Virgin Defends Updated Broadband Throttling Policy

Virgin Media Double Your Speed campaign, shot in Kingston Jamaica with Usain Bolt and Richard Branson 26+27/11/11 photographed by Tom Oldham
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Virgin says its policy change will reduce the impact on heavy users

Virgin has defended a change to its policy on throttling broadband connections, claiming its traffic management would actually give hardcore internet consumers a better deal than before.

Changes to traffic management implemented yesterday will see speeds of extremely heavy users – around five percent of the Virgin customer base – reduced by half. Prior to the update, Virgin was cutting services by three-quarters.

So where a customer is running on up to 100Mbps, they would see broadband connections throttled to 50Mbps, rather than 25Mbps, a spokesperson told TechWeekEurope.

Throttling policy shift

Virgin started throttling traffic in 2007 and has been running it across most of its tiers since then. “It’s one of those necessary evils,” the spokesperson added.

“As part of the significant investment we have been putting into our network for our Double Speeds upgrade programme, we have updated our traffic management policy to help ensure customers are able to enjoy more of their faster speeds even during peak times,” they added.

“Broadband services are by their nature shared resources, so Virgin Media’s traffic management policy is designed to ensure the vast majority of customers get the high quality of service they expect from Virgin Media’s fibre optic broadband without being negatively affected by extremely heavy users using more than their fair share at the busiest times.

“Customers can still continue to use their services whilst having their traffic managed, however the temporary reduction in speed will help minimise the impact of their usage on other customers, ensuring more customers are able to enjoy their services at peak times.”

Virgin has been pushing on with its speed doubling project, announcing last week that it’s baseline speed for almost all customers would hit 30Mbps.

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  1. So I get “Up to 8Mb” adsl with virgin, so in all reallity that’s 4-5Mb max, never been offered any speed increase by virign, or any pwerks from a loyal customer, in fact had a email last week saying price is going up £2 in May, so that’s now £23 a month basically for waht is a 4Mb connection, and if I am steaming movies etc then I will be seen as a “High” bandwidth user in my bracket so traffic management will now cut my speed in half acording to this new policy, so will only be getting 2Mb, £23 for a 2Mb connection most of the time, sorry no Virgin, and goodbye

  2. I received a letter from virgin telling me i download a lot, but i was advised by them to do all the heavy downloading between midnight and noon so i just scheduled utorrent to only work between them times. Very nice of them, love virgin.

  3. Traffic shaping is major balls, no doubt about that. Even though it doesn’t effect me at all, I would still be happier if it wasn’t there. My 50Mb line, soon to be 100 which costs me £25 from Virgin has a 10Gb down limit before I am capped. I have never been capped since I have been on 50Mb, but it was a frequent occurence that I would get capped while on lower speed packages.

    But even so, even with traffic shaping Virgin Media is without a doubt the best UK Broadband provider by a very long shot.

  4. I am on the 100mb Virgin package. If i were to use my full bandwidth alottment in the daytime (20 GB) which i can download in 15 minutes i then would be capped to 50% of my speed for the rest of that day (50mb)

    Doubling everyones speeds and then capping them back to what they had originally is not an “upgrade” but merely an advertising gimmick to pull in more users to an already over congested network.

    I have been with VM for 6 years but this traffic management is the final straw, and i am moving over to BT infinity that imposes no caps on its unlimited package and has just doubled all of its users speeds upto 80mb.

  5. Virgin Media, been with them now like 8 yrs, and am seriously considering leaving them. They say they are putting up speeds, yeah like capping everything, and on topof that have put prices up by £3.50. Im on the L package, and honestly most of the time the pictures are pixelated. So much for being a loyal customer, thats what one gets. Down with V

  6. Here starts the moaning of people crying over £3.50 who would end up spening even more on a night out. have a pint less if you want better broadband moaners. Don’t you guys understand it cost money for any business to run. I run a business myself so I can understand why virgin are doing what they are. If you can’t digest the speeds you are getting go to sky or talk talk. it will help you having dinner or tea in between loading pages on websites.

  7. Funny, these caps are all full of shit. I’ve been capped by Virgin/Blueyonder for the last 15 years of my life… My whole family has a virgin connection each and they’re all giving Virgin their money, the least they could do is not cap our connections. It really sucks the length of time your connection being 1/4 of it’s speed. I was trying to download an Open Beta of Tera and because the Beta is more then 3gb (more like 10-12gb) my connection kept on getting capped and it tooks days to download so by the time the game downloaded and I installed it I couldn’t login to the open beta anymore because they had finished it. It pisses me off, why has Virgin touted their 100mb speeds to be truly unlimited and now they are saying they will cap their fastest connection aswell, 3gb limit is nothing. After all the years of my families support to Virgin/Blueyonder I think we truly deserve uncapped for life connections…. Upload speed is a joke, people don’t realise they just have disabled connection….

  8. Instead of throttling Virgin should make sure they upgrade their servers. Where I live, they can only provide an 8MPS service down the phone line which means they will never get my custom anyway.

  9. I’ve been with Virgin Media from the beginning when it was godd old Telewest, then Blueyonder…

    I’m currently running at 50Mb due for the 100Mb upgrade shortly. I’ve never had any throttling issues so I guess I’m not classed as a heavy user although now that my kids have a PC and me and my wife also run our iPads on the same line as my main PC which is always on that position might change?

    I can understand folk complaining though if on one hand they get the super fast 100Mb upgrade and then only allowed to run at that speed for a limited time.

  10. I don’t see the problem. I’m on the 30Mb connection and I guess I fall into the heavy user category as I download a lot of game demos and my network meter often shows that I’ve been capped.

    The thing is, the alternative is ADSL and I’m never going to give up cable for ADSL.

    I had my line tested and the best I could expect with ADSL would be about 4Mb so even when I get capped I’m getting more than 3 times the best speed that ADSL could possibly offer me.

    15Mb is more than enough for anybody 95% of the time. Hell, I wish my network connection at work was anything like as fast as that.