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Virgin Media introduces traffic management for heavy downloaders

Discussion in 'Networking & Security' started by craigwhiteside, Apr 16, 2008.

  1. craigwhiteside


    Nov 18, 2007
    1,178 (0.33/day)
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    UK, Liverpool
    Here is the story from ThinkBroadband

    Virgin Media (www.virginmedia.com) has published details of its new traffic management policy which it says will affect the top 5% of its users who are heavy downloaders. Virgin is yet another company that is adopting a policy to deal with the problems associated with unmetered bandwidth use.

    Some balancing factors to restrict utilisation to sensible levels which are sustainable to the ISP financially are absolutely essential or the speed of service to users as a whole will deteriorate fast. Whether this is in the form of 'per gigabyte' charges, fair usage policies, usage caps, traffic shaping or simply left down to contention is a choice for each provider. Virgin compare the problem to a traffic jam which is a very good comparison in terms that most users will be able to understand.

    On the basis of their analysis, Virgin concluded that just 5% of customers were downloading such large amounts of data that the service for other users in those areas were being affected. It quotes a figure of 3GB just during peak times and equates this to 750 music tracks in the space of a few hours.

    Virgin have announced that at peak times from 4pm to midnight, those users will find their speeds will be 'moderated' (i.e. slowed down). The extent of the traffic management will depend on which package you're subscribed to. If you are slowed down, this will last for four hours from when the traffic management is applied.

    Package Allowance Maximum Speed Capped Speed
    Broadband M 350 MB 2 Mbps (download)
    200 Kbps (upload) 1 Mbps (download)
    128 Kbps (upload)
    Broadband L 750 MB 4 Mbps (download)
    512 Kbps (upload) 2 Mbps (download)
    192 Kbps (upload)
    Broadband XL 3 GB 20 Mbps (download)
    512 Kbps (upload) 5 Mbps (download)
    256 Kbps (upload)

    The allowances before speeds are slowed down are quite low for the Broadband M and L packages. Even occasional downloaders, who may be slowed down by simply downloading a single film from a rental service, may be affected. We note, however, that the capped speeds are still quite generous and the effects of the limits are quite short. We do expect Virgin will need to tweak the numbers, in particular to deal with the very highest of downloaders who can still maintain a 5 Mbps speed on the Broadband XL package.

    One of the strengths of Virgin's plans is the imminent launch of the up to 20 Mbps services, which will mean an even better experience for most users who can receive information quicker than ever before. The restriction on the heaviest users will start to take place at the same time as the speed upgrade for those on its Broadband XL (extra large) package.

    Overall, this is a necessary step which Virgin have accepted needs to take place to make sure the majority of users experience a good level of service. We expect, however, that they will need to tweak the formulae to find the right balance.


    as a side note, im on virgin media and on the L package, and my download speeds are pretty terrible :(, guess im on the 5% that download too much :cry:............ pr0n ftw! :rockout:

    Here is what i usually get


    and look now...

  2. DanTheBanjoman Señor Moderator

    May 20, 2004
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    350MB and you're capped. Lol, that's a joke. even 3GB is a joke. Download a Linux ISO and you're screwed for the rest of the month. No thanks. here it's normal to have 20Mbit and no data limit for €30-€60 a month.
    Besides those uploads are a joke as well, most ADSL lines here are uncapped, ie 1MBit.

    Also how are your speeds terrible on the L package, it's pretty close to the advertised speed.
    10 Year Member at TPU
  3. panchoman

    panchoman Sold my stars!

    Jul 16, 2007
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    10 Year Member at TPU
  4. Silverel


    Nov 14, 2007
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    Detroit, MI
    Epic Fail!

    If you have any alternatives to ISPs, it's time to switch...
  5. Darknova


    Nov 8, 2006
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    Manchester, United Kingdom
    Rest of the month? No, that's daily limit.

    However, I do not agree at all with any of this. The entire backbone of Virgin is Fibre, it should be able to handle the pretty small percentage of the country that actually uses Virgin...
    10 Year Member at TPU
  6. alexp999

    alexp999 Staff

    Jul 28, 2007
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    Dorset, UK
    This is really old news. Source says May 2007. I have known this for a while.

    Here is the latest version:


    There are no monthly limits but if you have used more than your allocated amount EACH DAY:

    M: 300MB down / 150MB up
    L: 800MB down / 325MB up
    XL: 3GB down / 1250Mb up

    Then between 4pm and 9pm your download speed is capped to:

    M/L: 1Mb broadband
    XL: 5mb broadband

    Thats why if Im doing anything big i let it run overnight.
    10 Year Member at TPU

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