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Virgin Media has best broadband adds since Q1 2010
Tuesday 16 February 2016 15:46:04 by Andrew Ferguson

The UK is almost guaranteed to have an ultrafast broadband connection available to over half of UK premises in the next few months (needs just 0.2% more), this is the result of the Project Lightning expansion by Virgin Media and FTTP roll-outs from a variety of operators. With the number of extra broadband connections added in Q4 2015 for Virgin Media at 69,000 this was their best broadband quarter for some years and they had even more telephone lines connected with an extra 94,000. Virgin Media has a total of 4,684,000 broadband customers putting them in third place behind BT and Sky.

Project Lightning is very much demand led and the bulk of the roll-out of 250,000 extra premises passed in 2015 was in the later part of the year, and another 500,000 are expected in 2016. Project Lightning is a mixture of infill work using the traditional DOCSIS cable infrastructure and full fibre to the premises with the TV and broadband delivered via RFOG so that the product set for the consumer is exactly the same.

The speed freaks may have been upset that the 300 Mbps speed tier is still not slated to appear for consumers, but the Virgin Media move to offer this as a package to small business fits in with the wider Liberty Global target of seeking growth via SOHO take-up. We are seeing business users on what looks to be the 300 Mbps product.

It is believed that helped by the various upgrades over the years 43% of Virgin Media customers are on a 100 Mbps or faster service, and while our download speed tests suggest a much lower figure looking at the upload speeds which are much less constrained by issues like Wi-Fi performance we have around 40% of tests from users (January 2016 data) on a service with a 6 Mbps or faster upload speed which actually lines up with the Virgin Media figures since the 100 Mbps and faster services should have a 6 Mbps or faster upload speed. 20% have an upload speed of over 10 Mbps suggesting the 152 Mbps or faster services.

Comments

Posted by bartman007 10 months ago
Over 50% of the network does not deliver its advertised speed, but they have done a good job at polishing a turd.
Posted by daniel2000 10 months ago
95% of time we get full speed and more you must be unlucky bro. web site tool not accurate just ruff idea best test i found using a paid news groups with 50threads

i like the red head girl advert best
Posted by CarlThomas 10 months ago
Let's hear it for evidence-based posting rather than blind assertions.

50 threads isn't a good way to test the service either, though. You're getting 50 bites at the same apple so while it'll give higher speeds it's not a guide to performance on anything apart from 50 threaded usenet downloads.
Posted by WWWombat 10 months ago
If VM are targeting SOHO growth, do they have a way to prioritise SOHO users in the access network?

I'd be a prime target for them. I'm not necessarily after high speed, and don't have huge volumes. But I cannot accept the risk of uncontrollable congestion from others sharing the same segment.
Posted by DigitalDen 10 months ago
It is common knowledge that VirginMedia have problems delivering advertised speeds eg Area 20 has had severe problems for over a year and they cannot give a date for improvement that is reliable.
My 100Mps is fine until the evening when it sometimes gets as low as 2-3 Mps! How annoying is this when one reads their adverts!
Posted by CarlThomas 10 months ago
They could prioritise SOHO users if they choose to WWWombat, yes.

Area 20 DigitalDen is a billing area covering various parts of the country served by various headends and hubsites. I'm sure there have been issues in parts of it, the area itself cannot map to issues as a whole.

Posted by DigitalDen 10 months ago
Hi Carl, I'll rephrase myself: there is a large number of complainants at the moment (just look at the Virgin Support pages) in Area 20, unresolved since way back in 2014. I have had my problems since early last year and have been promised that Fault Reference 00xxxxxx will sort it out - I remember Fault References for September, November, December, February (just passed!) and now they quote April. Next door get a great connection with Sky so I may bite the bullet very soon!
Posted by comnut 10 months ago
DigitalDen: what are your latest speedtest results??
Posted by DigitalDen 10 months ago
Wednesday: 11:30 - 79.69 Mbps
21:30 - 6.08 Mbps
Posted by comnut 10 months ago
now try using this! (please)
http://www.thinkbroadband.com/speedtest.html
Posted by comnut 10 months ago
you will get a full test, eg
http://www.thinkbroadband.com/speedtest/results.html?id=1455842717216430255
Posted by DigitalDen 10 months ago
http://www.thinkbroadband.com/speedtest/results.html?id=145565857336018140228
http://www.thinkbroadband.com/speedtest/results.html?id=145562202708717218395

I hope these examples, which are typical, are of help!
Posted by comnut 10 months ago
now maybe the thinkbroadband team can interpret the results?? :)

More complex tools here..
http://www.dslreports.com/tools

to test for noise ruining your speed, try this one.. it monitors your line for 4 mins, so be patient!
http://www.dslreports.com/pingtest
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) 10 months ago
Maybe congestion, the ping tests or own BQM don't detect noise on a line, but variations in latency and as this is a cable service the mention of noise is a misnomer.
Posted by DigitalDen 10 months ago
Of course, I am on cable.
My experience of broad band has not been happy: I changed to cable when a few years ago Zen were unable to get me a decent speed after 8 engineer calls (the last one being a couple of BT guys arrived saying they were the ones who got called out when all else has failed - they left after 1 hour, with their spectrum analyser, "can't help, mate"!!
Virgin were fine at first, but see above...
Posted by aaaashy 10 months ago
i am in area 15 and get speeds unto 150Mb/sec in weekdays, but come the evening and weekends that goes down to 10 or less, upload stays around 10-12 whatever time of day/week, and i am using the think broadband speediest
VM say they know there is a problem, but have been saying that for over 6 months now, and the excuse that they are unable to find the reason for the "fault" is wearing very thin now
Posted by aaaashy 10 months ago
i should add that i am not using wi-fi for my download/upload speeds as this article seems to suggest most users are (why the hell would they?)
Posted by magic41 10 months ago
I upgraded to there 152 mbps service last march still not got there 152mbps due to same problem in area 20 I live in area 31 with issues luck if I can get above 5mbps in evenings best speed I have is in morning I can get 110 mbps but still paying for 152mbps.and they saying in march the speed will go up to 200mbps lol
Posted by magic41 10 months ago
I use cable connection to test my speeds
Posted by pfvincent 10 months ago
With the rise in cloud storage, why are Virgin Media (and most other ISPs) concentrating on increasing download speed, but ignoring upload speed?
The nominal 50Mbps (usually showing slightly over this in tests) download gives me no problems, but next month I am to get a free upgrade to 70Mbps. However, the upload speed is only 3 Mbps and it takes an age to synchronise large files to the cloud. They haven’t said if upload speed will increase.
Why do they not equalise upload and download speeds, or at least make them more nearly equal, rather than concentrating on increasing download speeds?

Posted by RussBetts 9 months ago
I'm in Area 20. I use a cable network in my flat and my current speeds are 72.25 Download and 5.06 Upload, which are consistent since I was upgraded to 70Mbps last year. I've been with VM since they were NTL and apart from when workmen cut the main trunk in Portsmouth three years ago, I've never had any problems. In my immediate location, most other residents are with BT and Sky, so no contention ratio.
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