The cable broadband products from Virgin Media are going through a period where Virgin Media is trialling measures which it says will make for a more efficient network.
The trial is only being run at a limited number of locations: Preston, Wigan, Blackpool, Camden, Dalston, Enfield and Haringey. The big difference to the previous traffic management is that rather than a single time period to monitor usage in, three different time frames will be used. A copy of the Virgin Media statement has been posted by one of our forum users.
The three time periods in use in the trial:
The traffic usage is not cumulative, i.e. download traffic between 10am and 3pm does not count towards the total in the 4pm to 9pm window. People also need to remember that as the upload usage is counted between 3pm and 8pm, that downloading data will use a small amount of upload, and applications such a Sky Anytime, 4oD and the BBC iPlayer client can all use your upload bandwidth to share material to other users.
The trigger levels before the connection has its speed varies according to the package you are subscribed to.
|Package||10am to 3pm download||4pm to 9pm download||3pm to 8pm upload||Capped Speed|
|Broadband M||900 MB||450 MB||200 MB||1 Mbps (download)
128 Kbps (upload)
|Broadband L||2400 MB||1200 MB||700 MB||1 Mbps (download)
128 Kbps (upload)
|Broadband XL||6000 MB||3000 MB||1400 MB||5 Mbps (download)
192 Kbps (upload)
Previously it was announced that people on Broadband L who had been upgraded to 10Mbps from the standard 4Mbps would have the download speed cut from 10Mbps to 2.5Mbps. We presume that this 2.5Mbps will apply to those who have been upgraded already in the trial areas.
It is interesting to see a provider talk about abuse of its network and abnormal traffic patterns at a time when perfectly legal content in the size range 2GB to 4GB is becoming widely available. Admittedly the proportion of people downloading 2GB game demo's from Playstation Network, or renting a film download online is relatively small but times are changing and the rhetoric where providers always assumed that people downloading several GB a day were into dodgy stuff and thus fair game for getting their speed slowed down needs to change.
One way of considering these limits and those from other providers is that the Virgin Media XL product is a 5Mbps cable package that will burst to 20Mbps for short periods but sustain 5Mbps speeds for much longer.