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Virgin Media bump 20meg XL speeds to 30meg
Tuesday 01 February 2011 00:18:04 by John Hunt

Virgin Media have today announced an increase in broadband speeds for users who are on their Virgin Media XL 20meg cable broadband product, as well as a price decrease for the new faster service. The 30meg speed will replace the existing 20meg product and will now be available for just £18.50 per month when taken with a Virgin Media home phone line, decreasing from £20. The new product will also see a higher upload speed, rising from 2meg to 3meg. For existing customers, a new modem is required if you want to upgrade which will cost £30. The product maintains its 'unlimited' usage data allowance, although this is subject to traffic management.

"As consumers continually demand more and more from their broadband, the unique power of our next-generation network means that we're able to turn up the dial to meet their needs. With so many devices connecting to the internet at home these days, our new 30Mb service will give Virgin Media families that extra boost needed to make everything run smoothly, with speeds that don’t slow down depending on where you live."

Jon James, (executive director of broadband) Virgin Media

The new modem (Virgin Media's SuperHub) that is supplied comes with gigabit network connections and also 802.11n wireless, allowing users to make the most of the faster speeds. It's built in modem supports DOCSIS 3.0, and may therefore mean that customers will be moved over on to Virgin's newer network which originally only provided 50meg broadband, but now also delivers the 100meg service.

The product change is clearly aimed at attracting BT customers who are in a fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) enabled area as the 30meg speeds are similar to what many on FTTC would receive, and Virgin are undercutting BT on price. BT's equivalent 'unlimited' usage product (which is also subject to fair usage policy and traffic management) offering 'Up-to 40meg' speeds (BT Infinity Option 2) would cost £39.20 once the cost of a phone line is included. Virgin are offering their new similar XL product at £30.74 with bundled phone line. The BT product does offer a higher upload speed of up to 10Mbps compared with Virgin's 3Mbps but speeds from BT will vary depending on the distance from the telephone cabinet or exchange, which will not affect Virgin.


Posted by krazykizza over 6 years ago
this also is clearly aimed at those on ADSL2+ getting speeds of around what virgin were offering. They wont get any more customers if they don't roll out to new areas. not just filling in the gaps of their network, but new, profitable areas that have become so since the network was built.
Posted by eastanglian over 6 years ago
Erm ... distance from the cabinet surely?
"but speeds from BT will vary depending on the distance from the telephone exchange,"
Posted by otester over 6 years ago

Not really a factor, and if it was, COAX deals with it better than your standard copper line.
Posted by New_Londoner over 6 years ago
It will be interesting to see how the cable systems cope, bearing in mind the increasing number of posts relating to congestion and reduced throughput (as opposed to sync speed). Upping the sync speed may well make this worse.
Posted by herdwick over 6 years ago
Coax, it's the future !

"with speeds that don’t slow down depending on where you live" - liar. Local congestion can very much affect the speed depending on where you live.

I guess the marketing muppet was trying to see he's selling a fixed connection rate service.
Posted by CommanderZendo over 6 years ago
Since I recently moved house I've moved over to Virgin Cable as ADSL is abysmal due to line length and sadly my Exchange isn't offering FTTC/FTTP anytime soon. The cable service in the main is okay but it's far from being the utopia it's sold as that's for certain. Give me back my Zen ADSL2+ line for non traffic shaped, never fail reliability.
Posted by New_Londoner over 6 years ago
IMHO upload speed will become increasingly important and down;oad speed less so, at least in areas where FTTC/P is on offer. Difficult to see Virgin maintaining a 10:1 ratio, especially if/when FTTC is upgraded to 15Mb upload (I believe its 30Mb on FTTP already).
Posted by RexNoctis over 6 years ago
I left Virgin 2 years ago when I was receiving ~0.5Mbit on my 20Mbit line. Now receiving 19Mbit on my 'up to' 20Mbit TalkTalk ADSL line.

I will not be returning until I can be given a guaranteed MINIMUM speed. I understand ADSL cannot do this due to line length but VM have the entire network under their control. If I'm receiving lousy speeds it's due to contention and oversubscription, both within VM's control.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 6 years ago
Contention is only under a providers control until you leave their network. If a popular website is only hosted on a 100Meg link, then it is not going to give you good speeds at peak times.

Even business leased lines only carry carefully worded guarantees

Posted by tonylee000 over 6 years ago
If Rex only got 0.5 max, then surly u can't blame slow websites for that alone?!
Posted by chrysalis over 6 years ago
upstream congestion issues are becoming more and more common since VM started upgrading upstream speeds, and were already bad at that time anyway. Plus the majority of VM's network is still not uplifted so wil lstill only give 10mbit upload on this package.
Posted by chrysalis over 6 years ago
I meant 1mbit upload.
Posted by chrysalis over 6 years ago
regarding upload and download speeds, sandvine data shows that p2p is only about 10% of download traffic (contrary to what some say here) but is a whopping over 50% of upload traffic, so uploading is still not very mainstream use.
Posted by chrysalis over 6 years ago
andrew you missed his point, VM has areas with serious congestion, thats a fact I am afraid. Given that many VM customers use tbb ping graph's as evidence of this to VM tech support, you guys should know this :), I bet VM hate tbb now LOL because of this.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 6 years ago
Guaranteed minimum across their own network - feasible, may already be an option under the business products.
Posted by russianmonkey over 6 years ago
It says you need the SuperHub... what about those of us who prefer to use our own routers?
Posted by russianmonkey over 6 years ago
And in the T&Cs for existing customers not upgrading get charged £75
Posted by New_Londoner over 6 years ago
If, as suggested in the story, this product is a response to the launch of FTTC/P, it does at least show that Virgin has been spurred into action by effective competition. It makes you wonder what sort of innovation might occur if Ofcom required them to offer a wholesale cable product to enable other ISPs to sell services over the cable network.

Just a thought...
Posted by chrysalis over 6 years ago
VM would have serious issues wholesaling, can you imagine the likes of AAISP acceptng a wholesale service been really congested? can get away with it at retail level but not wholesale.
Posted by ceedee over 6 years ago
There have been many reports of problems with the SuperHub, including poor wifi, lack of extensive firewall controls and faulty psus.
But the biggest problem is that you *can't* currently use it as a bridge to your own router!

I'm staying with 20Mb until they sort it out.
Posted by ceedee over 6 years ago
Maybe VM have got the bridge working:

I was told a fortnight ago that there were serious problems.
Posted by GMAN99 over 6 years ago
^ That isn't a bridge mode its a workaround really but is supposed to work until they put a proper bride mode in, originally from here:-
Posted by GMAN99 over 6 years ago
Bride mode? Bridge :D
Posted by herdwick over 6 years ago
"p2p is only about 10% of download traffic" - presumably after it has been traffic managed ?
Posted by ceedee over 6 years ago
@GMAN99: Ah, thanks for the link. I was more than a little sceptical!
Posted by breakfix over 6 years ago
I just had VirginMedia 30Mb line upgraded today from 20Mb, it seemed like a reasonable deal for £30 one off payment although they do renew for a 12month contract.

The engineer provided the new SuperHub (and also a better Samsung TV box which is better but not part of the upgrade).

The SpeedTest for the 20XL line was previously ~16.5Mb So far I've only managed 6.5Mb on the 30Mb line.

I'll need to look deeper and report back.
Posted by chrysalis over 6 years ago
herdwicksandevine is a traffic management company but they dont do it vi aprotocol shaping, its a very genius and fair system that throttles based on port utilisation and usage patters, so heaviest users get hit the hardest regardless of protocol. So answer is no p2p isnt throttled down favouring other protocols for their figures.
Posted by chrysalis over 6 years ago
Incidently I am now on this 30mbit product, its delivered via channel bonding, whilst on 20mbit Ihad some congestion, so far I have had no downstream congestion at all no this service even at peak. my VM line now can download 6 times as fast as my BT line and I am not even on VM's fastest tier, scary for BT. this service is available now on all of VM's footprint vs BT's small FTTC footprint.
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