back to article Virgin Media to push out nimble new broadband speeds

Virgin Media is planning to whip its broadband into a wild gallop in a £110m upgrade that will produce a top speed of 120Mbps. The company won't be charging its existing customers for the new speeds, and folks who have an old modem incapable of handling the super-fast internet – such as those on the 20Mbps package – will get a …


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  1. AndrueC Silver badge
    Thumb Up >Virgin still has plenty of space on its network Really? Curious then that all but the very highest speed package has strict throttling rules during peak hours. Also curious that it's network seems to suffer a lot of jitter. But I don't want to be seen as bashing VM. It is a good move for those people who already have it. I just think that part of the article is a bit too gushing :)
    1. AndrueC Silver badge
      Thumb Down Spotted this as well: >The provider spends millions every year to maintain and expand its network Where has it expanded? It's made it faster and I heard there was some infill going on and converting analogue to digital but where exactly has it expanded its network?
      1. Brad Ackerman
        Black Helicopters


        Some infill? Last I heard Virgin had a strict no-infill policy. If a property didn't have service when they bought the plant from NTHell then no way, no how would it get cabled.

        Perhaps the black-helicopter men abducted Virgin's management and forcibly implanted them with clue. (On the gripping hand, I'll believe it when I see it.)

        1. itzman

          NTL was essentially bust....

          ....when Virgin acquired them..HUGE debt had been incurred cabling up metropolitan areas and there was a need to pay that down before further expansion.

          The TV thing never caught on the way it did in the states because PAL meant that reasonable terrestrial broadcast streams were available, and the switch to digital TV meant that satellite was a cheaper way to get the '50 channels of shit' into every ones home.

          In short the Cable companies who used the US model and the US technology were only saved from extinction by the Internet and datacomms: Suddenly they had an infrastructure people were prepared to pay for.

          If they can leverage existing fiber to higher speeds, they can retain some advantage over BT.

          Otherwise the only thing they do well...high speed datacomms into the home - is a dead duck anyway.

          Ultimately one suspects that street cabinet or metropolitan area proxying of IP stream based media content will happen: And that will simply replace cable TV altogether. I am not sure what the total bandwidth of e.g. a satellite is, in Gb/s, but its probably less than a fibers worth. Virgin could easily set up 'virtual servers' within its own network range and have free, or pay per view, streamed real-time TV content available at high efficiency.

          And apart from the insane requirement to have a phone that works when there is no electricity (give every customer a free mobile that dials 999 only?) VOIP to the premises is probably coming to a socket near you, anyway. Again it leverages their infrastructure nicely.

          And with interest rates low, and everybody out of work, but on reasonable benefits watching trash in bed with a spliff in one hand and a can of lager in the other, it might be a worthwhile ROI as well.

          1. Terry Barnes


            It can't be a mobile - the whole point is immediately being able to identify the premises the call is coming from. Signal triangulation is of course possible but the advantage of using a fixed line is that the CLI lookup has taken place and the address presented to the emergency operator before they've even answered the call.

            Working when there's no electricity? A fairly sensible requirement because a number of potential emergencies can render mains inoperative.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Not only that...

      But its pretty obvious that TV bandwidth is severely throttled - well there has to be some explanation for the frankly abysmal picture quality on many of their channels where you actually get better picture quality streaming off the internet.

      1. Vince

        @anon re TV quality

        Funny you mention it, I moved to Virgin last year because my premises had a really duff BT line, and actually fixing it would be beyond BTs reasonable problem and just stupid money, so the only useful fix would be to get an alternative. Hi Virgin.

        So I figure I may as well kill all the birds with that one stone, so move the broadband, tv and such to them.

        I'll give them praise - my 50MB service was spot on, I got those speeds (when I was downloading from somewhere with enough bandwidth (eg our servers), and worked faultlessly the whole time.

        TV on the other hand... well the set top box sucked, wouldn't output to SCART and HDMI at the same time for reasons Virgin understand but I suspect is something between inadequate spec of set top box and anti-watching-stuff in another room with repeaters etc thing. Ignoring that, and the box just not being very good at remembering to record stuff (or worse, just recording random stuff and then assuming it has been recording for 3 months and then deleting everything, no really)... the picture quality, even on a HD channel was frankly abysmal. Worst TV I've ever watched.

        4 months in, I cancelled virgin, terminated the lot early. Spent the next few months with them chasing me for the £180 cancellation fee (they still had a valid direct debit, had said they'd take it from there but never did, rang me and insisted I paid them despite also agreeing they had a valid DD and had said they'd take it) and never collected any of my equipment they say they own and must have back blah blah.

        Moved house after that, got Sky again, and it all just works. Sky picture good, shame the box can't hold more TV (1TB box still not that big) (yeah I could upgrade myself, but not the point), and broadband works - not as fast true, but I got over the rare benefit of that 50meg service...

        1. Peter 48

          must have been really bad

          I am rather happy with the broadcast quality on on VM setup (TIVO 500GB box). Picture quality is outstanding, as good as anything friends of mine get with Sky. You must have had a really duff connection. What did virgin say when you complained to them about the quality?

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Never mind the top speeds

    What will the Average speeds be? I am very sceptical about this. Just sounds like a PR exercise to get more Punters to sign up.
    1. Paul 25
      Thumb Up

      Well according to Ofcom... you can take it or leave it, but their average speeds are pretty much on a par with the advertised.

      I'm on their 50mb package, and I get a pretty consistent rate very close to or spot on that.

      I've never had 'jitteryness' but that may be down to which part of their network you are on. Generally when I have that sort of problem it's down to wi-fi problems. From what I understand the Telewest network is better than the NTL part, but that might be historical and no longer true.

      I'm really looking forward to being bumped to 100mb. Although with a mostly wireless network I'm not sure how much use it will be to me.

      It reminds me of the good old days of Telewest when they used to bump your speed every year or so, just because they could. We went from 1mb/s (this was a long while ago) to about 5mb in the space of a few years.

      1. ChrisC Silver badge

        "I'm really looking forward to being bumped to 100mb. Although with a mostly wireless network I'm not sure how much use it will be to me."

        As a fellow 50Mb user, I say bring on the bump! And don't forget that with the bump in download speeds we'll presumably be getting the corresponding bump in upload speeds, so unless your wifi setup is a bit pants you should see some benefit there.

    2. Tim Parker

      Re : Never mind the top speeds

      "What will the Average speeds be? I am very sceptical about this. Just sounds like a PR exercise to get more Punters to sign up."

      IME, when you're not being throttled, VM speeds are typically those quoted - i.e. 10Mb/s is 10Mb/s, 20Mb/s is 20Mb/s. That said, i've not had the 50Mb/s service or higher, nor talked in any detail to anyone who has, so that may not hold for those services - be interested to hear from people who are on those.

      1. Paul Shirley

        ...even when I hit throttling on my 10Mbit cable, just pause the Torrent or download and the throttled connection is still fast enough for 'normal' use by my wife and I. The only thing that becomes unusable is OnLive streaming, iPlayer etc. still work. I'd imagine on a faster cable connection even OnLive would remain usable throttled.

        To be fair, you will notice massive downloads taking a few hours longer, like the 8Gb Batman install yesterday. But it was going to take forever anyway ;)

    3. Pete JW

      Average speeds...

      SW London and on 50Mb service. Speeds usually within a Mb or 2. Sometimes over sometimes under. I don't upload much but downloads don't seem restricted at any time of the day.

      As for Vince's problems with VM TV. I'd be interested to know what VM's comments were when he complained. I may be lucky but TV through the V+ and now Tivo boxes and Sony TV has always been VG.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Word to the wise

    It is impossible to configure the VMDG280 modem/router to have an IP address of 192.168.1.x. It reserves 192.168.1.x and 192.168.2.x for it's "guest networks" and VMs firmware make it impossible to move away from that. It also means you can't use the VMDG280 as a modem only, since that requires putting your existing router into it's DMZ, which won't accept a 192.168.1.x address. You will need to get the VM480 "superhub", which has an explicit "modem mode" and take it from there.

    I know this because I recieved the VMDG280 just before Xmas, and wasted nearly 3 hours of my life with their "technical support" before they finally admitted it wouldn't work. I still have a pair of one of their agents testicles, which I took when they insisted that MY network had to fit in with THEIR kit.

    Hope this helps someone.

    1. mark l 2 Silver badge

      I too had the 'guest network' IP range problem when VM came last week and swapped out my dead modem for one of their new modem/router combos. Had to resort to reconfiguring all my devices with static IPs to use 192.168.0.x range which while only took a few minutes was a still a pain and it seems crazy to hardcode the guest ip ranges into the firmware that can't be changed.

      I'm glad i didn't take the option to upgrade to 30mb for an extra £5 a month though considering now im going to get it for free anyway just by waiting.

    2. K.o.R

      "since that requires putting your existing router into it's DMZ, which won't accept a 192.168.1.x address"

      Can't you set your router to use a non-reserved address, such as 192.168.3.x, and have your internal network as say 192.168.4.x?

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. JimmyPage

        So what you're saying

        is that the customer should change their network to accomodate Virgins borked hardware ?

  4. Stu_The_Jock

    20Mb entry level . . . nice . .

    nice but not phenomenal . . . I've a nice 40Mb synchronous line, damned stable at 38+Mb too. I'd love to upgrade to their top deal (from the entry level I'm on) but with a 100Mb home network opting for a 400Mb internet package seems a bit pointless.

    ( if you want more info, but you "might" want to get google translate to help a little)

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Well I'm glad I've been making do with my 20Mb service and resisting the urge to upgrade to 30 or 50Mb.

    60Mb service here we come!

    Thank you VM (just make sure I'm not the last area to get the upgrades!)

    1. J Lewter


      the 20 and 30 are both goign to 60.

      Both will need the superhub..

      The only thing you managed to get is a £30 discount on a modem. One that you probably will not receive for AT LEAST another year.

      Just because an area gets upgraded, it doesnt mean that all customers get new hardware to cope with it. Some of the first areas of the "Faster Uploads" upgrade we had still have old modems on it, VM havent even started contacting those customers yet!...

  6. Chris 171

    Hands up for the jitter

    I have seen no reason to move from the 10meg service as it does what I need (especially when these speed bumps keep coming) but the glitching Im getting of late when streaming radio at 192k is becoming a pain! My 3G is better ffs and that aint right!

    Not all the time & at various times through the month so I dont think Im being throttled but quite why Im seeing these drop outs I dont know... 20 Gig a month average download doesnt strike me as excessive either, or is it?

  7. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

    Great news

    I also stuck with 20Mbps after hearing all the problems with the new outers on the 'free 30Mbps upgrade' so I can look forward to a free tripling of speed. And no doubt an increase in service charge in the future.

    While I've always received the full speed advertised it seems to be DNS issues which slow things down for me.

    If only the rest of VM were as good as their cable infrastructure.

    1. CD001

      on the 30Mbs

      I'm on the 30Mbs since my own router died and it was cheaper to get VM to provide a new wireless router in the form of the Superhub than it was to buy a new one.

      They seem to have got all the (obvious) glitches out of it now and the machine that's wired into it normally gets around the 30Mbs mark (maybe 1mb or 2 under) - my biggest problem is with the wireless bit... there are about 8 - 9 other wireless networks within broadcast range and the "auto-select channel" setting is, erm, rubbish on the Superhub.

      Before I manually set the channel to one that nobody else was using I was getting only about 3Mbs on devices connected wirelessly, once I'd set it to a clear channel that went up to about 12Mbs ... still slower than I'd like, especially when downloading something from the PSN.

    2. chr0m4t1c

      The new firmware allows you to configure the (not so) SuperHub as a modem only, which should then give you no trouble whatsoever (mine doesn't, it just works as a drop-in replacement for the old modem).

      Of course, I'm mildly annoyed that I paid the one-off fee to upgrade a few months ago, but I guess that there's always a risk when upgrading your tech that the next model will come out as soon as you buy the current one.

  8. Number6


    Can I have IPv6 as well, while they're at it? Should do wonders for employment prospects in the customer support department, but if they're going to give us all a routeable IPv4 address, it would be nice to have a routeable IPv6 subnet as well, even if most people won't bother using it for a while yet.

    1. PyLETS
      Thumb Up

      IPV6 tunnelled over Virgin Media connection

      Unfortunately VM don't support IPv6 directly yet. Fortunately VM do support protocol 41 so you can run a Hurricane Electric tunnel through your VM kit, see: and . I've been running this dual stack setup for about 6 months now, rock solid and stable. Something like 3-4% of my network traffic is IPV6 currently, and clearly a growing number of sites are using IPV6.

  9. Joe Montana


    Instead of spending all this money to increase the headline top speed, they should be trying to pay off their debts, expanding their network to areas it does not currently cover and increasing the capacity of their peers with the rest of the internet...

    I have the 50mbit service from them, and i can download at around 10-20mbit max from several colocated servers i have (all on gigabit links)...

    I get 50mbit from the popular speedtest sites, but i get considerably less downloading from servers hosted at the very same ISPs making it very much seems they're prioritising the common speedtest sites.

    I do get 50mbit from, but thats to be expected given that its internal to the isp...

    I can sometimes get 50mbit if i torrent, assuming there are sufficiently diverse peers.

    1. Monty Burns

      Sounds odd....

      I can happily max out my 100meg link without issue from Newsgroup servers on foreign shores.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward Exactly what I said about 6 months ago. I am not paying any extra to up my VM 10MB connection, they want me up they can give it me for nothing, looks like I'm getting 20MB upgrade. I bet that means I'll have to have one of those shitty SuperHub things, oh what joy! I have a crappy old bog standard VM modem running into my own personal WRT-54G router which is running DD-WRT custom firmware. I've had about 2 mins of downtime in 9 months and one reboot when I pulled the wrong plug behind the telly. My old man has a SuperHub thingy at his house and loses connection to VM at least once a day and has to reboot it.
    1. Jonathan Richards 1 Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      @AC 11/0/1/2012 18:42

      Your setup, Scientific Atlanta modem -> WRT54G/HyperWRT ->LAN is exactly what I was running until I upgraded to 30 Mb/s, which the old modem wouldn't handle. I've put the SuperHub that VM supplied into modem-only mode, and put the WRT54G back into service, with all the port forwarding and static IP setup that my LAN expects. Works well, and I don't have to reboot anything. says "System Up Time 30 days 00h:45m:22s".

    2. citizenx

      Custom firmware? Moaning about better hardware?!

      You need to get over it mate. It's a router.

  11. GrantK
    Thumb Up

    I get what it says on the box

    I am a 10mb subscriber and hardly ever get anything significantly less than that. Have been with them for something like 8 years now. I started with 150k and every now and again get a speed hike.

    Have recently had the "jitter" problems in our area though, loads of short term (couple of seconds) disconnects.

  12. MCROnline

    Oh wow.... not

    How about sorting out the horrible intermittent routing problems or removing soft caps, filtering and making unlimited actually unlimited.

    My current ISP ( has no caps but only connects with adsl at 12/2MB for me. I will take unmetered everyday of the week. I wouldnt care if Virgin offered 10000/10000MB, with A soft cap, you cant use the Internet you want to.


  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    120Mb, seriously ?

    Is that using Virgins own private speedtest servers ?

    Regardless of how fast it goes "up to", blowing £110,000,000 on boosting the headline grabbing speed isn't value for money when the ropey old cabinets on the corner of your street cannot cope with heat, cold or condensation and it drops to 0Mb at regular intervals.

    Somebody bruised their tonsils on Virgins press release.

    1. Thecowking

      Have you used cable?

      Aside from throttling (A sin in and of itself), I've never had it not run at the stated speed, within a couple of hundred Kb/s and I've been on Virgin/Telewest since 1999 or so. Generally it does exactly what it says on the tin.

      Full disclosure, I used to work for Virgin, in a call centre (which would make me hate them you'd think.)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        The Cowking said "Have you used cable?"

        I've used it myself, fixed wobbly setups for others, liked it when it works, been infuriated when it doesnt and missed quite a few ebay auctions that happened to end around 3:30pm.

        You could set your watch by it most days and watch the DB/Mv levels rise until it broke.

        If you worked in the call centre you probably saw just how many faults there were at any one time in Roxio, shedloads on a good day.

        The trouble is, a modem that cannot communicate doesnt show up as a fault.

        Virgin having 120Mb speeds is like being Usain Bolt, on the starting blocks, wearing bloody Flip-Flops.

        The best outcome of ths will be BT fibre having to keep an eye on its prices

      2. Darren B 1

        @Thecowking: I have and I must be in a minority

        I was on the 10mb package (had been with NTL/Virgin for nearly 10 years - started out on 512kbps) but rarely got speeds over 1mb so after several phone calls to "Bob" in India I plucked up the courage and ditched them. Bob's view was that it was all down to my hardware (even though I tried different PC's while on the phone all direcly connected to the Modem rather than my Router).

        They only offered to send out an engineer, after we gave notice to quit, during the "Why are you leaving" courtesy call.

        Now I am happily getting 6mbps on BT and paying a lot less (and Infinity is coming in March).

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I had Telewest/Blueyonder/Virgin for several years. But when NationalGrid's digger crew introduced an 18inch air-gap into my cable connection VM couldn't manage a repair even after 6 months of dealing with their piss-poor call centre. So I don't have cable any more, and for my needs a wireless broadband dongle provides a better service.

      1. dave 76

        fixing an airgap

        "But when NationalGrid's digger crew introduced an 18inch air-gap into my cable connection VM couldn't manage a repair even after 6 months of dealing with their piss-poor call centre. "

        I had the same problem. after months of them scheduling a crew to relay the cable I gave up and cancelled the service (and actually got a refund!).

        A few months after I moved overseas I got an email from them that the cable had finally been repaired - well done but a little too late!

    3. CaNsA

      Awww bless ya cotton socks.

      From >>

      "Why do I have to wait for my Speed Boost?

      Over the next 18 months we're going to be upgrading over four million customers. Doubling everyone’s speed is a pretty big job so it can’t happen overnight. Our engineers will be working as fast as they can to upgrade 38,000 street cabinets and 186,000km of cable (enough to go around the equator four times).

      As soon as the network is ready and tested in a region, we'll upgrade everyone in that area as quickly as possible."

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Wish We in the States Got That Kind of Speed

    But alas, our ISPs are too cheap to do the upgrades.

  15. jubtastic1

    Any word on the upstream?

    Can I expect 5+ Mbps after the upgrade to 60? Because that would be damn useful.

    1. phuzz Silver badge

      I'm pretty sure they promised us a 5MBps upload last year, and I'm still waiting. A 100MBps connection will be nice, but pretty pointless if the upstream is still limited to 2.5MBps.

      Actually, just read their forum post (, and they do say:

      "Note: Upstream speeds and traffic management fair usage amounts will be increased in proportion to the increase in downstream speed."


      "Will my upload speed increase, as well?

      Yes! It’s not just your downloads that’ll become much faster. Your upload speeds will be automatically increased as we upgrade our network, so you get the best of both worlds.

      Depending on the progress of the network upgrade there maybe a delay after your download speed is increased before your upload speed boost occurs."

      Like I said, they promised an upload speed bump last year, and now I can't find anything on their website stating their upload speeds.

  16. Tim of the Win
    Thumb Up

    I love my Virgin Media broadband primarily because I don't have to fork out £15/month for a useless landline. I have the 10mb service and find that for general internet usage it is great. You only have to worry about the STM when you're downloading huge files, like the latest linux distro. Even then it's not too much of a hassle, they clearly publish the limits and rules and so I always schedule them for the right time. It would be nice if they had a good boy exception to the STM rule that would let you break the limits without being throttled as a one off, but I guess you can't have everything. At least they said they are doubling the limit where STM kicks in so maybe now it won't even be a problem.

    1. itzman


      Even with VAT the going rate for a PAYG phone line is only £11.22 with - say IDNET.

      And that gives me the option of as rental free PAYG VOIP service. (SIPGATE) .which is better quality than the analogue anyway.

      My only regret is that I am limited to about 4.5Mbps down/376 kbps up..

  17. Anonymous Coward

    Expand the economy?


    Online shopping just a little bit faster?

    The man must be mad. Or both.

  18. Blue eyed boy

    I would prefer to see

    nimble new prices.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    throttling limits doubled

    Not pointed out in the story but VM are doubling the amount you can download before being throttled.

  20. Jacqui

    50Mb servie in GU15 (NTHell)

    Support is still a joke and they peridoically cut you off for half days randomly (been told off record its often due to hackers using rogue c/modems connecting using your account). The DOCSIS4 migration was supposed to put a stop to the easy-peasy DOCSIS1.0 hacks but this has only reduced not elimiated the modem outages issues.

    Very happy with 50Mb service - can and often do get 50Mb inbound but the 5Mb outbound is the nice bit. I run around 20 or so web sites via a VRP on my single dynIP which ahs not changed for well over a year.

    Untilr ecently had a BT line but broadband has been dead for well over a year - BT business were simply not interested in fixing the visibly rotting cabel connecting my home to the pole.

    My last BT bill (DSL bill paid by work) was >60 UKP for three months for < 6 minutes of calls.

    My MOBILE phone costs me 10UKP a moths with 250mins a month and unlimited internet.

    BT offered to try and match whoever I was moving to when I mentioned I already had a virgin 50Mb server and free for an hour calls package they hung up on me :-)

  21. Zack Mollusc


    If Branston upgrades my cable speeds from 600kbytes/50kbytes, I may be able to try this 'remote desktop' thing that the young people talk about. Will there be bandwidth spare for the tv channels? I can see the compression artifacts and I am using a ten year old PAL CRT telly.

  22. nexsphil

    reminds me of the '3G' promises

    This is just like the bogus promises around '3G' tech. What wasn't revealed about 3G is that the promised 3Meg-odd connection represents only the *connection capacity* between you and the mobile tower. Whether the provider's systems from the mobile tower onward can deliver more data than a piece of rusted doorbell wire is another matter entirely, as we all came to discover.

    The squillion meg promise Virgin is making is the same old tired drivel. The squillion megs is the maximum capacity of the *piece of cable* between you and their backhaul systems. It says nothing about the capacity of those systems. And judging by all the comments about crappy TV service and PEAK TIME THROTTLING (what the HELL??) etc, the outlook on their actual capacity to deliver is very bleak indeed.

    1. Tim of the Win

      They only throttle you if you exceed the peak times limit. They are doubling the limits. Even if you're throttled, general web usage isn't affected. Just schedule your large downloads outside of peak times, it's not unreasonable. As long as you avoid the throttling your achievable speed is actually very, very close to the maximum speed of the connection you are paying for.

      1. nexsphil

        great connection..... when you're not using it.

        Throttling at exactly the times I'll want to use the service directly opposes all the speed promises. I just don't care how awesome my connection is while I'm in bed or at work. It's when I use it that counts. And no, it's not realistic or 'reasonable' that a busy person be asked to create a special personal schedule for bandwidth intensive tasks - at least, not unless this requirement is made very clear at the point of subscription.

  23. Miek

    "The smokin' hot broadband speeds were enough to prompt praise from UK prime minister David Cameron"

    He obviously is not a Virgin Media subscriber.

    "As long as you avoid the throttling your achievable speed is actually very, very close to the maximum speed of the connection you are paying for" -- actually, I am getting roughly half of what I am paying for and there is no throttling going on other than their "traffic shaping" which is NOT "network throttling" according to VM.

  24. Jaruzel

    What about Virgin Media Business Customers?

    I switched from VM Residential to VM Business simply so I could have up to 5 'reserved' IPs - I wont say static because they are still in the dynamic pool, they just never ever change. The switch over involved swapping my blue VM modem, for an identical black one (!) and dropping from 20mb/s to 10mb/s because you can't have reserved IPs on the 20mb/s or 50mb/s service.

    So my question is - is this speed doubling also being offered to Virgin Media Business customers?

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Virgin Media - When it works, lurvly. When it doesn't, you will quickly learn why they used to be called NTHell.

    I once had to call in over a loss of connectivity, and spoke to one of their offshore call centers. When he asked me to "please be reboot modem now" for the 4th time, I actually told him "How many times do you want me to reboot the mode, because the previous 3 times haven't worked.", he cut me off yelling "You cannot swear at me sir."

    Fortunatly when I redialed, I spoke to someone with a Liverpool accent, and they spotted the fault instantly, and fixed it by offering me an engineer callout for the next day. Shame that they are closing the Liverpool call center, those guys are top notch.

  26. Ravenger

    I'd rather they support the current speeds properly.

    Virgin are great if your area isn't oversubscribed, but they have a lovely habit of selling more subscriptions than they have the bandwidth for.

    I live in a student area, and when they're back from their holidays the internet speed takes a noticeable drop, and in some cases the connection becomes unusable except for basic web-browsing - and even that is slow.

    When the connection gets really overloaded then Virgin will promise to upgrade the UBR, but it often takes months. The only way I've been able to get them to move faster is to complain to the CEO's office.

    So though I'm happy I'll be getting 60mbits rather than 30, I'd much rather have a reliable 30mbit, or even 20mbit connection.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'd really like to see more coverage on The Register of all the *bad* stuff that Virgin does. This seems to have gone unreported for a while.

    They clearly have appalling support. They have consistent network problems (probably due to the rapidly expanding network) and they are all about throttling your downloads (even on the 50/100 "unlimited" package).

    I'd love to see some stats about the number of issues people have with their service.

    Oh, and please stop praising their Tivo box as much as you do. It's not that great! How is it still so slow to browse their on-demand stuff (for example). The actual Tivo part of it seems ok, but anywhere it has to integrate with Virgin services it appears to be extremely poor. It also has a nasty habit of locking up completely.

    If I had the option of another provider I would switch immediately (I'm renting and no BT line/Satellite dish allowed).

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Good news and bad news

    Good that my speed will be going up.

    Bad that whenever VM are making any changes to their network the number of outages soars (and they deny there's any problem). I'm not looking forward to that bit.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'd comment

    But if I did it in the style of VM's tesh support forum you'd be waiting a week for it, if you called me I'd hang up, and if you wanted it in the first place you'd have to email the CEO to get me to actually send it.

    In fact [T3 Timeout]

    [T3 Timeout]

    [T3 Timeout]

  30. Jon Massey
    Thumb Up

    What upload speed?

    Got great service in BS2 on the 50MB plan, consistently fast, no caps, no probs with the superhub (in modem-only mode anyway); but the 1MB upload is a bit pants sometimes if you're really spanking the downstream with lots of torrent peers and your ACKs don't get out fast enough and so your web browsing experience slows to a crawl. Good traffic management at the edge of my own network helps allay this somewhat, but it's still an extraordinarily asymmetric connection when compared to the FTTC offerings.

  31. Lloyd

    The TV might be bad

    But I don't get Virgin TV, I only use Phone/Broadband and to be fair I get between 1- 1.2MBs on the 10Mb package, which is pretty darned good (well, better than the 600kBs I used to get on BT for the same money). Very handy with awards season coming up.

  32. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge

    The problem with Virgin is Throttling...

    I have the 10mb service. That rate (if we ever got it) would be fine for my needs. Usually, I'm lucky to get 5mb. But even that is fine for general browsing.

    The big problem, though, is the throttling. Occasionally, I need to download a couple of Linux distros or my son wants to download a Steam game - these can be 20Gb or more. If we download this, throttling sets in, and it can take a day to get the download.

    There would be little point my going to a faster and more expensive connection just to up the throttling limit on the rare occasions when I need to download a lot. Mostly, I am a low user, but occasionally I would like the 10mb.

    The trouble with throttling is that, for the small users, Virgin says you can have a fast speed and then takes it away from you when you try to use it. This has always seemed particularly unfair to me...

    1. nexsphil

      love the downvote

      You're a BAD person for complaining about being scammed into buying a fast service you can't actually use. Bad bad person!!

  33. Bronek Kozicki

    is that any good for online backup?

    I mean your regular ADSL with paltry 0.5Mbps or so upload speed is just not suitable if one has some number of GB of stuff to upload. Meaning that online backups via ADSL are only practical if one has little (literally) to lose. Would consider Virgin if its upload speeds were adequate for this purpose.

    As for download speed : if it's good enough for video streaming with sensible quality, then the speed is good for me. And that is way below 20Mbps.

  34. Little Fishie

    "I have the 50mbit service from them, and i can download at around 10-20mbit max from several colocated servers i have (all on gigabit links)..."

    Main reason for this is Latency

    It doesnt matter how much bandwidth you throw at it the maximum throughput will be dependent on the latency. (torrents get round this by setting up multiple sessions)

    Even on corperate private networks latency is the main issue

    100mb lines topping out at 10-20mb per session when latency starts going over 20ms.

    with internet latency going into the 100's for long hauls this has a major impact.

  35. c4m1k4z3

    happy VM 50mbit customer here

    soon to be a happy VM 100mbit customer

    I live in Oxford, a very well connected area I would assume. If a server can give it, i get 5.6 MB/s and upload at 595 kB/s

  36. fangster

    Plenty of space!?!?

    "Virgin still has plenty of space on its network"

    Really? Just have a look at their support forums to see the number of people complaining and being told there are problems with "over utilisation"!

  37. Asylum Sam

    Did you hear the one..

    ...about Virgin media sending out a mass email yesterday stating that 'Good News', the recipients were to be receiving an upgrade from 100Mb to 120Mb, regardless of the recipients actual package? Quickly following that with a retraction email, and then sending out the SAME good news email again the next day?

    No retraction mail this time, perhaps they ARE upgrading my 10Mb line to 120Mb, , but I suspect not.

    I envisage a warehouse somewhere with a thousand monkeys typing randomly at a thousand customer support desks.

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