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Virgin Media campaign against broadband speed marketing
Thursday 18 November 2010 11:51:55 by John Hunt

Virgin Media have today called for an end to misleading advertising with regards to broadband speeds. Many service providers prefix their product speeds with a qualifier of 'up to', meaning that the speed you will receive will be up to the listed speed, generally 'up to 8Mbps' or 'up to 24meg', and Virgin are saying that this is "the broadband con".

The practice of describing the products in this way has been common in the industry for a few years now and had been accepted by the advertising standards agency (ASA) as a valid way to describe a product that will receive different speeds depending on the length of your phoneline, amongst other factors. As yet, no one appears to have come up with a more appropriate way to describe them, something that this campaign from Virgin is equally mute on.

Virgin commissioned a survey by ICM to find out consumer opinion on broadband advertising and 9 out of 10 people asked said they thought it was misleading.

"People are paying for superfast broadband but receiving a service stuck in the slow lane. Broadband providers need to stop advertising speeds that not a single customer can receive and we're asking people to support our call for change by signing up to stopthebroadbandcon.org. Faster broadband means better broadband, whether you're surfing the web, watching TV online or downloading music and UK consumers deserve superfast broadband they can trust, rather than having to rely on the fairytales and broken promises of current broadband advertising."

Jon James, (executive director of broadband) Virgin Media

Head honcho of the Virgin Group, Sir Richard Branson, is also backing the campaign launched today by Virgin Media which can be found at www.stopthebroadbandcon.org.

"Staying connected is central to our lives and we all deserve broadband we can trust. I'm challenging all broadband providers to be honest with their customers and ask people to add their voice to the campaign by signing up to Stopthebroadbandcon.org."

Richard Branson, Virgin Group

Of course, one criticism is that even though Virgin tend to stand apart from other providers due to the way they deliver their service (cable modem broadband isn't as susceptible as DSL broadband to broadband slow downs due to distance), there are still other factors that can slow your broadband down so you don't get what you are paying for. These include congestion in the providers network, or traffic management (which Virgin do use) to slow down heavy users at peak times. Whilst Virgin are open about their traffic management policy, some will argue that by implementing such techniques to avoid congestion rather than investing in extra bandwidth, people may not infact be getting what they pay for.

One point that seems to be missing from the Virgin PR is that work is already under way to adapt how broadband products are sold (although no changes are planned in relation to the use of the wording 'up to'. Ofcom have a Voluntary Code or Practice that broadband providers are expected to sign up to. This allows self-regulation and should mean that before any consumer purchases a broadband product, they are advised of the expected broadband speeds that will be available based on a test of their phone line. If these speeds aren't met, new rules say that broadband providers should migrate consumers to a slower, cheaper package if available. Whilst this doesn't solve the problem of misleading adverts, it does help address the issue of people getting what they pay for.

Unfortunately for Virgin, they also fall foul of using the 'up to' motif on both their broadband and their National Broadband products which are sold in areas where Virgin haven't rolled out their own network. Virgin do provide details of typical speeds that could be expected from their service, but this information provided by a DSL provider wouldn't be particularly meaningful as the speeds are mainly affected by line length.

If you are curious as to whether you are receiving broadband as fast as you think you should, try our broadband speed test (or our new flash based speedtest.

Comments

Posted by JohnUK over 6 years ago
Yes yes we get it, VM want everyone to know that anything not-cable is adaptive and therefore never as fast as Virgin Media.

Maybe VM need to hurry up and remove all their traffic shaping and caps instead this propaganda nonsense
Posted by GMAN99 over 6 years ago
Why don't Virgin take the lead and removing it from their own ad's and products then?

http://shop.virginmedia.com/broadband/up-to-20mb.html

Talk about egg on your face
Posted by Dixinormous over 6 years ago
Sadly I don't have room for my full comments here, so in VM's own forum - http://community.virginmedia.com/t5/Up-to-50Mb-broadband/Stop-The-Broadband-Con/td-p/184457
Posted by jrawle over 6 years ago
GMAN99: you said it! What hypocrites!

And as JohnUK says, if you ever get full speed from Virgin Media, it's only until you reach the daily cap, then you're slowed to a crawl.
Posted by comnut over 6 years ago
moaners please state if they are on cable or using BT's network, please... and note how bad the *others* are!!
Posted by comnut over 6 years ago
The problem with TBB's speedtest,(for those who like to keep their PC 'clean') is you need java - there are plenty of others that dont need it...
www.speedtest.net
www.speed.io/index_en.html
Posted by comnut over 6 years ago

- these only test your speed for a few seconds, though.... better to use a 'netmeter' to get a bigger picture over a much longer time!!
http://www.software112.com/products/netmeter.html
is a **very small** netmeter, if you do not needthe huge size and advanced features of the TBB one...

Testers please NOTE: youtube and most video sites are speed limited at source!!!

- so find a distro site, to download a 100Meg file to test properly.. :)
Posted by comnut over 6 years ago
If you want better speed for your big downloads, pay more money, or go elsewhere.. I think you may find other things not so good when you get problems.. SKY is doing 'unlimited', but it still relies on the old phone network... only a few MORE years to wait for it to be upgraded, and your costs to go up!!
Posted by john (Favicon staff member) over 6 years ago
@comnut we have a new flash one we have developed linked at the top too.

@GMAN99 totally forgot about the VM national products! THanks.
Posted by comnut over 6 years ago
thanks john, please correct the link in the post please... :)

Also note that 'speedtest.net' may be affected by its fame, it is 'saturating'.. see these two done one after the other....

http://www.speedtest.net/result/1035312839.png
http://speed.io/backend/result/36817825?pID=project1
Posted by john (Favicon staff member) over 6 years ago
Have added link to flash tester, and updated article slightly pointing out Virgin's use of 'up to' although they claim this is more about typical speeds.
Posted by GMAN99 over 6 years ago
Sure John, but its not just their National products its all of their home broadband products, which is why its even more embarrassing.

I wouldn't expect the term "up to" to go away, even with FTTH or 200Mb Cable because there will always be some congestion somewhere at some time and up to covers the ISP for that.

Businesses pay mega-bucks for uncontended fibre services, home consumers can't expect the same for pittance.
Posted by herdwick over 6 years ago
Pot, Kettle, Black

this is the company that insists coaxial cable is "fibre"

it is also the company that mail flyers saying that their ADSL is "completely different to other providers" despite using the same BT Wholesale service to deliver it.

"up to" is an ASA requirement. Repeat after me. It is a requirement. It is used on fixed speed products like cable (where I think it should not be).
Posted by herdwick over 6 years ago
"Broadband providers need to stop advertising speeds that not a single customer can receive"

the man is an idiot. I get the maximum speed advertised, as do many others.
Posted by GMAN99 over 6 years ago
Its more scaremongery and smacks of desperation, as I've said before Virgin know the market is going to change a lot over the next few years with FTTC/FTTH and many other ISP's will be able to offer greater speeds in their own backyard, they don't like it and are trying to spray "Our Fibre Services are the best" on any wall space available.
Posted by chanmaster over 6 years ago
did a whois lookup of stopthebroadbandcon.org - according to samknows.com the postcode of the agency the domain is registered to shows "Virgin Media cable is not available in your area" :'-(
Posted by Drefsab over 6 years ago
Though thanks to the new traffic shaping on the virgin 50mbit my rate adaptive slower headline speed FTTC line is faster than the 50mbit.
Posted by jrawle over 6 years ago
I don't actually have a problem with "up to" adverts. It seems fair enough to advertise the theoretical maximum, with the understanding that the actual speed is likely to be less for a whole host of reasons. What I find disgraceful is that Virgin should launch this campaign when they are guilty of it themselves!

The con I really think should be dealt with is the advertising of "unlimited" products when very few actually are.
Posted by olisun over 6 years ago
This "unlimited con" has been going on for quite some time now but nothing has been done about it..

ISP's are getting away with it and if it doesn't get stopped I am sure it will soon spread to other industries as well
Posted by comnut over 6 years ago
Drefsab: the 50mbit What??? do please tell me, who else does 50Mbit to the home??

herdwick: PLEASE use your brain... Virgin has two products, one using BT lines, another using *their own* network of optical fibre... this goes FTTC then the last few meters by coax cable...

Posted by comnut over 6 years ago
I think the con they may be talking about, is how BT decide what speed a line can do..

please ask BT what speed you would get.. ...
(this will have to be a premises without BB on the BT line, to be sure..)
Then ask sky or talktalk what speed you would get..

I think you may be surprised at the large difference!!



Posted by Drefsab over 6 years ago
comnut: Virgin media's 50mbit is the only 50mbit provider at the moment what I was saying is that my 40mbit FTTC line is getting better overall speeds currently than my 50mbit line.
Posted by chanmaster over 6 years ago
ISPs signed up to Ofcom's Code of Practice states that they should be giving out accurate information about expected line speeds - this list includes TalkTalk, Sky and Virgin.
http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/telecoms/codes-of-practice/broadband-speeds-cop/list-of-isps/
Posted by herdwick over 6 years ago
so comnut things coax is fibre as well. Doh ! Another liar to join the pack.

I know exactly what an HFC network is, and it isn't fibre to the home. Nor is BT's FTTC.

How are the sheeple going to understand FTTH when it comes along. "But I already have fibre".

Fibre optic as far as the <insert point of interconnection> is not the same as fibre optic all the way.
Posted by sunindra over 6 years ago
I currently have broadband with BE. In most cases at off peak times I get 10mb, at peak times I get 8mb. I have found that with the VM broadband 10MB/20MB that at peak times the speed slows to under 1MB. That is why I have stuck with BE, it is a peak times when I most need to use the internet. VM needs to sort out its network and not blame users on the local loop.
Posted by comnut over 6 years ago
herdwick, you seem to have no clue.. by saying you 'know what a HFC network is' proves it..

I'll bet when you ask 'how do I get a bus to my house?' and get the answer, you will say 'but that wont work, it is not a bus straight to my house front door!!!' :D

Posted by adslmax over 6 years ago
This is making me laughs at Virgin Media as Virgin is the one throttling speed down to 75% level at 2.5Meg out of 10Meg and 12.5Meg of 20Meg and staying there for 5 hours! I reckon when 100Meg come out, then it will be 50 Meg next on 75% speed level reduced.

Virgin are WORSE than isp's as standard 4-6Meg as a traffic managed.
Posted by russianmonkey over 6 years ago
Doesn't an ADSL broadband check say what the line is capable of?

I'm guessing most ADSL providers give this out so there'd be less grievances over speed.

Surely that'd be a fairer way. At least then Virgin would have to say their customer speeds aren't always 100% and we come back to 'up to'
Posted by russianmonkey over 6 years ago
In fact, The Register have said it brilliantly.

http://www.reghardware.com/2010/11/18/virgin_media_average_broadband_speeds/

"We say, put your own house in order first, Virgin"
Posted by djfunkdup over 6 years ago
lol the amount of people in here that are missing the point by a mile is quite funny..take a deep breath before you all puff yourselves out ;)
Posted by comnut over 6 years ago
Drefsab: and who is your ISP?? are you paying more than the virgin price??

The only way to not get congestion, is avoid the ISP that *everyone* uses!! more expensive, limited availability, and you are expected to **know** what you are talking about..
Posted by chanmaster over 6 years ago
**sigh** http://xkcd.com/386/
Posted by comnut over 6 years ago
russianmonkey:
(on the reg link.. hey I wish it was easy, but... :( :( )

no, 'capability' is not like 'actual' ... eg a car may have the 'capability' of getting to 120 MPH, BUT the 'actual' speed depends on ...
how good the tyres are,
how smooth the road is,
how heavy the car is,
how much wind resistance the body has,
how many cars are in the way!
- have you been behind a giant lorry, on a small road?? or just been stuck in traffic, due to 'peak time' or some road works??
Posted by comnut over 6 years ago
this 'highway' metaphor can be used on the internet!!

How fast your PC is, to process the data,
how efficient/speedy your router is,
How good the router at the 'destination' website is, (many restrict their speed!!)
How many line problems, on the way to your website..

- the above three are *small* in comparison to the guy who has decide to download a mssive file at the same time as 20 other guys!!!
Posted by comnut over 6 years ago
If no restrictions were put on the **road hogs**, would you be happy to sit there withNO speed, while the greedier take advantage??? eg, the idiot who has mounted a huge door on his roof rack, so taking up both lanes of the road, causing problems, and endangering people on the sidewalk!!

- what if there were NO police to stop this???

Just like using a car, you can choose the 'popular' route and sit there for hours, or find the more complex small roads to get there (using more mapwork and petrol!)... the choice is up to you - a good, overused service, or a rare, complex, but fast one...
Posted by chrysalis over 6 years ago
Am I the only onle thing the obvious? if isps stop advertising speeds, then what will they use as a product spec? usage. This could fast move us to payg style products. Also it could well make things worse, instead of buying an upto 20mbit VM services which I can get a discount for when it only downloads at 2mbit, I would simply be buying a service with no defined speed.
Posted by chrysalis over 6 years ago
The solution is simple but ofcom havent the balls to enforce it, make isp's advertise typical speeds and/or enforce a rule where user's have to be able to get 75% of advertised speed for 75% of the time or they get offered a cheaper slower product.
Posted by chrysalis over 6 years ago
russianmonkey i disagree thats a FAIL from theregister. the facts are. (a) every single customer of VM syncs at the advertised speed on their modem. (b) samknows data shows VM speeds on average to be closed to what they sell and adsl speeds to be well umm not so close to say in a polite way. So VM are been unfairly treated by both the ASA and ofcom on this on how lax the regulating has been on up to speeds. I am not a fanboy as some will know as my VM service itself isnt great.
Posted by MarkHampshire over 6 years ago
Virgin Media were and are way too far ahead. For years they have been supplying a basic 10Mbps package which the overwhelming majority of DSL users could only dream of. Not because of contention but technical capability and the general pointlessness of trying to run a modern broadband service over phone lines. I think the point they seem to make is that a cable "up to 10Mbps" service is capable of 10Mbps some of the time/in theory if contention is well managed, but the number of ADSL2+ users with anything like the full "up to 20Mbps" is next to nil.
Posted by MarkHampshire over 6 years ago
"If these speeds aren't met, new rules say that broadband providers should migrate consumers to a slower, cheaper package if available."

How about a full refund of all monies paid, leaving the consumer to try another option?

How about: no upfront payments at all until the service is running with the customer's approval?

Basic stuff.
Posted by GMAN99 over 6 years ago
Well I'm not sure about next to nil Mark but yeah I know exactly what your saying and what Virgin are trying to say, but they aren't communicating it properly. It would be much better for them to say "up to XMb from Virgin, you've got much more chance hitting those speeds with us than with them"

If you use that Virgin I want royalty payments!
Posted by herdwick over 6 years ago
LOL @ comnut, Virgin apologist. If it's metal it isn't fibre. Virgin don't do residential fibre, it's coax. Get over it. What is a "bus" ?
Posted by herdwick over 6 years ago
According to the VM website I'm "in a Virgin National broadband area You can get up to 20Mb broadband down your existing phone line."

well I can't, 'cost they don't have kit in our exchange so there's no ADSL2+ option here.

" With Virgin Broadband, you'll always get the fastest broadband we can deliver down your phone line, up to 20Mb."

the number checker then says

"6.0 Mbps - 7.0 Mbps
Great news! Your phone line is lovely and speedy
Unlike some others we're not into capping the speed you get, so we'll always give you the fastest possible broadband we can."

Institutionally Dishonest.
Posted by herdwick over 6 years ago
spot the lie.....

"Unlike some others we're not into capping the speed you get"

a BT Wholesale service, just like everyone else provides round here.
Posted by New_Londoner over 6 years ago
@Comnut
Interesting analogies with roads etc, extending the Virgin metaphor with their recent supercar taxis.

WHich is all very well but, extending the metaphor, suggests that you can use the full potential of the car when in fact they have imposed a variable speed limit on the road. Read the Virgin Cable forum for a large number of posts about people having poor performance across various virgin cable products - eg 10Mbps through to 50Mbps.
Posted by New_Londoner over 6 years ago
IMHO It is a best disingenuous for Virgin to start this campaign as they could be misleading people by implying that your sync speed is an indication of the performance that you might actually experience when congestion, management and throttling can degrade the user experience significantly.

Given the problems in the forum posted by Virgin customers, I dread to think what will happen to cable speeds as they launch the 100Mb product.

Contd.
Posted by New_Londoner over 6 years ago
So far, cable users have been lucky as reported take-up of the 50Mb and 100Mb services has been very low. If Virgin manage to sell these effectively then actual speeds could drop dramatically as the shared coax segments run out of capacity – its an inherent weakness of the architecture.

I think the use of “up to” is a much more honest approach, especially when combined with the requirement to tell a would-be customer of the likely maximum line speed for the service in question at the point of purchase.
Posted by New_Londoner over 6 years ago
@chrysalis
I don't think "typical speed" is any more useful than "up to", in the sense taht I couldn't care less about typical speeds when purchasing, I want to know about the service that I will get.

SO far better to tell me about the predicted performance on my line than the typical performance, which may be better or worse.
Posted by New_Londoner over 6 years ago
@Mark "the number of ADSL2+ users with anything like the full "up to 20Mbps" is next to nil."

If you'd said up to 24Mbps then I'd agree, however the ISPs that advertise "up to 20Mbps" for their ADSL2+ services have a much better chance that some will achieve this speed.

Clearly when FTTC is considered then the % at 40Mbps starts to become more significant due to shorter line lengths in urban areas.
Posted by RepairExpert over 6 years ago
What I'd like to see VM (and other ADSL ISPs) forced do is to advertise their off-peak and peak typical speeds.

i.e.
Typical Off-peak speed for your line... 6Mb
Typical Peak speed for your line... 1Mb
Calculated over a 30 day period.

But I wont hold my breath.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 6 years ago
If real world performance of VM products is as close to advertised speeds, then we should of course see a large level of takeup where it is available. Do we?

Who ever wrote the PR forgot totally about the National products, which confusingly follow the same lettering system.

At end of the day its sales blurb. If it were serious they would have unilaterally done something on their own xDSL products.
Posted by Drefsab over 6 years ago
comnut: My FTTC is with Zen Internet (I dont pay for it I work for them). Though to be fair price isn't am issue for me id pay more to get more that how it should be. Where I live normal ADSL would struggle to give me above 512k which is why I have the Virgin service but its just a pitty that since they turn on the traffic shaping it went from being a really good connection to a really poor one that im thinking of cancelling.
Posted by m00gl3s over 6 years ago
I like the new speedtest (flash), will it be able to add the speeds to our profile like the java one? I never liked the java one because you never see the speed until after you enter all those details about the connection.
Posted by john (Favicon staff member) over 6 years ago
@m00gl3s Thanks for the feedback on the flash tester.

You only get those questions on the Java one if you are not logged in. We will be moving to the Flash tester as the primary one, but we do have a couple of changes we want to make first.
Posted by chanmaster over 6 years ago
You're all wrong. The car analogy is inaccurate. The Internet is in fact a series of tubez.
http://icanhascheezburger.com/2009/01/20/funny-pictures-teh-internets/
Posted by Somerset over 6 years ago
Again, we have people confused between connection speed, which is the 'up to' issue and throughput.
Posted by jrawle over 6 years ago
Few if any of the people here are confused about speeds, Somerset. If being honest to consumers is the issue, the "connection speed" is irrelevant. So what if Virgin always provide a 20Mb/s connection whereas ADSL 2+ depends on line length? If Virgin customers often experience lower throughput due to traffic management and congestion, that's what matters.
Posted by mabibby over 6 years ago
LOL @ the Whois

Domain Name:STOPTHEBROADBANDCON.ORG

Registrant Name:putitout ...
Registrant Organization:putitout
Registrant Street1:16-17 wardour mews
Registrant Street2:
Registrant Street3:
Registrant City:london
Registrant State/Province:
Registrant Postal Code:w1f8at
Registrant Country:GB
Registrant Phone:+044.2071002034
Registrant Phone Ext.:
Registrant FAX:
Registrant FAX Ext.:
Registrant Email:charlie@putitout.co.uk
Admin ID:tuyEUp2gHLSrwhXA
Admin Name:UK2.NET http://www.uk2.net/

An agency that doesn't understand capital letter usage and uses UK2 to host DNS...

:D


Posted by MarkHampshire over 6 years ago
"If real world performance of VM products is as close to advertised speeds, then we should of course see a large level of takeup where it is available. Do we?" - No, on this forum and where people are interested in internet speeds you'd expect 100% as there are rarely alternatives where speeds are concerned. However they're too far ahead of the game for people at the moment.
Posted by MarkHampshire over 6 years ago
@RepairExpert - believe Virgin do indeed publish independently researched real world, actual speed data on their website. All the BT site says is the average is about 3.8Mbps and in the next breath "get up to 20Mbps!"
Posted by MarkHampshire over 6 years ago
I think what Virgin are driving at only pertains to the cabled services as that's where their USP is. I fail to see what USP Virgin have in the DSL department. It's a rock and hard place I suppose, as Virgin could drop DSL on the basis that it's mostly rubbish and not good enough for their customers, but then would lose the cash needed to pump into the cable network. Virgin's ADSL speed estimates do leave a lot to be desired - about 50% overestimated based on the wholesale checker results.
Posted by BrianWood over 6 years ago
What would make ISPs that don't provide the expected speed sit up is to make them offer not just a cheaper, capped product but the opportunity to migrate without penalty to another provider. 12 months is a long time to lock into an unknown product.
Posted by New_Londoner over 6 years ago
@Brian
Disagree, just enforce the need to provide a new customer with an estimate of the actual performance they can expect on their line before purchase. Then there can be no excuses in terms of confusion caused by advertising etc.
Posted by New_Londoner over 6 years ago
@Mark
What USP do Virgin have with its cable services exactly?

As per earlier posts, it is barely competing with ADSL performance according to many of the people in the relevant forum, once its traffic management is taken into account. That means will really struggle vs FTTC/P.

Contd.
Posted by New_Londoner over 6 years ago
As per my erlier post, cable users have been lucky as reported take-up of the 50Mb and 100Mb services has been very low. If Virgin manage to sell these effectively then actual speeds could drop dramatically as the shared coax segments run out of capacity – its an inherent weakness of the architecture.

Paying a premium for a worse service does not look like a compelling USP to me!
Posted by comnut over 6 years ago
Drefsab: looks like you are stuck then, until BT get its fibre going.. BUT I bet that will be even more congested, after a year or so....
Posted by Dixinormous over 6 years ago
-after a year or so + already perhaps :)
Posted by MarkHampshire over 6 years ago
@New_Londoner - the USPs of cable are: 1. The following are not terminal issues: How far away the node [exchange] is, rubbish last mile aliminimum and useless copper, 2. It's all in house so you don't have the line supplier and broadband provider arguing and fobbing the customer off, 3. Installation fee is cheap, 4. Install the box where you want - just point and the box gets put there, 5. Someone comes round and sets it up and makes sure it's working and optimised,
Posted by MarkHampshire over 6 years ago
6. It's a broadband and TV company doing phones on the side, not a phone company doing broadband on the side, 7. Consistently gets closest to the advertised up to speed whereas DSL gets nowhere near and indeed is incapable of getting anywhere near because of the sheer inadequacy and age of the phone network (Virgin's main point) - you can spot the cable users on a speed map by street, they're the 9.xMbps, 19.xMbps and 45+Mbps reults whereas DSL users have the embarrassing useless single digit results or worse,
Posted by MarkHampshire over 6 years ago
8. You don't report a problem and find some outdated knackered bit of phone wiring is replaced and your sync speed halves without you going anywhere, 9. They're not BT, 10. It's cheaper than ADSL if you want broadband only because 11. You aren't forced to have a phone service you don't want,
Posted by MarkHampshire over 6 years ago
12. You can find out for certain whether you can get broadband at a specific address and roughly what speed to expect before you move home, 13. You can upgrade to a faster speed up to 100Mbps, not just get stuck with the 2Mbps "your" line can handle, those are the ones which spring to mind first.
Posted by MarkHampshire over 6 years ago
"it is barely competing with ADSL performance" - give over :-) As far as traffic management is concerned, VM and others have shot themselves in the foot over and over with their "unlimited bandwidth" and even BT's FTTC product is the same, and finally (!) what makes you think there will be sufficient backhaul at exchanges to handle all the FTTC connectivity once it gets going - with no tiered target speed packages, 1Mbps on a FTTC solution could be a possibility - it's still "up to 40Mbps". Coming neatly back to VM's badly made but valid initial point.
Posted by chrysalis over 6 years ago
New_Londoner then what is wrong with the typical speed on the advert and then estimated speed when ordering?
Posted by MarkHampshire over 6 years ago
I don't think there's anything wrong with showing a typical speed (e.g. for DSL services 3.8Mbps and for 10Mbps cable 8.7Mbps) and then giving an estimate at the time of the order. What *is* wrong - and this goes for cable too - is when the performance is nowhere near the estimate and the customer is still stuck in the contract, further complicated with DSL (deliberately so) by having to have two contracts.
Posted by MarkHampshire over 6 years ago
If not within 10% of the estimate after sign up then the customer should be entitled to a 100% refund of *everything* paid less any calls made and the contract voided so e.g. if it was DSL then the user can try cable, 3G, wireless - if cable, then try DSL, and so on. For deteriorating services (and changes to e.g. traffic mgmt), customer should be entitled to exit contract without penalty.
Posted by mrnelster over 6 years ago
@Mark-couldn't agree more.

@New Londoner - are any of those complaints about gaming? I know quite a few people on virgin cable who game. They had awful problems on Sky and BT (surprise, surprise)but on virgin they run the show. Its not all about raw speed. Latency and throughput are far more important to gamers.


Posted by mrnelster over 6 years ago
@cont...

My connection is 6.5km long and the essential interleaving wrecks it for gaming purposes. However iPlayer works pretty well on average.
And I only average 1.6Mbps!

I would prefer a solid 4Mbps to an unstable up to 16Mbps DSL line !!

PS i'm only 100m from my cabinet, roll on FTTC in December! :D

Oh wait a minute... its with BT! :(

Posted by comnut over 6 years ago
yes... :( as I said, dont go for a popular ISP if you dont want congestion...

If you think VM is bad, you havent seen BT do it... :P
Posted by New_Londoner over 6 years ago
@Mark - the USPs of cable are:
1. Useless copper – er, what is coax made of?
2. No wholesale offer so no competition to innovate and make different customer offers,
3. Installation fee is cheap vs. free with some service providers,
4. Install the box where you want - just point and the box gets put there, just like FTTC,
5. Someone comes round and sets it up and makes sure it's working and optimised, just like FTTC,
Posted by New_Londoner over 6 years ago
6. It's a TV company doing broadband and phones on the side, not a phone company doing broadband on the side,
7. Consistently gets closest to the advertised up to speed if you look at sync speed, drops off dramatically when throttling is taken into account...really struggles due to contention as more customers move to the “faster” services on shared coax segments
8. You find your line drops out when the cable to your home buried by micro-trenching resurfaces and is sliced in two by the lawn mower
9. They're Virgin! See forum for comments on customer service.
Posted by New_Londoner over 6 years ago
10. It's more expensive than ADSL because there is no competition between suppliers on cable
11. You aren't forced to have a phone service you don't want, as that requires a separate cable,
12. You can find out for certain whether a specific address is one of only 50% in the country that can get cable, and roughly what sync speed to expect before you move home,
13. You may be able to upgrade to a faster speed up to 100Mbps on cable, or upgrade your ADSL line to up to 40Mbps on FTTC or 110Mbps on FTTP.
Posted by New_Londoner over 6 years ago
@mrnelster "Latency and throughput are far more important to gamers"

Suggest you read the many posts highlighting problems with throughput!
Posted by New_Londoner over 6 years ago
@chrysalis "what is wrong with the typical speed on the advert and then estimated speed when ordering?"

Typical speed is a completely meaningless measure. Is it calculated nationally, locally - if the latter, over what area? Does it take into account different technologies? I can see a lot of small print with the adverts!

Much simpler to advertise the maximum speed I could get with a specific service and then tell me before I sign the predicted speed that I should get on my specific line.
Posted by MarkHampshire over 6 years ago
@New_Londoner - I see you've had to twist the comparison so as to compare with FTTC (which few people have) and even FTTP (which almost nobody has) to get anything faintly near to cable, when the article and my comments pertain to comparisons with DSL. Contention can be an issue, especially in areas where ADSL is useless so there is no choice - it's cable or nothing (parents cable is contended, so they only get about 7Mbps of the 10 they should get versus a possible 256kbps with ADSL) - there are plenty of happy 50Mbps users from what I can see getting 45Mbps or more.
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