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Virgin Media 50Mbps cable product in a couple of weeks
Monday 06 October 2008 15:05:08 by Andrew Ferguson

It may be one of the most widely anticipated broadband roll-outs beyond the first products in 1999/2000 but Virgin is just a couple of weeks away from getting people onto its live 50Mbps cable broadband service.

The internet is of course a great place for rumours, and the big difficulty can be separating fact from hearsay. A visitor to our forums has 'leaked' some information on the forthcoming product, and similar information is appearing elsewhere.

The fact the roll-out will take to April 2009 to complete is not major news, but in terms of the state of broadband in the UK it is nice to know that some 40% of us will have a choice of a 50Meg product by then. Price wise the £52 remains unconfirmed and we have talked to Virgin Media who say that the price point is not set in stone yet. Some may be reluctant to sign-up due to the 12 month contract, but a new contract for a major upgrade is not uncommon with other broadband providers, and this does cover the new modem that will be needed.

The area of traffic management is the hardest to cover, as some become very emotive very quickly, but no figures have been set yet, or whether it will be used at all. The main thrust appears to be that the 50Mbps product is on a new network with lots of capacity, so it is likely that Virgin Media will wait to see how people use it.

For those biting at the bit to order the 50Mbps product, one word of warning, to get the most from it you may need to upgrade your home network. 802.11g wireless routers will limit you in terms of speeds for wireless activity, and many routers may not cope well with an Internet connection running at 50Mbps.

Comments

Posted by lloydio over 8 years ago
the upload speed will determine whether its worth having for me.

i guess the ideal router would be http://www.ebuyer.com/product/128049 ???
Posted by Scubaholic over 8 years ago
I don't know where the 40% comes from. As I suspect I'm one of the lucky few but I'm not! Virgin are less than 25 metres away but I can't connect as I'm in a block of flats. Why is so much fuss made about cable when so few have the option to connect? I suspect the 2 out of 5 is about as reliable as "up to 8/24 meg"
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
quote"It may be one of the most widely anticipated broadband roll-outs"
Not really rumour is there will be a 10GB limit between 4pm and 9pm (OR IN ENGLISH when most are using it), exceed that and your speed drops to 7.5Mbit. (Laughable).
quote"one word of warning....... 802.11g wireless routers will limit you in terms of speeds for wireless activity, and many routers may not cope well with an Internet connection running at 50Mbps."
Errr so for another out of order 12 month contract and £50 charge customers wont be supplied this by Virgin?????? Oh dear!
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
I sould also add before someone says 10gig is plenty or harps on thats heavy use and the regular spiel..... @50Mb 10gig is done in under 2 hours use, unless my quick calculations fail me.
Posted by gunnersboy over 8 years ago
quote Errr so for another out of order 12 month contract and £50 charge customers wont be supplied this by Virgin?????? Oh dear!

Why should Virgin supply a modem AND router? As far as the speed comes into the house it will be 50mb. You can't expect every ISP to upgrade B grade wireless routers to G ones to support higher speeds so why expect them to upgrade everyones to N grade?
Posted by Runreaper over 8 years ago
I was a LOYAL 20mb VM Media customer & when I had a issue with my broadband speed dropping to 0.8Mb/Sec I was told it was traffic Management & Capping. After extensive calls to VM I had a call out & the Techy found that I was only getting a Max of 12mb/sec. I went back to VM & asked for a refund and was refused point blank. Now after a RDletter to their CEO the matters been resolved. I really want the 50mb and dont mind paying for it but when I was paying for 20mb VM KNEW there was a problem and did not fix it and were happy to fob their Subscribers off.
Posted by cockney007 over 8 years ago
I would really love 50mb and be prepared to pay for it but no way would i sign up with virgin media.
I've tried their cable tv service-absolute rubbish.
Posted by CaptainW over 8 years ago
@ Runreaper - are you quite happy to trust their service for a brand new product when you had to get the CEO office involved on your last complaint? Hmmmm, it's not a company I'd be doing immediate business with unless they provided me with a guarantee, from that office that you can and will be provided with the 50Mb service without restriction and issue.

It's a brand new product on DOCSIS3.0 with plenty of capacity and scope, so why do they even need traffic management/shaping/throttle? That's the question that would need an answer to first, especially when they shouldn't need to.
Posted by scragglymonk over 8 years ago
people still getting traffic managed ?

ran some speed test mid evening and got 6.85 mb or so on a 8 mb adsl connection

friend has virgin and had some email that he was downloading too much....
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
quote"Why should Virgin supply a modem AND router? As far as the speed comes into the house it will be 50mb. You can't expect every ISP to upgrade B grade wireless routers to G ones"
This is a joke right??? They supply a router to every other customer that pays less per month for lower speed services and you want to know why they should supply one to a customer thats going to be paying more per month and also be tied to another 12 month contract and probably have to pay the 50 quid connection fee even if they are already with them? LMFAO someone help whats the opposite word to genius?
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 8 years ago
CaptainW, no, this is not explicitly tied to the DOCIS3.0 rollout. Further, DOCIS3.0 given the limited scope avaliable isn't likely to offer more than a doubling of avaliable bandwidth. Many UBR's are allready 300%+ loaded!

And no, Carpet, VM provide a cable modem with USB and ethernet ports. Not a router. They don't support routers, moreover.
Posted by Saltank over 8 years ago
Virgin Media have become an abysmal ISP.
If it wasn't for 20Mbit (at least when it stays that level) I would have left a long time ago, no other ISP to choose from in London!

This 50Mbit thing, especially with the pathetic traffic management policy of theirs is a failing product by all means, of course it will stick around, unfortunately without any further improvements.
Posted by keith_thfc over 8 years ago
I'll stick with my reliable 5Mb be* connection thanks.

Rather have that than a 50MB service throttled to dial up speeds whenever VM feel like it.
Posted by ian72 over 8 years ago
Virgin do, according to their website, supply wireless routers with their 10 and 20Mb services. Maybe the current info is incorrect and they will supply one with the 50Mb?
And why is 7.5Mb throttle laughable? If that's actual throughput then it's more than almost anyone will get with ADSL1.
Posted by olisun over 8 years ago
"And why is 7.5Mb throttle laughable? If that's actual throughput then it's more than almost anyone will get with ADSL1."

yes, for £52 a month capped service there is nothing wrong with it...

I guess VM need more customers like you...
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 8 years ago
ian - Because it's 7.5MBit maximum THEN you're hit with the congestion on VM's network and UBR's.
Posted by chrysalis over 8 years ago
to be fair cable customers have been used to much higher standards than adsl1 (those not on congested ubr's), STM alone is nowhere near as bad as protocol throttling can be. Unfortenatly there is rumours VM are going to trial protocol throttling soon on top of STM.
Posted by AndrueC over 8 years ago
@CaptainW:What you are talking about there is the transport layer around the neighbourhood. Unfortunately that's only part of the story. Another part is actually getting the data to the neighbourhood in the first place.

VM might choose to upgrade their equivalent of the local loop but unless they also upgrade their core network appropriately it's a pointless exercise.

Having a motorway to your front door is no use if it terminates on a dirt road leading to the rest of the world.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
quote"And no, Carpet, VM provide a cable modem with USB and ethernet ports. Not a router. They don't support routers, moreover."

Someone i personally know on their 20Mb service was supplied with a wireless router and there site actually states this fact. Even if they didnt thats dumb in the extreme, ive never heard of any ISP not supporting equipment which will be needed for their services lol
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
quote"And why is 7.5Mb throttle laughable? If that's actual throughput then it's more than almost anyone will get with ADSL1."

Because if you use this so called 50Mb even at just half its rated speed for 4 hours between 4pm and 9pm you get throttled. Using it Flat out between those times will get you throttled within 2 hours (thats a rough estimate based of the 10gig rumour).
4pm to 9pm are times in which most people want to use their connection... (CONT)
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
I dunno about you but if im paying 50 odd quid for 50Mb i want 50Mb for more than a couple of hours a day when i choose to use the net.... Id actually prefer a monthly cap than this dumb idea. The 10gig limit you can argue is fair, but its not fair if some lazy clown has been maxing that 50Mb all day only for me to come home from work and only be allowed 50Mb flat out for a couple of hours between 4pm and 9pm.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
IF they want to treat people equal that 10gig limit should be 10gig per day....... Not a leech fest for the unemployed upto 4pm and from say 10pm onwards, the hard working joe who comes home wanting to use the net are the ones being punished while the real bandwidth guzzlers can hammer the connection.
Posted by comnut over 8 years ago
@ Runreaper: correct me if wrong, but are you using a **consumer** product for business use, and expecting a business level of service???

- If you want to rely on a business service, you would not be using an ISP - you would be using a proper T3 line or similar..

It amazes me the amount of people who wont pay good money for the service...
Posted by comnut over 8 years ago
It also amazes me that people do not do the research! - a quick look around the VM site will tell you they stopped supporting USB in Feb 2007, and they WILL supply a modem AND router!!!

If you are happy for THEM to decide what they give you, you have no right to complain, when you could have bought a better one yourself!!
Posted by andys999 over 8 years ago
ha ha virgin make me laugh.
when it rains round here the services go!!
the cheap crappy cable they put in 10 years ago is literally "cracking up"
shite service crap company.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
^^^ Yep has always been an issue with any cable service, where i used to live there was a NON telewest old analogue cable system in our road refered to by many as pipeline (even though it technically wasnt) it only provided TV services but just like other cable companys a sudden bout of heavy rain and the TV stations would break up or worse completely die.
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 8 years ago
Yes, my bad, they changed their router policy to include the cable network. And they still tell you to use the USB connection comnut, heh.

Carpet - The problem is that they can't provide the bandwidth for everyone to use their connection at even a fraction of its speed in peak time!
Posted by comnut over 8 years ago
as said above, if people want to use what THEY give them, it is up to them... many on other ISP and cable users have been brainwashed to believe USB is wonderful(it means the ISP does not have to educate people how to set up a NIC, they just download a driver that does it all!)...

Fine, if it all works, but not if newer USB devices take a dislike to it...

the 'unlucky' ones find that their problems vanish when they switch to RJ45 connection...

Posted by andys999 over 8 years ago
Im glad most above agree with me about virgin.
I actually know an engineer/techy that works for them MOST DAYS he picks up equipment from p""""" off customers that throw equipment back at them.!!
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
quote"Carpet - The problem is that they can't provide the bandwidth for everyone to use their connection at even a fraction of its speed in peak time!"
Yep Totally agree and thats just one reason i will never touch their cable service.... There is no point paying 50 odd quid for 50Mb if they cant provide it when many want to use it. Alos if they are not going to supply equipment on their top end most expensive service yet they do on lower tier services that to me doesnt say much for the company... Gives them a get out to blame your choice of equipment for bad speeds.
Posted by fox-uk over 8 years ago
Unfortunately Virgin is the best we can get.
20Mbs = 200k download during monitored times - that's 10am to 9pm now! to avoid capping any higher and you get capped.
From 9pm to around 11.30 to 12pm the speed drops - YES DROPS to a maximum of 150kbs - this is the no limits time for normal people.
Yes we have complained for over a year when we were getting a max of 5Mbs download and paying for 20 - their modem was only capable of 5Mbs. Did they refund? No but we got a deal that would be reviewed in a year - the year is up and we start all over again.
Posted by partymarty over 8 years ago
Carpet...i thought you were more intelligent than this.

VM install a cable modem...this is not like a DSL service where most providers install an ADSL router (maybe wireless). They do not support routers attached to the end although obviously they know people do it. Why don't they? Because they'd have to learn every make and model out there.

So if you think you should get a wireless 'N' provided from VM, maybe I should expect BT to give me a free top of the range wireless phone when they install my phoneline?...Haha.
Posted by fox-uk over 8 years ago
Virgin always blame other equipment.
Virgin should start with the instruction to connect a computer directly to their modem by cable. Then things can be checked, but they wouldn't be able to blame routers and wireless connections then would they?
£50 = 50Mb - I'd pay it IF they guaranteed it and the contract had 'teeth'. BUT £50 for what I'm supposed to be getting now, yeah sure, I'll have three Tower Bridges and that surfing beach in Antartica as well.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
quote"VM install a cable modem..."

Yes and you miss the point the equipment they currently use probably wont support this new 50Mb speed and it certainly wont when DOCSIS3.0 is fully rolled out..... The story itself even states new equipment is needed, and just for that reason they will tie you to another 12 months of shoddy service.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
quote"So if you think you should get a wireless 'N' provided from VM, maybe I should expect BT to give me a free top of the range wireless phone when they install my phoneline?...Haha."

Errr with regards to their broadband they do give equipment that is FULLY designed for the service and speed they supply and it is wireless enabled...... I hate BT, ill nag them where-ever there a chance (many here will confirm that) but christ sake BT in terms of equipment they supply for the services you take are leaps and bounds ahead of virgin, even i can admit that.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
Virgins equipment is shoddy beyond belief, i know someone that had 3 boxes just for their TV part of the service.... The clueless fools at one point even tried giving him a non-HD compatible box for HD services duh! I wont even mention how the idiot installer ruined a wall in his house when he butchered the plaster drilling it with the wrong type of drill bit for over an hour... How anyone can defend virgin media i really dont know.
Posted by WOODWORKER610 over 8 years ago
This is a great idea, but surely would it not be more prudent for the ISP'S to concentrate in supplying the 8MB which millions of us pay for and very rarely get.As speed checks show
Posted by WOODWORKER610 over 8 years ago
Beardy Branson
has a long history of first making claims about the opposition's quality of service some of which is true and without his need to ride to our rescue from the red indians.
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