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Virgin Media tweaks traffic management again
Monday 31 March 2008 13:54:44 by Andrew Ferguson

Virgin Media has been using traffic management techniques for some time to ensure peak time downloads do not slow to a crawl. In the near future customers on the Broadband L cable package (4Mbps) should be seeing an upgrade to a 10Mbps download service.

Currently people on Broadband L see their speeds cut to 1Mbps download and 128Kbps upload once they exceed 800MB download or 325MB upload. New rules will apply to those who have had the uplift to 10Mbps, the same download limit applies but a little extra upload is allowed at 400MB and the speeds will be cut from 10Mbps to 2.5Mbps with 128Kbps for the upstream.

The full details are published on the Virgin Media website. The help page details the time period that the measurements are based across as 4pm till 9pm, with the management lasting for 5 hours from the time the limits are exceeded. It is possible Virgin Media is experimenting with other time periods, since one user on our forums has noted what appears to be management during the afternoon.

On a 10Mbps connection, hitting 800MB takes around 12 minutes, and is equal to around three 30 minute TV shows on the various catch-up TV services. Though if using one of the peer to peer download services watch the amount of traffic uploaded, since the point of peer to peer services is that everyone who has downloaded material is providing it to others.


Posted by Gzero over 9 years ago
Lol from Virgins site: "We don't like traffic jams"

Can you use the Transport/Road analogy to comment on computer networking?

We should all drive humvies that way we use the optimum road space. (yes taking the mic).
Posted by herdwick over 9 years ago
for clarity, these limits are only measured during the peak hours, ie 4pm to 9pm, and they are expressed per day ie 800 MB in one 5 hour peak period and you're restricted for the next 5 hours ?

The limits on the XL service are 3GB down per peak period and 1250 MB up per peak period.
Posted by radiomarko over 9 years ago
If this is the way all ISPs view "acceptable download limits" we are all doomed as far as TVOIP services are concerned unless they are offered by the ISPs themselves.... Oh hang on maybe thats why they are doing it!
Posted by Riveel over 9 years ago
This is way out of order, so because they don't want to spend any money on network, they punish all their users as 800MB is nothing to go through!! Its funny to see what ISP's in UK can do compare to continental :). If they would try this on continent they would be in trouble as Customer rights are much better then what Ofcom trying to do. well feel sorry for people with Virgin media.
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 9 years ago
herdwick, with VM traffic shaping if you download 800MB at 8:59 then you are shaped for the next 5 hours.

Also, that 800MB is not an absolute per user-testing, it depends on how overloaded the UBR is and in many cases such as Oxford 200MB is sufficient to get you shaped. (and 41MB on the former 4MBit service!)

Incidentally, that 5 hours is ALSO an increase.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
i like from their announcement the quote of...
"Here at Virgin Media, we want all our customers to get the best service possible from their Broadband. That means speedy downloads for all users – not just a few."

LMFAO really, so maybe they would like to tell the people that have never had the maximum speed they promised exactly when they will end up getting it...... Virgin Media you are a shambolic shower of the proverbial.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
i also like...
quote "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. That's around 750 music tracks in the space of a few hours"
Now apart from how a UPLOADER is managing to "USE" 3GB in "a few hours" LMAO id like to know, if they aint talking the odd video clip are they going to continue to let people download a whole tv series from itunes stores, or even a 4gig movie from xbox services??? (CONT)
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
It appears not and it appears they are woefully behind the times with what their so called high useage comes from. Especially if they think those grabbing 3GB or more are downloading 750 music tracks daily. LOL numptys!
Posted by radiomarko over 9 years ago
Virgin seem to be challenging BT for top numpty status.
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 9 years ago
I'm on BT ADSL atm. It's far, far better than VM was.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
^^^ I feel sorry you have had to have either of them dawn :(
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 9 years ago
Shrug - I've had worse.

Posted by herdwick over 9 years ago
"with VM traffic shaping if you download 800MB at 8:59 then you are shaped for the next 5 hours."

understood. Go for the higher package and it becomes 3 GB, or defer the activity and you avoid the issue altogether.

800 MB/ peak period or 24 GB/month at a 5 hour peak compares well with many alternatives such as 20 or 30 GB/month up and down in the period 0800-2200 etc.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
Or just leave the halfwits that insist on taking your money and in return destroy the advertised speeds of the connection by throttling.
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 9 years ago
herdwick - I'd agree, IF it wasn't advertised as "unlimited". And IF it was an abolute. As I said, in a high-load UBR area (the majority of VM connections) the figure for capping falls, often dramatically.

So you end up with a mis-advertised service where your pings soar to 2k after you download 41MB in "peak time".
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
My biggest gripe with virgin cable is their glossy leaflets that lure people in with only half the story (I think they are even worse than BT in this regard... I bet that has shocked Herdwick ;) )While the Virgin cable service can in areas be good in others it is not, that along with their lies about it being a fibre service, lies about top end speed, the covering up about usage before they throttle you and sooo much more makes them a bit scummy IMO.Atleast with BT they do state openly the monthly caps (except for the so called unlimited package) Virgin though are almost outright liars.
Posted by 6625 over 9 years ago
I am on the VM 2Mbps 'service' and my speed frequently goes for a ball of chalk after 4pm, and not unknown outside those time limits eg school holidays. I rarely do more than up or down load 1MB files. Also the kids get home from school at 4pm if you hadn't spotted it. Come back NTL/Blueyonder all is forgiven!
Posted by comnut over 9 years ago
and where is your exchange?? If you are using a BT line, it will be as bad as the others..

and no, there is no way back... unless you want to *remove* all the 'new connections' since then! that is the point, you have to make allowances for the traffic these days, if you HAVE to go somewhere on easter weekend, get out a day early (it may be expensive in terms of holidays, but..)
Just the same with VM, if you have to surf when *every kid in UK* is, pay a bit more for the 4Meg, and you will find it better.. and soon get a 'reward' ... its on the website...
Posted by lagathy over 9 years ago
W A R N I N G !!!!
ok,that was loud i admit lol,but just to let people know...this is all a lie..i have been capped(sometimes i obviously go over my "peak time" allowance) at a stonking 7-8 kbps between 4 and 12.30 am (not 9pm as they claim)..this has been the case for over 2 months now,ive had no help or anything from virgin(of course).this is on a 2mb line,that after 1am can get 4.7 a pretty horrendous cap as far as im concerned..and for it to last over 8 hours is astonishing.beware anyone who doesnt just use the net to read an email or 2.
Posted by mr_l over 9 years ago
I made the mistake of downloading a game from Steam this weekend. 100% legal. Just one of the things that people are going to be using broadband for far more in the future. Today I have a less than 56k connection.

This is not the first time virgin have done this. They claim that they will only limit people to 512k, but this is a lie. With itunes, iplayer, youtube, 4od, streaming movie rentals etc etc people are going to be using a lot more bandwidth. If they need to charge more then do it, but this is silly. 800mb is nothing.
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