Broadband News

Virgin Media third quarter results published

The third quarter results from Virgin Media have now being published, and can be read in full on the Virgin Media Investor Relations section

Looking at the broadband figures, the number of cable broadband customers increased by 115,800 and the number using ADSL (termed 'Off-net' in publication) increased by just over 7,000. This gives Virgin Media 3,307,700 cable broadband customers and 282,300 off-net (ADSL) customers in the third quarter. The combined figure makes them the largest residential broadband provider in the UK.

In terms of the future, the 50Mbps cable broadband trials look set to continue. DOCSIS 3.0 which will be needed to make the best use of the network as broadband speeds increase further is being assessed in relation to capability and launch. Rolling out DOCSIS 3.0 across the whole of the network will require investment, and given the state of the stock markets, this may be hard to find.

Of course, one person cannot speak for all Virgin Media customers, but we suspect many would rather see the existing traffic management systems relaxed rather than trying to gain the crown of the UK's fastest broadband service.

The story is very different for Virgin Media customers who are considered 'Off-net' and currently restricted to just ADSL services. Their best hope for improvements in connection speed, and a better broadband experience, appears to hinge on the Cable and Wireless broadband deal announced in May 2007. As yet we've not seen any progress. Certainly there are many that would like to see Richard Branson locked up again until the improvements mentioned at the time of Virgin Media's launch materialise.


Sad to say VM's Traffic Management is hitting everybody including those who do not download or download not anyway near their limit. Everyday from 5-11pm and during weekends, our speed goes down like Titanic, 20Mb line will become 200-600 Kbs line and 4 Mb line will become 1Mb line. This is getting so silly that I am leaving VM if things stay the same for any longer.

  • ukbirdflu
  • over 13 years ago

I agree that their Traffic Management is really Traffic Shaping, the speed comes to a halt during their peak hours.
Asking for support, well, they blame everything else but their service. I know I can get the full speed as during the off peak hours, I can get the max speed (well, from 1am to midday from tests that I have done over a period of time).
Looking to leave already, and in my opinion, ISP's should be made to refund some of the cost to the customers if the speed isn't above 75% of the advertised speed for a certain period during all hours!

  • cskla
  • over 13 years ago

vote with your feet people... leave them.

  • over 13 years ago

I spoke to an eminent scientist earlier this
week. There is a project ("MERLIN") that links
radio telescopes together. Apparently they will
communicate at over 200Gbs per second. Yes, Giga!
It makes one wonder why our own connections, whoever they are with are so pathetic!

  • meldrew
  • over 13 years ago

Well, that explains why performance is so pi**-poor for us VM ADSL customers - they've added an extra 7,000 customers, to an already overcongested network.
Which is backed up by my latency/loss/speed monitoring - over the same period.
No surprise there.

  • mcbazza
  • over 13 years ago

When you see slowdowns in speed, what is your latency like? Does it increase?
Traffic management/shaping shouldn't drastically affect latency.
However, if you see latency increase, then it is (most likely) due to network congestion at peak times - which is *definately* the case on their ADSL product.

  • mcbazza
  • over 13 years ago

@meldrew: MERLIN is the Multi-Element Radio Linked Interferometer Network. There are currently six radio telescopes involved, all within the UK. The longest distance between any two telescopes is 217km.
The links between telescopes are 150Gb/s.
In answer to your comment about wondering why our connection are so pathetic, the answer is simple: if you feel inclined to pay several million £££ for a dedicated fibre-optic link, you too can enjoy such speeds.

  • babylon5
  • over 13 years ago

mcbazza - They only "don't affect latency" if they're using kit far more expensive than VM has deployed.

And yes of course there's congestion *as well*, since they've doubled headline speeds on a network without massive upgrades..

  • Dawn_Falcon
  • over 13 years ago

The reason for the traffic management system affecting light users appears at least partly due to the apperent widespred modem cloning going on as the management is applied via mac address rather than ip address.

  • chrysalis
  • over 13 years ago

quote"The reason for the traffic management system affecting light users appears at least partly due to the apperent widespred modem cloning going on as the management is applied via mac address rather than ip address."
Not entirely sure but i think its easy on the cable network for them to disable certain mac addresses and via a quick adjustment at virgins end alter the mac, so its not really an excuse, they should also be able to detect if a mac address is cloned easily.

  • over 13 years ago

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