Uploads go faster for some Virgin Media customers
Extra upload speeds may get some people excited and for others it may be a shrug of the shoulders and life continues as normal, which camp people sit in depends largely on whether they are a content creator or content consumer.
Virgin Media has been seen to unleash some extra upload speed for its VIVID 350 cable broadband service with the upload speeds jumping from 20 Mbps to 35 Mbps it does not seem to be all customers on the service yet as there are some still recording the old 20 Mbps upload speed. This is not the first time we've seen unusual upload speeds for some Virgin Media customers so it is possible this may be a short term test and things will return to usual once enough data has been gathered on what the impact on the network is.
The impact of this upgrade has two elements, network loading and whether this leads to more congestion and the second element is that with the VIVID 350 service often been chosen by those with a need for speed and the impact they have in terms of social media influence, i.e. keep those customers feeling good and you get more recommendations.
In Q1 2019 the split of Virgin Media speed tests which gives a good indication of the actual product choices were:
- VIVID 350 1% of speed tests
- VIVID 200 9.3%
- VIVID 150 18.4%
- VIVID 100 33.5%
- VIVID 70 19%
- VIVID 50 and slower legacy products 18.8%
The 100 Mbps speed which is also the middle point is the most common option and with this being the speed most commonly bundled in the triple play packages is to be expected.
The fact that the fastest speed tier is purchased by so few does have implications for the roll-out of FTTP by numerous operators in areas where an existing superfast option exists, i.e. there is little room for premium priced services with high speeds at this time so the 100 Mbps baseline product probably has to be cheaper than the mainstream FTTC/cable equivalent to get a rapid take-up. Of course in a few years when we are all using cloud gaming, are streaming to multiple 4K devices in our homes every night and facetime calls are VR based the distribution of what we buy may change.
If you need an example of the problems that Wi-Fi can cause, this speed test that is from a VIVID 350 customer on a Samsung Galaxy A5 with download speeds of 74.9 Mbps and the new upload speed of 36.4 Mbps shows that you really do need to connect via an Ethernet cable to get the best speeds.