Broadband News

Virgin Media daily speeds during February and March 2020

The monthly and quarterly speed test analysis that we run can easily mask a day or two of poor performance, so with as many people as possible working from home it is time to share more about the daily average speeds that we have tracked for a long time now.

Today we look at Virgin Media covering the period 1st February 2020 to and including 30th March 2020, with the full download, upload, latency and quality measurements.

Virgin Media download speeds February and March 2020
Chart of the daily download speeds seen from Virgin Media speed tests
Virgin Media upload speeds February and March 2020
Chart of the daily upload speeds seen from Virgin Media speed tests
Virgin Media latency in February and March 2020
Chart of the daily median and mean latency seen from Virgin Media speed tests
Virgin Media quality score in February and March 2020
Chart of the quality score seen from Virgin Media speed tests, reflecting how consistent download speeds are during a test. The closer to zero the better.

The graphs show that since the big stay at home push started two weeks ago and fully underway on the evening of the 23rd March due to the COVID-19 pandemic things are looking surprisingly normal compared to the previous weeks. Of course this does not mean that individuals will not be having problems or seeing congestion. The key takeaway is that overall things are holding up well to the levels of usage and having survived the first full week of the lockdown should hopefully be sustainable.

There is one cautionary note, the mean latency since the 21st is looking to be in a period of higher values but within the usual range we would expect. We need another couple of weeks of data to see if the values stay marginally higher or do vary following the previously established pattern. 

We will endeavour to cover one of the major providers in the same way every week going forward, though if our alarms do indicate a problem on any day we will pop a quick alert up to help people see whether its just them, a local issue or a wider ISP problem.

Comments

@thinkbroadband This is interesting to see. It reflects my experience on the Virgin network over the past month. I… https://t.co/8sBDRAUTL8

  • @hhukradio
  • comment via twitter
  • 2 months ago

My speeds with Virgin are appalling and apparently this is true for large areas south of central London (according to the engineer that came to my house today).

The issue isn't bandwidth which is fine, it's latency. The latency is appalling and makes working from home impossible.

The engineer told me the network for an extremely large area was at 99.5% usage which is why my latency was above 500ms for large amount of the time.

Check out my graph: https://www.thinkbroadband.com/broadband/monitoring/quality/share/a8727cf9930563b48275e94b779cae62144978a6-31-03-2020

  • davidc01
  • 2 months ago

If latency is above 500ms we would expect that to impact on speed tests too. So be interesting in see a link to a set of results from that line.

https://www.thinkbroadband.com/speedtest/1585646016394736155

Croydon area and generally looking okay there.

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • 2 months ago

https://www.thinkbroadband.com/speedtest/1585667265834240455. On speedtest.net it'll register my ping at 8ms at times (and higher bandwidth), but not above 20. If I leave a ping on to google or my work for a while, I'll see crazily different response times with a very high average (as confirmed by the BQM that I've been using on your site).

The engineer told me that many areas experiencing the same problem, but most are just happy as long as Netflix is ok, and aren't worried that their video is poor quality on a skype call, and it's a relative minority that care about remote desktop or voip.

  • davidc01
  • 2 months ago

Speed test is showing you have problems Notice how speeds are high for a short time and then fall off, this gives you a quality of 2.2 i.e. bad

What you expect is the download tests to get up to speed and then hold that speed

Looking at the quality score for the area you are in, things do look worse from 23rd onwards, but some days are within the usual range, so it is not a slam dunk yet in terms of the data. Even if users feel it is.

This is potentially visible in the national chart, but need a few more days of data to build confidence to say this is more than just the usual area issues.

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • 2 months ago

It's really only a problem for things that need the low latency. For me this is a real problem for WFH (RDP etc), but gamers are also complaining on the Virgin forums about it.

The engineer suggested it was quite a large area impacted, so I guess it is a localised but multi-area issue. Colleagues on Virgin in North London don't seem to be impacted.

I don't expect a fix. Engineer said that they were at 99.5% utilisation (I think he said on upload) from a normal of 10-15%, so I'm not expecting Virgin to spend on a major upgrade for our area for the months of the Covid shut-in.

  • davidc01
  • 2 months ago

Same problem here in Northampton , they have recently moved the headend and done a reseg . Plus let everyone upgrade to M500 . Now the internet is awful and they are just dragging their heels in terms of fixing it . Appreciate the covid 19 situation but the performance at the moment is ridiculous

https://www.thinkbroadband.com/broadband/monitoring/quality/share/9c603bd46875a3e46fca3f1cf9cb168965f7e919-31-03-2020

  • adz161
  • 2 months ago

Letting everyone upgrade to M500. Speaks volumes.

Its great giving a "free" (by virgin's definition, not taking into account the two annual price increases.) upgrade if your local area has the capacity to offer that increased bandwidth. If it doesn't then customers end up with a far worse service.

  • buggerlugs
  • 2 months ago

So how many is this everyone who has upgraded to M500?

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • 2 months ago

In the context of making M500 available for purchase in a already known over subscribed area

  • adz161
  • 2 months ago

In my area I think I got the "free" upgrade from 200 to 350 or whatever.

I'd let them cut me down to 100...or even way below.. for decent latency and maybe a bit better upload.

Just got my 4G router working alongside my Virgin router. I set up static routes on my PC & Mac to direct Voip and RDP traffic over the 4G, and now things are ok.

Netflix etc can stay on Virgin happily whilst my work goes over 4G.

Just go buy £1 SIMs from all the major networks and try them out until you get one that works!

Oh, and right now on Viring I'm getting pings of 1.5-2s intermittently. SECONDS!

  • davidc01
  • 2 months ago

4G vs Virgin (4G is the one on the mac, my PC behind is on Virgin. These pings are happening at the same time. The Mac is wireless connection to the 4G router. The PC is gigabit wired to the Virgin router.)

https://ibb.co/6YT80PK

  • davidc01
  • 2 months ago

Also BQM graph confirms today was weirdly much worse than anything we've had so far:
https://www.thinkbroadband.com/broadband/monitoring/quality/share/c8fe3e7249e8f5aa8aa69a48134ea7bf0113fc63-01-04-2020

Maybe too many people doing speed tests :D

  • davidc01
  • 2 months ago

Mine is and always has been full speed all the time:

(All from Samsung S10 Plus)

https://ibb.co/yVXvDHH

  • BuckleZ
  • 2 months ago

https://www.thinkbroadband.com/broadband/monitoring/quality/share/79093fa9ebb6ec7b7e45f09bb5a851faca6d1c8c-02-04-2020

Latency is normal all time too here in N.Ireland

  • BuckleZ
  • 2 months ago

I'm in Woking, Surrey. No problems at all with constant speeds, I have a Sam knows white box giving me my results and it is constant, I would share my results but don't know how.
I'm on 350meg download service

  • poopy13pets
  • about 1 month ago

Also Northampton area. Latency has been fairly poor over the last couple of weeks with a very scruffy graph compared to normal. Speeds have been ok though. On a nominal 100 meg connection (I used to have much faster but downgraded to offset the ridiculous price increases for 'new' services that I never asked for or wanted) a few minutes ago (about 13:30) I was getting around 80 down and 8 up, which I can live with given the circumstances. Evenings have been up at the normal 108 or so down, 10+ up. So in my part of Northampton, not too bad

  • Arfa_daily
  • about 1 month ago

Andrew since you havent made the data public, can you please check how VM is holding up on the LE3 postcode?

  • chrysalis
  • about 1 month ago

Wa8 Widnes area. Latency was massively high over the past 2 weeks. Now overnight it’s as good as new. What ever was causing it has been rectified. Whole street affected.

  • djelec
  • about 1 month ago

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