Virgin rapped on broadband speeds

A complaint lodged by BT about the speeds of Virgin Media's broadband service has been upheld by the Advertising Standards Authority.

The challenge centred around its advertisement "Hate to Wait?", which ran in the national media and featured download times for songs and TV shows.

BT argued that Virgin's usage caps meant that downloads during peak times would be slower than advertised.

The ASA has agreed and ordered Virgin to make it clear that speeds will vary.

In its adjudication it said that the advert did not make it clear that customers on Virgin Media's lower speed packages would only be able to download TV shows at the speeds advertised during off-peak hours.

It ruled that Virgin Media needed to clarify that download times would be restricted during peak hours.

View: BBC News

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For those switching away, I was told that when you find a small ISP that's virtually unknown, they've basically bought the bandwidth off the larger ones and so it still gets capped. Is this not true at all??

So I've been with Virgin Media for 8 or 9 years, back when they were NTL. I am on the cheapest ( "medium" ) broadband package and back when I first got it, it was 150kbps.. NTL then doubled that to 300kbps, then to 512kbps, then to 1mbit and then to 2mbit.

Since Virgin brought NTL, here's what they've changed:
- Download limits between 4pm and 9pm, 7 days a week (Go over and your speed is halved for 5 hours)
- Download limits between 10am and 3pm, 7 days a week (Go over and your speed is halved for 5 hours)
- Limit the number of outgoing connections I can make in a minute (I can't run the javascript sunspider test suite anymore as that tries to load quite a few pages in a minute, and now just stops dead in the middle)
- Cut my download speed into 'channels' and limit each channel. So no longer can I download one file at 2mbps (240kB/s) ... I get around 256kbps (30k/s) for each download, so if I want to max out my connection I have to download 6-8 files at the same time. Who the hell downloads 6-8 files at the same time? Not me. When I want to get the latest UT3 patch it takes fricken hours. Virgin Broadband... Welcome To 1995 Again.
- Sporadic packetloss on all hops within their network due to traffic shaping (useless for gaming)
- Loading webpages is a long and drawn out process, even connecting to their own webpage or my FTP space takes ages. All streaming media constantly buffers and hitches.
- Connection gets dropped when you go over you limit so you have to unplug your modem and plug it back in to get a carrier signal
- Support now costs more
- Paying my bill at a paypoint costs more

Virgin have taken what was a good service and totally raped it. It's essentially unfit for purpose and I'm dumping the POS as soon as I've got the money together to get ADSL put in. And if that beardy bollock-brained Branston bast thinks I'm ever using any Virgin service again he can come round to my house and suck on my balls. Tossers.

(Cryton said @ #10)
Since Virgin brought NTL, here's what they've changed:
-
- Cut my download speed into 'channels' and limit each channel. So no longer can I download one file at 2mbps (240kB/s) ... I get around 256kbps (30k/s) for each download,

W,t and indeed, f? I can happily download at a constant 1100kb/sec for a single file. Unless you're talking about a RESULT of already going over your limit. Same when I was on 2meg and 4meg - my connection could, and generally would, max out if I happened upon a decent server.

(nothin2seehere said @ #10.1)
W,t and indeed, f? I can happily download at a constant 1100kb/sec for a single file. Unless you're talking about a RESULT of already going over your limit. Same when I was on 2meg and 4meg - my connection could, and generally would, max out if I happened upon a decent server.

4 or 5 weeks ago I used to regularly get 240kB/s (2mbps) when downloading a single file. Now all of a sudden it's split into these bandwidth limited channels. I don't know if that's just done for the 2mbit service.. I suspect it might be because when I phoned up to complain the tech on the line told me I was only expected to get max bandwidth when downloading 6 or more files at the same time, which is a total change to what I'd been experiencing for the previous 8 or so years.

He also told me if I wanted usable speed back I'd have to upgrade. I mean, wtf kind of service is that; alter the 2mbit package to the point where it's unusable and then tell anyone who complains to upgrade... There's a word for that, and it's "extortion".

-Connection gets dropped when you go over you limit so you have to unplug your modem and plug it back in to get a carrier signal HuH ???

never herd so much rubbish. I have often gone over my limit and they do not cut you off and you don't have to unplug your cable modem to get the signal back.

i dont have any problems downloading one file, all single files come down at full speed or a tiny ammount under 2mbps.
i was a blueyonder customer before the change over and virgin media apart from the stupid "traffic shapeing" have yet to fail me.

Support is now free. Use to be £2.50 a month for broadband technical support.
However they put £1+ on everything (broadband, tv, phone) in order to make it free.

Talk with your wallets, move to another ISP. It's a hassle, but we need to make a stand.

I'm with Be* https://www.bethere.co.uk/ at the moment, and I'm very happy (apart from the fact that I can't get 24 meg where I live :'( )

When they say unlimited usage, they mean it. I'm a very heavy user, and I'm seeding 24/7 unless I need the bandwith for gaming.

Again, please read this.... https://nodpi.org/2008/05/30/protest-at-the-barbican/

Deep Packet Inspection, can and will be used for far worse things than advertising.

Sadly for many people even with traffic shaping Virgin offer better speeds than a lot of people could get on ADSL, I would presume that’s the same for most people who are unhappy about this and are still with them.

(InsaneNutter said @ #9.1)
Sadly for many people even with traffic shaping Virgin offer better speeds than a lot of people could get on ADSL, I would presume that�s the same for most people who are unhappy about this and are still with them.

Excactly, its either 20Mb reduced..

Or 1Mb ADSL..... I know wht I'll be doing....unfortunately thats sticking with VM...

(Pabs(Sco) said @ #9.2)

Excactly, its either 20Mb reduced..

Or 1Mb ADSL..... I know wht I'll be doing....unfortunately thats sticking with VM...

+1

although i may have to check again as it's been a while since i last checked the ADSL situation.

I get a nice solid 10meg connection through Virgin Media. I can BT at full speed (depends on number of peers etc) and frankly, if I download something in 20 seconds that would, with a 2Meg connection take me 10 minutes, then I'm happy.

The argument that there's no point to fast broadband if it's throttled is, in my opinion, flawed. It assumes that you want to download 24/7, rather than have very fast access to large files on an ad-hoc basis. For the type of user it's aimed at (like me, perhaps) it's ideal - I can download a 1GB movie and be halfway through watching it by the time those people with slower connections (unthrottled or otherwise) have downloaded half of it.

But - I agree on the main point - if it's throttled past a certain point, it should 100% be advertised as such, and not simply in the small print that no one ever reads.

If it wasn't for VM being my only available ISP, except dial-up I would have left them over the STM.

Its quite stupid to advertise 20Mb speeds when you get cut down if you download over 4Gb during peak times. People say "4GB is a lot of data, your a nasty pirate!!"

Well they are wrong, I have a Wii, PS3, 2 PC all connected on my hame network. PS3 demos and videos are roughly 1Gb each so I'm limited to 4 of these a day if I choice not to down load anywhere else. Then there's PC game demos, again ranging from 1-2Gb, game trailers, youtube, streaming radio...etc... along with an other user doing stuff. so basically I hit my limit legally about 3 times a week. ...then there's the weekend when I'm effected during the day too!

All this advertising of how many downloads and at what speeds are a joke. STM is only there because of the p*ss poor network we have in the UK, due to a goverment that nationalised the network and a big corporate came in and maximised profit for little spending. The UK has the worst nextwork in Europe, where is most West Eurpoe contries standard speeds are around 100mb!

They try to blame the users of their network, when its their network thats p*sh!

Totally agree, the 20mbit package should be sold as 5mbit with speed bursts up to 20mbit.

The limit is actually 3gigs, we also legally hit the limit just about every day for the same reasons you mentioned, all legal and above board

Looking at the letter virgin send out here: http://upload.digiex.net/files/rqmpaqcgnrylytlcr3gm.jpg anyone who actually uses there net connection gets the speed cut in the evening, i would hardly say transferring 1.2gigs on a 10mbit connection or 500mb on a 2mbit connection makes you a heavy users :S

20mbit – 3gb limit
10mbit – 1.2gb limit
4mbit – 1gb limit
2mbit - 500mb limit

About time these i.s.p's are held to account for b.s. the general public.

They should also quit encouraging people to pirate.

For example, you can have a 8 meg connection, so you can download a blah blah pirated movie in blah blah minutes or 20,000 illegal got mp3's in blah blah minutes.

They should also quit advertising 'unlimited' which mean as much as you want, not we will stop your service if you breach the 'fair usage policy'.

The best ISP the UK ever had was a company called BlueYonder, and Virgin killed it.

Virgin Media are without doubt, the worst ISP the UK now has.
False advertising, and liars to customers.

They're just being good capitalists. Max profit for min costs...... Thats only business as usual. Without gov't regulation it would be a libertopian paradise where business would be allowed to get away with far more than they do already.

at last someone takes notice of this joke of a system.

"here! download at megafast speeds! "
oh thanks... click, click
"YOU! stop downloading during the morning/day/evening! for your crimes we're going to throttle your connection outside of the peak hours, you evil little web user"
but. but..

what sodding use is superfast broadband if you can't use it to download anything?

I hate that i'm stuck with these idiots as an ISP. This whole traffic shaping thing is in place to ease the pressure on the network which THEY over subscribed themselves. NTL were bad, but since becoming Virgin they've excelled at being the biggest bunch of ****s in the UK ISP industry.

Unfortunately ADSL means a drop from 20mbt to 2mbt as my exchange quite a distance and isn't properly upgraded.

(ZombieFly said @ #3)
Unfortunately ADSL means a drop from 20mbt to 2mbt as my exchange quite a distance and isn't properly upgraded.

I was told I'd only get 1MB via ADSL from BT, I started an account with the best ISP in the UK called FAST (fast.co.uk), I'm getting 6-7MB on a regular basis, when I called BT again they couldn't believe it.

While I hate mis-advertisement particularly about download limits stating unlimited* ( * to 2GB) and other such crap the ISPs palm off I pretty much came to the conclusion that anyone who expects anything like 20meg out of a contended 20meg connection is living in king cuckoo land.

Take a look at a 1:1 2MEG leased line and compare the cost against your 20 I don't expect the ISPs to do anything about it because they can get away with it and most people wouldn't know the difference between 4 and 40meg anyway unless there downloading heavy amounts of stuff and then there the sort of person who generally the ISP looks to get rid off as they cost money.

The odd things like this are the tip off the ocean the whole market needs to be "looked at" if you ask me.