back to article Virgin Media to hike broadband prices by nearly 7 per cent

Virgin Media is set to jack up its broadband prices early next year by nearly 7 per cent. The telco said it was writing to subscribers now to warn them that costs will rise by 6.7 per cent on average from February 2014. It said that the price hike does not affect services such as Virgin Media's home phone talk plans. In an …

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  1. localzuk

    Pushing boundaries, but only in a limited way

    Increasing speed is important and is forcing its competitors to work harder to do the same. However, Virgin are forgetting a key aspect of where it fails as a business - coverage. Virgin have 48% coverage.

    How about they start expanding a little? Take on some new areas? Oh right, they can't, as doing so is *so* expensive that every business that tries it ends up going bust, and ends up being bought out...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Pushing boundaries, but only in a limited way

      They should expand - but they won't. It costs far too much and they have no money....

      1. TheManCalledStan

        Re: Pushing boundaries, but only in a limited way

        More important than that, is if VM grows their coverage too much they will become an SMP player and have to wholesale... which would burn their profit margins.

    2. LarsG

      Re: Pushing boundaries, but only in a limited way

      With inflation so low why such a price hike?

      It's all well and good giving a coverage of 48% if it's only available in towns and cities, so instead of looking at the bigger picture they charge more for the same service.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Pushing boundaries, but only in a limited way

        But it's not actually available in towns and cities. . There are areas in central Cheltenham that do not have cable and VM don't seem to want to do anything about it.

      2. MR J

        Re: Pushing boundaries, but only in a limited way

        Energy Cost go up 11%.

        Many foods go up 5% or more.

        In some parts of the UK house prices have DOUBLED over the past year.

        "Inflation" in designed in such a way that it often ignores some of the high ticket items.

        Fuel/Energy accounts for about 4% of inflations value, yet it consumes between 10% and 20% of peoples take home pay.

        Don't trust RPI/CPI... BT is putting in a similar increase at the same time as VM, in fact, BT's announcement came first and then VM's followed afterwards.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Pushing boundaries, but only in a limited way

          From today's government (ONS) figures - all 'change over the last 12 months' :

          CPI 2.2% ( excl housing costs)

          house prices 3.8%

          CPIH 2.0% ( incl housing costs )

          wages 0.7%

          And sod the faster download speeds, Virgin, how about some improvement to uploads - the cloud is meant to be two-way, isn't it ?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      BT now have FOOTBALL. In their 'free package!'

      But at what cost, they overpaid for the rights so if they don't get enough subscribers the Sky will be the limit when the next round of increases come into effect.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        If the high priced sports go to subscription channels and theres less football on my non subscription TV channels I don't care who overpayed for it. It should mean more money for other TV and media shows but knowing they Beeb they'll just spaff more down on Wimbledon or an Olympics.

        That said did anyone at BT remember why On Digital folded, paying too much for sport (although to be honest it was the lower leagues) there was limited numbers who wanted to pay to watch.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        But at what cost

        Well last time I checked it cost Sky 10% of their share price.

        If you can't increase your own price then ruin your competitors price to compensate.

    4. Fihart

      Re: Pushing boundaries, but only in a limited way

      In our street there are little metal tabs outside each premises that access cable -- but Virgin refuses to recognise that they exist so we have copper instead.

      BT too seem to have a blind spot for our particular stretch of this (major) outer london highway. Though the pavements are blighted by BT's enormous green cabinets within yards of our address -- can't get BT's FTC offering (Infinity ?) either.

  2. eJ2095

    Does this mean

    We will get throttled twice as fast lol

  3. Anigel

    As the justification is that their network is twice as fast as BT's then I am guessing that these increases obviously wont apply to the "National" ADSL service which is no faster than BT and is significantly lower at times due to the traffic shaping and the network issues they experience on the ADSL service. I routinely experience issues even managing to stream a 360 Youtube video on virgin with constant buffering interruptions in the evenings.

    I would love to go back to cable again, but no coverage.

  4. Pete 47

    So will this 7% rise be in addition to the 11.5% rise BB only subs got gouged with?

    As soon as the ink was dry on the transfer of the business they put up BB only subs by 11.5%

    I'm on 20Mb as haven't got nor want their useless "super" hub.

    They will never persuade me to take a package (I once asked about the phone, they said I needed a BT line !!)

    Can't get fibre from BT yet but the projected speeds look good. Might go to a purely mobile solution if I can't go through the hateful haggling process with VM.

    Goodbye subscriber time methinks. :-/

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: So will this 7% rise be in addition to the 11.5% rise BB only subs got gouged with?

      You want to take your chance with BT? Good luck!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: So will this 7% rise be in addition to the 11.5% rise BB only subs got gouged with?

        We were with Virgin Media till earlier this year. After two years of flaky service, outages thanks to their "good news! We're increasing your speed" , their incompetent and appalling customer service, their laughable technical support, we decided we'd had enough.

        So, we took our chances with BT, and we've enjoyed a reliable, though much slower, connection that has never once failed. Speed is not necessarily the prime requirement.

        I've no illusions about BT, but I know from bitter experience who I'd prefer to pay my money to, and it is not and never will again be, crappy Virgin Media.

        1. MrXavia

          Re: So will this 7% rise be in addition to the 11.5% rise BB only subs got gouged with?

          Why would someone downvote you for your own experience?

          I have had good and bad BT experiences, and I can say their engineers are great, their customer services not so much, and it IS like pulling teeth to get them to admit fault, but still I get stable broadband with them, if a little slow for now...

    2. phuzz Silver badge

      Re: So will this 7% rise be in addition to the 11.5% rise BB only subs got gouged with?

      You can put the (not-really-very-) superhub into modem mode, and use your own router. I hear that makes it much easier to live with. We don't use wifi much in our house so it's shortcomings aren't so apparent.

    3. Daz555

      Re: So will this 7% rise be in addition to the 11.5% rise BB only subs got gouged with?

      The superhub is not much of a hub but it as good at being a cable modem as any modem out there. 100% solid all the time. Handily VM have included a setting in the admin screens to switch off hub features and enable "modem only mode". There is no reason to stick with 20Mbps just because you don't want a superhub because there is no good reason not to want a superhub - ok maybe one - it has slightly annoying flashing lights.

      1. djack

        Re: So will this 7% rise be in addition to the 11.5% rise BB only subs got gouged with?

        "Handily VM have included a setting in the admin screens to switch off hub features and enable "modem only mode". There is no reason to stick with 20Mbps just because you don't want a superhub because there is no good reason not to want a superhub"

        When the 'super' hub first came out, the modem only mode did not exist. It was simply a planned feature for the future. This came in at the time I was moving out from a shared house with VM BB. They lost me as a customer because they wouldn't supply me with a device that behaved like a plain modem.

        That situation has changed now, it may be that Pete 47 isn't aware of the upgrade.

  5. Tsung

    Not sure how this is news?

    I've been with VM for 1 year (just for Broadband) , in that time they increased my bill by just over 12% whilst still offering the service to new customers for the same price (per month) I paid a year ago. Luckly I have choice, so I can always switch to BT.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Third Price Rise in 12 Months

    I only have (cable) broadband with Virgin (no TV, no phone). I'm on the top package of 120mb although I only see 100mb due to my hardware restrictions (Which is my issue - I'll upgrade when they break, honest!).

    They have increased the price twice in 2013 to a whopping £39.25.... and now a thrid increase - which would be the third in 12 months...

    They also fail to mention that if you want the increase in speed you will have to sign up for another 12 month contract.

    The one, the ONLY, good thing for me is I contacted them via online chat (much easier than ringing some foreign call centre) and asked why I was paying more than new customers.

    Within 5 minutes they had knocked £5 a month off, reducing it to £30 (yep, I know it doesn't add up - but can we keep it among ourselves?) for the next 18 months - subject to a 12 month contract.

    iPlayer, VOIP and browsing for £30/month isn't a bad deal IMHO.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Third Price Rise in 12 Months

      If all that you need it for is iPlayer, VOIP and browsing then why not just pay £5 a month for a standard broadband connection?

      I really don't see the obsession with fibre. I could get it off my current provider (plusnet) but while it's a nice to have I don't fancy doubling my bill to get it. My current connection (generally 13mps down / 1mbps up) allows me to do all the downloading / streaming / gaming / remote desktopping I like perfectly happily. Unless I really needed the additional upload speed (say I couldn't bear to apart from my digital media collection and wanted to stream it on the go) I really can't see the benefit.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Third Price Rise in 12 Months

        because (a) several people live in the house (b) I work from home (c) I'll produce a more detailed list of my usage for justification shortly :-)

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Third Price Rise in 12 Months

        Surely the benefit is rather obvious? You get more bandwidth. If you don't need it don't get it. If you do then do!

        Simples.

      3. Ben 47

        Re: Third Price Rise in 12 Months

        Standalone broadband customers won't be getting another price rise in February - as the price change for that was in October

      4. Flatpackhamster

        Re: Third Price Rise in 12 Months

        Depends where you live and who you live with. You are fortunate to live in an area with serviceable ADSL and you clearly don't have a large family sucking your broadband dry like a crack pipe. For your circumstances, 13MBit is fine. Where I live the standard ADSL was 2.1Mbit. My fibre through IDNet gives me 26Mbit.

        1. Spiracle

          Re: Third Price Rise in 12 Months

          "you clearly don't have a large family sucking your broadband dry like a crack pipe."

          Mine sit on the sofa next to each other watching the same show on iPlayer three minutes out of sync.

        2. Roland6 Silver badge

          Re: Third Price Rise in 12 Months

          >My fibre through IDNet gives me 26Mbit.

          But unlike the AC who started this conversation thread, you at least seem to have gone for a business service rather than a residential service - I take it you also work at home and so put it down as expenses...

          FYI, 2mbps is just fine for iPlayer, VOIP and browsing until the family decide to get online...

          My exchange isn't on the fibre upgrade list, so I've resorted to multiple broadband lines to separate family activities from work...

          1. Flatpackhamster

            Re: Third Price Rise in 12 Months

            "But unlike the AC who started this conversation thread, you at least seem to have gone for a business service rather than a residential service - I take it you also work at home and so put it down as expenses..."

            It was residential because IDNet were offering residential broadband at the time. They no longer offer it unless you ask.

            2Mbit was just about adequate a couple of years ago, but I do work from home, and when fixing a machine that requires 800MB of updates/software which you can't get on DVD any more, 2MBit just doesn't cut the mustard.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Speed isn't everything

    I'm on a "only" 40mb package with Infinity, whereas a friend about 20 miles away is on a 100mb package with Virgin.

    So Virgin, tell me why my downloads are quicker at peak times than his? Eh? Eh? Oversubscribed was that? Traffic throttling was that? Back-haul not up to it was that?

    BT may not be great, but at least the willy waving is (only slightly) less....

    Shame I'm having to pay for the bloody football that i don't want.

    1. hoola

      Re: Speed isn't everything

      Spot on

      I have been through various incarnations of BT wholesale or direct ADSL over the years and have had excellent connectivity. I have no chice as there is no cable so I cannot comment on VM.

      About 6 months ago I went to Infinity and achieved 18MB dn, 2MB up on the supplied hardware. I replaced the hadware with a Fritz! Bix and immediately went to 40MB dn and 9MB up. The connection is rock solid and has not dropped in use.

      Theoretical speed is not everything.

      I have not noticed any issues in download or streaming with iPlayer. I do wonder how many people moaning about BT/BT Wholesale products are using rubbish equipment and then blame BT when it does not work.

  8. PaulR79

    Increase prices for faster speeds?

    Er... isn't that what they higher tariffs are for? I already pay a ridiculous amount for 60Mb and can't reduce it or the wonderful deal (read: slightly less expensive) will no longer apply. I was happy with 30Mb... hell I was happy with 20Mb, even 10Mb.

    I don't need more speed especially when the increase comes with no real tangible benefits. I don't ever recall downloading something and needing it within a set time limit. The benefit of faster speeds is generally faster downloads and higher quality streams without buffering but if I can't get that with 60Mb often what chance does a faster connection have? It didn't change going from 20 - 30 - 60Mb.

    1. graeme leggett

      Re: Increase prices for faster speeds?

      The closest analogy I could come up with is the water company increasing the water rates (a fixed charge rather than metered) but fitting a new water main so that you can use what you can't afford quicker.

      Anyone do a better analogy than that ?

      1. Anonymous IV

        Re: Increase prices for faster speeds?

        I always thought the main reason for faster download speeds was so that you could install Windows Updates faster...

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Go to love the PR departments

    Here, eat some shit but hey, don't worry, it tastes nicer than a rivals.

  10. chrisf1

    hmm

    I'd rather some basics were attended too. Having little choice I went with a 60mb connections as I'm a long way from the exchange so adsl was getting too poor for HD streaming and BT had no fibre as I'm not luckily enough to be in one of those rural areas that get the attention (SE London - no fibre ...).

    I went for 60mb as much to get the new superhub as reviews said coverage and reliability were better but it still needs regular rebooting - at least once a week - for which it has no automatic option. Nor many other features one would expect in a basic router firmware. Slow to reboot too.

    Reliability and service are OK - had a few outages but comparable to DSL but I'd rather that was improved before higher speeds.

    Speed is ok - I normally get over the 30mb on testing.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: hmm

      What do you use for testing?

    2. Frank Bough

      Re: hmm

      Hang on, I'm on the 60Mb package and I get... 62Mb. Something's amiss with your set-up.

  11. paulc

    here we go...

    what's the bets that with prices up 7%, they still mysteriously manage to make no taxable profit in this country now that they're foreign owned?

    1. jonathanb Silver badge

      Re: here we go...

      I'm going to bet that they do declare taxable profits in this country if possible.

      The reason is that they have massive brought forward losses from the NTL days, and they can offset them against those and not pay any tax. That will be cheaper than paying American Corporate Income Tax.

      By the way, they have always been an American owned company. It was a couple of Americans who set up National Transcommunications Ltd and started looking for opportunities to set up cable services. They found an opportunity in the UK, but not in their home country.

  12. Mike Pellatt

    And upload speeds are.....

    Yep, upload speed on this "top-of-the range" product remains at a staggeringly slow 12Mb. And my 60Mb service is still stuck at 3Mb upload. Years after we were promised an upgrade

    Didn't mention that, did he ?

  13. BlackBolt

    Some of the comments here are the same as my experience. Their retentions department buckle pretty quickly. The last two times there has been a price change I've called them and had a reduction applied.

    Sure its a pain in the butt having to call, but they don't even question it. Also if you get one of those 'new customer' flyers through the letterbox addressed to the Home owner with a great deal in it, they'll match that, even if you are in the middle of a contract.

    I agree tho that their network traffic shaping results in a shocking performance sometimes. Its false advertising speed-wise really.

    1. CT

      "Also if you get one of those 'new customer' flyers through the letterbox addressed to the Home owner with a great deal in it, they'll match that, even if you are in the middle of a contract"

      IF... what do you mean "if"? We get those flyers twice a month at least*. I'm collecting a year's worth just to be able to go up to their caravan sales thing in town, dump them on the table and say "Still no, thanks"

      *26 of them since 1 Jan

      1. BigAndos

        I get those flyers up to twice a week, and according to their website my address isn't even covered!

        1. jonathanb Silver badge

          They target my area heavily as well, possibly because there are very few Virgin Media Customers nearby.

          The reason there are very few customers is because they don't offer a service here.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Decaying Coax Network

    Taking a pop at BT's network is a bit rich when all your own company does is milk some ageing re-purposed cable TV infrastructure that relies on a coax loop for the bit from the cabinet to the consumer. Just 48% coverage and no investment to increase it, despite regular price rises; it's pretty obvious that their business plan is just to wring as much cash as they can out of the assets they bought from bankrupt cable TV firms, until it rots in the ground.

    1. Frankee Llonnygog

      Re: Decaying Coax Network

      Decaying coax network which I can't get, unlike everyone else in my street, because there's a tree root in the duct. Which indicates they are prepared to fund maintenance of the network with an amount equivalent to the square root of Branson's charisma

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Decaying Coax Network

      NTL (now Virgin Media) bought a SDH Fibre network strung up on the electrical distribution network over a lot of East Anglia (and parts are also in the ground) from Eastern Electricity. They have significant capability in this region.

      So, yes, the coax + twisted pair may well rot (many decades I would have thought), a lot of the infrastructure they acquired will be around for quite a while.

  15. TallPaul
    Go

    Blimey another price rise for broadband only customers, they really do seem determined to drive their customers over to using them for phone and/or TV too. Although they're pretty competitive if you do switch phone to them and (as people have already pointed out) negotiate on price. I did that and also went for annual line rental and we reduced our total comms bill by about £350 a year now. See http://the-hug.org/opus2233.html

    1. Ben 47

      There isn't going to be another price rise for broadband only customers, that price rise was the one in October

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Told you so

    Didnt I?

    Mind you the prices have risen more than even I dreaded.

    Think of the poor shareholders who financed this highly leveraged deal ! They need a return on investemnt, dont they?

    And our piss poor Government in allowing this foreign takeover, knowing fully well no taxes will be forthcoming from this companyu for the forrseable future due to highly leveraged debt financing from off shore.

    Thieving bastards.

    1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Unhappy

      Re: Told you so

      "Think of the poor shareholders who financed this highly leveraged deal ! They need a return on investemnt, dont they?"

      Shareholders?

      What shareholders?

      That all came out of "Private equity." The new term for VC's and banksters who bank roll this sort of reaming "Acquisition."

  17. SiempreTuna

    Virgin raising prices by only 7%?!

    We were with them for 2.5 years on a TV/BB/phone deal and in that time they doubled the amount we were paying - and reduced the number of channels in the package. Talk about short termism: I'll never use them again.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Too Lazy

    Virgin are forever posting flyers through my door offering their super fast broadband. I habitually ring them up to order safe in the knowledge they are too bone idle to create new infrastructure. We have all the access covers just no fibre. They are missing a great opportunity because BT has been very slow to offer FTTC... well BT still have offered it to be correct.

    1. Chris King Silver badge

      Re: Too Lazy

      Even where they have got infrastructure in place, they still don't get it right.

      Their local cab is right outside my flat, less than 20 feet away, but apparently I'm outside of their cable service area.

      Every address on my postcode is inside the cable service area, except for two. My flat, and the flat below it. The flat above mine, the three flats on the other side of the block and the houses to either side ARE in the cable service area, despite being even further away from the cab.

      It's not a wayleave issue, or anything like that. They're just convinced that my address isn't near enough to a cabinet to provide service.

      Not even sending them a photo of the cab in question, along with a note saying "this was taken from my front window and I know for a fact it's serving other flats in the building", was enough to convince them. Computer says no, and that's the end of it.

      1. neilt0

        Re: Too Lazy

        I had the same problem. Call them up or email their "street team" (can't remember how, Google it).

        I did that and got a very helpful chap (Sab) who drove over (pretty sharpish IIRC), loooked at the flappy thing on the pavement right outside my flap and said "no problem". I signed up and now have 120mbps.

        I used to be with "BeUnlimited", but jumped ship when they wanted to sell out to Sky and decided to Be Limited.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Termination

    I just agreed to extend my contract for a further year. I'm wondering if they can increase the fee to me or if they do if I can cancel. I have a crappy superhub which is my main gripe with the service.

    Now BT infinity offer service where I live I have viable alternative - I'm assuming just like Virgin you can opt for just broadband and not phone (I use VoIP).

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Termination

      hahaha....no.

      http://bt.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/13733/

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I dont care what any one says, you don't need a 100meg connection at home!

    Upping spped to 150 odd+ meg? So what!

    I don't need it, I dont want it and I aint paying for it.

    My 4-5Mbps ADSL does me fine. Yes I would like it to be a little faster, for those times I rarely download/stream from on demand services. Youtube vids play just fine.

    1. Hayden Clark Silver badge

      100Mb limit

      Indeed - what is the point of "153Mb/s" if your house cabling is 100baseT? And you can only get more than 100Mb/s over wireless by squatting on top of the router?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: 100Mb limit

        Exactly. So, if you want to use it make sure you can. If you don't then don't.

        It's not the law!

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: 100Mb limit

        But it's 153Mb shared over each port on the router , so each device has potentially more bandwidth up to 100Mb. If you're streaming Netflix, listening to internet radio, have teenagers watching you tube videos / iplayer whilst skyping, the bandwidth starts to add up.

        Actually getting a speed anywhere near that is another matter, wireless is especially pants, but eventually the move away from 2.4GHz should help somewhat.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: 100Mb limit

          At last ... someone talks sense!

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: 100Mb limit

        Well my cabling is Cat6, my routers are all 1000/Mbit, so yes I could use the bandwidth...

        But you are right on the 150Mbit being pointless for the general populace, they don't even realise you can't get that speed through your wifi! (yes I know there are some really fast wifi standards, but not every device follows them, and then it is shared between them...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Errr.... you might. Just because YOU can't see the benefits doesn't mean that others don't use it.

      For example, what if there were 4 of you living in the house all watching on-demand tv at the same time.... that's perhaps unlikely... but certainly possible.... I'd like to see a 4meg ADSL line cope with that on a reliable basis.

      But hey... the point is there is a market... if you have cable you don't have to take it... if you don't want to pay the extra you don't have to... but please don't presume to know what everyone else would need when it comes to bandwidth.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Are you sure?

      Not that you care (you've already made that clear), but I don't have a TV aerial, cable feed or satellite dish, so everything tellywise we consume online. We're not served by a cable network, FTTC wont reach us until next year and our exchange is in the next town over so we get around 3Mb/s on ADSL.

      Yes, we're far from the norm, but if we're streaming something from iPlayer in HD and I want to pop outside for a smoke but carry on watching on my iPad, it crawls. A large OS update? iOS7, OS X 10.9, Android etc, it crawls, I'd quite happily be able to pay for faster broadband and I don't think I'm the only one.

  21. Graham Triggs

    Wrong strategy

    I don't need 152mbps. I don't even need 120mbps.

    Getting rid of traffic shaping would be a far more useful prospect, and ensuring there is capacity for the advertised rates, so that it is reliable for things like iPlayer, Lovefilm, etc. streaming.

    Also, making the service more reliable in general - too often the equipment and/or service flakes out.

    Driving up unnecessary headline numbers, without providing the fundamental service behind it, will just lead me to switch to a lower tier.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Wrong strategy

      Just to pick up on reliability of Lovefilm, I couldn't watch any film for more than 10 minutes before it started buffering every 30 seconds using a PS3 wired into the super hub. Lovefilm requires just a few mb according to their documentation, so you'd think 60Mb connection would be ample (no other devices being used either).

      It drove me spare and after many wasted hours on their technical "support" line I bit the bullet and invested in my own router to take over wireless responsibilities, having heard about problems people had with the anything-but-super hub. Now I can love my films once more and the annoyingly frequent wifi dropouts my phone & tablet suffered from are a thing of the past. It was worth every penny.

      1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
        Happy

        Re: Wrong strategy

        "Just to pick up on reliability of Lovefilm, I couldn't watch any film for more than 10 minutes before it started buffering every 30 seconds using a PS3 wired into the super hub. Lovefilm requires just a few mb according to their documentation, so you'd think 60Mb connection would be ample (no other devices being used either).

        It drove me spare and after many wasted hours on their technical "support" line I bit the bullet and invested in my own router to take over wireless responsibilities, having heard about problems people had with the anything-but-super hub. Now I can love my films once more and the annoyingly frequent wifi dropouts my phone & tablet suffered from are a thing of the past. It was worth every penny."

        Interesting story.

        So their router can't do buffering properly but a 3rd party can.

        Care to share the name for other Vermin sufferers?

  22. Cuddles Silver badge

    Easy cost saving...

    Maybe if they stopped sending me an entire forest worth of junk mail every week they wouldn't need to raise prices?

    Also, I already get 110Mb/s from BT, so presumably the "twice as fast as BT" claim is actually "twice as fast as the BT packages that only offer half the speed of our fastest ones, but not really any different from their better packages". Technically true, but not exactly a meaningful claim.

  23. Burch

    Good

    I was hoping for a decent time to switch, but had been too lazy this far.

  24. Blacklight
    Meh

    Swings/roundabouts....

    I originally took out a 512K connection with Telewest, at £25 a month.

    I then added XL TV at £25 a month on top.

    And then a phoneline (yes, I should have bundled) and wound up paying £60 a month. This was all about 10+ years ago.

    Since then I've been upgraded to 1MB, 10MB, 30MB and now 60MB at the same price, and enjoyed a SB4100 Surfboard CM and now a SuperHub 1 (2nd one, as the 1st one had a fault).

    Had a V+ HD box, and since migrated out Tivo (got on the pilot, having had a Series 1 Thomson TiVo). VM also lobbed in a £10 pcm mobile SIM for being a long term customer, giving us a £9.50 pcm credit. They've now modded that to include data.

    So, overall, especially now they've made TiVo menus much faster, I can't really moan that much. In terms of costs, I've done quite well. Although the additional few quid may make me reconsider buying Netflix, which we have on trial again - but it's rare the bill hits touches £70-75 with bills (we don't pay for inclusive calls)

    NB: I do NOT work for VM, and my phone line does buzz like a sod and probably annoyingly needs a repull, but overall - could have been a lot worse....

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm on something like 120MB, it's plenty fast enough when you can utilise it properly.

    The problem is Virgin throttle the hell out of it at peak times and even Youtube has trouble playing (even at low res).

    1. Ben 47

      The traffic management is being changed to be at most a 16% reduction for the downstream speeds (for those on 30Mbit and above). So 120Mbit will be reduced at most by management to 100.8Mbit

  26. You're my wife now Dave

    VM F*** Right Off

    I quit VM in August after they tried to increase my BB only contract by >10%

    I have a mobile phone so no need for a landline also. I decided to consolidate all of my internets into one easily repayable internet

    Now I use Three's one plan unlimited, which is truly unlimited! £26 p/m with a new HSDPA phone. You can go for a 4G LTE model if faster speeds are required, but in good areas I regularly achieve 17Mb download, ~2Mb upload

    No punishment for tethering either, so I wirelessly tether everything to my phone. Worked out cheaper as free calls and texts etc, speed is actally better than Virgin Media's miserly 10Mb, in most cases this is adequate but check your coverage before ditching the VM cretins

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: VM F*** Right Off

      http://www.three.co.uk/Privacy_Cookies/Terms_Conditions?site=d&content_aid=1220469566802

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: VM F*** Right Off

        All you can eat data is different to The One Plan to which the OP refers. You can tether:

        What do you get on The One Plan?

        You get all-you-can-eat data, 5,000 texts, 2,000 any network minutes, 5,000 Three-to-Three minutes and you can even tether (use your phone as a modem) with The One Plan. In fact, it’s our only plan that gives you tethering as standard.

        http://www.three.co.uk/Discover/Phones/All_about_The_One_Plan

  27. dinner

    Ironic - taking Libertys not providing them -

    the double speed of 152mb/s will reduce to that of BT's 76 when traffic management kicks in in a few mins of use. And that the way the now biannual price hikes which accompany the 'free' speed increases will mean the lone cost of the 152mbs service will soon match BT's BB AND phone.

    It's tough for those without fibre access services, but isn't BT in part to blame as other ISPs have to pay BT to use their copper?

    1. Ben 47

      Re: Ironic - taking Libertys not providing them -

      Re the traffic mananagement - I can't see that it will. The current management is being reduced to no more than 16% off the downstream speed.

      So if 152Mb follows that you'll always get at least 127.68Mb even when managed.

    2. heeeeeby

      Re: Ironic - taking Libertys not providing them -

      What complete and utter nonsense... the MAXIMUM reduction is 16% for 2 hours* which by my reckoning is somewhere around 127mbs.

      To hit that you need to going over the limit between 4-Midnight Mon - Fri or 11-Midnight on Sat Sun

      You would need to download more than 5GB in an hour to get the 10% reduction or 6.25GB to get the 16% reduction.

      Even if you did get hit, the traffic management applies to P2P and Newsgroups.

      It's the fairest I've seen.

      http://my.virginmedia.com/traffic-management/traffic-management-policy-30Mb-or-higher.html

      *There is an odd clause in the small print though! For a minimum of 1 to 2 hours depending on the customers usage, but this can last until after the end of peak period if the customer is a heavy user at peak.

  28. Ripperroo

    one thing they don't tell you is they are also ending the provision of free anti virus software to their customers, so as well as a 6.7% price rise customers will have to pay an additional £2.50 a month for it's replacement.

    look forward to using a network that is even slower despite the increase in speed as it gradually becomes choked with traffic from infected computers.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      So use one of the many, very capable free AV solutions out there, Security Essentials for Windows, Sophos for OS X etc.

      Or would you like my bank account details so that you can set up a £2.50 standing order?

  29. Alan Brown Silver badge

    Fast, until

    everyone on your segment starts downloading.

    There are a number of neighbours around me who regret taking contracts. (I'm on vdsl2)

  30. wookey

    I 've been using cambridge cable, NTL and now VM for about 15 years. Broadband and VOIP, no phone line. It used to be good value when it was £14/month but gets less so every year (£23 now?). 10Mb was enough for me, but there is no option to pay less for slower, up to get useful uplink speed. Just higher and higher costs for download speed I don't want to pay for.

    It was still cheaper than ADSL+phone line I don't need (they've more than doubled in cost, whilst become more and more pointless since 1997 too) last time I looked but the gap is shrinking.

    Data is now the most expensive utility we have by a large margin. Every price rise makes me grumpy. If they had a cheap and cheerful crap-o-vision version that let me stick with not buying a phone line, I'd be a happy punter indefinitely.

  31. johnaaronrose

    Virgin's Cable versus BT's FTTC

    AFAIK Virgin feeds into your home using a copper cable (coaxial, I think) from their street cabinets whereas BT feeds into your home using a copper cable normally strung up along telegraph poles from its street cabinets. I presume that Virgin's copper cable to its cabinet is shared by other properties in your street whereas BT's copper cable is yours alone to its cabinet. If I am correct, Virgin's copper cable will suffer from contention whereas BT's won't. Am I correct?

  32. Matt Bridge-Wilkinson

    It's still significantly less than my last Virgin price hike in February which was around 13%, this was a few months after my "free upgrade" to faster broadband.

  33. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Unhappy

    Proof the "Look at the new shiny" marketing stratetgy still works a treat.

    Pretty shocked VM only covers 48% of the UK.

    More shocked they will leave 2 of 20 (20?) properties uncovered. That's just weird.

    And no I strongly doubt those speeds will last for much of any given day.

    Seriously. there are about 400 UK ISP's.

    The top six will continue to f**k you deeply until people start dumping them.

  34. Sparkacus

    Fair use policy

    I'm actually cancelling my Virgin Media package this week funnily enough. I've been a customer with VM for longer than I can remember, always taking the top package, as high internet speed is something I enjoy.

    My monthly bill is in the region of £110 (Increasing on a regular basis now). I chose the top package as I wanted the fastest consistent internet speed a home ISP could provide. The package is wonderful, all dandy.....but if you decide to use that package to it's fullest extent, Virgin media have a wonderful fair use policy that basically cut your internet speed in half or more, that's right, pay for the top package and use it, they'll halve it for you.

    The final nail in the coffin was when I wanted more than 4Mb upload (5Mb is what your suppose to get... lame). After calling a call centre in India I believe, I stated that I wanted at least 10Mb/s upload, I'm on the top package, happy etc, but I require faster upload. Long story short the answer was a resounding ...NO.

    I rarely go above the fair use policy, but I have been traffic managed a few times, mainly because of my large backup files that i upload to Dropbox etc, but my upload speed is often reduced by 60%+, and I've given up. The few times that I actually need to use the full power of my connection and I get a smack in the teeth when doing so. I'm then told to basically 'upload out-of-policy-hours'.......PARDEN, screw you, I pay for the top package and if I dam well want to use it, I will.

    So good bye VM, never going back to you, Ta dah and hello Infinity 2. May not be the fastest package, but at least I gonna get what I pay for and an upload rate close to 13Mb/s (The rate my neighbours get). Really VM, 5Mb/s upload on a 100Mb/s download package, you clowns. I have a house in the country in Eastern Europe that gets it's internet connection from a tower 1 KM away and my upload speed is over 8Mb/s.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So what if it's 152mbps?

    I daresay most households wouldn't even notice the difference above a certain level.

    I recently demonstrated to a family member how little of his 'super-fast' Virgin connection he was actually using on his...um...page browsing and occasional Youtube vid. And he didn't even notice the *significant* traffic management applied to the speeds he was paying for. He switched, and still doesn't notice a slowdown.

    So it's all very disingenuous to tout top-end increases as a cushion to an unreasonable subs increase - since a lot of people out there will not understand they don't need it.

    The 'tip-over' point for me was being able to stream HD video. I don't need any more Mbps, thanks. In the interests of balance, I am lucky enough to live close enough to the exchange to get a speed that negates me having to bother with fibre - for my purposes at least.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Failure to deliver

    In highly contended UK locations such as London suburbs Virgin can't provide consistent low latency or the speeds customers are paying for.. It will be interesting to see what farce this will turn into..

    Time to move to BT infinity maybe?

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