Virgin Media, what a joke!!

  Mary_S 23:30 20 Oct 2008

Hi ,
I just found out about Virgin Medias 'unlimited download' limit is a bunch of c**p. Apparantly, if you are on their L package and download more then 750mb between peak hour, 4 and midnight, then you broadband speed gets cut down from 10mbs to 2mbs.
I just notice my broadband speed was slow did some tests, did some research then found the following info ..
click here
Im going to phone them up tomorow but I know with their rubbish service, im not going to get anywhere!!
Has anyone contacted them over this, who can we peition to etc. any comments be appreciated !!

  GRIDD 00:49 21 Oct 2008

I have been throttled quite a bit with my Playstation Network downloads (most games & demos are around 1GB to 2GB) in the past but with 2.50 update I can now do my downloads at night and set the PS3 to turn itself off when done....

To cut the story short, huge downloads during peak affect everyone so I understand why it is implemented. Having said that - I agree the limits on the lower packages seem quite mean.

Considering when I used a BT line with various providers I was lucky to get anywhere near my throttled speed on Virgin I'm more than happy with my service.

  curofone 03:47 21 Oct 2008

I totally agree that it is joke, when you phone them they will just refer you to there fair usage policy, which I do not agree but the main thing I do not agree with is the fact that they can call it unlimited but for up to 10 hours of the day they can limit your connection as there are in fact 2 peak periods now first one between 10 – 3 and the second one from 4 – 9, so pretty much when people are awake and actually using their computers.

I personally think if they throttle you back for 10 hours a day which is pretty much 300 hours a month then we should pay 25% of the cost for those hours.

If you take a look at this link then you can see thresholds and the policy etc. click here

And before people say well it is only high usage users that get capped it really is not, to go over the limit in the first peak period you only need to max your connection for 40 mins and in the second peak period for only 20 mins.

  GRIDD 08:23 21 Oct 2008

You would not notice a drop from 20Mb to 5Mb just general surfing, email and what not. The only time you will notice such a throttle is if you are constantly downloading... Are you teling us that you are constantly downloading legal, paid for material? If so that must cost you a fortune.

My browsing habits are forums, reading tech sites, shopping and email, downloading a couple of demos, itunes, using playandwin games and then the PS network. What's yours?

  BT 08:28 21 Oct 2008

I think you will find that 'unlimited' refers to the total 'amount' you can download NOT the speed. I think you will find that these speed restrictions will happen no matter which company you use, including BT. They are applied so that it gives everyone a fair chance and stops the system being overloaded by a few inconsiderate users swamping the system with huge downloads at times of high useage.

  Mary_S 09:51 21 Oct 2008

I dont think the issue of what people are downloading is the matter here. Its the fact that, your paying for a 'x' mbs service, and for best part of it your not getting that speed. Downloading demo's on xbox live, downloading the odd song, downloading study/work related material easily exceeds their very low thresholds of around 750MB.
It might not worth be getting angry about it, as 2MB is still fast enough, for general purposes, but we are not getting what you paid for.

  daveeb 10:51 21 Oct 2008

In the days of youtube and bbci etc it is very easy to exceed VM's or any one elses download limit. The service providers (VM in particular) should invest more in their infrastructure to accomodate demand, rather than penalising customers for using their fast connection for the purpose it was designed for. Those people who only use their broadband connection to get their e-mail or browse may as well stay on the lowest tier of service otherwise they are wasting their money.

  curofone 11:31 21 Oct 2008

You say that it hard to go over the caps if you are just generally downloading but i disagree with you. Like someone else in the modern age of the internet it is very easy to go over the caps with video streaming website such as youtube. Plus i watch programmes on the Iplayer, 4OD and five on demand plus some times i stream ITV from there website, all completly legal. I also download a lot legal contents from various website and I have an xbox on xbox live and therefore download a lot of free contents off that and play online games and finally i also stream alot of music with out actually downloading again completly legal.

So like i said i disagree with you that it is hard to go over these caps as a gernral user considering i only have to do one of the activities mentioned for 20 minutes before i get capped and it is very noticable going from 10Mbit to 2Mbit when you are on xbox live or downloading legal contents from places like the IPlayer

and to BT who said the unlimited probably refers to the total amount you can download not the speed, well i would argue they are limiting the amount I can download as when i am maxed i can download a 1mb/s and when i am capped i can only get 250kbs so that works out in that 5 hour period without the cap i can download 18gb but with the cap only 4.5gb, that is a big difference

  spuds 11:56 21 Oct 2008

The point that most people miss, is the advertised 'upto' on a package. The ISP isn't stating that they will provide an exact speed or service, at anytime within a 24 hour 7 day a week.

Ofcom have asked the service providers to be more open about what they can or cannot offer, on a voluntary information basis.If the ISP's do not comply within a time framed period, Ofcom have stated that the true speed information will become compulsory and legal requirement.

Perhaps an example. I use a Tiscali 'upto' 8MB package, but can only achieve 4.8MB as a maximum, whereas my neighbours on the same Tiscali 'upto' 8MB package can achieve a regular 6.5MB throughout the day. Basically my problem is due to poor wiring and faulty connection within the system.One thing that I perhaps should mention,after 5pm I was getting speeds of 1.4MB, and suspected that I was one of the unlucky ones being throttled back for no reason (I do not download large files), other than perhaps a poor contention ratio problem. A little tweaking plus a new modem and the help of BT OpenReach provides a constant 24 hours of virtual 4.8MB, and I am not going to moan about that, because it suits my present requirements.

Coming back to Virgin Media. They are spending quite a fair amount of money in my area on advertising 'Mother of all Broadband' and 'fibre optics doesn't slow down'.This seems to be working, as a number of my neighbours have already started to change to fibre optics and Virgin Media.

  Covergirl 12:51 21 Oct 2008

You sound to be constantly downloading - when on earth do you get chance to try your xbox demos, listen to the odd song or do any coursework ??

Fair use policy. I'm glad I don't live near you - I reckon you'd sap everyone elses download speed in your area.

The cable can only carry so much data and to make it economic, there are a max number of people connected to one cable - see "contention ratio" -whatever data rate the cable carries is divided by the number of users, and to stop a number of different downloads from one house, a cap is applied.

Personally, I find 500 kbps sufficient for normal browsing and perhaps a little slow for youtube / bbci player and other streaming media.

  Mary_S 13:20 21 Oct 2008

I live in a house with family. We all use the internet. Brothers play a fair amount of xbox, we all do bit of downloading, and we all watch videos online on bbc and youtube.
Clearly the technology is not as good, as it is marketed, and the caps are a very low figure. In one hour of 'standard modern use of internet' its easily gets passes their caps, and we down to a 2MBPS service. They might as well just offer lower speeds to its customers and make this clear to customers and price reflective in their prices.
If one chooses to pay for higher speeds, then they are doing so for a reason. If we only get the opportunity to use it for an hour an day before we are capped, we are not getting a 10MBPS or 20MBPS service, but we are getting a 2MBPS service with what a happy hour for downloading.

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