Virgin Media speed caps = Fuming exNTL customer!

  Zopah 17:38 08 Dec 07
Locked

Hi all,
As an NTL customer for 3 years, I thought the take-over would be a step in the right direction.
In fact, we had to have two of our cable boxes replaced because we lost programme information constantly, so it was a case of guessing what was on. Not cool.
Now, as I've just discovered while downloading, it appears they halve your speed if you're on their 2mb package. I was getting 256kb/s at peak and thats now dropped to 118kb/s peak. I'm really shocked.
Especially as I am a gamer, and I can burn through my alloted download limit merely through patching.
Anyone else experienced the same? And I'm tempted to transfer providers, who is better if I want stable broadband/phone line/mobile/TV?

  Kemistri 00:09 10 Dec 07

Asking "which company is better?" will generate as many disparate responses as "what is your favourite colour?" Or it would, had anyone else replied yet. Start here: click here

  RedSkywalker 10:47 10 Dec 07

Vitgin Media have had an official Traffic Shaping policy in place for a few months now - it's an easy way to fool new customers who don't read the fine print before they sign up.

Virgin's headline claim that you get "unlimited" downloads is technically true in that you can continue to download BUT as soon as you reach the secret limit they set Virgin cuts you bandwidth drastically.

Example: if you sign up for their 2mb service you are only allowed to download 350mb in any 24 hour period - hit that and they cut your bandwidth in half i.e. you pay for 2mb but only get 1mb. The same type of limits apply to every level of service they provide.

They call it "Traffic Shaping"

Sadly, they are not the only company to employ this cheap, underhand trick so don't be fooled by headline claims of "unlimited" traffic - read the fine print first or better still go to the forums before you sign up for anything!

  DerekR 18:54 10 Dec 07

click here

Very good thread on VM/NTL/Blueyonder or whatever NTL are calling themselves here

  mark2 20:01 10 Dec 07

click here

Quote

Your speed won't be moderated unless you're in the top 3% of users (uploaders and downloaders). Our boffins ran a trial to see how much our service was being affected. They discovered that, in certain areas, just 3% of customers were uploading and/or downloading such a large amount of content that it was affecting the service for other users in these areas.
There is some overlap in the 3% of uploaders and the 3% of downloaders. Our data has identified that the top 3% of uploaders and downloaders makes up fewer than 5% of all users.

And we're not talking about just a few video clips. In some cases the top 3% of uploaders and downloaders were using as much as 3GB, just during peak times. That's around 750 music tracks in the space of a few hours.

So, unless you're using an unusually large amount of information at peak times, we won't restrict your service and you can use to your heart's content

end quote

I've never been "shaped" and some days I've downloaded in excess of a GB but perhaps not in the peak hours of 6-12 but I have noticed that occasionally between these hours browsing seems to slow down.

  daveeb 10:43 11 Dec 07

VM pretty much consider anyone who does more than download their e-mail, i.e. using the account as broadband not narrowband, to be in the "top 3%" of downloaders. I really don't know where their "boffins" get these figures from. VM have ruined what was a very good service a year ago, by attracting new customers without spending cash upgrading the infrastructure to cope with them.

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