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.
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.