Virgin Media breaks gaming for its ADSL users
Virgin Media Off-net customers have not had the best experience of late, with some customers complaining of slow speeds for months. Now things have got worse with what looks to be a blocking of online gaming. Our Virgin Media ADSL forum section has plenty of people posting about the problem.
It is thought that some recent adjustments to the traffic management system are to blame, whether this is a mistake or part of planned changes to manage what appears to be limited capacity at present is unclear at this time.
Virgin Media has a fairly extensive fair use policy for its ADSL customers so to see the widespread problems we see now is even more surprising.
Well each week we’ll monitor how much data our broadband customers download during peak times only. We measure this in kilobytes (KB). Peak times run from 4pm till midnight. We then add up the total amount of data downloaded over the week per customer. We then rank the list of customers, heaviest users first. From this list, we pick out the top 5% of heaviest users over the week. We reserve the right to traffic manage these customers during peak times. Traffic management lasts for just 1 week and is only applied during peak times (4pm till midnight).
For the small number of customers who are in the top 5% of heaviest users, our traffic management solution will temporarily set download speeds to no lower than 512Kbit/s. This limit is applied daily, 4pm until midnight, for 1 week.
During off-peak periods our traffic management solution will automatically reset download speeds back to their full speed.
Each week we review our top 5% heaviest peak-time users over the previous 7 days. We then update the refreshed customer list to our servers for traffic shaping.Extract from Virgin Media Off-net traffic management document
Interestingly it says that download speeds will be set to no lower than 512 Kilobits per second, which leaves customers getting below this speed wondering what is going on. In theory 0.5Mbps should be plenty for online gaming, so it seems unlikely the current complaints are all down to people who have been in the top 5% of users for a week.
We have contacted Virgin Media so that they can respond to this news item and hopefully have some good news for customers.