing to get into bed with all and sundry. What's with the bastards getting on top in the BBC's boudoir?

  14. Andrew McLachlan
    Go

    Doh!! This is not how peering is supposed to work!

    Peering is supposed to be a bi-directional model. Peering is about reciprocal relationship between providers to allow them to "exchange" similar amounts of traffic without having to have a directly commercial relationship. Both parties work together and share the cost of the peering - in a perfect world....

    However....if the relationship changes to one of a more uni-directional nature, then the commercials are looked at again, and often this is re-negotiated back to a transit/DIA type of link.

    I'm not personally aware of the type of relationship that the BBC and VM have between each other, but if it is a true peering relationship and the traffic patterns are now no longer that of a peering type of relationship, then why does VM not just negotiate them back to a paid link...

    It's gets done all the time by the major ISP's, I know I have worked for 2 of the largest in the world :)

    True VM can't really cut them off, as then VM would have to pay more to Level 3 for transit.

    What we need is a different type of peering point for media traffic, where we establish different commercial models for this type of traffic.

  15. Charles King

    iPlayer competes with subscription IPTV

    Both Virgin and Tiscali sell IPTV packages, which are large revenue generators for them.

    Co-incidence? I think not.

    No, Chris, Net Neutrality is not a bust, it's more important than ever.

  16. John Widger
    Stop

    Never mind the b*ll*cks

    I thought the idea of an ISP was to provide a service that the customer paid for. It appears that I was wrong. I use a land-line and I pay a rental. In addition I pay for the calls I make. The same applies to gas, electricity etc. Where's the problem? I think the ISP's need to get themselves sorted out. Like *rapid*.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    So yet another reason to consider my Virgin subscription

    So

    Virgin, not satisfied with trying to insert their Phorm with out even the decency to grease me up with KY first are up to new tricks?

    Now it seem they don't like Net Neutrality!!! FFS

    What don't they get, BROADBAND is a utility, Virgin are a Utility provider, they get to set a pricing model like other Utility providers do either by meter, prepay or flat rate. What they DON'T get to decide is what they will provide depending on who on the back end pays for it. Pipe open or pipe closed, simple! Not pipe open for for this but closed for that or pipe wider for this but narrower for that.

    On or Off that's how broadband should work, you pay for a given pipe width and that's what you should get with no restrictions and the only thing Virgin should have a say in its the pricing model, just like a utility company.

    My water costs X flat rate or Y per unit on a meter, thats fair, them telling me which brand of shower i can use with my water isn't. Same goes for electricity, gas and BROADBAND.

    For a company in tonnes of debt, Virgin do seem to love the idea of upsetting their customers and forcing them to rivals. What Virgin doesn't realise is that when we leave on broadband we also leave on TV, phone and mobile to and when we leave on mobile we often take our family to which means they leave on TV and broadband too.

    I tell the one more piece of crap like this and Virgin will be loosing a few package customers as i will be off!

    Wankers!

  18. Julian Bond
    IT Angle

    monopolies

    The UK cable industry got limited regional monopolies and hefty tax credits to encourage them to roll a cable infrastructure. Now that has turned into a complete monopoly isn't it time to apply to Virgin Media the terms we applied to BT. Force them to sell wholesale bandwidth and provide access by 3rd parties to their cable infrastructure.

    Then we can get on with the business of offering limited monopolies and hefty tax credits to people who want to build out fibre to the home.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    lies, damned lies and... By gothicform

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

    "Actually, taking the comparison literally, the reason for the congestion is often the very existence of the bus lane; there's less room for the other traffic, so everything gets jammed."

    Not exactly. You're looking at vehicle count, not passenger count. In central London the loading of buses is such that the number of passengers on them, even in off-peak hours, is still greater than those in cars.

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

    OK, maybe, maybe in some very central urban areas, during rush-hour(s).

    Actually, the Bus Lanes convey only a relatively small number of people; more people are actually delayed for much greater durations BECAUSE an empty 'Bus Lane' takes up road space, that would otherwise be put to good use.

    Try the M4 with its under-utilised Bus Lane

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    Re: Bus lanes

    "Bus lanes are designed to SPEED UP certain traffic (buses) when the rest of the road is congested - and buses have the choice of using any part of the road, unlike the rest of the traffic."

    Yes, and the loss of a lane just happens to SLOW DOWN the rest of the traffic.

    In the same way that for an ISP with a certain bandwidth (much like a road with a fixed width) faster access for some == slower access for everyone else.

  21. Eduard Coli
    Unhappy

    Bring me the head of Neil Burkett

    Why does this fucking idiot Neil Burkett still have a job?

    Virgin shareholders should call for his resignation because even if VM says that didn't mean what he said he meant and thus he is a lier or has multiple personalities, then he has at least cost them big money as current and future subscribers consider his statements when they choose their broadband.

  22. peter

    RE: Throttling

    Simple, don't pay for a TV licence and put £12pm towards getting a business class connection without limits.

  23. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    re iPlayer competes with subscription IPTV

    Just to correct you. Virgin do not offer IPTV.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Happy

    What about ITV, Channel 4 & 5 and Sky Anytime?

    Hmmmm

    Interesting how only the BBC is being picked on here, what about ITV, Channel 4 & 5 and Sky Anytime? they both all use network bandwidth...dont they???!!!

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    Reg Readers are the exception

    People who read this website and those that comment want clean pipes and are willing to pay extra for it.

    You are a minority.

    The vast majority of the population want broadband as cheap as possible, think contention is a TV game show and wireless networking is witchcraft.

    You come on here shouting as if you speak for the people but unfortunately from your educated IT position you show real ignorance of the general populations wishes.

    Don't come on here shouting about paying extra for clean pipes because, "it's what customers want". They don't. As an example look at the number of customers sky, CW and Orange have because they claim to be giving it away.

    Any ISP that charges the true rate for an uncontended broadband service will go bust within a month as the churn rate hits 99.9%.

    You want clean fast fat pipes. Go rent a leased line. BT do a fantastic offer of 2Mbps costing around £400 a month if you haggle.

    You want it go pay for it.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    RE: Speelapeal.

    Erm... the BBC and other content providers already pay, on a per Mbit/s (Or Gbit/s in the BBC case) for their information to be "sent out" to the Internet - If it's a web page or a video it doesn't matter, as they pay by volume of data transferred effectively, not by the number of files - and perversely, they'll actually pay more for 100MB of video, than they will for 100MB of web pages - as the video will be hitting higher transfer rates, this creating a spikier and more costly 95th percentile profile - which is what most ISPs bill content providers on.

  28. teacake

    "We have not called for content providers to pay for distribution"

    "However, we recognise that as more customers turn to the web for content different providers will have different needs and priorities"

    I am not a chiropodist. However, I do make a living treating corns and bunions on people's feet.

  29. S Seagal
    Paris Hilton

    RE: Reg Readers are the exception

    What you say is true at the moment - most people are happy enough if they can browse the web, watch a bit of youtube etc and don't need the high speed connection that the average reader (myself included) are clamouring for.

    However, as habits change and everyone starts wanting to watch tv over the internet and all the other wonderous things that are promised us, we're all going to be a bit f*cked as no one is investing any money now when they really need to be.

    Paris, because she enjoys a bit of pipe cleaning....

  30. Andrew Smith
    Thumb Down

    The point of an ISP!

    ISPs are there to provide us with internet access.

    We pay them for this service.

    That money is then used to invest in fibre so we can all get decent access speeds.

    But not anymore, ISPs are all about providing more services for less money.

    Get back to your core business!!!

  31. Paul

    RE: Reg Readers are the exception

    But they are going to go bust as it is...

    I personaly think they should follow the example of water companys, and offer a per MB service and try to slowly phase out unlimited access.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Britain says no

    I know its not totally on topic but i feel this is yet another example of how this country is just plain broke.

    Can i get off now please i feel ill.

    I really need to bite the bullet and emigrate, and i recommend everyone else does to, see how they like when we stick up two fingers and say 'enough is enough i'm out of here'.

  33. Brian Wright
    Happy

    Re:When Will We Learn

    Actually BT has a totally unlimited product, I'm on it. Was downloading over P2P at just over 800KBps earlier, in fact in the past two hours I've downloaded just under 3.5 Gig

  34. Peter Leech Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Re: Reg Readers are the exception by AC

    I assume your from an ISP.

    I think the majority of people would demand a decent service if they realised they weren't getting one. Your right, the majority of people do not understand the issues and can be missold a product.

    The issues as we see them are that you are selling a product, and failing to deliver it. When your "broadband" services are in reality comparable in performance to a 56k modem claiming that the service is "up to" 8MB is immoral at best, and fraudulent at worst.

    Your statement that any ISP changing all its products to an uncontended service would go out of business is probably quite true.

    However, that wasn't the issue. People want the service that they were sold, ie an "unlimited" internet connection with a speed of "up to 8MB". If you work in service I am sure that you appreciate that managing expectations is a fundamental part of any service relationship, and some ISP's are failing to properly manage this expectation by making promises that they can't meet.

    ISP's such as Eclipse and Entanet seem to have no trouble maintaining contended networks for a reasonable price. I see no reason why other ISP's can not be capable of this. True, charging for a reasonable product does cost more and prices you out of the ultra low end of the market. However, I think its questionable whether its worth competing for those customers if you are not making much out of them, and creating a possible liability for your company.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    VM - and invetment.

    When talking about VM we are talking about ntl ($18bn debt - Biggest Corporate default in history) and Telewest ($5bn debt) brought under the VM umbrella.

    In essence, what I'm saying is that there's a limited pot, and the VM wallet has only been open for just over a year, so what's this i hear about infrastructure investment? Go after Messars Huff, Malone, Blumenthal and Knapp and ask them. Sure they brought all the companies together, but they made sure they were ok at the end of it.

    Ms Hilton, as she's as minted as an ex telco CEO...

  36. Jim Reader
    Alert

    @ Peter

    "Simple, don't pay for a TV licence and put £12pm towards getting a business class connection without limits."

    Interesting thought. Does this mean that we'll now have to supply our address details when buying routers (as is currently the case when buying TVs etc..) so that the TV licencing people can check up on us as we could be watching TV over the internet?

  37. alphaxion

    it's all bollocks...

    OK, lets have a look here.

    Content provider - pays bandwidth charges to whomever hosts their services.

    host/ASP - will pay charges to their ISP for fat pipes to the internet

    Endpoint Customer - pays their ISP for the bandwidth they use.

    BBC will pay for the initial seeding, then due to the nature of p2p the rest of the cost is then paid for by the users of said services.

    AT WHICH FUCKING POINT IS THE DATA NOT BEING PAID FOR?

    It is patently obvious that the ISP is the one screwing themselves as they aren't charging enough on the endpoint side.

    Simple solution, alter your charges and fess up to having relied upon the majority of users being docile intermittent web browsers and over selling your connections at below cost.

    The average use of the net is changing, instead of stinging the providers who are already legitimately paying to provide their service, shore up the massive hole that is sitting at the end of your last mile otherwise you're gonna be in for an immense revolt as people like me begin to look towards creating our own wireless mesh networks in order to bypass your sorry arsed services.

  38. bobbles31
    Coat

    Could you imagine?

    If the electricity companies tried a similar approach?

    You buy a two bar heater and the electricity company start to complain that you are using too much electricity (even though you pay for it).

    I guess that the ISPs are victims of their own ingenious marketing practices. Years ago peoples internet traffic used to be metered by virtue of the use of the telephone.

    Perhaps if the ISP's tried to move more back to a metered model like the utilities (which is effectively what they are) whereby you pay for usage rather than a flat fee. That way I wouldn't be subsidising freetards and the infastructure could be as fast as it needed to be.

    Or maybe thats bolloks and expecting a company to deliver what they sell you is too much to expect.

    </rambling rant>

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    imagine

    imagine if you bought a pint/litre of milk and when you got it home there where notes akin to:

    in small print, the purchase of a pint/litre of milk does not ensure that you received a full liquid measure, but rather what we could be bothered to squeeze out of the cow! before gouging your wallet.

    or

    the remaing half pint will be delviered to you at a time and date suitable to the cow

    or

    you have bought economy mile, to ensure that the full amount of milk you purchased is delviered please upgrade to a premium pint of milk.

    or,

    oh, you want to drink you milk at breakfast - thats prime time miling drink and therefore you will be capped to one weetabix worth of milk, please eat the remainig cereals at night after yuo have gone to bed and before you wake up!

    or to ensure you get a full pint of milk, use your local milkman - and screw the supermarket.

    better still - get your own cow

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Does this explain...

    ...why the service offered since the VM rebranding is also bollocks?

    With the new even more draconian STM limits in trial (nicely listed by someone earlier), the standard of service offered by VM is going downhill on a weekly basis.

    They can now only provide around 25->50 percent of the bandwidth they have already sold, and it's getting worse.

    Frankly I'd be happy to lose a months subscription to watch them go bang and be forced to sell up, it's looking like the only way the customers stand any chance of getting what they paid for.

    If broadband really is the jewel in VM's crown then god help them, because what you get bears no relation to the advertising and the reality of what you get!

  41. paulc

    STM limits?!?!?!?!

    I never see those speeds on a good day with Virginmedia... I'd love to actually have the post throttling speeds...

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    <no title>

    2Mbps @ £400 a month eh. Mmm... makes one wonder what they are doing such that the cost of maintaining it, plus a reasonable profit, is so high.

  43. fred

    1:1 contention - off topic

    I use Gib Telecom (in Gibraltar) and they provide 1:1 contention ratio on all their ADSL. However, 1 256/512Mbit connection inclusive of filter/phone line is £24 a month. It sounds expensive, but when I compare this to the UK & Spain I feel a lot better off. I check it regularly and always get the same up/down rate each time. A 512/2,048 KB link is rather dear at £94 per month.

    I don't know if that many people here realise what they get, and there is competition from CTS now who offer wimax connections, but the contention is at least 20:1 and we shall see how much the average user will notice. I would. Like an earlier poster wrote, many think its witchcraft

  44. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    come on

    This stuff makes me laugh. We pay already for broadband(width) connections. throttling them down makes them no-so-broadband(width). If your electricity company gave you 240volts if you buy the electric units from british gas, but only 110v if you but them from powergen, im sure we would all be going WTF why did my hairdryer blow up?

  45. Rob Elliott
    Pirate

    The good old days

    Instead of rolling out a 50mbps connection for those with enough money. Why don't they cap everybody at 10mbps untill the overall network can cope with more. I remember upgrading from 56Korpse to 0.5mbps cable, it was great... then I got a free upgrade to 1mbps, brilliant... then 2mbps, fantastic... after than I never really noticed the difference... I just wish they would tell the truth, like the good old days.

    The Pirates flag, because thats what ISP's have turned into.

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Re: Does this explain/STM limits

    Guys, I kind of disagree with you - it looks like this is really dependent on where you are. For example, I'm on the outskirts of a town and my VM service is pretty good. For example, I managed to download a DVD-size ISO of an OS in a little under an hour the other day. And if I do my downloads 7.30-midday then I'm regularly seeing download speeds of 1000-1200KB/s, which given that I'm on the "L" package is excellent, (reliability is pretty sparkling too). And kudos for a "free" upgrade from my 4Mb/s connection. :)

    Where I'm really peeved though, is in the traffic management. Try downloading a couple of Debian/Ubuntu updates (small) between 15.30 and 20.00 (yes, I'm a *nix geek) and you'll normally get 80-140KB/s - even if your previous use in the day has been very low/none. So much for this "we'll go after the bandwidth hogs"... >-(

    I also very much agree with the folks that are saying that they want a bit of "Internet string" and NOTHING ELSE. Like them, I've no interest in "value added content". Take the money spent (sorry wasted) and use it to upgrade the backbone says I. Especially VM - two years ago (imho) you had good infrastructure - it's maybe long overdue to upgrade it.

    I'd love to tell VM to get raffled (especially about the TV STB's - useless digital embarrassment that they are!!) but (a) there's no-one doing a broadband service even comparable in my area (Thank BT - not!); and (b) are the alternative providers any better, (e.g. Sky for the TV), I don't think so. The only advantage to the others is that at least their management seem to be doing SOMETHING!

    (Paris icon because I'm sure Ms H could do a better job by herself than VM's entire "board" [good name for it because imho they're a bunch of 2x4's])

  47. Frank Bough

    @ Brian Wright

    Brian, I'm on Virgin Media's 10Mbit product and I get up to 1.24MB/sec downstream - WAY higher than the E-1 we have at work.

  48. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    what people pay for

    It is not relevant if most people who buy broadband know what it is that they are buying or not. The point is that it currently appears to be quite obvious that most people do not get what they actually pay for.

    The point is that consumer rights in the UK is not on pair with consumer rights in many other European countries. As can be seen when comparing with relevant legislation in the Scandinavian countries for example.

    So when a provider is selling a particular connection then you would expect that this promoted provision would actually also be delivered. If the marketing of a product misleads the customer and gives an impression that a customer can have a 8MB connection for a particular price then it does not actually matter if the customer understands the technology or not. What does matter is if the customer gets what has been paid for. Small prints are currently abused in the UK and made difficult for non-specialists to understand. In other areas these matters are much more regulated. So if you buy petrol at a station which suggest that you can have up to 8 liter of fuel for a particular amount of money - if customers have the space available in their fuel tank they are unlikely to expect that they would get less than the advertised amount of fuel. If some petrol station tried to deliver less fuel and then point any unhappy customer towards some obscurely formulated fineprint you could be pretty sure that a media coverage of the incident would lead to public outcry of significance for that company. Legal issues aside.

    There seems to be no particular reason that companies should be allowed to market services in ways that mislead customers to think that they are getting something which the companies selling the service could not actually deliver.

  49. Anonymous Coward
    Pirate

    Virgin... Cough...cough...

    yeah right,,,, and i'm the Pope

    im on the 10MB package that got upgraded to 20MB, funny, ive never seen anything over 4MB(and that was well before xmass) currently on something between a wet peice of string and 1.5Mps for direct download. with web speeds aproaching the blindingly fast speeds that ISDN could supply at 64Kbps.

    no joking

    if i can get torrents to work they are never more than 200kbps and less than 3kpbs during the evenings, even web TV or Radio are stuffed 24/7.

    but thats ok, as i havnt paid a penny for the service(hahahahahaha if you can call it that) since they lost my subscription application (twice) in 2006. i mean i even setup a new bank account, which has an accrueing amount of money in it,(i sub-let bandwidth(whats half of 0 again);p to other tennants in the shared property i'm in) that i may as use as my private pension for my retirement, as im sure it will be untouched by them b4 then, going on the quality of thier accounts dept so far.

    mines the one with 'YARR!' written on it that the NTL man gave me when he quit...

  50. Shabble

    Virgin tale-spin

    OK, so they won't slow down those content providers who don't pay... they'll just speed up those that do pay. WTF? This only makes a difference if broadband subscribers never upgrade, and with Virgin upgrades happen automatically.

    I've had enough of this cr*p and I will not be a Virgin customer for much longer.

    As for traffic shaping; we must not allow a short-term technological bottleneck determine pricing structures for multimedia provision. Imagine if ISPs had started charging websites for providing jpegs for download back in the early 56k days! In the very near future (viewed in terms of the UK's 3000 year old culture) broadband will be fast enough to make problems like the BBC P2P effect a thing of the past for everyone. This is another example of short-term economics damaging society. The ISPs need to be given a good kicking, only Gordon Brown is just too feeble and weak to do anything but kow-tow to the demands of our new social elite.

    Perhaps I'll start learning Korean.

  51. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    Sinking ship?

    I am a ex-Telewest VM XL 20Mbit customer getting 2.45MByte/sec downstream almost all the time, apart from normal STM hours of course when I don't download anything heavy and have never been STM'd.

    I can honestly say with all the stuff going around about Net Neutrality, Phorm, revised STM etc. I am seriously considering dumping all VM services and moving my broadband to an ADSL2+ provider even though I will lose performance.

    It seems that NTL by any other name is still the same (well worst), I wonder if Mr Branson is aware what Virgin Media is doing to his brand?

    Certainly Mr Berkett needs to get a clue fast before he is the one left to turn off the lights after we have all left.

    I'll get my coat, hopefully before I'm the last one out!

  52. Ross

    Contended DSL vs leased line

    [2Mbps @ £400 a month eh. Mmm... makes one wonder what they are doing such that the cost of maintaining it, plus a reasonable profit, is so high.]

    The 2Mbps line is a leased line. You get 2Mbps in *both* directions and you get it all. You also get ridiculously low latency. When you get 8Mbps ADSL you share the bandwidth with everyone on your street, and your upload speed is distinctly lower than your download speed.

    [Brian, I'm on Virgin Media's 10Mbit product and I get up to 1.24MB/sec downstream - WAY higher than the E-1 we have at work.

    Well an E-1 is only 2Mbps and it's split into 30 channels, so depending on your setup and whether or not you have leased the full E-1 or just some of the channels on it you may get less than that. Plus you have frame overheads etc so you'll never see speeds of 2Mbps.

    I have to say I'm pretty amused by VMs under selling of that 10Mbps package. You'll actually have nearer to a 12Mbps connection, but to stop the unwashed masses complaining that they're not getting their God given right to 100% d/l speed (due to those overheads) they name the package based on the d/l speed you're likely to see :o) I like it.

  53. Anonymous Coward
    Alert

    VM Does It Again

    What a load of unethical, incompetent oxygen thieves! As you may be able to tell I am a forced customer of VM and have had alot of experience with them and their shoddy business practices. Do they really think that content providers are going to pay them?! Does that mean they'll have to pay every ISP in the world for optimal bandwidth? We, the customer, already pay for a supposedly "superior" and "unlimited" service. By way of example,I recently downloaded a digital purchase of Frontlines, I then found myself unable to play it because VM had seen fit to throttle my speed, meaning I'd just wasted my money! In what world is this ethical practice?! Yet OFCOM let them get away with it every single time! If they don't have the spine to do something about crooked cowboys like VM, they should be replaced!

  54. huxleypig

    All this is academic

    There will be more free bandwidth than they can sell when the ISP's reporting file sharing users.

    Who in their right mind will pay for a 20mb connection to watch Iplayer and read mails.

    Personally I will be downgrading to no more than 2mb I wont need it.

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