back to article Heaviest Virgin Media downloaders face new daytime go-slow

Virgin Media will double the number of hours it throttles the bandwidth of customers who hammer its network day and night, changes to its traffic management policy have revealed. The tightened regime means that between 10am and 3pm subscribers to its "M", "L" and "XL" packages will have their connection throttled for five …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    20Mbit service slowed by a quarter?

    So that will end up being just under 4Mbit in total then. Virgin's 20Mbit service is in reality rarely faster than 5Mbit.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    FFS

    What is the point of 50MBit/s when they can't even provide 2MBit/s 24/7?

  3. Marc Goldman
    Thumb Down

    Three quarters

    Reg wrote: "L" and "XL" users' usual headline speeds of 10MBit/s and 20MBit/s will be slowed by a quarter if they break daytime download limits of 2400MB and 6000MB respectively.

    I think that it's throttled by three quarters (75%),

    Not great, but at least the day time cap is 6GB rather than the evening one of 3GB and seems to be independent.

  4. Steven
    Unhappy

    Hmm

    Well I was either going to Virgin or BE next month why my broadband contract expires so I guess it will be BE.

    Not that I'm really likely to use that much, but hey just the thought of having my line throttled makes me shudder.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Happy

    Happy hour?

    1000-1500 is throttled, 1600-2100 is throttled ... sounds like an opportunity for a 1500-1600 is "happy hour" promotional campaign to put a positive gloss on the situation.

    Also I think 75% throttled means bandwidth is reduced to a quarter and not by a quarter.

    Anyway, despite all this as a VM customer I think its a pretty sensible way of dealing with the situation .... no unexpected additional charges or cut-offs as on some other systems.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Happy

    Total junk

    If all users wanted to do is to surf the web and download emails, they can use almost any ISP, whats the point of advistising HUGE bandwidth and FASTEST SPEED when really all you allow to do are no different from almost all other ISP ?

    Soon they will start tp throttle 24/7, if during any of the 24 hrs you download more than 1MB, we will cut you off ?

  7. Dave
    Flame

    So my torrents take a little longer...

    n00bs overselling their bandwidth then pretending its my fault!!!!

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Actually...

    The amount of throttling doesn't look too bad, assuming it's throttling TO 75% and not BY 75%

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    At least they're being transparent...

    I pay CPW £25 per month for an AOL "Gold" account. Do I get better quality of service than someone on TalkTalk? Who knows?

    The ISP industry needs kick up the a$$ and it needs to be more transparent than it is at the moment.

  10. William Eborall
    Unhappy

    50Mb/s - What's the point?

    Does it not seem redundant to anyone else to have a 50Mb/s connection, but only be able to use it for the first couple of gig you download?

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    What's the point of faster speeds...

    ...it just means throttling kicking in quicker!

    anyway I'm convinced their throttling kicks in before the limits are reached.

  12. Khyle Westmoreland
    Stop

    Ah Well...

    I'll give them a ring tomorrow to cancel my account...

    (not that I'm cancelling particularly because of STM, I'm just moving house and need to cancel :-P )

  13. SpitefulGOD
    Gates Halo

    species

    I pull mine from several hacked and pooled wifi connections so i don't give two hoots.

  14. Chris Williams (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: Three quarters

    Fixed, thanks,

    - Chris

  15. Dz
    Unhappy

    Again!!!!!

    Well, whats next? This is a problem due to them cutting costs and not upgrading their infrastructure to keep up with demand. Also, it is caused by the sudden upsurge in availability of cloned cable modems that I see so often at our local computer fair. Once again, punishment to the innocent is dished out leaving the real culprits to carry on regardless.

  16. Greg

    Assholes!

    I didn't pay for a fast connection so I could be told I can't use it! NTL didn't do this crap - sure, they thought about it, but they had the sense to back down. And the throttling isn't 5 hours, 5 days. I get throttled every single day from 5pm to midnight, regardless of whether I have been downloading that day or not, and the speed reductions are ridiculous. Doing it for the rest of the day also will make me seriously consider moving away from what used to be a great service, and I don't want to do that. Cable connections are (in my experience) far more reliable, but if they continue to punish me for using what I've paid for, they can shove their "service" up their arse.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Unhappy

    I could throttle them!!!

    god damn it....bought a new router as I thought is was faulty!!! They could have emailed/written to me to tell they were reducing it!!!

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Heaviest Virgin Media downloaders face new daytime go-slow

    This is fair enough.

    I never see myself downloading enough content to exceed my "XL" allowance.

  19. Phil Arundell

    Seems fair enough to me

    As a Virgin customer, I don't have a problem with this - as an XL customer, I can download 9GB a day (if I time it right), before any restrictions come in to play, and after that I'm "restricted" to a 16Mb/s connection for 5 hours (still twice as fast as the maximum on BT and many other ADSL providers and 4 times as fast as I could get through ADSL at my house).

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    wibble

    [quote]

    What is the point of 50MBit/s when they can't even provide 2MBit/s 24/7?

    [/quote]

    Keep in mind that the "50MBit/s" will be available to you at all times as long as you dont actually use it. ;o)

    Personally, having been a victim of Virgins "customer support" previously, I think I'll stick with Sky.

  21. Richy Freeway
    Unhappy

    Hard to recommend them..

    I've always been a big advocate of Virgin/NTL, but it's getting increasingly difficult to recommend them to anyone.

    I fear the day will come when I have to leave them myself, which will be a shame. I've been with them for years now and never had any problems.

    Phorm, evening caps, daytime caps? What's next?

  22. Dz

    I agree with greg

    It's paid for, it is their responsibility to take care of their infrastructure. Not to limit what we have paid for. I notice as well that some people seem to think it is throttled to 75%. In fact it is throttled BY 75%

  23. Jason Rivers
    Dead Vulture

    too far...

    as a (current) virgin customer, this actually irritates me..... alot....

    if you don't have the bandwidth, don't sell it.

    I know _ALL_ ISP's sell more than they have - but there's a number of users that would never use it.

    I'm not with Virgin through choice I might point out - it's part of the deal with my apartment, which I'll be moving out of in the next couple of months and buying a house, do you really think I'll be on this ISP - yeah, right, did you see that flying pig too?

    Think i'll be choosing 1 of 3 ISP's and it's whichever can offer me what i'm looking for at the time - Static IPv4 Address's, IPv6 (without IPv4 tunneling) good speed, low downtime and the most important, a good customer service - something Virgin are lacking.

    My 3 choices for those interested in the better ISP's are (in no particular order):

    Andrews and Arnold

    KeConnect

    Zen

    I'm not getting what I (or my landlord) pays for, I'd rather have a service that costs a little more, but the results are ALOT more.

  24. no
    Paris Hilton

    Just a heads up

    I phoned VM a few hours ago to ask about the throttling. When I got someone that knew what they were talking about they made it clear that 75% throttle = BY 75%

    For example, people on 10meg will get 2.5meg once they hit their limit for 5 hours.

    I then promptly asked them to put me through to disconnections.

    Paris: She wouldn't hold anything back to paying customers.

  25. Mark

    Retro

    The traffic shaping will apparently throttle your connection to 25% of its normal bandwidth.

    I'll be making cups of tea a lot then, like when we used to have ISDN!!

    http://allyours.virginmedia.com/html/internet/traffic.html

  26. censored
    Stop

    So basically...

    Anyone who uses bittorrent, iPlayer, or any other video service can't get their advertised speeds for most of the time?

    I don't mind traffic-shaping in the evenings (I have uTorrent set to lower it's speed anyway so I can do other things), but if an ISP can't handle speeds for all customers mid-afternoon on a Wednesday there's something wrong.

  27. AndyC

    Try being on their adsl....

    Think I had 18gb of traffic pass through my entire network two weeks ago... Thats ps and 360 demos, a single torrent (granted it was 10gb but meh, was daytime scheduled) and a bit of browsing and WoW... Thanks to that heavy heavy load I placed on the network, I was at 80kilBITS per second at all usable times last week...

    be so gld when I move and can find a decent supplier

    AC

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Not THAT bad

    Come on guys - it really is not that bad. Virgin's system is so much better than other ISPs. If you are on Virgin with an XL package you will have received a huge amount of data before any restrictions apply.

    BT throttle very heavily based on content, every night as far as I can tell - regardless of how much you have downloaded that day. I can be waiting several minutes to download a 10MB file via P2P in the evening even if it my first use of www that day. Furthermore, BT connections are rarely of good as quality as Virgin.

  29. Chris Phillips

    Roll on metered services

    Why doesn't Virgin take the big brave step of offering full best effort speeds and charging a metered service? The bubble of unmetered services has totally burst, yet keeps being patched up again and again.

    Paying per mb (with whatever base levels you might want like a mobile phone contract) would remove a huge amount of the traffic anyway, so this capping implicitly takes care of itself.

  30. nick

    Re: Seems fair enough to me

    The restricted speed on XL is 5Mbit not 16Mbit. Also, the best ADSL speeds are currently 24Mbit from Be/O2 & a few others.

    I challenge you to actually break those limits. My XL line never goes above 2Mbit/sec (barely 1Mbit/Sec during the day) so even if I went at full speed all day I'd find it hard to exceed their restrictions.

  31. Dave Jones

    @ Phil Arundell

    You might want to clean your glasses you're restricted by 75% not to 75%, so you're paying for a 20mb service and getting 4mb not 16mb

  32. Neal
    Unhappy

    still says no download limit..........

    I think it's sneaky but I'm still paying for it, even though I know it's wrong, to change I'd need to change them as my phone provider and I can't get sky in my flat, ariels I've used so far have been rubbish. These are all excuses if it's that bad 'll have to cancel.

    http://allyours.virginmedia.com/websales/product.do?id=11039

  33. Jon Brindley
    Thumb Down

    RE: Assholes!

    I've noticed similar restrictions kicking into place about 5pm every day myself. No matter what traffic we've done that day, come the early evening and our connection can be worse than dial-up. I've tried to get it sorted with Virgin, but as they're still charging premium rate for net support line - till June - I've not wanted to spend the money.

    Oh, and they took more money than my bill said it was going to be earlier today. Do I get offered compensation? No.

  34. roger
    Thumb Down

    usual stuff then..

    As a Virgin customer I've reduced my package from XL to L when throttling was first introduced, and might now go to M, thereby giving Virgin less of my cash, and I'll be timing the big downloads to run all night and all morning...

    What good is 50mb or 20mb unless you can max it out occassionally. Why not throttle over the month - that way I can max my connection when I need to, and build up "credit" when I don't.

  35. max allan

    I'm glad I'm no longer a Virgin customer

    I cancelled my Virgin contract after I got a letter (in the post, written on paper) telling me to decrease my download activites.

    Their speed was shocking as well. My 8M connection would go down to about 128K in the evenings and back to 8M during the day for a couple of hours.

    When I complained, they told me I needed to apply patches to my router or PC and make sure I didn't have any viruses.

    I switched to BE and now I can get about 10-14M whenever I want it. (this is the max for my line considering loss/gain/power etc) Occasionally it dips to around 7 for a short while, but I've yet to decide if that's because I'm doing something else on the PC rather than the BE.

    And BE gave me a day's free internet on my birthday. They seem a lot more "real people" than Virgin ever did, even when the "real person" in india was telling me "you are needing to be upgrading your internet provisioning routering firmware and making sure your computering isn't running any viruses".

  36. David Austin

    Fair enough

    They're being open and honest about the changes, which is to their credit. Now, just stop that "Unlimited Internet" bollocks, and most people won't have much to complain about - no false advertising, and no unknown quantities, so you know exactally what you're paying for, and should expect.

  37. Steven Foster
    Flame

    Utter Bull

    Stupid hypocritical company, on the one hand advertising super fast mega speed broadband and on the other throttling (read, punishing) users who actually take advantage of this.

    Glad I left them when I did.

  38. S

    Hm

    I'm not too fussed, I think I'd struggle to reach the cap nowadays.

    We've been with Cable + Wireless, NTL, Virgin Media etc. for about 7 years now - it was annoying when they started capping our 2 meg connection - because it was very easy to go over 1 gig. We're now on the XL package (unfortunately ADSL isn't available at high speed in our area).

    Now, with a 6 gig cap, I'm not sure, unless you download high def. rips of movies which are up to about 10 gig in size - for these, they take too long to download during the day anyway, so I leave them on overnight which is outside the 'dangerous' period. On an average day, even with relatively high usage, I'd probably consume at most, 3 gig, plus whatever the rest of the family use.

    Anyway, it's a lot of Linux disc images, and a *lot* of iPlayer. I can't really see this being such a huge issue, especially since you'd have to be doing something fairly illegitimate (at the moment) to consume that much bandwidth. Tell me if I'm wrong though.

    That said, I have noticed that the net slows down horribly in the evening period, I wonder if that is because of the cap (I doubt it though) or because of the heavy traffic over the whole network.

    Bring on fibre I say!

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    Stop bitching, move to O2/Be

    Uncapped and virtually unmanaged - certainly no DPI or throttling.

    Can get a bit 'iffy' when the backhauls near capacity, but thats only happened badly once in 3ish years.. and I could still get ~12Mbps actual throughput.

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Unhappy

    Lessons from history

    First they came for the peak hour downloaders, and I did not speak out, for I was not a peak hour downloader

    Then they came for the daytime downloaders...crap.

  41. Dave MacRae

    The STM is a bugger but...

    Just remember that outside the capping times the connection goes as fast as it can, all the time.

    I can download for hours at almost 20Mbps consistently (assuming that I wanted to of course).

    Not many ADSL offerings can supply that.

  42. James
    Thumb Down

    False advertising

    20mb downstream.

    Lets do the maths, starting at midnight I start downloading at 20mb

    10:30: I'm cut down to just 5mb which lasts for 5 hrs.

    15:30: my speed returns to 20mb.

    16:30: I'm cut down to 5mb again.

    21:30: I get 20mb.

    14 hours at 20mb

    10 hours at 5mb

    So they're claiming that for 10 hours of any day, I'll only receive 5mb (if I use the service, which is after all why I subscribe to it). So what I'm really paying for is about 13mb service which they're advertising as a 20mb service that they can't support. I'll only ever get 68.75% of the bandwidth they've sold me.

  43. Andy

    Virgin ruined a good service

    NTL were always a bit expensive, but reliable and pretty fast. Virgin took over the service, and it was miraculous: virtually overnight it became slow, customer service quality plummeted, and we had an average of one service outage *per day*, over a period of several months.

    As far as cable broadband goes, these published numbers only tell half the story. You are highly unlikely to get even half your advertised speed at any time, and will be throttled to ridiculously low speeds for even thinking about using your service.

    Drop it, move to a better provider. We're now with Be*, and getting a service more than four times the speed for a little over half what we were paying Virgin; and there's no throttling. At all.

  44. Mark Fenton
    Paris Hilton

    How much?!

    6Gb in 5 hours!

    Bloody hell! I didn't know that there was that much porn out there!

    <Paris for obvious reasons>

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    It doesnt take much....

    The patch download for Age of Conan was 700mb. Xbox360 demo's regularly weigh in at well over 1Gb let alone the high def movies. Add to that iplayer and general web use and it doesnt take much to regularly hit those limits.

  46. John F
    Thumb Down

    Started as a good idea, getting worse...

    I can understand the evening cap as a sensible way to cope with peak demand, and I approve very much of it being neutral to the kind of traffic. Also, it's easy to just not download at that time.

    But having three different caps? Not so reasonable.

    I don't get good enough upstream service to hit that one, anyway.

  47. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    50Mb

    Remember the new 50Mb service is on new Docsis3 hardware, and a pity they cannot find a way to kick off the people with cloned modems

    Evil Bill because he would find a way

  48. AJ
    Thumb Up

    Honesty, Refreshing Change...

    Its nice to see they are open and honest about the throttling system and letting customers know everything they need to know about it!

    Its better than monthly caps and the issues with ADSL during peak times when you get a crap speed anyway in some cases where its unusable!

  49. Eddie
    Unhappy

    Virgin is F*cked

    I've been a customer of Telewest/Blueyonder/NTL/Virgin now for 15 years, and their motto back then was "what's the point of faster speeds if you end up capping your users?" I wish to hell that was still their philosophy.

    In the period I have been with them they have gone from having good service, and excellent customer support to having terrible service - as one person has already commented, you're unlikely in some areas ever to be capped as they cannot supply the bandwith you pay for because of massive over-selling of their network capacity, and abysmal customer service - premium rate support lines, poor engineering support, long waits for replacements, and endless arguments with billing for refunds for loss of service (it will be in the /next/ bill, honest....).

    If I had a BT line to my house, I'd be leaving VM faster than a ferret down a drain, but it's hard to get one installed without a BT contract.

    My advice to anyone considering VM as a supplier is run away, terribly fast.

  50. Hugh_Pym
    Paris Hilton

    Rule Number 1...

    ... any 'free' offer will be abused.

    When our local cable company started they offered free unlimited phone calls to other cable users. They withdrew the offer when people started putting a phone by the cot and calling up their neighbours house so they could use it all day/night as a free baby monitor when they visited.

    What I want out of a 'fast' internet connection is to get what I want , when I want it - fast. I don't want to pay the same for my intermittent hgh speed downloads as Mr BitTorrent king who downloads everything in the world 24/7 just because he might want it one day and 'anyway it's free so who cares'. Why should I? The current system only works because the cost of the infrastructure will cope with average use. If everyone used it like the 'top' 5% they would have to upgrade the system and the costs would go up.

    I mean, think about it how can unlimited broadband even exist. It's like saying a car can travel at unlimited speeds because it has not been artificially restricted.

    I'd welcome pay per Gb service to stop me sponsoring these bandwidth hogs and freeloaders. Stop whining and pay for what you use.

    Paris. because she downs every load she can.

  51. amanfromMars Silver badge

    Spot the Flaw.

    One wonders why anyone downloads at all whenever everything is Hosted so well on the Internet 24/7/365.

  52. david gomm

    false advertising

    Virgin are very fond of describing their service as 'unlimited broadband' and ven now their website describes all their packages of having 'no download limits'.

    I personally fail to see how they can actively pursue a bandwidth throttling policy and still advertise 'unlimited' service.

    btw I did report this to the ASA who claimed it was outside of their jurisdiction.

  53. AndiTails
    Go

    iPlayer

    To all those who keep harping on about the iPlayer using your bandwidth...

    Why not watch it via the Red Button on BBC channels?

    No pixel-vision, and watch on the big screen rather than the computer screen.

    And, doesn't touch your bandwidth...

    (Obviously, only valid for those with Virgin TV, but that's probably most of you...)

    And "I'm sticking with Sky" or "I'm going back to BT".

    *snigger* Really? Average of <5Mbit/sec line speeds. Disconnects @ 6pm when street lighting comes on and mircowaves turn on (common 'noise' affects of ADSL), endless nights resync'ing your ADSL modem to squeeze an extra 100kbit/sec out of your SNR dB....

    I'll stick with my nice fibre optic cable, rather than the 100 year old copper twisted pair thanks!

  54. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    what a load of crap

    Virgin have managed to systematically kill off the best ISP in the uk.

    Time to buy a chipped cable modem, and stop paying them for services that are no longer worth what us the customers are paying for.

    My system is capped well past 9pm to a point where the internet is almost unuseable until the next morning, now it seems that the mornings will be capped too. The capping definatly kicks in well before the limits are reached, and i swear i am getting capped for my nieghbours useage.

    This is unacceptable. I pay for the L service (which is not 10mb in my area its 4mb) and its useless. I would never recommend virgin media to anyone, i think i would rather join the Army Of Lamers (AOL) or give up the internet altogether.

    The dead bird, because virgin are going the way of the Dodo!

  55. amanfromMars Silver badge
    Alien

    Quality Counts ..... Red Ruby Dubi on the Right TAQ. ...... PerlyGatesPython MasterPilot Class.

    "Furthermore, BT connections are rarely of good as quality as Virgin." .... By Anonymous Coward Posted Thursday 29th May 2008 12:31 GMT

    Which is inexcusable if BT own/maintain/build the Carrier Infrastructure.

  56. Terry Ellis
    Happy

    Agree with the above re: Be

    I used to be a Virgin customer until I recently moved to a flat with no cable connection.

    I signed up with Be - the price for the max 24mb service is really not much more than Virgin (although you have to pay line rental too) but it is much better:

    - I think Be's speed/price ratio is pretty damn competitive

    - I get about 12-14mbps all the time

    - their customer service is really good. They sent text messages throughout the order process to tell me when the modem was being delivered, when I was to be connects (which turned out to happen earlier than anticipated) and they even tell you when they are about to debit you.

    I really couldn't recommend them enough!

  57. Russ Pitcher

    Harumph

    This is ridiculous! I don't download films or torrents, but occasionally (~twice a month) I have to download DVD-sized software from MS for my job, and then suddenly my connection is nobbled for hours!

    If the cap was set to kick in if a rolling 3-day average exceeded 3GB, for example, then I'd never have a problem. This sort of thing would allow most users who occasionally hammer their connection to use their 20MB as expected (when they get 20MB of course..), but would put a stop to those who blast the system 24x7

    To be honest, if it wasn't for the lousy ADSL round my way I'd have been long gone from the Virgin/NTL/CableTel cowboys.

  58. Rob W
    Dead Vulture

    Re: Virgin ruined a good service

    @Andy: That's pretty bad, if you don't get full speed. I have cable (NTLTelewest Business, as it's for my business) and I have NEVER experienced anything less than full speed, let alone bandwidth throttling. I guess that's what I'm paying for though.

    'Consumer' broadband always disappointed me; especially ADSL, which often failed to get above 1Mb/s, even though it should've managed 5Mb/s! Plus, BT, with their stinking lies (I should know, I used to work for the f***ers) REFUSED to accept that there was a problem with the line. This, even though I had access to the same testing systems, which always showed a significant voltage offset.

    I really think that anyone complaining about cable doesn't know how lucky they are. Even on my heaviest downloading days, I don't get anywhere near the limits listed here, and I consider myself to be a heavy user.

  59. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    i'll stick with BE then

    have downloaded 25 gig in 24 hours before and never had a complaint.

  60. Kevin Johnston

    Not just the advertised capping

    Out of curiousity I rang Virgin as I am currently with them (you can see the end of this already can't you) to ask why no-one had thought to mention this to me. After going thrugh four different numbers who each gave me the next number in line rather than connecting me, I finally spoke to a non-voicemail system.

    'Ooh, nothing like that in our Fair Use policy' came the strangled squawk.

    Interestingly when I searched their website he was right, but what I did find was their 'Application Manager' which works over and above the throttling to manage bandwidth based on applications or protocols 4pm to 1am during the week and 24h a day over the weekend'.

    Now looking for who to move to next

  61. Len Mackin
    Thumb Down

    Start of a slippery slope

    I think what really gets me about all this is the very underhand methods of ISP's. They advertise the earth, saying that we will get superfast downloads and of course unlimited. For most people these speeds are never consistent and in many cases they are really bad, not reaching a quarter of what they should be. Now we have TRAFFIC SHAPING. It started off as a 4pm - 10pm thing, now we see it extended into the day. Before long it will be 24/7. What they are effectively saying is that your daily download limit on x speed is xxxGb. After that you walk home!

    Does this happen in other countries or once again is it another 'shit happens in Britain' rip off?

  62. Adam
    Pirate

    What, XL is 20mbps?

    Only I've had the XL service for coming up to a year, and the only times I see anything close to 20mbps is when I'm running one of those ISP speed-test websites with a mirror on the Virgin network. Every other time I generally see 1mbps downloading (through http and ftp, no torrents here)

    Or am I to believe the propaganda that this is all because of some kids downloading some MP3s or DVD-rips? Do people really do much of that when the Virgin broadband service comes with FREE video-on-demand anyway?

  63. Jon Brindley
    Unhappy

    To all these people saying switch to BE/O2/ADSL of another flavour..

    It's kinda hard when you don't have a BT line. Cue £150+ installation fee, £15ish a month line rental on top of your ADSL bill. Now see why I'm stuck with Virgin.

  64. Luke Wells

    Virgin media customer - still happy.

    Ah how I miss the good old days of Telewest when unlike almost all other service provider in the UK, unlimited did indeed mean unlimited.

    .... however I am still happy with my Virgin media home broadband service.

    1) Its 10 times more reliable than the expensive "business class" lines we have at the office. The connection almost NEVER drops..... I'd say I probably notice a line drop once a year and never for more than a few seconds.

    2) The throttling is not that bad. I just do queued downloading overnight and browsing in the evening.

    Virgins throttling is not particularly obtrusive. Yes, all of a sudden you could hit your limit and notice a drop in speed, however that's all it is..... MANY ISP's actively employ dodgy "traffic shaping" that kills off your torrents and p2p connections or block ports, Virgin fortunately do no such thing (yet)

    Also for a stable reliable broadband service with hardware supplied and maintained by Virgin, £9 per month (or £4.50 for new customers) is pretty good (unbeatable) value for money.

    Happy customer of Telewest since 2000 (when broadband was £25 per month for 512k) .... you kids don't know you are born etc etc :)

  65. Steve
    Thumb Down

    They're liars

    If you want a few minutes amusement go to

    http://allyours.virginmedia.com/html/internet/bb_deal_size_xl.html

    Click on the 'Ask before you buy' link and then ask why they are lying in the blurb at the top of the page which says

    "Ultra-reliable fibre optic broadband that starts from £4.50 a month - If you take our great value, flexible phone service. There are 3 options to choose from - up to 2Mb, 4Mb and the UK's fastest, 20Mb. All delivered by fibre optic cable. <b>Plus there are no boring download limits</b> and you get free internet security chucked in."

  66. Aron A Aardvark
    Thumb Up

    Broadband speeds. Who cares, really?

    I "downgraded" from Virgin's 4MB to 2MB package recently. The speed difference is barely noticeable. Broadband speed is not something I get worked up about. 50MB, 100MB...so what? You're just gonna pay more cash for a service that will be no better than my 2mB.

    I'd really like to know just what the hogs are downloading. Fricken DVD pirates and 13 yr old youtube obsessives spoiling everyones fun no doubt. Maybe a little move away from net neutrality would not be a bad idea..charge the parents more to have fast access to these sites and I reckon you'd see a marked decrease in bandwith hoggery.

  67. Brian Wright
    Happy

    BT

    Well I don't know where the coward gets his details on BTs service but mine is a tad different, downloading 800KBps on torrents etc, this month, 352GB on this pc alone and I have another 2 , BTVision and a 360 that i download demos on so its at least 400GB, slightly less last month. BT do NOT have limits on their top product they do throttle torrents but you can just encrypt them.

  68. Peter Redding

    Bandwidth monitoring

    Any recommendations for a utility that will monitor all the traffic from my PC and Xbox 360 going through my router?

  69. frymaster

    re: assholes

    This is re: both of the people with that subject

    Throttling lasts 5 hours once applied; if you're experiencing slow speeds 5 'till midnight then it can't be due to throttling (would either be 5 till 10 or 5 to 3am)

    Thus, your slow speeds are something else. Perhaps it's because of high contention? Therefore, throttling will slow down other people, enabling you to get higher speeds.

    If your speeds are "slower than dialup" and the slowest VM connection gets throttled to 1 megabit/sec, then throttling is not your issue. Get tech support involved, see if there's high utilisation in your area (and if so, when they think an upgrade will be, though these are laughably inaccurate) or if there's another problem on your line

  70. Oscar
    Thumb Down

    Bandwidth throttling is not that little ...

    I remember downloading the latest version of the DirectX SDK back in march. The download started off nicely at 450KB/sec but about 3/4 the way through the download my download rate dropped to just 16KB/sec. This lasted for the 5 hours stated. Now i fail to see how throttling a 4meg connection by even 75% can cause me to slow down to ISDN (dual linked) speeds ... VM are full of sh*t. I'm off to join O2 when I move in a couple of weeks and VM can sod off.

  71. Anonymous Coward
    Unhappy

    @Luke Wells - a happy VM customer

    LW: I'm kind of with you - I've been with Telewest for a longish time and found the service pretty reliable, (I figure about 1/2 a day per year tops), and it appears to deliver on the speed quoted (I've got the "L" service and managed to download a pair of Ubuntu CD's at 1050-1180KB/s the other day - which is only a whisker off the 1250KB/s that's the service is rated at). Nice one VM! :D

    What does get me steamed is - again - the way that they've snuck this out of the door! A little heads-up wouldn't have gone amiss you bunch of a'holes... :P

    Like some here I probably don't habitually hit the 2.4GB limit for this new cap. But there will be times when I've got to get OS CD's downloaded - which means that it's back to snailnet. I used to do this before 1130am to get the best speed and miss parts of the US coming online - now this strategy is busted.

    I agree with the throttle back, but it just occurs to me that maybe the "monthly limit" like Russ Pitcher suggested above would be fairer. Or, cut me back to 4Mb for the same cost but offer a service level agreement. Heck, even cut me back to 2Mb for the 10Mb money but let me use that speed 24x7.

    Only consolation is that at least VM's cable is still way faster than any ADSL-based service I could get here (top speed is apparently 512kb/s for my house).

    This could be so much better... <sigh>

  72. steve

    nighttime STM

    right time to let you in on a little secret.

    Nighttime STM from 1am - 4am is coming in very soon :)

    so thats 3 STM's in a day awesome service for unlimited and 37 quid eh.

  73. Richard

    Naughty STM policy

    I just wish they would stop applying the STM outside of the said hours or before I've gone past my download limit.

    Take last night for example, got in from work at 5PM, started to download 10.5.3 for OS X (420MB) got 10MBit/s for the whole of the download.

    Made dinner, talked to the girlfriend, watched some TV.

    Around 9PM I then download the iPhone SDK (1.2GB), it starts off around 1000KB/s until 300MB into the download and it drops to 300KB/s.

    So 420MB + 300MB + I checked my mail and read the BBC News website = 725MB.

    That's well away from the evening's 1200MB download limit plus I started the SDK download after 9PM, When I shouldn't be STMd!

    There was no one using the connection during the day, my wireless connection hasn't been hijacked, Virgin are just not supplying what I pay for.

  74. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    Everything about this have been say

    1. Throlling is illegal

    2. ISP shoud be FORCED to upgrade they infrastucture and actually provide what they have sold

    3. Once again the only good deterrent for those crooked ISP is massive fine (billions, not million)

    4. Virgine just ruine its image and now join the rank of openly anti-consumer, lying company that is not even legitimate anymore, oike Sony

    Worldwide goverments must unit on this one and prevent (and punish) any ISP from illegal throttling.

    It is Simple: There is no reason (legal or otherwise) to throttle any kind of traffic. ISP have oversold they pipe, pocket the money and did not invest into infrastucture and they need to be punish (and forced to deliver what consumer have paid for).

  75. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    £10/month - I aint complaining

    Its cheap. way more reliable that ADSL.

    So they are throttling the heavy users. bothered!

  76. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Maybe I'm the only happy customer

    On XL through a Samsung STB, I was told I would never be able to receive 10Mb/s without paying £50 for an upgrade to a cable modem.

    After complaining that I would cancel my entire package, they refunded the £50 in advance. A week later a firmware upgrade to the STB gave me the full 10Mb service.

    Never had any downtime since the speed increase. I get a consistent 1100KB/s speed in Newsleecher from Giganews servers and I've never experienced throttling despite downloading 10GB some days.

  77. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Payment throttling

    If it's ok for Virgin to throttle connections by 75%, they have no right to complain when their customers throttle their bill bayments by 75%.

    If they are unable or unwilling to provide the advertised service, why should they expect to get paid for it ?

  78. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    because people don't read what is actually written

    Click on the 'Ask before you buy' link and then ask why they are lying in the blurb at the top of the page which says - "There are 3 options to choose from - up to 2Mb, 4Mb and the UK's fastest, 20Mb. All delivered by fibre optic cable. Plus there are no boring download limits and you get free internet security chucked in."

    They are not lying, just relying on people misunderstanding and making incorrect assumptions. There advertising statement is perfectly true - There is no download limit.

    The key phrase is 'up to' when it refers to the speed. There is nothing in there advertising that says that the 'up to' limit has to be a constant figure and cannot be varied by Virgin at their whim.

  79. John Swainston

    @Bandwidth Monitoring

    If your router supports SNMP, and you want something easy to use:

    http://www.paessler.com/prtg/download/

    Very good for a freebie for home use.

    If you are feeling a bit more techie,and want to monitor more stuff then try

    http://oss.oetiker.ch/mrtg/

  80. Mark

    Re: Ah Well...

    I cancelled because VM (Blueyonder when I started) rolled out throttling in one town (as reported in El Reg) and I phoned up VM support to tell them that they had better not throttle me. "Oh, it's only because that area is particularly bad. we have no plans to roll it out elsewhere" was the response. Aye, I don't believe that but know that when you do roll it out here, I'll leave I told them.

    Well, what do you know. They rolled it out UK-wide. So I cancelled. Told them again why (throttling and lying). The only place that did 2MB connection was Tiscali so I went with them. Hell, if it's going to get throttled, might as well make sure there's not enough to throttle.

    So I didn't wait.

    If anyone from VM is reading, how about a new fantastic idea: Sell your broadband connection at:

    1Mbit, 2.5Mbit and 5Mbit. And guarantee that level. And tell your users that although it's more expensive, you do guarantee they get it if the server they connect to allows it. Then, as a little bonus, don't limit to 1, 2.5 and 5, but let them range up beyond that if there's any spare capacity.

    In short, sell the bandwith you CAN give. And if there's any spare, you're paying nothing for the extra 1's and 0's, so keep schtum. If you're really underutilising, you know you can afford more customers.

    Idiots who only look at the peak speeds will go elsewhere. That means you'll get fewer users who complain "my computer isn't working... and my lights are out... yes, there IS a power outage, but where's my internet!!!". With fewer ID10-t users your support will be easier. Everyone wins.

  81. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Vile Media

    Hmmm.

    Another "used to be a happy Blueyonder customer" now getting tired of VM rubbish.

    The TV box crashes several times a week, the VM TV Replay thing is inconsistent with programs and despite having a 2MB line I've barely seen anything above 120-140k/s for months. The service is declining and it's indicative of the culture of bullshittery and commercial deceit that permeates our world more and more these days. The customer is always right has turned into the customer is a fool who can be patronised and ripped off.

    Make hay while the sun shines. Or put another way, enjoy the interent as it is because it won't be like this for much longer.

    If you go to the old blueyonder ftp address you'll find they have mirrors of several of the linux sites. This is why you can get Ubuntu images (and Debian, slackware and one or two others) at top speeds.

    They have at least not removed these, though I wonder how long it will be given the way VM are changing.

    There was a time when we all lived quite happily without the internet. You know, back in the days when there wasn't one. Thousands of years we survived. Amazing.

    What the fuck did we do to pass the time?

  82. Anonymous Coward
    Pirate

    I'd really like to know just what the hogs are downloading.

    Well...

    24

    Big Bang Theory

    Bones

    Chuck

    Desperate Housewives*

    Dexter

    Dirty Sexy Money

    Eli Stone

    Heroes

    How I Met Your Mother

    Las Vegas

    Lost

    My Name Is Earl

    Prison Break

    Pushing Daisies

    Reaper

    Rules of Engagement

    Scrubs

    Smallville

    Terminator SCC

    Two and a Half Men

    Ugly Betty*

    Weeds

    ...each week adds up to about 7GB, but since most of those air on the same night it's easy to hit the throttling limit, especially since Usenet lets you run at max downlaod speed (which VM gives me 99% of the time BTW). Then you've got the odd US DVD release ahead of the UK release (why?) All that on top of normal browsing and gaming traffic.

    Spread out over a week/month/quarter it's not a lot, but it does tend to spike on certain days and at certain times, so i can see why the ISPs are getting antsy.

    *for the missus, obviously

  83. Graham Wood
    Stop

    @A/C(s) (Summary of post: Stop whining, you get what you pay for)

    Stop telling people to go to Be - I want to keep my nice fast link, and if enough people shift then I won't be able to! :) Having said that, mine's retrained about 50 times so far today so I'm waiting to see if their customer service is still as good as it was a year ago when I last contacted them.

    Throttling is not "illegal" or even "immoral". The comment about "up to" being in the contract is dead on the money - they don't guarantee that you'll get the top speed all the time.

    They are selling a service - and then providing it. If you want to get a proper pipe with no throttling and no contention issues - then there are companies that will provide it, for a fee. That price (for a 512k pipe) is likely to be about five times (last time I looked) what you're paying - since that is closer to what it costs to provide that sort of link.

    And as for the "A/C" claiming that "throlling" is illegal - I really hope that was a reference to "trolling", since that post is so awfully written in terms of content (fundamentally flawed), spelling, and grammar.

  84. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    Be > VM

    I've recently been having a debate on this very subject with my neighbour who is with VM. Just got round to persuading him that VM's traffic management policies were pure unmitigated bullshit and he's now gone and cancelled. When asked why he was put through to a greasy salesman who basically slandered every other ISP claiming everyone throttles these days. Ah well, he's now on his way to becoming a 'being'.

    I've been with Be for the last 2 years, first in Macclesfield (got the full 24Mb there), then Reading (9Mb there), now London (15Mb there) and everytime I've always been impressed with the service and the people who provide it. But I would join VM in a flash if they just dropped all these bullshit punitive measures and gave me a proper 20Mb line. I couldn't give two tosses if they charged 50 quid a month for the service as long as it was unmetered and not throttled.

    It's a fucking shame that the one chance that most of us have of getting FTTH/50Mb+ connections is with a company who's pricing model is complete and utter shite. I mean ffs, even the Ukraine are getting FTTH now.

    Please VM if you're listening - charge us more if you have to, much more - but if you're serious about all this shitty advertising I see plastered everywhere about being the fastest - don't go fucking it up with rediculous traffice management policies like you have now.

    /rant

  85. This post has been deleted by its author

  86. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    left VM for Sky and much much better

    I went for their equivalent of XL and its 10 quid on my phone and tv bill, taking me to just over 30 quid with very high download limits.

    On installation, i had to download a few linux images for DVD, via bit torrent, but easily 12 - 20 GB, in my first month. Its not normally like that, but i am glad they have left me alone.

    People on here seem to be saying "my supplier is better than yours", but its really down to the misleading advertising. This is not allowed in other industries so my is it allowed in the internet.

  87. Alex
    Paris Hilton

    Why are virgin customers complaining...?

    Just leave as soon as possible!

    I was a dedicated customer of virgin for many years, they were good, now they are crap...and they get getting worse...

    Move on.... follow my example...

  88. The Mighty Quin

    iPlayer

    You are aware that iPlayer is available on the set top box now? just press the red button when you are on any BBC channel.

  89. Steve

    Hmmm

    No i know y i got a cloned modem... and a eurovox as i never get the serive i sodding pay for..

  90. pctechxp

    inclusive bandwidtth and operating costs

    If you want a high speed network you will have to start paying more for it because networks cost money to build and operate and then you have the peering connections, while free reciporcal peering does exist, one of the parties will get pissed off if their port is getting hammered by dickheads downloading (and uploading) complete series of 24/Heroes/House or whatever via peer to peer 24/7 and may start charging for the connection.

    Franly these people should be forced onto a dedicated network and charged for the cost of a leased line or have their connections stopped.

    C'mon if you work in IT you should know this kind of stuff and not be whining about it, its the P2P divs that spoil for the rest of us.

    If you want to serve this crap, get yourself a server and pay the bandwidth charges.

  91. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not that bad compared to others

    Their 20Mb down/768kb up package is £20/month. When throttled it becomes 5Mb/192kb for only 5 hours - that still seems a pretty good deal to me.

    My ADSL connection costs more than that, just manages a maximum of 5Mb down/400kb up on a good day and is capped at 60Gb per month. If I go over the limit they throttle the connection to 128kb up/down for *30 days*. In comparison Virgins throttling seems very customer friendly.

  92. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    VM

    Like many of the commentators, IVe been with virgin (blueyonder) for 8 years now.

    The caps havent bothered me till now but their creeping in earlier and earlier.

    I have no issues of jumping on when I get up and max out the connection at 2.4mbs, thats not every day, but games these days are getting a tad bit large

    Take this morning, 6.4gig down in 45mins.....

    Atleast I sneaked it in before the new caps and will continue too do so.

    I have however for the first time just checked BE, and their finally in my area, so when I move house in a few months, Ill pay the money too bt for the line and the rental and shift my ass over too them. Only reason I hadnt moved before was because they werent in my area....

    And hey, what do you want a M/L/XL package for....surfing....Aye and my names...err... Gordon Brown !

    Id be happy too pay more and stay, but its just one thing after another. VM may not want too pay too upgrade the network, but if all their XL customers start leaving, their loosing out on the cream of the crop Revenue wise..

    For what once was the best isp around, their just another joe bloggs in the whole ISP world

  93. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    throttling in S. Wales

    Does anybody know when this was introduced nationally?

    As I've noticed the daytime throttling since 12th May on my XL pack, being a former NTL customer in S. Wales.

    Thanks.

  94. Lee Sexton
    Thumb Down

    Seems they are not wanting their customers to leave

    Here we go, "you are in a legal contract sir", yes one that has been changed beyond recognition from the one I signed!!

    I am not a happy bunny, I dont use (and probably never will) the download enough to reach this restriction, but thats not the point, the point is this is unfair. I can pick up a cracked modem for £30, I was always taught honesty was the best policy, it seems this is not the case at all. I am now paying for people with hacked modems who have probably signed up to the lowest speed possible and uncapped their service.....Not on. Let me leave please.

    They arent having it, downgraded to 2mbit, hit them where it hurts, their pockets.

    I cant be arsed with a legal fight, it's too costly and I dont want debt collectors letters in the meantime and blacklistings (why can a company blacklist you immediately with just their say so anyway?)

  95. j
    Thumb Down

    I've been a Virgin DSL customer for years

    and I'm pretty sure they've started throttling already. Speeds declined sharply ts e9 months ago. I live in the centre of London and my connection is APPALLING. Frequently around the 256kbps mark.

  96. marc

    Out in the country

    For some people 2mb is all they get.... and yes we were sold 8Mb with the words "up to" in really really small print too!

  97. gHoTI
    Paris Hilton

    My 2 cents on this

    I thought I might as well add my say to this as well.

    I have been with Virgin Cable for a few years now, since I was able to move into a cable enabled area. I have since had opportunities for being given many ADSL services via a BT line, but have turned them down due to the stability and speed of my beloved cable connection.

    The evening throttling is very annoying to me as that's when I like to do my linux installs and stuff, and actually use most of my bandwidth legitimately - so the throttle does get me, but I have to say with the use of an internal proxy, the effects are less noticeable than you might think, not to mention that there is still no upper limit and they are not hiding their limits as much as some other ISPs I have been with in the past - which has resulted in some angry calls to India.

    However, as good as they are, the new daytime throttle is the one that will hit me most, as usually I, like other daytime-hoggers, queue my downloads in the morning, so that upon my return from a hard days graft, I can settle down and relax - this now means that I *may* not be able to do this as often - its hard to tell, since the WGA strike there has really been FA to download anyways :)

    Virgin - you could do a lot worse.

    (Paris - cos we all know she doesn't have limits!)

  98. Anonymous Coward
    Alert

    Make redtape work for you.

    Can I just suggest - monitor your connections and the bandwidth. If you spot throttling by virgin fire off a *letter* stating their service failed to meet there advertised connection speed and you have reason to believe that this was as a result of direct negligence on their part. Demand reimbursement of some amount "in respect of your fraudulent trading" and add a few other points that you require specific answer to (name and contact detail of the idiot responsible would be one).

    Now I doubt you will get them to pay up. However the cost of someone having to deal with a real paper letter is much higher than the cost of the postage. Its pounds for each one. Thus they can then see there is a cost in failing to provide the 'unlimited' service they are supposed to - and are more likely to change. It needs a fair number to do it, but it can really work.

    If they start failing to respond to letter, start stating that 'you will withhold £x in respect of you continued failure to deliver the advertised service' unless you hear from them within 10 working days.

    In short, make a nuisance of yourself.

  99. nutellajunkie
    Thumb Up

    oh shut up

    Whos moaning anyway.. are you the 1%?

    MY 20MB is always full speed, I download alot, but not too much..

    Fair is fair, bandwidth is expensive..

    No complaints from me.. yet :)

  100. Lupus

    Title is required? Do one!

    So I've been a VM customer since they were BlueYonder and like everyone else I can't praise the blue whale enough.

    Now as far as VM goes... yes, I've noticed declines in quality, but primarily on the televisual front. The net connection has remained damned stable over the years.

    They had some sort of offer on for a cheaper 20mb connection so I took it. Finally I get to use these Torrent things!

    Torns out, though, I'd been using them for yonks for game patches and the like. I am in fact downloading a 3gb one right now.

    I *would* like to know how people claim to get gigs and gigs in one single day though, I managed about 25% of a 3gb patch in, ooh, five hours? And this is in the wee small ones with a connection that has rarely dropped below 15mb.

    I've gone and lost my point now...

  101. James Halliday

    In defence of Virgin

    Something I'm absolutely convinced I'd never be saying:

    I do get a 20M connection and it is rock-steady at that speed.

    Throttling is a pain, but I'm not going to pretend there doesn't have to be any sort of control applied. Just wish ISPs would be up-front about it - Virgin finally putting it all down in a table is a start.

    My whinge is that the Virgin scheme basically just looks at things on a daily basis. I'm not downloading a DVD ISO every night - but when I want to it would be nice if it downloaded at the speed I was paying for.

    So say the image is 4.5Gig ~ 4,500Megabytes = 36,000M

    At full 20M that would take 36,000 /60mins /20M = 1/2 an hour

    With a 3 Gig Cap followed by 75% reduction in speed

    24,000 /60mins /20M = 20 mins

    +

    12,000 /60mins /5M = 40 mins

    Soo Downloading a DVD ISO takes pretty much twice as long.

    Now the bit that really annoys me is that there's f'all reason to pay for 20M over 10M if you're just downloading web pages, the odd album etc. You pay for the 20M connection as you think you may actually want to use it occasionally - not downloading a DVD ISO every day - but 'sometimes'

    In my happy-clappy ideal world there'd be a grace period before the cap kicks in. Say 10Gigs a week - and then you're put in the pool for throttling. Just some way that will actually make it possible to download a large file at full capacity.

  102. Degenerate Scumbag
    Boffin

    @Adam Re:What, XL is 20mbps?

    "Only I've had the XL service for coming up to a year, and the only times I see anything close to 20mbps is when I'm running one of those ISP speed-test websites with a mirror on the Virgin network. Every other time I generally see 1mbps downloading (through http and ftp, no torrents here)"

    If you're getting 20mbps on the speed test, then that is the speed of the connection. It takes more than just a fast connection your end to get that throughput on a download. There has to be enough bandwidth at the other end, and at every router in between. TCP window sizes and round-trip latency place an effective limit on the throughput of an individual TCP connection that can be quite low (this is probably the 1mbps you are seeing), so you will need to open multiple TCP connections. You'll get these from a well seeded torrent, a decent premium Usenet server or a resume-capable HTTP server with an appropriate download manager. For 20Mbps you'll need many connections.

    I'm on the XL tier and with 40 TCP connections to my Usenet server in the US I get a steady 20Mbps... for about half an hour in the evenings before the F*@!ing STM kicks in...

  103. Greg

    @frymaster

    "Throttling lasts 5 hours once applied; if you're experiencing slow speeds 5 'till midnight then it can't be due to throttling (would either be 5 till 10 or 5 to 3am)"

    Wanna bet? I have a torrent server that's sometimes on (guess why I get throttled). It seeds/downloads at x rate until 5pm, when it suddenly changes to y rate. It remains at y rate until *exactly* midnight, when it returns to x rate. Always, every time, without fail. That, mein freud, is no connection/contention problem. Far too specific.

  104. Mark

    @Graham Wood

    "Throttling is not "illegal" or even "immoral". The comment about "up to" being in the contract is dead on the money - they don't guarantee that you'll get the top speed all the time."

    Well neither is using 50Mbps on a 50MBps immoral, illegal nor hogging all the bandwidth. We're using a service and if they can't provide that service then we will complain. We will move. We will discard broadband (for what you're *allowed* to do with it nowadays, who the feck needs more than 1Mbps? Internet TV? HAH!)

  105. Kate
    Black Helicopters

    Virgin arghh!

    I had been with NTL/Virgin for almost 8 years, right when they first launched their broadband service here, I had awesome fast service right up until 2007, then they started capping the service so bad and I'm not even that heavy a user, it got even worse this year from January up until April I was getting completely cut off, as soon as I fired up utorrent, 30 secs later, at any time of day, the speed dropped hit 0, then I'd be completely cut off until the next morning. That happened most of the time, when it did work, I was receiving about 10k/sec at best, but mostly I was going without ANY service from around 4.30pm until early hours of the morning.

    In the end I had enough, I switched told them where to stick it and now as much as I dislike BT as well, I'm getting almost twice the speed as I paid with Virgin(but never got)on BT and only throttled from around 4pm to 9pm and even then I still get a couple of hundred k/sec. However since I do most downloading overnight, it runs happily full speed and reliably.

    So I'm happier now. Virgin now, ABSOLUTELY TOTALLY suck.

    Don't go near 'em.

  106. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    B*STARDS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Think its about time somebody took these gits to court.

    Have they not thought about people working from home who can soak up 6GB on remote connection with ease.

  107. Richard Kettlewell

    "no download limits"

    http://allyours.virginmedia.com/websales/service.do?id=2 currently claims "no download limits". While it may be true that there's no limit after which you're cut off or have to pay more, a limit after which your bandwidth is reduced is a limit nonetheless.

  108. Daniel Dainty

    "You are aware that iPlayer is available on the set top box now?"

    No, you don't - you get a different interface to the On Demand service that Virgin already do. You don't get half the programs that you do on the actual iPlayer.

    It's just another interface to make you *think* you've got the iplayer, so you take the load off the t'interweb.

  109. Anonymous Coward
    Happy

    Re: At least they're being transparent...

    The quality of service you receive from AOL is exactly the same service as you will receive on TalkTalk (Or any other Opal Telecom reseller (TT and AOL's) provider.

    The only reasons there may be differences is because they both have their own customer services (Both sh1t in my opinion) and TalkTalk uses Opal's MPF LLU network, while AOL uses use what was their own SMPF LLU networks (Which is now controlled by Opal, although AOL will eventually be migrated to the MPF network and the existing SMPF equipment used to increase capacity).

    For the record also, TalkTalk, AOL and all companies which resell Opal telecom do not have their bandwidth shaped in any way. In fact, use of high bandwidth services is actively encouraged by Opal, and they are proactively upgrading capability as a result of increased usage. (BTW this is from a presentation given recently by the managing director of Opal Networks)

  110. Andy
    Stop

    @working from home

    They have thought about that, it's called a business line, the T&C's clearly state that using the home broadband product for business activities is not allowed.

  111. John Hicks
    Stop

    I've just run some numbers and....

    I'm on a 2 meg line - yeah my parents wont pay for more!

    Now if my maths is right (which it may not be - had a few to drink!) then during the evening i can only download 25.6kBytes/sec in order to avoid reaching the cap. Thats no incentive - i'd rather bang through 450 meg ASAP and get the 5 hour cap on and go on downloading at 100kBytes/sec.

    Seems a bit crappy to me that the cap extends outside of the limited hours. If I get home from 8pm and start streaming video - my connection will be capped well into the night. Surely then its better to make sure something downloads while i'm at work so I can get the cap off as soon as possible - after all, getting the cap is inevitable!

    Telewest was never this bad - bloody beardy branson.

  112. This post has been deleted by its author

  113. Lee Sexton
    Thumb Down

    Jesus

    Just to add to earlier, I have downloaded absolutely nothing today, got home from work, got on phone and had a moan to VM, downgraded from tomorrow to 2mbit. Went to download a documentary, wtf, getting 5mbit exactly. I ALWAYS get 20mbit full speed. What the hells going on? So they are lying, they are throttling at times not by download amount. I have never had this happen to me. Always got 20mbit full speed as I never go beyond anything above 2gb in a day..........Fekkers, everyone check their speeds :)

  114. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    throttled !!!

    Im on the UK Samknows BB trial just to prove how bad the speeds are....

    the bandwidth i have is supposed to be 20Mbps (the modem is set to 20Mbps) but i have never seen more than 4Mbps.

    cos the connection is throttled back so far its sometimes less than 20Kbps at times....

    (if you ever talk to the asian call monkeys they insist blind your connection IS running at 20Mbps and you are getting that speed(i have never ever-ever seen 20Mbps on this connection ever!!!))

    it is complete cr@p

    they also regularly cut the connection overnight....without warning...

    if i want to listen to a streaming radio station, i get disconections and lagg

    TeamSpeak and Ventrillo have problems with their being throttled & (severe packet loss which i have traced to the VM network Gateways) and my online games are laggy and often DC!

    if i want to do a p2p downloading, i am throttled back to less than 20kbps as soon as i start, irrespective of if i have been doing any downloading in the last 24hrs

    ADSL is worse... (just dont ever mention Ti$€&%#).......

    Paris... cos even she knows how to keep it up all night.....

  115. fords
    Thumb Down

    Virgin - bunch of eejits

    We are ADSL customers with Virgin. We usually get speeds of 7 meg as we live fairly close to the exchange. We're now moving to O2 because Virgin decided that my playing WoW and using Ventrilo at the same time makes me a bad person. They then throttled us down to 70k - yes, 70k - but didn't bother to tell us by email or letter. Cue me going nuts at them, throwing in the facts that their T&Cs don't go into any specifics about throttling and anyway, when I signed up I was told that gaming was fine. I also mentioned the Trade Descriptions Act and that other one about making contracts/T&Cs difficult to understand or misleading. They also felt obliged to drop the £50 cancellation fee too. . O2 goes live on Tuesday and I cannot wait. *evil grin*

  116. keith
    Stop

    hi there

    well well well virgin is throttling users i managed to switch from bt to sky and i must say going from bts 8mb service to skys 16mb service what a difference it made i can download 700mb movies with in 30 mins or less if it really went fast but poor little virgin media have to trottle there users by slown them down that to me is not how a isp should run or work virgin should be sued for this people pay for high speed internet but virgin prefer to kill your speeds good job i moved from bt to sky haha skys the best isp in my opinion it was rated 2nd place for the best isp of 2008 bt came further down the list so it was a good choice i made to switch although plusnet i think there called was 1st but they have usage limits sky dont although every isp does have usage limits somewhere but at least mine dont trottle my usage little tip for people who download alot dont do it in one go space it out then it might not be to bad on your usage have fun vm you will loose customers faster than you can say optical cable :)

  117. Col
    IT Angle

    Outages

    I was working in a virgin media server suite just off the m4 when they were testing the backup generators, they turned the mains off and all the servers went onto the ups system which promptly crashed.

    Turned out the backup generator diesel engine was having an oil and filter change by a nice old boy smoking a roll-up whose van had been parked outside all morning. Took over two hours before they got it powered up again and god knows how long before it was running up to speed.

    Lots of cheery virgin types running round with their arses in their hands.

    They do have a pro foosball table in the canteen stairwell so at least you know where your moneys going.

    I.T. because nobody knew where IT went.

  118. Dean
    Thumb Down

    unlimited HA!

    I don't mind being capped what I do mind is that I buy a "unlimited" XL package thats not quite unlimited. The word unlimited is abused by ISP's and the regulator should take action.

  119. James Cook
    IT Angle

    Poor network

    We had VM put in last year (ADSL) and our transfer speeds would vary from 60KBps down to 5. This was supposed to be 4Mb line, we don't do any major downloading. But we would also experience a lot of page cannot be displayed when clicking links, only to refresh to have the page appear. We also suffered heavily from a long latency time. For example pinging would return times around 200-300ms instead of 10-20ms we were getting before.

    When trying to tell VM about this they kept passing this off a line issue. My housemate was well aware of the poor quality wiring in the house when he first bought it and was happy enough with their explanation. I wasn't and convinced him to get out and we joined O2, both being on O2 customers we recieved a great deal and so if it was the line then atleast we would be paying less.

    Anyway, we are now switched over onto an 8Mb line and its awesome... how the internet should be... :-)

    IT? - because I don't think VM really know what they are doing...

  120. Ewan
    Stop

    Limits are too low

    I don't have an objection to throttling its the levels that the throttling are being set at.

    Evenings cap kicks in at

    Medium Package = 26 minutes of 2Mb downloads

    Large Package = 13 minutes of 10Mb downloads

    XL Package = 17 minutes of 20Mb downloads

    under half an hour per night is excessive???

  121. Steven Knox
    Coat

    "Plus there are no boring download limits..."

    Sounds true to me -- as a regular Reg reader, I find the limits Virgin puts on downloading quite entertaining.

  122. mike panero

    Seems fair to me

    They don't cut you off, just throttle you

    It is otherwise a bloody nice internet, esp. if like me you live far far away from an exchange and can only manage 2.5 Mbs on ADSL

  123. david wilson

    @Mark

    >>"Well neither is using 50Mbps on a 50MBps immoral, illegal nor hogging all the bandwidth."

    However, if done continually, it's probably taking much more than an equal share of their internal bandwidth averaged over all the customers on the same package.

    >>"We're using a service and if they can't provide that service then we will complain. We will move."

    Well, they *could* budget to provide enough capacity for all customers using the service 100%, and try and pass those costs on, but that'd probably drive away most of their more-profitable customers, maybe causing the whole service to collapse, rather than throttling, which may drive away some of their least profitable customers (possibly including some downright unprofitable ones).

  124. Anonymous Coward
    Unhappy

    Rip-off

    To my mind this is a bit like buying a car which is sold as being able to do 100Mph and then finding out an hour down the motorway it will only do 25Mph......

  125. Dan Clark
    Stop

    Comical...

    This is laughable. I moved to BE 6 months ago, and finally cancelled my old "Blueyonder" broadband service 2 days ago (after having the broadband service for 5 years). Ironically, a better service with BE's top tier broadband service is cheaper than VM's mid range service - and about 3 times the speed for me without any restrictions and a static IP.

    The Virgin Media brand has become a complete joke - poor network, poor service and a ruined corporate image. Just look at the marketing campaigns, network usage policies, charging for support saga, ...

    I will say it did surprise me today when someone from VM rung me trying to retain me as a customer - suddenly they can drop my monthly charge by £15 for being a loyal Customer (or, to put it another way, a Customer that [used to] give them over £1000 per year in revenue).

  126. This post has been deleted by its author

  127. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Think about it...

    >>"Well neither is using 50Mbps on a 50MBps immoral, illegal nor hogging all the bandwidth."

    "However, if done continually, it's probably taking much more than an equal share of their internal bandwidth averaged over all the customers on the same package."

    "Equal share" - what are _you_ smoking?

    If the bandwidth is paid for in advance, it ought to be available in advance.

    Who cares if some customers aren't using their full allowance? That's their prerogative - AS IS other customers utilising 100% of what they've already bought.

    e.g. Two people buy a mars bar. One saves some of his for later. The other has 75% of his stolen, simply because he ate a snickers earlier.

    Now, the latter might be a fatboi, but he's paid for the chocolate & ENTITLED to eat all of it...

  128. tim morrison
    Thumb Up

    Glad I'm not the only one

    I left Virgin Media after only one month because they're liars and their mung call centre staff couldn't care less.

    I really hope someone from VM is reading all this, because it WILL catch up with them sooner or later.

    Mr Branson must be so proud to have his brand put to such a shite, hated service.

  129. Anonymous Coward
    Unhappy

    Nothing is unlimited

    What ever your individual criticism of the Virgin Media service is, the idea you pay a limited amount of money for an unlimited service is just absurd. Virgin, like all ISPs, are having their networks slaughtered by multi-gigabyte downloads of warez, porn, MP3s and DVDs. It seems fairly unlikely there are many legal uses of downloading gigabytes of data (and before you all start the endless excuses about Linux ISO images and the like we've heard it all before) so really they have every right to protect their network from people sapping all the bandwidth so they can watch a bootleg of the latest Indiana Jones film or whatever. The odd big download of even something dodgy is neither here nor there, however the 24x7 downloaders endlessly swallowing up stuff from P2P is just taking the piss. All resource is finite and I don't see why my web surfing should be slow because some numb-nuts is downloading DVD-sized ISOs of Lost.

  130. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Trading standards??

    Isn't this a breach of trading standards?

    VM advertise their Broadband as 20MB, but only 16hours is cabable of using that speed, and 8 hours of that is when you sleep so all in all you can get 20Mb for 8 hours...oh wait you work too....so all in all you get 2-4 hours of 20mb. cause after 2hours of constant 20mb downloads you hit the limit!!

    I pay for 20mb I should get 20Mb 24/7, just because their network can support the amount of users on at the time doesn't mean the customer should suffer.

    yes 95% of VM user may never hit their quota, but I will most nights NOT USING TORRENTS!! But for legitimit reasons, like gaming. PC and PS3! All these mediums use some form of downloading, most PS3 trailers are 800mb most PC game demos are 800mb!

    VM sucks! unfortunately I'm stuck with them as I have no other ISP in my area!!

    Paris atleast her sucking feels good!

  131. micheal
    Pirate

    Customer unsupport

    I have twice cancelled via email and got confirmation from VCS, still getting service, they still debited. I bet now i cancelled the debit they'll try and claim I owe them money. I cancelled due to PHORM, (just talking with soammers is not on in my book) and the bandwidth restrictions which I have noticed even tho i'm not a heavy user but pay for L . After 9 years as a customer of Cable London/Telewest i had just renewed another year when V took over, If i'd have known they were selling out, I'd have never signed again. I have Sky as a backup so can kill the V feed without a worry. Everything using teh V brand but not owned by V is pants, look at their rail system, it's a shambles. RB, take a look at how they've cheapened your empire's logo

  132. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    Waht about the legal downloads...

    "Virgin, like all ISPs, are having their networks slaughtered by multi-gigabyte downloads of warez, porn, MP3s and DVDs."

    What about the geuine people who pay for DVD downloads, PC Games and MP3?

    Caus ethouse do exists, and people who do use those services obviously want them downloaded at high speed instaed of waiting hours, VM are going to hurt those people, and do they care ...no!

    Don't think this is because people download, this system is in place because the UK network can not handle the amount of data!!!!!

  133. alyn
    Unhappy

    And this differs how exactly?

    I thought they have always been throttling the download speed for everyone

  134. Mark

    Plusnet got it right...

    Reasonable peak usage, unmetered off-peak usage. Set them big downloads going overnight, and they don't count as part of your usage limit.

    Sweet...

    I am a reasonably heavy user, and have a 20GB limit, but rarely get anywhere close to it, because of sensible use of my connection.

  135. Dave

    Don't moan... leave !

    When they first introduced throttling I found out about it here, along with the premium rate phone call changes to customer services. A couple of days after I noticed it's effects on my connection I phoned tech support (on the bloody premium rate) and complained I had a "problem" with my connection. I described the throttling scenario exactly (fine all day.. half speed at night etc.) and the clown on the line started getting me to reboot the router etc. etc. After persevering for a short while (time is money on VM tech support lines!!) just to see how long this would go on I interupted him and asked when he was going to mention throttling. I also asked why there had been no phone call, letter, email, carrier pigeon notifying VM customers of these things. His response? It's been in all the papers!

    I cancelled there and then. 3 days into the new throttling regime. Not having it.

    And btw, I found speeds were 'dodgy' outside of their so-called throttling hours and some friends I speak to who worked for BY and now VM say it's bullshit and they throttle anytime.

    Ditch 'em. Send the message.

  136. Mark

    Re: Nothing is unlimited

    Well the contract has no specified end, so the cash we pay IS unlimited.

    20Mb/s IS limited.

    5Mb/s is MORE limited.

    How about overnight I pay 100% of my bill and when I'm at work 0% (since I'm not using my home internet)? If our payments aren't unlimited, this is just as OK as their throttling...

  137. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    re:Actually...

    Unfortunately it's "BY 75%"

  138. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    re:Heaviest Virgin Media downloaders face new daytime go-slow

    "I never see myself downloading enough content to exceed my "XL" allowance."

    Because your clearly massively oversubscribed for your needs.

    No one in their right mind could possibly argue that 20 minutes use a day at the speed you've paid for is acceptable.

    VM is rapidly sinking into a complete farce.

    You are a virgin stooge and I claim my £5!

  139. Iain

    Can't complain too much.

    I agreed to their terms and conditions when my M service was 1Mb in the first place. So throttling me back down to that if I grab a gig at 2Mb isn't too painful.

    Plus, 1Mb is still enough to do most things on the internet - some ISPs will either throttle you to practically dialup, or just plain kick you off when you hit mysterious thresholds that they don't publish and change from month to month.

  140. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    I saw "Heaviest Virgin" in the headline...

    I saw "Heaviest Virgin" in the headline and thought it was a new reality TV show.

    Looking on the bright side, when you're throttled it will take Phorm longer to invade your privacy.

  141. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    Re:Re: Virgin ruined a good service

    By Rob W

    "That's pretty bad, if you don't get full speed. I have cable (NTLTelewest Business, as it's for my business) and I have NEVER experienced anything less than full speed, let alone bandwidth throttling. I guess that's what I'm paying for though."

    Actually they've also just announced throttling for business customers aswell because so many residential customers are switching to avoid the STM.

    Cableforum has the details.

  142. Chris Hamilton
    Alert

    Re: Assholes

    Spotted the same thing on my connection.... at 5pm every night my bandwidth hits rock bottom. I have even seriously contemplated resorting to dialup, just to be able to download my email because it was so pitiful.

    I called Virgin fault control who just said it was "that time of the evening and it should go back to normal soon".... it did.... at around 1am.

    I don't do heavy downloading during the day. Any P2P software I use is scheduled only to d/l between 2300-0800, so throttling shouldn't be a question.

    Also, I am not with Virgin by choice, and wouldn't be if I had a choice. I have tolerated their piss-poor services by proxy through various guises since 1994. My parents thought cable was brilliant, I moved out only to find my housemates also think they are sticking it to Rupert by using Virgins piss poor excuse for a service.

    The list of channels gets smaller with every passing month. We rarely get any new. The antique STB does not support a 7-day EPG, which my £25 Philips DVB-T box does. They tout VoD services, but try using them on a 2001 vintage Pace STB (So old it even has the Telewest star logo on it)! I don't have 5 minutes to wait for the box to load the content.

    The broadband servcie is unreliable and their fix times when someone digs through a cable is ridiculous.

    In fact the only good thing about their network is the plain old telephone service, which is reliable and crystal clear (and when hooked up to my modem, gets a solid 53.3kbps).

  143. Anonymous Coward
    Pirate

    20MB my arse

    We pay for the XL package with Virgin. A supposed 20MB service. I have never, in the 7 months of having this, got anything more than download speeds of 2.6MB/s. I think it takes the piss that people who actually pay for the fastest download speeds are subjected to the same speeds that people who only have 5MB lines!!!

  144. shaun

    elsewhere......

    check the prices/services in the USA, China or Sweden and you'll find this lark mostly only happens in the UK(tm), giving your money to @ssholes since 1901.

  145. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    More To Come

    Watch out for night time STM, and protocol specific throttling through DPI, likely coming soon to a Virgin Media headend near you!

  146. frymaster

    Burst speed != sustainable speed

    "To my mind this is a bit like buying a car which is sold as being able to do 100Mph and then finding out an hour down the motorway it will only do 25Mph......"

    They're called "traffic jams", they happen when the number of people wanting to use a resource exceed the capacity of that resource

    There's a reason why the road network isn't upgraded to the point where everyone gets a clear road (it would involve multi-level roads, but it could be done)

    There's a reason why text messaging on your mobile fails just after midnight on New Year's Day (The only reason phone networks coped with the unanticipated rise in SMS use when mobiles became popular is that they use less bandwidth than calls; torrents and iPlayer use more bandwidth than websites)

    Home internet access is a contended service. Always has been. Back in the day, if you were unlucky, your modem would get an engaged tone because all your ISP's modems were in use. This is why home broadband is as cheap as it is - because the traditional usage pattern of home customers has been bursts of access whenever you click on a new webpage.

    Throttling is a way to manage the contended resouce. I'd prefer something more dynamic, but I believe that Orlowski chap when he says that's not technically feasible. It's certainly a helluva lot better than monthly hard limits, which is what some ISPs do to you, or unspecified monthly "terminate the customer" limits, which is what some other ISPs do to you.

    If I'm downloading a new game on Steam, say, there's no hope in hell that even at full speeds it would be playable that evening. So it getting throttled effects me not a bit - it'll still be ready before the next evening. I might even hold off starting the download until I go to bed, to keep my browsing responsiveness up (though I probably wouldn't notice the difference) which means without actually inconveniencing me VM are altering my usage pattern to take the stress off the most highly contended part of the day. Though I don't think my particular area has ever actually HAD major utilisation issues, mind.

    What I find laughable is people moaning about really slow speeds and throttling AT THE SAME TIME. I mean, if my connection was in the hundreds of kilobits anyway I'd a) Probably have left VM by now, and b) If sticking around, be cheering wildly at the thought that other people would be getting a smaller slice of the pie (thereby increasing my slice)

  147. Chris Ashworth

    @ frymaster

    Sense speaks at last, at least they are open about it.

    Thou shalt not receive unlimited resource for £20 a month.

  148. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    putting off downloads....

    how convienent, people stating "I'll just download between xxxx and xxxx", what complete rubbish, I got 20Mb so I can download when I WANT TOO, not to simply que stuff up @ night. Theres no point in having 20Mb then...is there?

    Broadband is becoming a joke in this country, where ISP are selling one product but delivering another with comments like "...up to 8mb" where they know some areas can only get 1mb. Then theres VM who state "Unlimited 20mb Broadband" well it IS limited, as in they are forcing people not to use their own service!!

    I stated b4, VM is the only ISP I got for Broadband so I'm stuck with them inluess I go to dial-up and that wont be happening, but I may try to cut my service from XL to L, as L is going 10Mb if I have to que stuff up at night then no need for "high speed" hell I may go 1mb.....

  149. Robin Weston
    Alien

    All this talk of caps.....

    ....reminds me I've got the last couple of episodes of The Tripods to watch.... now that is a capping that I'd fear.

    Mind you what with Phorm I jacked in Virgin which were getting a good whack of cash each month. I'm now paying a few pence less a month for a BT/O2/Sky set up.

    The ace thing about the medium O2 package I'm on is that my up-speed is now fast enough to swamp my friend's 2meg Virgin line at peak times!!

  150. George Johnson
    Alert

    The reason I walked!

    VM don't give a stuff, they just want profit, so I walked and SKY got my business. When I left the VM telephone monkey kept passing silly comments about the quality of Broadband services and the quality of Sky TV. Well I was paying £20/m for 2Mbit cable line, I went to Sky and got 16Mbit for £10/m, I actually only get 6Mbit, but jeez, 3x the speed for half the cost and no caps or stated limits. VM can go get f**ked, I'm in a buyers market with more choice than their capped crap service!

  151. Andrew Hodgkinson

    Now looking for another supplier

    I've a Mac Pro at home. It updated itself to OS X 10.5.3 yesterday. This is a 420MB download. I'm on the "M" size Virgin service. Peak time limit is 450MB. So now, I'm almost at the cap point, just because of a single OS update. I have a laptop too. It updated as well, with a 186MB download. Now I've exceeded the cap.

    If I run beta builds of, say, Ubuntu, daily update MB sizes easily reach into three figures. Apparently, by allowing my computers to update their operating systems, I'm "hammering the network day and night".

    Worse, Virgin's own help pages indicate substantially more draconian limits than indicated by the image in the Register article:

    http://allyours.virginmedia.com/html/internet/traffic.html

    "During peak times, the top 3% of downloaders on the Size: M package download at least 300MB of traffic each, with the top 3% of uploaders uploading at least 150MB of traffic each. Any users hitting this amount during peak times (4pm till 9pm) will have their broadband speed temporarily traffic managed [...]" So that's only 300MB download - the 450MB is a *total*, including uploads. So now, I've exceeded their cap before I've even finished letting just one computer update its OS.

    If I were to stay within a 300MB limit over a 24 hour period, my average rate of download for the day would have to be under 29Kbit/sec. Guess I'm going to be hitting that cap a lot; in that case, why am I bothering to pay them for 2Mbit/sec, given they're almost guaranteeing that they won't deliver it for several hours of the day?

    I certainly have a great deal of sympathy for people who question the logic of the faster speeds. The "XL" package (according to the Virgin site) caps at 3GB, which is 10x the "M" package, which makes sense since it has 10x the speed. But the cap reduces speeds by 75%, rather than 50%, which makes it poor value for money compared to the "M" service.

  152. Mark

    Its fine - stop whining

    Seriously - I'd rather they cap people than I have to pay twice as much to double the infrastructure capacity. I don't download heavily these days as, well, theres only so much media I have time to watch/listen to. Anyone who wants to download 24 hours a day needs to get a life or pay a few hundred a month for a leased line - just set your downloads to run overnight and accept the fact that its a consumer service where the priority will always be maintaining peoples browsing speeds during peak hours.

    Thank you Virgin for protecting my internet speeds from the Bittorrent abusers.

  153. Daniel Pocock
    Stop

    Only limited during those hours?

    Am I reading it wrong or do you have top those download limits during those hours? eg over 900mb between 10-3 and 1600mb between 4-9? Then if you go over these limits you'll be throttled to 5 hours?

  154. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    Some people never learn

    I mean really people you need to wake up and smell the coffee. To all the posters who said:

    1, 'I pay for a 20mb connection 24x7, therefore I can expect to get 20mb *all* the time' - er no you don't, we are talking about a contended consumer service here, not a business connection with a 1:1 contention ratio

    2, 'But I need to make big downloads for my business / work' - right you are joking aren't you? No well go back to step 1, this is a 'consumer' service _not_ a business service. You want a connection for business use? Well you should pay for one then.

    3, 'I download game demos / PS3 / Xbox etc' - Just how many of these do you want to download every day?, remember that when you hit the cap all that happens is the bandwidth is reduced, you don't get disconnected or the download terminated. 800Mb for a game demo, you'll get 3 (during peak hours) before getting near the limit on the XL package.

    I thought The Register was mostly read by IT literate people but honestly based on most of the comments here I'm not sure many of you should be allowed out with out being accompanied by a responsible adult and you certainly shouldn't be allowed access to the internet unsupervised.

    If you want an internet connection that consistently provides the same bandwidth and you can use flat out 24x7x365 (or 24x7x366 in a leap year), you need a 'business' connection - simple just not very cheap. Why not call one of the major ISPs and get some prices for a leased line? Then you would realise why consumer broadband packages have fair usage policies or bandwidth caps.

    @ Brian Wright > '352GB on this pc alone' WTF are you downloading!? > 10Gb a day, this is all legal stuff right?

  155. Mark

    @Chris Ashworth

    We aint asking for unlimited bandwidth. We're asking for the bandwidth that we're paying for!

    If £20 is the 20Mbps tarrif and WANTING 20Mbps is "wanting unlimited bandwidth", then why are we paying "unlimited money"? Surely 20meg customers can pay £5 a month because they're throttled to 5Mbps? Surely that's fair?

  156. Mark

    Re: Customer unsupport

    Tip for all of you: Cancel by email and cancel the direct debit.

    They will try to keep you paying but they have Berkleys' chance. My brother works at an ISP and he says that they can't know that an email is from you (uh, have a look at what machine it came from), and they don't want to be sued for cutting you off (keep the evidence). And in either case, since you've cancelled the direct debit (and this is paid in advance of the usage), then when you have

    a) no payment

    b) an email purporting to be from the user asking for disconnection

    they can be fairly sure that disconnection was what was wanted.

    However, this doesn't get them the money for no service, so they don't really see this.

  157. Mark

    Re: What about the legal downloads...

    The Crysis demo was (IIRC) 350MB.

    Legal download.

    Bioshock demo: 220MB.

    Legal download.

    If these companies can't get new punters buying their wares because VM ensures they can't download the demos then VM is to be sued for loss of revenue.

  158. Dave

    Shills to the left of me, shills to the right of me

    The scientology bods are gonna be upset, VM have got more shills posting to this than they could ever manage on one of their stories.

    As for people saying its ever since virgin bought it, I always understood it was still NTHell who bought out/merged with Virgin mobile and bought the right to use the Virgin name because theirs was worthless now

    Im on Be now so have no issues......and as for the shills blaming illegal downloads....have you bought the Orange Box from Steam?

  159. Nick
    Paris Hilton

    Re: Re: What about the legal downloads...

    OK, so you've just identified two demos that combined gives ~570Mb - that is not a problem.

    Assuming downloading during the defined peak evening times, a customer on the slowest package (size M) would get the first 450Mb @ 2Mb/s and the remaining 120Mb @ 1Mb/s.

    On the Mid (10Mb) package the peak download cap is set at 1200Mb - the entire download would be within the cap.

    So what exactly is the problem? VM are not preventing the downloads so on what grounds do you think VM could be sued for revenue loss?

    Paris - 'cause she should be the only one dumb enough to not understand the concepts of bandwidth throttling and contended consumer broadband

  160. John Roberts
    Thumb Down

    Homeworking

    They're taking the mick - we've got a large number of homeworkers VPN'ing in via the ex-C&W Virgin network. 900Mb and they're effectively done for the day.

  161. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Homeworking?

    @ John

    You have people using a consumer broadband product to work from home? OK you realise that this is a consumer product......

    Next you'll be complaining about a loss of business when there is a loss of service.

    If you are using a consumer product to conduct a business, you deserve all you get - Really I have no sympathy

  162. Steve Liddle
    Thumb Down

    Cheap ISP's never good :(

    Got an old and no longer advertised account with merula, not have any throttles that have noticed and p2p works fine - mostly use if for free music off jamendo

    Costs £38 per month on upto 8 MB ADSL, speed is usually in the 6-7 mb speeds and upload a constant 370 kbps

    There were a few guys who tried to d/l 1 TB, but they ended up on their own special central and then they moved to an LLU company.

  163. Anonymous Coward
    Linux

    The caps are unfair on the "good" customers

    The problem with these caps is that they don't reward users who download very little 99% of the time. Maybe every two months I download a DVD iso for a linux distro and when I do this I want it to download at full speed and finish that morning/afternoon. The rest of the time I'm a very low user, I don't download lots of large files or use any sort of P2P software, I don't play online games or watch online video/radio streams.

    What reward do I get for being a good little customer? Nothing, I'm treated like every kiddie downloading illegal torrents and playing WoW for six hours a day. The one time I want to download something big I get kicked in the balls.

    It would be much fairer to balance these policies according to a wider usage history. If I regularly downloaded over the 'limit' then the throttle policy could kick in but if I go past the limit once or twice a month, then leave me alone.

  164. Mark

    @Nick

    Two examples of hot titles, eagerly awaited by the geek demographic (windows geek, anyway). Released same day (or near enough).

    How many game demos are there?

    There's PLENTY of legit stuff and because we're all now expected to be on broadband, the size of these demos are HUGE.

  165. Mark

    Re: Some people never learn

    Virgin media expect £20 a month each month, every month.And we DO have contention on what to spend our money on. There's only so much salary to go round.

    So can users tell VM that they are a bit short this month and they can only afford about four quid. There's just too much demand for their money.

    Hm?

  166. Sarah Davis
    Paris Hilton

    not strictly accurate

    two of my london clients have the misfortune of being Virgin subscribers, and are sometimes throttled from 1pm to 1am. Their 4Mbit service drops to 1Mbit.

    Virgin still advertise 'unlimited' broadband service which is illegal as they don't have any 'unlimited' broadband services at all.

    One of my clients is finally following my lead and switching to BE (which is absolutely unlimited and cheaper).

    My advice to anyone unhappy with Virgins dodgy shinanigins is change to a better service. Only if people start dumping them in droves will they actually reconsider their actions.

    :-)

  167. Mark Rendle

    Fine with me

    uTorrent's scheduled only to be active from 11pm to 9am anyway (otherwise the router cries).

    Also I've got XL and it runs at advertised speed (unless the download server is throttling, which they usually are these days). From unthrottled servers, like MSDN Subscriber Downloads, I get 2 megabytes per second no problems. Can't wait for 50Mb.

  168. Stuart Baird
    Go

    VM Speeds

    I'm on VM's XL package and I have to say that I've never experienced problems with VM's speed - anytime I need to use it for large transfers, it maxes out to 2.2MB/s, for hours on end if need be.

    Long may it last!

  169. Lol Whibley

    VM

    are the New century's Record/BigMedia Companies.. they are one of the distribution methods for the current incarnation of tech-formatted media and can exact the same stranglehold on the supply now that they've wrestled the market away from the RIAA &co. who grew fat on the last century's major Media productioin/distribution gravy train, with their 'freetard-enducing loss-leading undercutting of the foundations underpinning the traditional media distributors. Virgin are the epitomy of a transitional corporation... staying afloat on the distribution wavefront whilst sticking whatever they can to the competition.. they've bought all of one set of pipes and are adjusting the taps to that market to maintain the flow of product-to-punter is still within their sphere of influence..along with the disposable cashflow.

    But hey, they need those profits.. Monopolising and entire distribution network costs a few quid no matter when you happen to be operating..

    they are also still relatively vulnerable in the grander scheme of things..

    why do we seem to think we need anything more than a couple of meg downstream anyways.. I'm not that impatient to get a copy of anything that I can't wait an hour or two to complete.. i'll stick with my 2m connection ta muchly, the bigger packages don't seem to be sufficiently relevant to needs or of significantly improved value for the extra costs incurred for that matter.. They just look like attempts to leverage more value out of the 'bottom end' of the bandwidth spectrum, which is what we all use, the higher end never seems that available and is curtailed by the very act of using it in any viable way . What's the point to 20mb if you can't make practical usage out of it in such a way as to get something of value from it? It is, after all, a cost. It should have some real-world value set against it. Something useful/entertaining etc. Virgin may yet manage this, being somewhat pie-fingered and more diverse than other media distributors(of the ISP type). they did begin life as creators as well as distibutors..

    In this climate of financial stress, they must be somewhat concerned* that it is a luxury become needful only through the machinations of marketeers. Web2.0 won't save them (social networking is better in the flesh and always will be, Mine's a pint landlord!).. paying bills online and the tiny 'savings' that brings won't help keep a requirment for this frippary of technology in the customer's financial ruminations, when they only really need a BBC subscription and a PVR to stay current.. and a touch of patience whilst the product filters through the various distribution deal strata to some thing they have access to. A 20mb (or even a 2mb) feed is just a payed for access privilege for a higher tier of that process, albeit sometimes in a somewhat legally questionable way...

    A 50mb pipe is just another expression of crass greed and insecurity. You don't need it, most of the punters with it won't make use of it properly, but it'll be the first thing they tell people they've got when it comes to that sort of conversation. It'll also be one of the things on the top of the list of Things Not Urgently Needed when finances constrict real-world needs like fuel/food etc. Mazlov knows just what i mean..

    With apologies for such wild speculation...

    Here end-eth the rant.

    *sh1tting themselves

  170. Simon Neill
    Stop

    My 2 cents

    To all you guys having a go at virgin - I agree, the limits are rediculous. I figured that a hardcore gamer could trip the limit in the evening on the M package ALONE. Consider a house with a family - 2 kids and 2 adults, perhaps at least one is a gamer.... the limit is tiny.

    HOWEVER

    You seem to think the other ISPs have no such policy. Check out AOL.... check out ANY service that offers "unlimited" use. The small print will ALWAYS say "subject to fair use policy" this is virgin's fair use policy. I challenge you to find me AOLs fair use policy in print, cos I sure as hell can't. (yes, they have text describing the fair use policy, find me the limits in more precise terms than "very heavy use"I also know they limit their 2Mbit connections to 512k when you trip whatever limit it is they have as I have run torrents on AOL and had them magically drop from 190kb/s to 50kb/s for no apparent reason.

    Additionally - in my short time on virgin brioadband I have had far LESS problems than I ever did with ADSL, AOL or otherwise. I actually get the full 2Mbit on a regular basis.

  171. Rodney Cole
    Stop

    Up to...........

    should be banned from all advertising, "I saved up to a million quid by insuring with blah blah". Up to your armpits in bullshit.

  172. Andre Carneiro

    Every day I love Ask4 a bit more

    Fortunately I have Ask4 as my ISP in my flat.

    10Mbit synchronous for 25 quid a month. Unlimited traffic and NO BLOODY STM!

    Virgin Media can, in the wise words of Perry Cox (from Scrubs), blow it out their arses ;)

  173. Matt

    It's like driving at rush hour

    Do the complainers think the government should upgrade our road infrastructure so that they can drive at the full speed limit of all our roads even in rush hour?

    I get capped sometimes but I can still surf, download and play online games without any noticeable lag. It's much less of a bother than being stuck in rush hour traffic.

  174. Andrew Gratton

    Re: Think about it...

    'e.g. Two people buy a mars bar. One saves some of his for later. The other has 75% of his stolen, simply because he ate a snickers earlier.'

    Your analogy is flawed. You're not buying a whole mars bar, you're buying a chunk of one.

  175. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    title

    If your'e having problems, just reflash the modem to 20Mbit service using an out of area MAC after changing to the cheapest tarrif.

  176. Reg Sim
    Thumb Down

    ... if you DL 300Mb+ in five hours, your getting throttled!!!

    "And we're not talking about just a few video clips. In some cases the top 3% of uploaders and downloaders were using as much as 3GB, just during peak times"

    Woo, 3Gb's over a period of 5h's.... imagine that, at peek times i.e. the time you want to use it to get your 3Gb's downloaded for example?

    "Broadband Size: M

    During peak times, the top 3% of downloaders on the Size: M package download at least 300MB of traffic each, with the top 3% of uploaders uploading at least 150MB of traffic each.

    <Insert: Hang-on, are they trying to tell me that only 3% of customers DL 300Mb during peek times?. I mean, how big are the Streaming files from the BBC for example?, usually watched during... well peek times?>

    Any users hitting this amount during peak times (4pm till 9pm) will have their broadband speed temporarily traffic managed - their download speed will be set to 1Mb, with their upload speed set to 128Kb. This will last for 5 hours from when the traffic management policy is applied.".

    This last bit is intresting, So its 8:45pm and you have now used 300Mb's of 'bandwith', sorry bit you will have your bandwidth now reduced outside peek times to a 25% untill 01:45am???? -hu?

    What I find difficult to work out, is the way the bandwidth is worked out. Surely if you wait until they have gone over there 'new Virgin service reduction Limit!', it will not in fact help anybody because they have already 'used' that bandwidth in peek times?

    "What's more, we noticed that when we restricted the speed of the service for this 3% of users who were uploading and/or downloading, we had a positive response from customers (there were less calls into our technical support teams regarding problems with broadband performance). We also noticed that the broadband speed was faster for the vast majority of users"

    I wonder if they bothered to tell the people on the 'trial' that they were have restrictions placed on there service?

    Anyway, I found this a better article describing what Virgin are up to than the one liked above (where I stole the quotes from).

    http://techdigest.tv/2008/03/virgin_media_sp.html

    I notice that most articles are about evening throttling, but do not examine the daytime stuff.

    Its also something you have to go digging for on Virgins websites, quite tricky to find.

    -p

  177. Shaun Clarke

    LimIting Unlimited Services

    May I remind everyone that Virgin state their service is "unlimited"!!! May I suggest that this "throttling" excersice is a policy set in place due to "over subscription" - thus not being able to provide the bandwidth "purchased" to everyone when they most want it - "Peak Hours" 5pm-9pm!!!

    I have tackled this with Virgin who did eventually compensate me by giving me the 4mb service for for £17 month - £1 month less than I was paying for the 2mb service.

    I think that if say Manchester United fans were turfed out of the ground at half time to let in a whole new crowd of supporters in to watch the second half because the club had sold twice as many tickets as they hads seats - this would not be seen as "fair usage" policy.

    Dont Bend over and take it deep - TELL EM!!!

  178. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    hmmmm ...

    Had a run in with customer services earlier over this capping crap and the upshot?

    /me gives Branson the customary one-finger salute and will be calling Be on Monday

  179. Jay
    Thumb Down

    Slow Connection and Customer Service !!

    Well, after a recent issue with Slow Connections I just had to contact Virgin Media (as a VM Customer) after checking their "Service Status" and finding out everything was OK in my area.

    Once I had received a reply from them , they asked me to do some checks on my computer for spyware and open connections and such like, which is what I did.

    There were a couple of issues that I had corrected, though nothing major that I felt would warrant a slow connection as bad as it was on a 20MB service.

    After cleaning my computer as recommended and such like, not much has changed.

    In their original response they told me that I should be able to get around 2000

    KB/s in total for the 20 Mb service. Well, I was only getting around 1000 - 1300 in total. Thats only approx' 50% - 75% and I am "not" downloading much at all to warrant the loss of my download limit.

    SO, as a matter of fact (from the horses mouth, so to speak), 20MB service actually means a 20MB service.

    As you all should know, if you state that something like BroadBand is 20MB 24/7 (In Black and White) and not actually receive it, then this IS "False Advertising", no matter how you look at it.

    CUSTOMER SERVICE

    Using their e-mail in response to my issue (After reading this section of The register), I told them in no uncertain terms what I read and what I felt about this and that maybe their "Restrictions" were infact responsible for my Slow Connection. It was quite long, though not too long that you had to scroll to read it all.

    It was infact "returned" back to me, BUT not by mail-daemon as "Undeliverable, but infact by the Virgin Media Web team themselves and just stated in the "Body" as:

    "IMPORTANT - your e-mail has not been delivered.

    To contact Virgin Media, please complete the contact form on our

    web-site http://www.virginmedia.com"

    Nothing more.

    I then replied using this very same e-mail and asked why it was returned back to me this way and it was "NOT" returned back to me this time, but with no response also.

    SO, I then sent back my letter to them, the one that I was mad about and HEY PRESTO, it was again Returned to me in the very same way as before.

    They basically didn't want to Read the truth.

    This is what they call "Bad Customer Service" I believe.

    They did NOT want to deal with an e-mail from an un-satisfied customer. Poor communication and Customer Service on Virgin Media's part as far as I am concerned.

  180. Jay
    Alert

    MAYBE a solution - PC Guard by Virgin Media

    OK, after trying something, I did notice that RPS.exe (connected with Virgin Media's PC Guard) "could" be the issue for some of us, as it was/still is for me, for the time that it can be disabled, but only for a few seconds without protection. It also appears to be some kind of "monitor" after trying a "netstat -b" check using the "cmd command".

    It cannot be removed completely without having no protection, so far as I know. It re-appears after a few seconds, BUT my connection increased "Dramatically" after disabling it.

    For those of you with Virgin Media's PC Guard may want to check this out.

    For those who "know" how to use the Command service through your computer, try the netstat -b command and check it out. Shown up as IP addresses. It appears to monitor websites and such like, as far as I can tell, or at least your browsing history for certain places. Still not 100% sure of that yet, but it does look "fishy" to me

    Also, try removing the RPS.exe for the few seconds it allows, but you have to be quick at browsing the net as it does re-appear after a few seconds.

    To do this, Open up Task Manager, click on the "Process" tab and scroll down until you find RPS.exe under "your" username" or "Administrator", not services, not that it should be there anyhow.

    Make sure that you have a browser opened first, because you have to start browsing immediately before it re-appears....or at least it should.

    Try and browse to somewhere that would normally take a long time to open, should you be having these issues, it should open pretty quick with RPS.exe disabled.

    Good luck everyone.

    P.S. This is a Virgin Media issue and not the customers problem. Don't forget that !!

  181. Corin

    @Jay

    Why do you enclose the "important points" with the quote marks? That just reminded me of the Lasers being described by Dr. Evil in an Austin Powers movie.

    netstat -b simply lists all the open connections your computer has. As I browse El Reg, my computer must connect to its servers in order to download the web pages. Similarly, if I sign into MSN, Skype, connect to a Ventrilo server, you name it, the connection is made and is listed by the netstat command.

    I don't have VM Broadband, nor do I have VIrgin Media's PC guard installed, yet this is still the case. It's expected behaviour and is not fishy. If you're thinking about Phorm analysing the websites you go to, there's no software on your PC which you can uninstall to remove that; Virgin Media watch the traffic flowing off their network further up in their network, for that.

    If it weren't for Phorm, i'd like the Virgin Media method. As has been said, it's a consumer grade product; they state "unlimited" as, still, you get charged no more, no matter how much you download. Sure, it slows down at the peak times, and they do clearly define their traffic shaping policy, but fundamentally they won't cut you off altogether at a defined amount of usage.

  182. chris woodhead
    Unhappy

    not impressed with virgin

    John brindley wrote "It's kinda hard when you don't have a BT line. Cue £150+ installation fee, £15ish a month line rental on top of your ADSL bill. Now see why I'm stuck with Virgin."

    I had the same problem.Moved into a new house that im renting and it didn't have a bt line installed.I rang bt and was told it would cost me £123 to have one installed.I cant justify spending that in a house that I dont own.

    So I went with virgin.I had my installation on wed(its now sunday) and i'm having serious problems:having to reset my modem all the time(they haven't even sent me my router yet) and my speed is very slow

    1382 kbps

    1269 kbps

    645 kbps

    1376 kbps

    They are from a so-called 4meg service.

    An engineer is coming out and if it isn't sorted after that I will cancel my contract with them.

  183. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    for those that USE the internet...

    ...this is going to seriously piss them off.

    I have my PCs, Mac and games consoles online.

    some days, just the software upgrades and patches for those boxes totals

    more than 1Gb of data (take eg 10.5.3 and SP3 patches for example).

    and yet i'll be penalized for securing my machines.

    other days I'll download the latest demos and online titles on my PS3

    - that's often more than 2Gb of data. once again, I'll pay the penalty.

    every day i use 4oD, iPlayer etc to catch up with a few TV episides..and download

    6 different podcasts (2 of them are video casts). once again, punished.

    this pisses me off. I use my internet for all the legal reasons. those that abuse their net with dodgy torrent downloads should be penalised. leave US legal

    users alone Virgin. we're seriously pissed off.

  184. Jay
    Thumb Down

    Corin and Chris Woodhead

    I am by far no expert in this subject, though I am covering a course about some of this stuff now (though in my very early stages), but still no expert.

    I just thought to share what I had discovered that helped me (though for a short time), which may help someone else, then maybe come up with a better solution to follow on with.

    I still do believe that the RPS.exe App is still the issue for my poor connection, because each time it is disabled (for the short time that it allows), I can browse pages in seconds rather than minutes.

    Just like Chris, They were great when they were Telewest / Blueyonder, but ever since changing to Virgin Media, things are changing dramatically. My connection was practically top notch with Blueyonder, never or rarely a poor connection and the customer service was outstanding. Now things are changing again, but for the worse now that they are Virgin Media. Connection is poor and customer services are the same, sometimes not even responding to you at all.

    At the end of the day, yes....they are one of the cheapest around by far, but all the same, we are paying for a service that they state that they can provide, which some are not receiving, should that be 1mb, 2mb, 4mb, 10mb or even 20mb. We are ALL receiving bad connections....or most as it seems.

    Like Chris, it's hard when you don't have a BT line or would even consider going to BT and then the installation fee, which some of us just don't have. I guess we are stuck with them unfortunately.

    What ever everyones disagreements, I still find them now to be a poor service, which I am stuck with.

  185. Dave Ashe
    Thumb Down

    I've barely used my connection and its s**tslow

    I have an XL connection, and its slow slow slow slow slow..

    I've barely used it - streamed one video and its choppy, websites are slow, super duper throw it in the bin broadband...

  186. ICooke69
    IT Angle

    Traffic management

    If you take a look at http://allyours.virginmedia.com/html/internet/bb_deal_size_xl.html

    VM are stating:-

    Up to 20Mb service

    * No download limits

    * PCguard Total - Protect your PC with anti-virus, firewall & pop-up blocker

    * A modem to connect you to the internet

    * Help when you need it, online and on the phone

    * Download a music track ◊ in under 2 seconds

    * Free Wireless Router

    So why the hell are they throttling bandwidth? Plus why do they only update a page on their website which I for one never look at as the site is crap! Why can't they email every Broadband user when they make changes to their Traffic management policy rather than updating a web page I didn't know existed until someone posted the URL in a previous post...... VM send enough JUNK email through out the month so why can't they send Customer Service updates via email or even dare I say it good old snail mail and keep the post man in a job!

  187. keyboard
    Stop

    This is disgraceful

    i am currently a virgin media customer and have been for many years prefering cable over adsl.

    Why in this country must we be constantly ripped off by companies who are out to rip us off.

    I subscribe to virgins 20mb service which costs me £38 a month and at certain times i can download more than 1GB an hour if i get a good connection, mind you i am not sure i am getting 20mb all the time, most of the time i speed test i get 15mb tops.

    But what annoys me most is that virgin trots out all these figures about how only between 1 and 5% of people will be affected after so called research, yet i have on many occasions asked virgin for this research and come up blank.

    I suspect alot of users that abuse the system are on the 2mb(m) or 10mb(l) cheaper rates and what virgin should do bump them up to the more expensive 20mb(xl) package or limit their speeds and hands off the people who are actually paying for the right to download massive amounts of data hence why i paying for £38 for a 20mb(xl) service.

    And the problem is only going to get worse as virgin is running out its 50mb service between now and christmas.

    So excuse me but virgin cant handle people with 20mb downloading what are 50mb users going to be like???

  188. Oliver
    Joke

    Depends on your viewpoint

    I don't think the fact that the advertised speeds/"unlimited" D/Ls are phoney should be a surprise to anyone these days. However this latest capping is disappointing to say the least! I don't understand the rationale from VM as I find it hard to believe their network can't cope at that time of day. What is the benefit for VM to counteract the bad PR this will stir up?! Are they trying to scare the heaviest P2P/Newsgroup users off the network? Even if they only account for a tiny % of users would they still not be missed? - we're talking about a commercial operation here!

    On the other hand the upgraded speeds have just been/are still being rolled out so, for no more than you were paying before, you will still be able to download/upload more. When I joined the L package it was at 2Mb, went up to 4Mb pretty soon after and, so I am led to believe, will increase to 10Mb very shortly. So even the throttled speed will still be 25% higher than the full whack speed when I signed up - and the full whack speed will be 5X original! Given I get this, digital TV, landline and E+W calls for c. £28/mnth it's still competitive when compared with the rest of the market and worth the outlay in my opinion.

    By my calculations, if you are out during the day (as I am) and cap your torrent/newsgroup client at c. 133KB/s during this period you shouldn't breach the limit, and I rarely get my torrents at least up above this kind of level anyway. However, although I am fairly sure that I don't breach the evening limit all the time, it seems to me as if VM just throttle me anyway. I don't believe for a second that it's network contention as the times/speeds are too regular. The capping process is not at all transparent and VM don't seem to back up their claims with independent or verifiable figures so my fear is that I'll just be capped during the day as well as in the evening now.

  189. Slaine

    @ everyone pushing Be* - STFU guys ;)

    * I did not change to Be* recently

    * I do not get uncapped download speeds of over 1800kb/s

    * I am deeply troubled with contention issues

    * I am not enjoying the best connection speeds ever

    * I am not receiving excellent customer support

    * My ISP does not provide a stable connection

    * ONE of these statements is true

  190. chris woodhead
    Thumb Up

    sky will refund new bt line cost

    This is for people that have virgin broadband and say they'd have to pay £123 for a new bt line to be installed to use another provider.

    It turns out that sky will actually refund you the new line cost if you choose to use them.I will be cancelling my virgin media contract and going with sky for broadband from tomorrow.

    My virgin broadband speed is still terrible,I got an engineer out and they tried to make it out that it was a fault with my pc.Which is strange as I had no problems with the house I was living in before!

  191. archie lukas
    Flame

    Nice if they told me

    Would be useful if Virgin actually told ME

    a long time paying customer

    they do not communicate this in their happy shiny bullshite newsletters, instead trying to flog me things I already have.

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