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Virgin Media to relax traffic management on 50Mbps service?
Thursday 20 March 2008 15:51:45 by Andrew Ferguson

The Xbox may have lost out in the high definition storage media battle, but its Xbox Live Marketplace to some extent negates this as people can download HD TV shows and movies direct to the Xbox via Xbox Live Marketplace.

tech.co.uk has been talking to Virgin Media and Microsoft about HD movie downloads on the Xbox, and the estimate is that a HD movie will take just 15 minutes to download on the 50Mbps cable broadband service when it rolls-out. This fits in nicely with a 50Mbps connection running flat out for the 15 minutes and the rough size of the HD content on Xbox Live Marketplace which is 5GB for the average film.

So how does this suggest Virgin Media are to change their traffic management rules, well the current flagship 20Mbps product only lets you download 3GB at peak times before throttling the connection back to 5Mbps. If the same limits were to apply to the 50Mbps product, the 5GB movie would take an hour. The inference from the Virgin Media comments is that it will take more than 5GB of download to trigger the management on the 50Mbps service, or there may be no management at all.

The HD content on Xbox Live appears to be 720p, and a 5GB file size suggests video encoding at around 4Mbps, once you allow for reasonable audio encoding. Whether this enough to provide a viewing experience that matches HD DVD or Blu-ray content which can be encoded at rates of 20 to 30Mbps remains to be seen.

If movie download services do take off in the UK the iPlayer effect could be the least of providers worries. The offer of the latest five blockbuster movies as a download for 85 pence each over Easter from Microsoft may show how popular movie downloads will be. Other games console news may increase broadband usage too, as the Sony PS3 is due a firmware update that will allow extra content for Blu-ray movies to be downloaded to the Sony PS3.

Comments

Posted by chrysalis over 9 years ago
the 50meg service will be provided on better UBRs with much higher capacity I know VM were at one point considering having no traffic management at all on the 50meg product.
Posted by jrawle over 9 years ago
I bet they will have traffic management. It'll be higher than 3GB though - if it's in proportion it'll be 7.5GB. Anyway, who gets the maximum speed? The figures they quote are the best-case scenario which would also mean downloading at night.

If there's no traffic management on 50Mbps, that means the situation will get even worse for those on slower packages, who already suffer from the continual push towards higher headline speeds.
Posted by Dixinormous over 9 years ago
You will have to get away from calling the non-Cisco kit uBRs, CMTSes works though :)

The service will run on offering 50Mbps of a 160Mbps downstream, so the maths works similarly to offering 13Mbps on the existing 38Mbps / card network however there will be no lighter users.

Depending on the uptake of the service though contention is certainly possible in the future but not for a while, as per the original cable product :)
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 9 years ago
Well yes, moving to DOCIS3 could double the avaliable bandwidth. Wait, you say, 50 is more than twice twenty.

Yep.
That's "lower limits in proportion"
Posted by Dixinormous over 9 years ago
Not sure what you mean, best case single channel on the network at the moment is 51Mbit, 256QAM EuroDOCSIS, the DOCSIS 3 kit will increase that with 4 channels bonded to a usable bandwidth of 152Mbit/s, being 4 x 38Mbit 256QAM DOCSIS or potentially higher if they are able to do wideband EuroDOCSIS.

Also worth noting that VM already run multiple downstreams so some nodes will have n x 38Mbit/51Mbit discrete downstreams, as opposed to bonded.
Posted by chrysalis over 9 years ago
jrawle traffic on 50mbit wont affect those on the other packages at least on the ubrs because the 50mbit customers are segragated on different equipment.
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 9 years ago
Dixinormous - they are very badly frequency-bound.

chrysalis - Not sure where that idea you have comes from...
Posted by chrysalis over 9 years ago
dawn sorry here is a breakdown.
the biggest point of congestion on cable is local UBRs, currently all 3 tiers of customers share the same downstreama and upstream channels with other users in their area. The 50mbit users however will not share with the other 3 tiers but instead have a very large pool of bandwidth to themselves on a more advanced docsis equipment.
Posted by chrysalis over 9 years ago
continued - since it is very likely the heaviest of users will migrate to the 50mbit service not only does it not decrease bandwidth to the rest of users but will effectively free up capacity for them.
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 9 years ago
chrysalis - Again, where the heck did you get this *idea* from? I'm afraid you're dreaming, very badly, on this.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
The key word in the story is "relax" this does not mean they will do away with the traffic managing on the 50Mb service just massage it a bit. I still would not touch virgin with a barge pole.
Posted by comnut over 9 years ago
Its a shame that too many nutters think with wallets & greed .... and not with any sense of how to keep a company running(and not go bust due to lack of money!) - see Kempy's post here, I think he knows...
http://www.thinkbroadband.com/news/i/3468.html
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
quote"Its a shame that too many nutters think with wallets & greed .... and not with any sense of how to keep a company running(and not go bust due to lack of money!)"

Thats a joke right? Virgin go bust just because a few demand the mythical service they pretend they can provide!
Maybe instead of covering their glossy billion pound TV adverts (again i spose those are the user fault are they?) with rubbish terms like unlimited people wouldnt expect the true definition of the word from them. Virgin destroyed a once resonably good cable product this country had.
Posted by comnut over 9 years ago
sheesh, man... It looks like you need to get out of yer mom's house, and find out how 'free & unlimited' the REAL WORLD is!!!!

And how about BT advertising??? I think you will find they spend 10 times more than virgin do, on rather pointless ads, for an overpriced product... worst thing is they *think* it is cheap!! (check the small print - after 3 or 6 months, it becomes almost twice the price of virgin..)

I have had no problems with vergin cable, unlike Tis-sh!t...
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 9 years ago
comnut - *Depending on the area* VM can either be fine or a slow, horrible mess. This dosn't mean the VM works fine for everyone, strangle enough.

It's nice you get a good service, but in some areas (such as the one I previously lived in), at many peak times a 56k modem would be of equivalent speed.
Posted by 2doorsbob over 9 years ago
I think to a degree you can put spots off every isp for some reason or another ..i don't like the way vm are marketing services waving the fibre flag ..but you can't ignore the investment made in the network when it was first installed ..i think vm are starting to listen to there customers and according the the registor there droping premium rate tech support calls from june this year ..i certainly be interested if docsys3 will help the areas dawn_falcon lived in but i'd have to say if vm are only targating 20 and 50 meg platforms it's not going to have an overnight
Posted by 2doorsbob over 9 years ago
effect for there 2 and 4 (soon to be 10) meg services ..any body else have any thoughts
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 9 years ago
You can (and should) ignore everything except the current level of service and the company's record in treating customers well or poorly.

The local UBR's where I lived were by a NTL tech's admission regularally over 300% load, and the changes being made are going to make that worse, if anything. If they *just* moved to DOCIS3, sure, it'd help. But they're also rolling out massive speed bosts which will more than offset the bandwidth increase.
Posted by 2doorsbob over 9 years ago
i can't agree with you there dawn people shouldnt boycot a service based on your bad experience you are only speculating there speed upgrades will be offset any work done with docis3 until it goes live knowbody can be certain ..
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
quote"sheesh, man... It looks like you need to get out of yer mom's house, and find out how 'free & unlimited' the REAL WORLD is!!!!"
And i think you need to learn the dictionary term instead of the brain washed term Virgin and others have affected you mind with.
quote"And how about BT advertising??? I think you will find they spend 10 times more than virgin do, on rather pointless ads, for an overpriced product..."
Doubtful considering some of the so called celebs virgin have had punting their service, then again them and BT both IMO sell dishonestly anyway.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
quote"worst thing is they *think* it is cheap!! (check the small print - after 3 or 6 months, it becomes almost twice the price of virgin..)

I have had no problems with vergin cable, unlike Tis-sh!t..."
Virgin pull the same marketing rubbish as BT with special prices for a certain period before it returns to full price (again as bad as each other).
The Virgin cable service is known to be fine in some areas of england and shocking in others, glad your service is fine, for many though it is not.
Posted by comnut over 9 years ago
CARPETBURN: ok, now tell me ONE thing in in the REALWORLD that is UNLIMITED..
I think you will find that you cannot live long enough to find out.... :)
Posted by comnut over 9 years ago
CARPETBURN: ok, now tell me ONE thing in in the REALWORLD that is UNLIMITED..
I think you will find that you cannot live long enough to find out.... :)
Posted by comnut over 9 years ago
Dawn_Falcon: you are right, CS is the main factor ATM - *every* ISP is suffering from bad treatment, not just from BT Openreach etc (see those comments, a lot of sense there..),
but also from people who are treating the *whole* UK as only one town... >:-(
Posted by comnut over 9 years ago
- and YES, some have been very badly managed, etc... - the service level itself is a product of being able to *afford* to pay good engineers, not easy if no-one will PAY decent money for a decent service!!

- this itself is a good reason to choose a CABLE ISP (how many of them do you know??), that is not 'held to ransom' by all the many different sections of BT...
Posted by comnut over 9 years ago
Do not think I am 'against BT' - If they could somehow replace their *ancient* '2 or 3 wire' system with proper coax, they would have none of the problems that reduce signal quality.. just think, would you connect video or RF to your TV with two unsheilded wires, and not expect bad noise interference??
Posted by comnut over 9 years ago
If you say 'ethernet cable' - that is not 2 wires!! It is at least 4 wires, specially twisted together, to provide a 'balanced transmission system'! - If you have ever got the connections in the wrong order, it may work ok, but not when you add an ethernet switch, and another long cable...
Posted by comnut over 9 years ago
21CN will be good(it is a complete rework, using ethernet) but it will take a few years.. But the problem is the management, and the disenchanted public....
source:http://www.samknows.com/broadband/21cn_overview.php
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 9 years ago
comnut - "ethernet" is no magic wand. The increased service management burden on ISP's and massively increased charges on tier 2 exchanges are going to push costs up.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
quote"CARPETBURN: ok, now tell me ONE thing in in the REALWORLD that is UNLIMITED..
I think you will find that you cannot live long enough to find out.... :) "

How about AIR.... Or in your case "HOT AIR" huh?
You are happy with Virgin, good for you, just because you are doesnt mean there are not thousands which are not happy. I dont expect you to comprehend that though.
Posted by comnut over 9 years ago
<hooonk!> wrong answer!!
The amount of 'air' on the earth is NOT unlimited!
http://www.sciencephoto.com/images/download_lo_res.html/E055330-Global_water_and_air_volume-SPL.jpg?id=690550330

Not even the air that you breathe...you ARE going to stop breathing sometime...

Enough of this childish idiocy...
Posted by comnut over 9 years ago
Dawn_Falcon: hey I know that! - I am just saying it will be 'better' - I have wired up enough miles of cable in offices, to see you get no real problem with throughput...

The technology is there, and yes it will be expensive, hopefully it will pay for itself in higher reliability and less problems!

I just hope the 'human' problems can be resolved...
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 9 years ago
comnut - The vast majority of curent problems are caused by overselling, and ISP's under 21CN are going to have to either raise prices or oversell more - if anything problems will increase.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
quote"comnut - The vast majority of curent problems are caused by overselling, and ISP's under 21CN are going to have to either raise prices or oversell more - if anything problems will increase."
Wasting your time trying to tell a virgin media and 21CN fan its rubbish, he wont have that, we have already established this is another virgin user who thinks if it works for them fine it works for everyone... Oh and LOL at his link, im not even gonna rip that to shreds wouldnt know where to start and it would lead to many stupid remarks that would get me banned for another so called 48 hours LOL
Posted by chrysalis over 8 years ago
Dawn_Falcon its not an idea its fact, VM of course are slow in various areas, but it is still a fact the 50mbit consumers are segregated from the rest of the customer base because they are on docsis3 not sharing the eurodocsis 1.1, they will still share peering capacity but not the major bottleneck thats the ubr.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
Only problem is if all the 10Mb and 20Mb user upgrade to 50Mb the problem starts all over again
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