Broadband News

Virgin Media speeds since 7th March 2020

We have looped around to look at the Virgin Media daily speeds again and this time we are covering the period from 7th March 2020 to 3rd June 2020. This means this covers the full lockdown period and the start of the easing of the full set of rules.

The upload speeds are the most consistent set of results daily with only the speed from the top 10% of tests each day showing significant variation. Some variation is to be expected as the data source is crowed sourced, rather than repeated testing of a select few connections, the disadvantage to this is we cannot guarantee the same geographic or product splits every day; the advantage is that if unexpected events happen to people we should spot a change especially if it persists for several days even. Also remember that our testing is end to end, so the impact of Wi-Fi performance will appear and with more people home and all their attendant devices the Wi-Fi spectrum is probably the busiest it has ever been.

The incident on 28th April when Virgin Media (and other Liberty Global providers in Europe) lost connectivity to the outside world does not show up as the waves of people checking their connections when they sprang back into life means speed test data does not show this up. What we did see though was a massive spike in the numbers testing that afternoon and evening.

Virgin Media download speeds March April May June 2020
Chart of the daily download speeds seen from Virgin Media speed tests
Virgin Media upload speeds March April May June 2020
Chart of the daily upload speeds seen from Virgin Media speed tests
Virgin Media latency in March April May June 2020
Chart of the daily median and mean latency seen from Virgin Media speed tests
Virgin Media quality score in March April May June 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.

So what is there of interest in the charts? Not much, everything looked consistent for the 89 days plotted. There does seem to be a small increase in the download speeds on the top 20% and top 25% lines during April which vanishes in May. We have no idea why this may be the case, beyond a slight change in performance for some or just we saw slightly different mixture of tests on those days.

What is partially visible is that from 19th/20th March 2021 the latency recorded during the idle parts of the speed test was a couple of milliseconds higher when looking at the mean figures, with the median remaining constistent this suggests that there may be a minority for whom latency is the bigger problem than throughput. The overall plot may only show a change of a couple of milliseconds but for an individual if this means packets are seeing variable delays (jitter) then video conferencing, VoIP and gaming may actually have been a lot harder. 



Virgin has been awful for me during this period. As you say throughput has been kind of ok on most part even though speedtests seem to begin well and end up 1/3 of the speed i should be getting. But latency! My word the jitter and spikes have been horrendous i haven't been able to hold a decent VOIP call for longer than 20 seconds with out it lagging out, let alone making video games completely unplayable untill like 1am. My BQM shows how bad it has been and on VM forums you can see its multi area wide. VM answer? push back a fix date atleast 5 times! They don't want to spend money.

  • crossblade08
  • about 1 month ago

I've also had terrible jitter with Virgin. Ping heading into the seconds at times.
I've been using a backup 4G line for over 3 months now.
The fix date has also been pushed back 5+ times. I don't believe they'll fix the issue. They've over-sold the areas impacted by the problem and are just waiting.
Looking at the Virgin customer forums suggests its a fairly large amount of people with the issue, but not enough to raise headlines.
The issue is that most people are happy if Netflix and browsing works, which unfortunately for us (fortunately for them), is mostly unaffected by the terrible ping.

  • davidc01
  • 25 days ago

Same problem as the 2 posts above even doubled my speeds to try help but its made its slightly worse. When I used to be on 50 my ping was 9ms jitter 1.1ms then virgin offered me 100 at the same price a couple of years ago and it went up slightly but still fine. Over lockdown its been pretty good until about 2 weeks ago I put it down to the extra traffic and decided to get 200 now its doubled the ping and latency and many phone calls to virgin alls they keep going on about is the speed am receiving

  • Pb187
  • 23 days ago

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