back to article Virgin Media pilots 200Mbit service

Virgin Media has begun a pilot of a 200Mbit/s broadband service in Kent to gauge future demand for bandwidth in the home. The pilot, which began last week in Ashford, will see 100 Virgin Media staff and customers connected at the new speed for at least six months. A spokesman for the firm said the upstream bandwidth for the …


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  1. Dave Ross


    Wonder what the download cap will be...

  2. David

    100mbit NIC cards

    I see a backhander to increase sales of 1gbit nic cards :( its all a ploy

  3. Mark Wills

    Well will enough be enough?

    It is interesting: My dual processor laptop can execute 10s of millions instructions per second, yet, as far as I can see, it spends most of it's time polling the mouse port waiting for me to do something.

    My internet connection can download high quality MP3 files faster than it takes to listen to them, making streaming in CD quality possible, yet it spends most of its time waiting to read the page I am reading, before I click the next link.

    In other words, I find both my laptop and my internet connection perfectly adequate for my needs. If I need to wait a few minutes to download the latest Ubuntu image (just downloaded Ubuntu Remix in about 4 minutes) then, guess, what, that's fine. I'll go make a cup of tea, chat to a collegue, or answer an email.

    When will enough be enough? Is there *really* a demand for super-duper-mega-bandwidth-by-the-fuckton? Sure, the freetards^M^M pirates who download copyrighted material all day will always scream for it (and absorb it, to the detriment of everyone else) but for your average joe, *most* internet connections these days are fast *enough* thanks very much.

    Is it me?

  4. Eddie

    I've said it repeatedly...

    get the rest of the fucking service sorted out before you start trying for stupid headline numbers.

  5. Jack

    Bandwidth Management

    You'll get (up to) 200MBit/s for 3.65 seconds, followed by (up to) 512 KBit/fortnight

  6. F Cage
    Thumb Down

    What's the point without a decent backbone?

    In related news, water companies have announced plans to install 15" pipes to all households. When asked whether the 6" mains pipes in the road could cope with this, the water companies said that anyone who washed too much would have their supply reduced to a trickle until the next day.

  7. Graham Jordan


    So i'll get capped in seconds as appossed to minutes? Good times.

  8. Alex Walsh

    Speed is irrelevant in trials

    How will it work with hundreds of people in a locale all hammering it constantly? I get about 8Mbit out of my large Virgin package and this drops notably in the evenings.

  9. Ben Rosenthal

    customer and billing service....

    ....still about the slowest in the world >.<

  10. Bug
    Thumb Down

    And the point apart from headline grabbing is ?

    So 200MB for about the first 10 seconds then capped down to 512kb for the rest of the time.

    I wish VM would stop sodding about headline grabbing trying to provide "the fastest service" and actually provide a usable constant speed. I'm only on the 2MB and they are unable to even provide that for more than an hour during the day then back to dial-up speeds. Getting tempted to go back to dial-up as at least it will be the same speed all the time.

  11. M7S
    Black Helicopters

    Use with caution, its just so they can monitor you without noticeably impacting your bandwidth.

    Isn't Ashford in Kent home to the Green Slime? Sometimes known as the Intelligence Corps?

  12. Alex

    less haste better service

    Self proclaimed that there is no demand for it why not put a bit of effort into QoS they have one of the worst connections i have ever used. I would be happy to pay the same price for half the speed but a guaranteed QoS.

    But then i suppose im one of those tech savvy high end pc users who should be with a different provider because i know better.

    skull and cross bones because there scallywags!

  13. Anonymous Coward

    RE: 200Mb/s!!

    Dave Ross wrote: "Wonder what the download cap will be..."

    For the people in the trial? Probably nothing. For the other users in Kent... well, I'm sure you can imagine!

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    Its odd isn't it that when you complain to Virgin about the crap picture quality caused by over compression their stock answer is "Digital Television always breaks up on fast moving images" and "We don't have the bandwidth". But they apparently have the bandwidth to offer 200MB internet connections.

    I guess we can look forward to even more over compression on our TV signals, and no doubt they'll put the rates up as well.

  15. David Cherry

    @Dave Ross

    Or how quickly you can hit it

  16. Peter D'Hoye
    Thumb Down

    And upstream speeds?

    Upstream speeds are never mentioned, and always turn out to be crap. My ISP (telenet), for example, claims to be the fastest ISP here, yet offers a silly 512kbps uplink speed (1mbit available if you really have too much money). Try sending a couple of pictures from your DSLR to a local photoshop with that speed....

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Great news...

    You'll pay £100 a month for 30 seconds worth of downloading, then you'll be capped to 56k.

    Headline Grabbing Bullshitters

  18. Darren B

    more willy waving

    Wonder what the upload speed will be...

    Probably just enough to support the 200Mbit I suppose. As usual.

    Still..."fastest DOCSIS3 network in the world" is the usual headline grabbing willy-waving antics of this lot.

  19. Richard Cartledge
    Thumb Down

    Upstream is 10th percentile

    My VM upstream is ~200k/s. This makes it useless for sharing anything, for uploading files to etc... and for streaming CCTV. Also, the use of upstream seems to cripple the download speed when both are used simultaneously.

  20. Anonymous Coward

    yeah right

    So that'll be 200mb/s for the first 75mb then capped down to maybe 15mb/s (so itll still seem super fast) for the 2gb monthly download limit, capped to a further 5mb/s. All nicely nestled in a Phorm pipe. yeah, good deal.

  21. Paul Solecki
    Thumb Down

    Cap, cap cappity cap

    I reckon you'll get that speed for 5 minutes before you hit a cap ;)

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    A 200mb pipe to your home is as useless as a 20mb one if:

    a) The content providers have limited bandwidth

    b) P2P is throttled or blocked

    c) You are connected to a back end network that is unable to cope with what it already has

    d) All of the above

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    Thank God...

    ...they're rolling out a new fibre network in S.Yorks. I'll be ditching VM in a second when a viable alternative comes along.

    The gravestone, because thats where VM deserve to be... dead.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A title is required.

    This would be more impressive if they would offer 200MB uplinks for web servers so you could actually achieve this sort of speed. I have yet to see a dedicated server offering so much as a full 8MB download.

  25. Anonymous Coward


    "Wonder what the download cap will be..."

    I'll hazzard a guess that whatever it is, you'll be able to breach it within 20 minutes, just like all their other miss-sold products.

  26. Anonymous Coward

    Can't support their current customers

    As the title says, VM can't support their current customers on 10/20/50Mb, let alone 200.

    Nothing more than a collection of chancers.

  27. Shaun
    Thumb Down

    RE: Download cap


  28. Anonymous Coward


    This is most excellent news. I've always wanted a high speed broadband connection that allows me to download massive amounts of data for a few seconds a day before I get capped to dial-up speeds.

  29. Oliver Mayes

    Must... hold back... tirade...

    *Deep breath, calm face on, grip edge of desk to prevent rage from surfacing, clear throat*

    Ahem, I have their "up to 20Mb" service, and have never passed 16Mb (even that's just a brief spike at around 3AM every few weeks), my average is roughly 3-5Mb. They cannot deliver anywhere near the speeds they currently advertise. all of my attempts to discuss this with them result in me being put through to a call center in India where someone with no technical knowledge reads a script to me. Their 'automated support' line in all seriousness told me to "Turn your PC off for 10 minutes then turn it back on again, this will solve most poroblems", then it hung up on me!

    The fact that they are constantly claiming to have faster and faster speeds is bull effluent of the highest degree. At what point is someone going to step in and give them (and preferably all other ISPs) a firm slap across the face and force them to actually live up to some of their promises?

    Going away now, blood pressure is rising rapidly and I doubt I can contain the bile much longer. *Rage, taking over...*

  30. Ash

    Bandwidth isn't the issue

    Max connections is. If I run BitTorrent on my 2Mb home connection, I download at maybe 50KB (1/5 of bandwidth, for those who can't calculate in octal). I *guarantee* you that even with roughly 200KB of downstream left, I can't browse the web, receive or send email, or use any internet service. It all just fails. Even when downloading ISOs (linux, 7 RC1 etc) in Firefox at full tilt I can browse the web, pipe totally saturated.

    I might cut back the connections BT can use, but it's still not perfect. Wonder what the limitation is.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Brilliant Beardie future

    Capped *AND* Phormed - sounds unmissable.

  32. David S

    How odd.

    I've been on VM for a while now. I have no complaints at all; I work primarily from home, doing a lot of stuff on the internet all day every day, and I've never had a significant issue that didn't turn out to be one of the kids downloading something large at an inappropriate time.

    200Mb/s? Can't see the point, frankly. But then I mostly use the internet for work, so blistering download speeds aren't vital.

    The exception that proves the rule, perhaps?

  33. Joel Mansford

    VPN Usage

    I saw a similar piece on BBC click about what's the point in a 100Mbit connection.

    It seems everyone is forgetting the very real application of Virtual Private Networks. With a 100Mbit connection to the home (and similar or greater at the office) then accessing all of those file servers suddenly becomes very realistic.

    I have clients who must still remote-desktop machines located within the office in order to use high-bandwidth applications. Not every application in the world is web-based!

  34. Lionel Baden


    actually virgin were dragged onto watchdog a while back about them capping their network and they have actually stated on live TV with their top internet package that there are no caps.

    So if your getting capped i suggest you upgrade and then sue.

    @oliver Mayes

    I pay up to 8mb and was stuck 0.5 mb for about 8 months i now just make 2mb ...

    so i feel your pain man. were just gonna have to hope the new goverment makes a intelligent decision and starts punishing companies for blatent lying to 95% of their customer base

  35. Anonymous Coward

    What is the point,,,

    in having a 200Mbit link if you can´t have ALL DAY LONG, UNINTERRUPTED, UNCAPPED. I bought for myself a 6mbit link (500kbps uplink) and it suits me just fine.

    Just to test, I downloaded a live-CD ubuntu, and it took exactly 16 minutes and 30 seconds, not bad. However, it is pretty stable, and that what is Virgin should aim for, not this hype headlines BS.

    I would buy such a link if I was meant to host a Google node or heavy P2P, otherwise no.

  36. Tony


    I am on the Virgin 50Mb package and as far as I can tell there is no cap or throttling at the moment and no contention either.

    Not sure how long that will last before they put a leash on it, but I'm making hay while the sun shines.

    I just need a bit more storage, then I can just download the whole internet and work offline ;)

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @AC RE: Bandwidth

    It's typical from any pay subscription really... most people don't really understand or notice the difference.

    Look at the resolution of Sky broadcasted channels vs BBC broadcasted when using DVB-S

    BBC = DVD Resolution

    Sky = Youtube Resolution

  38. Daniel Jones

    I'd be happy if I could even get it...

    100 yards in pretty much any direction from my estate and VM is available.

    My estate? No chance. Built after the initial cable install, y'see....

    So I'm stuck with the oh-so-cheap BT. Up to 8mbps, averages out at 6.




  39. Colin Miller

    @ Richard Cartledge

    The reason why hammering your upstream affects your downstream is that every packet (max size ~1500 bytes) your machine receives has to be acknowledged.

    If there are too many packets outstanding, then the sender will stop sending until your machine catches up. When your upstream is being maxed, these acknowledgement packets are delayed. The remote machine then thinks your machine can't cope with the speed it is sending at, and slows down.

    This can be improved by increasing the "Congestion window" size on your machine, or changing your router to prioritise the sending of packages with acknowledgements.

    (A packet can both acknowledge that the data was received ok, and send data back to the sender).

    The later is the best idea, but is not normally a tweekable option on most routers' UI, so you need to log into it, and change is QoS (quality of service) options.

    A third option is to install QoS on your machine, and use that to limit the send rate to 90% of your upstream, giving space for the acknowledgement packets.

  40. Matthew Coulson

    Nevermind the bandwidth...

    Give me a modem that doesn't keel over when maintaining 50+ connections.

  41. Fingers
    Thumb Down

    Epic fail, can't wait for them to go bust...

    I had cable for 10 years - Cable London which begat Blueyonder which begat Telewest which begat NTL/Telewest which begat Virgin Media.

    Had no problems and was happy, started on a 1mb connection with Cable London which got upgraded for free through 2mb, 4mb, 10mb then 20mb with Virgin Media.

    In July 2008 I started having problems. 56k d/l speeds with long and frequent periods with no upstream connectivity at all - I couldn't even d/l email as the POP3 server requried at least a packet to confirm the connection. Various people at VM tried to help, including retentions, and they kept promising "relief" dates which came and went. Turns out "I" had two problems - a faulty UBR and an "oversubscribed" UBR. The "oversubscription" (selling more connectivity than their infrastructure can cope with - isn't this fraud?) was causing the fault with the UBR to become more pronounced.

    VM were not willing to replace the UBR because, I was "unofficially" told, that they were going to wait until it was replaced under the 50mb upgrade plans. Fair enough, makes more commercial sense, but they wouldn't even move my connection to another UBR to relive me of the fault. The oversubscription I could of dealt with but at least I would have had a connection.

    I started receiving a "goodwill gesture" which meant I was paying for a tenner a month for 20mb cable, despite being willing to pay the full £37 for a decent service. To be fair, until July 2008 I was happy with the service. However, when March 2009 came around I decided enough is enough and ditched the VM phone and cable services, hooked up a BT rental contract (argh - 18 month lock in! - isn't this illegal?) and went to an ADSL2 provider.

    In the 52 days that my ADSL has been connected, it has not gone down once. Speeds are fine for my purposes and all told I am paying about £2 per month more than the bundled deal I had with VM.

    With service like this and the obvious lack of capacity within the VM infrastructure, how can they justify a business model that assumes people do not actually use the bandwidth they have paid for? Surely this is madness?

    Epic fail, can't wait for them to go bust. They have spent/are spending over £600 million on capital expenditure for the 50mb upgrade, I bet this credit will cost them a forturne. I wonder how long before they run into "cash flow problems" in trying to service the debt with people leaving them in droves...

  42. Brian Whittle

    hot air

    I have been on cable internet for ever (about 8 years actually) and the problems I have had have been minimal. They just sent me the virgin media 256 modem and now I get a solid 23 meg

    As for the caps you can (if you want and find enought to download) get 250 Gb of stuff a week from the internet if you are tricky with the scheduling of the downloads

    I have had a thought if you have an Apple TV and download HD films at night (A legitimate thing to do) you will be capped, I suppose, surly this can't be right

  43. adam

    oh no

    not again ..............

  44. Steve

    Aka tiered Internet

    "'wideband' services" "used by consumers," said Virgin Media chief executive Neil (Net Neutrality is “A Load of Bollocks”) Berkett.

    Aka tiered Internet, coz even with all that bandwidth they'll want you to pay for youtube

  45. Christopher Rogers
    Thumb Down

    i agree

    Get the basic services right before tryin to show off how big your offering really is...

  46. Dave Webb

    They should spend smarter

    I have the 20Mbit service in South Wales (ex ntl customer) and rarely have any issues with download speeds (I can max out at over 2000k/sec). As far as I can tell I have only been traffic-managed once or twice. The upstream stays a constant 80k/sec.

    The only issues I have are when playing CoD5 on XBox Live - it lags like a mother! I think they'd be better off spending the money on upgrading existing/buying new UBRs so they are not over-subscribed, moving the tech support to the UK with English speaking people and better peering arrangements to improve latency between other ISPs.

    Mine is the one with the copy of What Sheep? in the pocket

  47. Chris Church

    Why oh why?

    I think that Virgin have got broadband speeds that are perfectly suitable for even the most active pirate on the internet and would much prefer them to invest some money in improving the coverage.

    As far as I can tell no new cable has been put in since about 8 years or so ago when NTL (at least in my area) first put in all teh cable infrastructure. And even that didn't cover everywhere. I now live in a new developement and yet still nobody has ever installed cable. I'd have thought that whilst these new estates are being built would be the best time to install it but they don't. This means that a lot of properties can't even get Virgin Media cable so what do i care if they make it faster!

  48. keith
    Thumb Down

    200mb haha

    this is a waste of time 200 megabit what a waste of time even trying why dont they sort out the problems today get a bigger network and stop capping there users do what sky does and give it truly unlimited no charges no caps no nothing just unlimited is unlimited sky can do it why cant others oh i forgot virign is a small network which cant cope haha no wonder good job i ant with virgin phew

  49. jai

    yes please!!!

    although, they haven't even gotten around to making the 50meg service available in my neck of hertfordshire yet, so gawd knows if they'll ever manage to give us this

    but if they do, i want it

    if it gives me some anti-lag advantage while playing Eve, then it's all worth it

    and besides, if i don't have it, i'm gonna get pwned by some git who does have 200meg and blasts me when i lag

    actually - does this make the whole dubious OneLive thing a little bit more plausable?

  50. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Knee-jerk reaction from Virgin?

    Hmm, high bandwidth trial in Kent? Reminds me of BT who have also committed to the same thing. Is this just to complete with that?

  51. Anonymous Coward

    Epic fail, can't wait for them to go bust...


    The end of VM will be nothing but good news for customers.

  52. Anonymous Coward

    @F Cage & backbone

    youre missing the point: its not about providing /internet/ access at 200Mbps, there's no money in that.

    Its about upselling their VOD and watch-again services which come from /within/ their infrastructure. Same reason they 'give away' the basic digital TV service 'for free' and provide introductory unlimited access special offers.

  53. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    "Large Virgin Package"- showing off there, are you?

    Anyway, 200Mbit would be fantastic. I could... err... well, I'm sure I'll think of something. I could play games with exactly the same lag. I could stream HD quality games and videos across the 'net. I could download more porn in a night than I could possibly watch in a month.

    That's about it, though.

    If they had any coverage in my area (a city of 200,000 with lots of credit-crunch-proof oil revenues streaming in- and soon to increase less than 70 miles from a connected area which is full of students and junkies), I'd pay up to £50 a month for an ultra-fast broadband connection like this.

  54. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    re: yes please

    OneLive or OnLive (the latter being a video game streaming service). I tried making up some numbers for that (using EC2 as a guide). It ended up being cheaper to just buy a console.

  55. daniel walford

    @ Ash

    I used to have all sorts of problems when using BT. however sorted it all out by limiting the upload to not saturate the connection and changing my wireless router to run dd-wrt as the linksys had a known problem whereby it would grind to a halt and need rebooting after a short period of time running BT. I used to get about 2.5MB downloads from BT and still be able to surf the net etc (that was on a 20meg connection)

  56. Tom

    A nice headline figure.

    But most of us Virgin customers are still on a lousy 2mb connection. Whatever happened to the across the board increase to 10mb that was promised- right after they announced price increases from May 1st?

  57. Tom

    All speed and nowt else.

    It's quite interesting to read that Virgin are testing a new speed of 200mb, because only the other day I was watching the BBC programme "click", in which it reviewed a new development near to Wembley that have a connection of 100mb.

    The bbc review showed that it wasn't possible (yet) to actually fully utilise the whole 100mb connection, and this was because of the limitation of the servers that an end user would be connecting to out on the internet. Though, it was feasible to expect great p2p download speeds.

    I also find it disheartening that all UK ISP's do a dis-service to their customers by offering paltry upload speeds, it is about time that the UK ISP's improved their upload speeds, as there are more and more people now using web base applications and features such as "clouds", ftp, and running their own sites.

    ISP advertises, "200mb dl speeds - the F1 broadband connection",

    (but fails to mention:-

    Customer Service = Press 4, Press 1, Press 3, Press 1, Your call is in a queue.

    Tech Support = Script readers in another country with no interest in resolving an issue.

    Download Speed = more cost, more throttling, more phorm, more disgruntled customers.

    Upload speed = Capped, Capped, Capped.)

  58. Neil Daniels
    Thumb Down

    Down is not the issue.

    How about instead of working on 200 meg DL connections you give us a 2 meg down and 2 meg up connection?

  59. Anonymous Coward

    Please could someone demonstrate 10 gigs now.

    Please, oh pretty please with a cherry on top will some little tiny ISP out there please oh please give us a demo of 10gigabits. You know it's possible. It only costs about ten grand to do this in an a tower block somewhere with a bit of WDM magic and some fibre etc. (100 x 10 gig to the building and give each of the 100 ppl in the building a 10 gig fibre into a hub with 24 x 1 gig ports. It would be a bit like LINX from anywhere.)

    .....and then, we can all get on with the real job of looking for decent quality for every home user instead of high speed at a few select places being demonstrated for the media.

    I have a 2mbit service with virgin, but I can't surf the web and watch iplayer at the same time. The rate limiters at virgin have been going up and up and now, when watching telly I can't surf the web. All i need is a little itty bitty piece of spare bandwidth to grab my emails and browse a few pages but it's not possible.

    Yep, the web is broken and it's getting worse. I'm thinking of tunneling everything through a third party - then there ain't anything that virgin and the others can do about it.

    This ain't just virgin in trouble, its every ISP. They have no spare money, their central network cores are unable to carry the current capacity and they are gonna simply up the filtering until nothing works it would seem. Hey, but I'm there already - iplayer, no probs. Anything else, forget it.

    If you are an architect working on large tower blocks, especially so in London, get your but into gear and talk to some LINX members so that you can get some decent broadband into your real estate. Video production companies, ISPs, database engineers, BI specialists - they will soon fill it up. Come on, what are you waiting for - or are you afraid that if you do this, your other stuff won't sell!

  60. Steven Hunter

    @Mark Wills

    Backspace is ^H, not ^M (carriage return).

  61. Sooty

    i'd be happy

    if they could keep my 10meg connection running at more than 1k generally. At least a few days of the week it drops to a speed that times out trying to connect to a web page, or just can;t reslove the domain name.

    Unfortunately it never actually disconnects completely, as that would be something useful, that customer support could actually understand.

  62. Martyn Collis

    Upto speeds

    If it's upto 20MB/s or 200MB/s then why not follow the example of penny arcade... linky to follow:

    Pirate... cause VM are just a bunch of them really.

  63. Matt Ruggles

    I call BULL£#%!

    Er I call bullshit. Has anyone seen, heard of anyone, had a vision of ANYONE who has 50mbit?

    I dont know anyone on 50mbit, the only person I know who has higher than 20mbit in the UK is a friend in London who gets 100mbit but is actually more like 60mbit (might just be his download locations)

    Virgin are liars, not only do they lie and say their service is fibre optic. But it seems they tout products they dont have and have little intent on selling either. I'd rather stick to my 20mbit BE and not get capped thanks.

    Theres no light coming out the end of my coax !

  64. savaged

    200 what about 10??

    Virgin Media - moving ahead but not finishing the job first. I don't think I'm alone in having problems getting the bandwidth promised. How about they get what they sell now working before doing the next thing. I've had an average less than 2Mbps since starting to pay for 10Mbps three months ago! Infrastructural issues are the cause according to their technical support team. With no fixed dates promised for correction.

    BT sent me a cocky letter when I switch from them to virgin media, saying I'd regret it. Guess what, they were right.

  65. Tony

    At all the VM bashers

    2Mbs - I dream of speeds like that. BT have given me 2 yogurt pots and a bit of string. They did get me up to 1.4 Mbs download for about a week, but I'm back down to averaging under 300K and the packet loss is about 1 in 10. That's when it actually connects - there are whole days when I can't connect to the Internet.

    It's so bad that on bank holiday Monday, I gave up after half an hour and went into to work - I got the job done in 10 minutes.

    Digital Britain my arse.

  66. Daniel Voyce
    Thumb Down

    All this cap talk

    Virgin can go around on TV and put up HUGE billboards saying "We have no download caps" - "We do not cap your broadband connection" and probably even other semantically correct bullshit - because technically they dont cap your broadband - they just break its legs when you download a bit too much!.

    I agree with all of the above though - concentrate on increasing your current network capacity for people who have actually paid for their services that they arent currently getting!

  67. Anonymous Coward

    Must be a location thing.

    I usually max out my connection (20mb) at about 2MB/s download speed. And still able to browse gmail/web.

    When i speed test. I usually find about 22Mb/s speed. Down to about 18Mb/s

  68. Tony

    @Matt and @Tony (if that is your real name!)

    @ Matt

    'Has anyone seen, heard of anyone, had a vision of ANYONE who has 50mbit?'

    Um... me - See my post further up the thread. AND it actually does give the advertised speed pretty much all the time. I'm sure that in another few months they will start throttling the shit out of me as they do on all their other tarriffs, but for now... It's bloody lovely :)

    @ The other Tony

    Who are you and where did you get my name?

  69. Matt Bridge-Wilkinson
    Thumb Down

    Again with the blatant marketing scam?

    If VM could get my 20meg broadband to perform closer to 20 than 10 I would be impressed. Fix what you already provide VM, before investing in some mythical holy grail of speed which will also not be achieved. The money would be better spent getting the current setup right!

  70. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Upload Speeds

    Most internet providers supply an ADSL service to private individuals.

    The A is for Asymmetric - i.e. bigger in one direction than the other

    Given that the majority of home users only consume internet data this isn't a problem, after all you shouldn't be running a web server from home

    For those people complaining that the crap upload speed means they can't work properly then YOU purchased the wrong internet connction. You should have got SDSL

  71. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    For about 10 seconds, before it drops to 10kbit/s.

    Vermin Media FTL.

  72. Mike Wharton
    Thumb Down

    VM And Their Caps

    I have 20MB VM, it is OK, but I dont always get much more than 10. I just consider the extra money I pay over 10mb as paying for the bigger cap amount. I just think its daft that the caps kick in so early, whats the point in 20MB if you get capped after using it for just 20 minutes???

    Doesnt make sense.

  73. Martin Ouseley
    Thumb Down

    Good News!

    Phorm will be able to collect your data even faster.

  74. Ishkandar

    A shame they are not doing this in London !!

    They have at least one guaranteed subscriber, paid for by the taxpayer, for their porn channels !! And if it gives him RSI of the wrist, so much the better !!

    20Mb good; 200Mb = instant RSI !!

  75. James Hamilton

    So is this where...

    we actually get bits of fibre optic into the home? No, I highly doubt it as DOCSIS 3.0 is just a new standard that'll run over the current "to-home" infrastructure with the upgrades taking place further into the network.

    Has ANYONE got fibre optic into the home from VM? Doubt it!! But that's what they advertise..!

    I somehow doubt they've got nearly enough backhaul to allow real internet connections at this speed.

  76. James Halliday

    As has been pointed out endlessly

    It's not JUST the bandwdith of the connection, it's the latency, the throttling etc as well.

    I've got a VM 20M connection and (seemingly fortunately) have no issues with downloading at that speed, or with latency.

    Throttling drives me up the wall occasionally - I know why they do it, but I don't have to like it.

    Their peering is poor, some stuff I can download flat out (giganews for example), some I can't - I only get a 1.2M connection to my dedicated hosted server (which I know has a 100M uplink, is in the UK and know for a fact has not saturated it's uplink).

    Problem they have is that they don't provide any data content themselves. They can now bang on about how many milliseconds you can get an MP3 in, how many minutes 20/50/100/200M will allow you do download a movie in, but all this stuff is off their network. There is no way they can afford 200M peer for every user they sell the 200M service to, so there's going to be throttling and there's going to be complaints.

    What they need to do is provide a reason to keep your traffic request on their network. Now they can't list number of minutes to download a1080p mkv file on their sales pitch - and they really don't want you to download it even if they did - but this is what would actually encourage a consumer to sign up.

    How about a compromise - just state that p2p connections within the VM network don't count towards BW utilization. Quietly install a decent nntp server?

    They're clearly not going to do any of the above, so maybe as has been noted, they could just use some of this new BW to compress the TV picture a bit less so it doesn't end up looking quite so piss-poor.

  77. Ben Rosenthal

    20meg running at 10?

    my 10 only just runs over 2Mb :(

    and to add insult to injury they tell me it's because of my brand new wireless N CISCO router. They don't say why my router would cause this to happen, IT JUST DOES! >.<

  78. John Smith Gold badge
    Thumb Down

    So goodbye contention

    Hello packet throttling.

    Both result in *actual* routinely usable bandwidth *substantially* below the headline number. Statistical multiplexing was a term that used be used for this.

    I believe the Home Highway is still available. Only 128kbs both ways max. but 24/7 operation.

    And as others have pointed out the A in ADSL is for Asymmetrical. Which historically has been how UK (and European?) telcos have viewed data rates. Remember Prestel at 1200/75 bps?

    Perhaps a letter in to the All Party Group on the Internet from some actual VM users is in order?

  79. Anonymous Coward

    VM's "Fibre Optic Broadband" Advertising Campaign

    Oh gawd, does this mean we're likely to get even more of those annoying Virgin Media adverts on TV and every other billboard acrsoo the country? I don't think I can take any more annoying clips of Ruby Wax or Samuel L. Jackson proclaiming how good VM's fibre optic broadband is. Even those adverts for Halifax, Injury Lawyers for Numpties, Jamster, Microsoft (Jerry Seinfeld and Bill Gates together.... zoiks!), Cillit Bang, etc... etc... etc.... are less annoying than Virgin Media's ones.

    Like James Hamilton says above, VM's advertising campaign implies that their broadband service offers fibre optic all the way from the gigantesque pipes of the internet to your home, when in reality the fibre goes as far as that big green box a couple of streets down from your house and the connection from there to your house uses good old copper wire.

    Pretty much what ADSL from BT et al offers, really, with the exception being that you need to replace the big green cabinet with the local BT exchange. I believe BT's fibre to the cabinet trials are starting (have already started?) in Muswell Hill and South Glamorgan... at which point VM's "Fibre Optic Broadband" and BT's ADSL will essentially be the same thing.

    I see that the ASA have received complaints from the general public about these adverts (and unsurprisingly enough from Sky too!) but have only upheld a complaint about the wording of their adverts saying, "10 out of 10 homes with our fibre optic broadband can get 20Mb". It seems the ASA doesn't really understand the technical details behind fibre optic and coax cables, or they just don't give a shit.

    I don't know why it is that I have such a hatred for Virgin Media but, despite generally liking Sir Dickie Branson normally, I can't stand Virgin Media. Maybe it's because of their crappy services and products, their incompetent call centre staff, their fucked-up billing system, their intention to definitely use Phorm, their ridiculously low caps with 5 hour restrictions, their 'off peak only STM' promise that is now enforced more each day than it's disabled, their crappy adverts, their annoying sales people in shopping malls, their patronising spiel on their website about downloading a gazillion MP3s, their clueless CEO, their useless tech support who refuse to help if you're not running Windows, their crappy picture quality, their lack of any HD channels, their sycophantic customers on sites such as Cable Forum, their arrogance in thinking people would prefer watching Virgin One instead of episodes of Lost, 24 and the Simpsons, etc...

    <breathe out> ...and relax.

  80. Anonymous Coward


    what a load of rubbish!

    Blueyonder/Telewest used to be the best by far 10mb and no caps, I was happy with 10mb solid all day and night :)

    then 20mb came and traffic shaping came in :(

    what's the point of 50mb or 200mb and capping it, lets say you legitimately steam a hd film to watch that's 10gb, over 2hrs they would cap you

    WHEN will these fools realise that faster is not always better, should have left it at 10mb...

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