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Virgin Media increase usage allowances on cable products
Thursday 14 May 2009 13:36:35 by John Hunt

Virgin Media have announced a revamp to the daily usage allowances and traffic management which will give users an increased allowance before their speed gets capped to a lower speed. Users of the 50Mbps XXL package continue to receive an unlimited download allowance. The table below shows the new thresholds for how much you can download (or upload) before the capped speed takes affect.

Package 10am to 3pm download daily trigger level 4pm to 9pm download daily trigger level 3pm to 8pm upload daily trigger level Capped Speed
Broadband M (2Mbps) 1 GB 0.5 GB 0.2 GB 1 Mbps (download)
128 Kbps (upload)
Broadband M (after 10Mbps upgrade) 1.5 GB 0.75 GB 0.4 GB 2.5 Mbps (download)
128 Kbps (upload)
Broadband L (10Mbps) 3 GB 1.5 GB 0.8 GB 2.5 Mbps (download)
128 Kbps (upload)
Broadband XL (20Mbps) 7 GB 3.5 GB 1.4 GB 5 Mbps (download)
192 Kbps (upload)

Whilst the changes aren't huge (see, for comparison, the old limits), it should allow users to have a bit more freedom when downloading or watching things like BBC iPlayer. One point to note is that if you go over the upload traffic limit, it will also limit your download speed also.

If users are regularly seeing they are triggering the speed caps by going over the usage allowance, you can download our free Broadband Usage Meter which will help you keep track of when you are using it, and can also be configured with alarms to ensure you do not exceed limits if you are billed for over-usage (not currently the case with Virgin). Virgin have a page dedicated to traffic management which goes in to more detail on their limits.

Comments

Posted by CARPETBURN over 7 years ago
Woah they better go careful all hell will break loose. A less than average 0.5gig more allowed... OMG we better all sign up now (sarcasm off)
Posted by lloydio over 7 years ago
128 Kbps (upload), rather watch paint dry!
Posted by mishminx over 7 years ago
So basically its nice and fast so long as you don't actually use it.
Posted by imbsuk over 7 years ago
Internet users crave freedom. Not freedom to constantly hammer it, but freedom to download the odd thing here and there. The odd big thing here and there, without being penalised and being set on some 20th century speed.

The future I envisaged allowed me freedom on the internet. Virgin's products aren't futuristic. Just marketing hype, it's a shame most aren't knowledgeable enough to see through it!
Posted by Dixinormous over 7 years ago
@lloydio - Indeed, and I have been trying to get the point across that the Internet has more than one direction. Virgin are the worst offenders for asymmetry in the country though far from unique and upload sucks here generally. :(
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 7 years ago
I'll stick to actually accurate bandwidth monitoring at the router level, thanks.
Posted by pete_thomson over 7 years ago
I'm not sure what all the fuss is about. On 20Mb you can download well over 100Gb a DAY without hitting the STM.
Posted by Dixinormous over 7 years ago
Perhaps but no consolation if you don't actually want to download 100GB during the day but want to download more than 3.5GB between 4 and 9.

Dawn - Hopefully once they finish the deployment of STM 1.1 with new IOS those issues will be resolved, however this is Cisco IOS we're discussing so.... ;)
Posted by XANTIA-1975 over 7 years ago
VM is a rip off. I pay (worked out) £5 more for broadband with BT and the upload speed is much quicker average 300-500k.

A 1gig file to upload with VM took 1 day with BT 1 hour.

Put the price up a little and increase capacity then you wouldn't need TM.
Posted by Dixinormous over 7 years ago
Sorry XANTIA but I have serious doubts that you uploaded a 1 Gig file in an hour on BT. BT's upstream is about 50kB/s / 400kbps as I remember?

Not that I'm defending VM's upstream speeds in any way they are abysmal but BT have no products that'll upload a GByte in an hour.
Posted by TitusAduxas over 7 years ago
FAO Pete Thompson. I am sure you are right but the problem is you have to do it in first gear instead of top gear. So may as well just get a first gear speed package and save loads of cash a month and still get 100GB. Nah point is mate we pay for fast speeds but dont get the use of them.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 7 years ago
quote"we pay for fast speeds but dont get the use of them."

Exactly, its not only about how much you can download but how fast, who the hell cares if you can do 100gig a day if you have to leave the damn thing connected all day. Pretty pointless paying for a high speed service when for around a quarter of the day you cant have the speed you are paying for. Totally agree with TitusAduxas you may as well take a slower package if all whats important is how much you can download in a day... Ofcourse anything you stream even flash content will suffer on a cheap and equally naff 2Mb service.
Posted by pete_thomson over 7 years ago
Can you explain how you can pay for the "first gear package" and still get 100Gb/day?
Even on 10Mb you couldn't hit 100Gb if you maxed it all day and didn't have STM.

Whilst I understand that there are people who get less then the full download speed and rightly they should not pay for a 20Mb service if they get 10Mb, there are some people that get full speeds pretty much 24/7. The STM is based on what is sustainable for VM and it simple - you don't like the system there are 100's of other ISPs.
Posted by Gzero over 7 years ago
"you don't like the system there are 100's of other ISPs. " div 10 ;)
Posted by crawlerbasher over 7 years ago
I've never realy been happy with this isp every since vargin tock over.

I do not expect to pay for 10 meg service only to end up having it restricted to 2.5 meg, I might as well just downgrade.

I play alot of online games and as such is bandwith intensive, so I feel like there are treating customers like crap.

If there was a better isp that can run from cable, I would have gone with them along time ago and not this one.
Posted by XANTIA-1975 over 7 years ago
Well I literally live down the road from my exchange and the readout is what I get from tbb meter...
Posted by XANTIA-1975 over 7 years ago
I was using online storage and uploading a load of files at the time and the total content came to 1gig I did time it...

I also did the same when I was on Vm total losers....
Posted by Gzero over 7 years ago
Sure you did....
http://www.numion.com/Calculators/Time.html
Posted by Gzero over 7 years ago
Even with my 1mb up I could never upload a 1gb file within an hour and a half.
Posted by BlackAle over 7 years ago
Regarding Xantia, i'd guess his online storage, used some compression method prior to sending.
Posted by Dixinormous over 7 years ago
XANTIA the readout you get from the TBB meter is in kilobits per second, 300 - 500kbps, less than VM provide on the 10Mbit service. However close you are to the exchange you won't go faster because BT's deals don't go faster.

Sounds a lot like there was just a lot more compression involved with the BT transfer, or it was an incremental update so less went down the wire on the BT transfer, so not such a mystery.

All that said yes VM upstream still sucks, but not as much as BT's :)
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 7 years ago
Dixinormous - Actually, I was refering to the constant push of the TBB on this site. In my experience /no/ PC-based monitoring app is within 30% of accurate. (And of course it's useless with multiple users)

crawlerbasher - Speed is not really relevant for games! Ping and packet loss are what matters. And VM is typically poor on those regardless of STM.
Posted by Dixinormous over 7 years ago
Dawn - Sorry I apologise I thought you were referring to VM's own monitoring via STM. I do disagree with you regarding ping and packet loss though and think you're generalising. As per another post of mine mine at least are pretty good.

I would prefer to be able to monitor my usage via SNMP and my modem however VM saw fit to remove that ability.
Posted by danman7_200 over 7 years ago
If I remember correctly is it Virgins existing analogue services that are preventing them offering higher upload speeds?Is it true on Docsis 3, they are still using DOCSIS 1 for upload?
Posted by fox-uk over 7 years ago
Can anyone tell me what happens between 3pm and 4pm.

The timetable doesn't add up and the 'english speakers' at Virgin refuse to understand the simple question.......
Posted by Toots3D over 7 years ago
I have been on Virgin 10Mbps for about 3 years and I do download heavily, but I use the out of hours time to do it. Is it that hard for someone to postpone a download till after 9p.m. ??? I have a network of computers at home and we very rarely go over the daily usage. I must admit though, if you do go over, then the penalties are harsh, but fair to all.
So if you want to download 10Gb a day, find another ISP!!!
Posted by Kaufhof over 7 years ago
[quote]Posted by Dixinormous 3 days ago
Perhaps but no consolation if you don't actually want to download 100GB during the day but want to download more than 3.5GB between 4 and 9.[/quote]I still cannot see why anyone would be wanting to do this. As I keep pointing out (to general derision) the internet is a National Asset, like the Gas, Electricity, Water and Telephone networks.
Posted by PeteK over 7 years ago
@Kaufhof

Actually there is only one of those that is a right in the UK. The BT USO defines that they must provide a voice service (but not how). There is no right to gas, electric or water - that is up to you as the consumer to pay for the installation.
And even more wide of the mark, since when is the Internet "national" - its neither an asset, nor national, nor a right. It is a priviledge and one for which you pay...
Posted by Dixinormous over 7 years ago
You don't see why anyone would want to download more than 3.5GB between 4 and 9 or don't see why anyone would want to download 100GB a day? Bit confused by that.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 7 years ago
@Kaufhof, why would someone want more than 3.5Gb between 4 and 9pm?? Maybe they want to download a linux distro, windows 7 RC build or even watch a couple of films after a hard days work... Or maybe they just dont see why some lazy swine that doesnt work and is sat at home all day between 10am and 3pm is allowed double the allowance in the time they want to use the internet. Its not just about WANT its about fair use to all the customers, id hardly use my connection between 10am and 3pm cos i work, yet for doing that Virgin seems to think its a good idea to punish you.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 7 years ago
How kind are they giving the layabouts 7gig between 10am and 3pm on the 20Mb package but only giving those that have been at work all day a measly (TOTAL) sum of 4.9gb between 4pm and 8pm... What a nice friendly company.
Posted by Gzero over 7 years ago
Shame they are still concentrating on limits like it is a long term solution...
Posted by Dixinormous over 7 years ago
Or Mr Burn it's because that's when heavier loading happens so there's more call for throttling at that time. To say it's something personal against people who work is bizarre. If you're going to complain about that you'll have to complain about every ISP with peak time limits or increased peak time throttling.
Posted by acahopkins over 7 years ago
Will their "Vstuff" online data backup system push its users over their upload limit??! Or will paying for the enhanced version of Vstuff allow more uploaded data? They have not made this clear yet...

If not maybe one should tell them to Vstuff it!
Posted by fox-uk over 7 years ago
@ Carpetburn

As a carer who is up half the night I object to your abuse.

It would be just as easy for someone to comment those who 'work' whilst posting on websites.

The allowance is related to the usage, as I'm sure you know and has nothing to do with being a 'lazy swine' of either the 'sitting' or 'time stealing' variety.

I just had the words 'glass houses and stones' flash into my mind.

No need to apologise for your outburst, as a Carer I'm used to idiots making assumptions.

Posted by CARPETBURN over 7 years ago
quote"Or Mr Burn it's because that's when heavier loading happens so there's more call for throttling at that time. To say it's something personal against people who work is bizarre. If you're going to complain about that you'll have to complain about every ISP with peak time limits or increased peak time throttling."

Yeah the difference being other ISPs only throttle in the peak times so everyone is treated equal. What other ISPs have not only DAILY throttles but basically DAILY download limits?
Posted by CARPETBURN over 7 years ago
Oh and what other ISPs treat anyone that dare downloads after 4pm like a second class user... I think you will find most ISPs count peak time as around 6-7pm onwards.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 7 years ago
Infact with regards to uprates is there any other ISP that throttles??
Posted by xmal over 7 years ago
CarpetBurn, if you have the knowledge to download a linux distro and Windows 7 .iso in an evening, then you also have the intelligence to schedule a download at various times of the day. Your other option is to go to an ADSL connection that has no download restrictions whatever (right?).
Posted by fox-uk over 7 years ago
@ CARPET

I personally think VM are a bunch of twerps, but such scattershot attacks as yours only undermine the rational criticism of more mature customers.

BTW. Please thank your employer for paying you to entertain me.

Posted by CARPETBURN over 7 years ago
quote"Your other option is to go to an ADSL connection that has no download restrictions"

Exactly what my ISP is thanks :D
Posted by CARPETBURN over 7 years ago
quote"@ CARPET

I personally think VM are a bunch of twerps, but such scattershot attacks as yours only undermine the rational criticism of more mature customers.

BTW. Please thank your employer for paying you to entertain me."

I dont have an employer i own a business and go into its premises as i see fit.

Id hardly call it scatter shots... Unless someone can name another ISP that throttles uploads so much on a daily basis.
Posted by Dixinormous over 7 years ago
With regards to upstream there is no other ISP that throttles as far as I know, and there I think VM are ridiculous, their upstream speeds are quite rubbish enough that there should be no need to throttle.
I presume you've seen my website / blog devoted to VM's bad asymmetry? Not quite the fanboy you take me for :)
Posted by Dixinormous over 7 years ago
Regarding peak and offpeak, Entanet regard peak time as being 8am - midnight, 7 days a week. Not nice.

The daytime throttling VM do is due to issues with the software they use, it doesn't in the rolled out form recognise days of the week. Once the new software deployment is done daytime throttling during weekdays will be gone as per trials, check http://allyours.virginmedia.com/html/internet/traffic.html for more information.
Posted by chrysalis over 7 years ago
reason VM throttle upstream is that cable by nature struggles on upstream whilst adsl does not, docsis3 should be solving the upstream, issue tho so I am wondering if VM are fully utilising it yet.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 7 years ago
@Dixinormous Im glad we atleast agree on some points (re: Upstreams), with regards to Entanet even though they could be seen to punish users more with their peak times it is in a way done more fairly (By that i mean during daylight hours everyone is subject to being allowed the same amount of traffic/data, no body is allowed several gigs more just because they happen to be at home during the day).
Posted by CARPETBURN over 7 years ago
The traffic management link you gave is funny, they harp on about being a fibre service and then state 'We believe in making sure all our customers can use our Broadband without being slowed down by heavy users' hmmm so its fibre which even at 50Mb runs slower than it should be able to and they class people heavy users??? Interesting LOL ;) What happened to their wild celeb TV ads claims of joining the "Fast Lane" and "One service uses copper the other uses Fibre"
Posted by CARPETBURN over 7 years ago
@Chrysalis I agree entirely its not like Virgins Upspeeds are anything to get excited about when its running at full speed anyway, why they limit it apart from the nature of Upload rates and cable services is mind bending, even more so given their recent upload service they offer users for photos etc, which is also so called unlimited.
Posted by Gzero over 7 years ago
Lol like an old car advert, you can imagine going fast, just don't actually do it or else :p
Posted by CARPETBURN over 7 years ago
quote"Lol like an old car advert, you can imagine going fast, just don't actually do it or else :p "

I think of them more like one of those pouch based gourmet cat food adverts, you know the where they bash on about how delicious and brilliant it is for your moggie over canned cat food even though buying a whole fresh cod for your feline friend would cost you less. Both sets of adverts are equally as stupid and misleading.
Posted by kevinball over 7 years ago
I was with virgin on their 2meg "unlimited" download package but when they decided to change the rules without consultation or reducing the payment, i dumped them,PDQ, and would recommend anyone else suffering from this grossly unfair practice to do the same
Posted by dave2384 over 7 years ago
For me i have to wait till after 9pm to use xbox live if i wish to download a demo, i want to download tiger woods 10 it is a 2gb download, if i was to do that between 4 and 9 then i would be capped. come on virgin this is the digital age where large files are available on the internet, where companies would rather you download a program instead of you buying it in the shops,
Posted by CARPETBURN over 7 years ago
Never thought id say this but even with throttles it seems it is better than BTs attempts at 21CN(ADSL2+) and their poor speed fibre services. Still atleat BT now admit they throttle 5pm and onwards certain protocols.
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