back to article Customers of Brit ISP Virgin Media have downloaded an extra 325GB since March, though we can't think why

Virgin Media has published post-lockdown broadband usage figures that, unsurprisingly, point towards massive spikes in data consumption as Brits work from home or look for something to do online. On average, Virgin Media customers are downloading an extra 3.4GB per day. Since the start of March – which predates the official UK …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Amateurs, I downloaded 181gb this morning alone for something 59 hours and 7 minutes long in chronological order by scene.

    1. macjules Silver badge

      That's a lot of porn. I'd book an appointment with SpecSavers if I were you.

      1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

        Yes, but soon there won't be any new content due to social-distancing rules…

        Mine's the mac with the box of mansize tissues…

        1. The Dogs Meevonks

          There already is new content... and it's 'ALL' labelled something along the lines of 'Stuck in lockdown with my horny step mom/sister/brother/father/cousin/aunt/uncle' and in some parts of the USA... all of those at once.

          1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

            Nice to know you've been selflessly conducting research!

            1. RegGuy1 Silver badge

              Well it's hard when you're locked down.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            That's not porn in the USA: that's a documentary.

        2. JetSetJim Silver badge
          Paris Hilton

          There is plenty of resposible options. Google Image search on Coronasutra (relatively safe, but don't scroll down too far!)

      2. Duffaboy

        Paging "private browsing"

        You knows it....

        1. 's water music

          Re: Paging "private browsing"

          audio streaming your mother's got a penis

    2. Anonymous Coward

      As I've mentioned before, did you remember to enable “dynamic flesh tone compression” on your router? It will save a lot of time (so a friend tells me).

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    181GB or 325GB amateurs, stream that in minutes with Plex to ahem, friends and family ;)

    1. BenDwire

      Indeed so. My lockdown hobby has been downloading 'content' onto my plex server, and finally transfering stuff off my Humax boxen.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Stand by...

    for VM to increase its prices as soon as they are allowed.


    Boss: We are carrying lots of data now. That demand means popularity means... we can increase our prices. Those numpties who use our service won't want to their net access to be throttled back now would they?

    Make it so!

    I'm not saying that is the case but my neighbours have been finding their bit of 1990's NTL copper coax straining under the load since early march.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Stand by...

      But..but..but... surely it isnt copper ? The ads all say its superfast fibre ?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Stand by...

      I have hopes (faint hopes, but still) that Virgin Media are going to be be undercut by 5G services within the next few years, at least in the usual places, i.e. big cities. That said, I can't think there's even a 4G service available by now that is "unmetered"...

    3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Stand by...

      "That demand means popularity means... we can increase our prices."

      I'm not saying they won't do that, nor trying to defend them, but, in their, ahem, defense, they did do a free (possibly temporary) upgrade to 100Mb/s for any customers still on historical or special lower speed packages. They also, at least temporarily, added a significant number of channels for free to the lower tiered TV packages. This was a limited time upgrade and I note that most of the "free" channels have now dropped off, but even well past the announced cut-off date, not all of them have gone yet.

      So, I definitely give them a thumbs up for doing something for their customers. Oh yes, my wife, on the lowest, cheapest SIM-only deal got loads of extra free minutes and GB data for a while, even though in her case she didn't use it what with being at home all the time anyway.

  4. Anonymous Coward

    And this 325 GB is made up of??

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: And this 325 GB is made up of??

      2 Mac OS updates

  5. wolfetone Silver badge

    I did not know that PornHub actually used that much bandwidth. I am shocked. SHOCKED I tell you.

    1. JimboSmith Silver badge

      A former (non technical) colleague of mine recently sent me a WhatsApp asking what a Boolean search was. I explained and asked why he wanted to know/where it had come up. He said he'd seen it when doing a search on a porn site. He very much liked the idea he could make his searches more relevant.

  6. Nifty Silver badge

    "Upstream traffic was up by 3.7GB per week"

    That's a baffler, as upload speed with VM is limited to approx 6% of your download package.

    So if like me you have 100 Mbps download, you get max 6 Mbps upload which is much worse upload than a half decent FTTC or mobile connection.

    1. Lee D Silver badge

      Not really...

      All those Meet/Zoom/Skype etc. conferences would account for that much on its own. And they loosened a lot of restrictions because of that.

    2. rfrazier

      I think it is more like 10%. We had 100 down and 10 up. In April I switched to 200 down and 20 up. Not for the download speed, as 100 is plenty for us, but the upload so that two of us could have video meetings at the same time with a bit of overhead. The last speed test I did gave us about 22 up.

      Best wishes,


      1. Jamie Jones Silver badge

        You're in the UK? So you're not actually "Bombastic Bob"? !!

        1. rfrazier

          As a description it may sometimes fit. Not a handle, however. In any case, I would prefer "Maximum Bob".

          Best wishes,


          1. Jamie Jones Silver badge

            You have the same name! (first name AND surname - even the spelling)

            I thought this might just be the sane account.... Your Jekyll to bombastics Hide!

            Dare I ask why "maximum" ?

            cheer, J

        2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          The LACK of a BROKEN CAPS key was the CLUE :-)

          1. Jamie Jones Silver badge

            Good point.. Even his "Jekyll" account would have suffered that!

    3. tony72

      3.7GB per week is only 0.05Mbps average. Even if you assume it's all concentrated into one hour of activity per day, that's only 1.2Mbps during that hour.

      So even with only 6Mbps upstream capacity, most people would have plenty of headroom for such an increase, I'd have thought.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      you get max 6 Mbps upload

      unless it's over ftp, which comes up to 1.2 Mbps. Stil, about 10 x faster than my plusnet upload before I moved into the Virgin walled garden, but wouldn't mind it... faster.

      1. katrinab Silver badge

        Re: you get max 6 Mbps upload

        I get about 45 down, 15 up on Plusnet. Slightly faster on O2 4G.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I would assume that COD Warzone accounts for about 900% of that.

    1. TheVogon

      Plus Fortnite.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        COD updates are about eleventy billion gigabytes each and downloaded by 10 billion people every few weeks.

        I doubt the in-game bandwidth usage is particularly high.

  8. Mark #255

    Video confs

    I checked early on, and found a half-hour Skype video call used half a GB downstream (and was presumably symmetric, though I didn't monitor the upload). Then a film in HD, plus half a dozen episodes of whatever cartoons my son's watching. It all adds up.

    I think back in slight terror to the first broadband package I ever had, which had a 10GB/month limit.

    Work stuff is slow, but it's not my connection (I have a mere 30Mb/s over ADSL) that's the bottleneck, but rather something between the far end of the work VPN and the actual server.

    I've found that learning how to use robocopy has been very worthwhile.

    1. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: Video confs

      >I think back in slight terror to the first broadband package I ever had, which had a 10GB/month limit.

      Major difference between fixed-line broadband and 4G/5G home broadband is unlimited tends to mean upto 1TB for £20~30 pcm rather than 100GB for £35 pcm...

      Until circa 5 years back we managed with Three's 15GB/month 3G mobile broadband, then the village got FTTC. This last month we consumed circa 330GB. Mind you we have 2 adults using zoom etc, 2 teeangers on Teams multiplayer Xbox games etc. plus the films, I suspect at this rate it will only be a few years before that 1TB p/month cap starts to become an issue...

  9. IGotOut Silver badge

    Think of all those people...

    Crammed within 5m of the router, desperate for the piss poor wifi signal not to drop.

    1. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: Think of all those people...

      Yet will say their superduper broadband connection is slow and unreliable...

  10. The Dogs Meevonks

    I've had nothing but problems with my landline and broadband service for the last 4 months.. and that's just since I discovered the issue... the ISP confirmed the problem had existed for 11 months before that and ignored it.

    It took 5 weeks for them to actually fix the problem with the broadband speeds... which had deteriorated from the 70+Mb I was getting to under 30Mb with real world speeds dipping into the mid teens.

    but they failed to do anything about the noise on the landline... which then had to be reported again and again... and it took a further 2 months to resolve that. With openreach coming out 3 or 4 times and replacing the wires from the exchange to the cabinet, recrimping all of the connections to the home and the block up the pole... and then replacing something called a 'conk' (no idea on spelling) at the exchange itself.

    On the bright side... I've not actually had to pay anything for my service for the last 4 months.... which is nice.

    1. Mark192

      Might be worth paying the extra for Zen internet. Their strategy appears to be that you pay such crazy-high amounts that they can afford to employ people that know what they're/you're talking about. This results in faster and more accurate requests to the Openreach engineers.

      I originally went with them to spite BT but now the wife works from home is be crazy to move... despite the prices.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      conk= concentrator for voice service but more likely the DSLAM which provides digital service. Head end kit which Openreach have no control over and rely on the ISP to provide a fault free service. Bugger to diagnose because the ISP insists its a network fault (Openreach) despite all tests being green, after repeat reports they eventually send someone out to actually fix the fault. The end result is that the OR engineer has a shitload of black marks on his record . Yes Im an ex OR broadband engineer who got pissed off at Sly,TalkTalk etc. and left.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    my upload speeds have been better than normal and downloads have dropped somewhat

  12. anthonyhegedus

    I'm somewhat suprised, given that Vermin's terrible routers seem to block so many things, like VoIP working properly, VPNs working properly. We have business customers on their atrocious service. Every few weeks we get a letter from them telling us about expected downtime for maintenance between 0100 and 0600, and every time, it spills over till 10 or 12, or requires a 'router' reboot.

    Oh and every time we set the router to 'modem only' mode, so that we can use it with, like, a business router, not their POS, the settings revert after a few days.

    1. Evil Scot

      It is not the router

      When I had a VOIP line over virgin i had to change the DNS server on the ATA as the Virmin poisoned their DNS lookup against their competitors. Never use their backroom services since.

      Now their router does just that route.

      DNS services and DHCP from a rasberry Pi. Via PiHole.

      5Ghz wifi on a TPlink mesh and 2.5Ghz (IoT) on BT Access point.

      Thankfully Disable DHCP and wifi haven't reverted.

      1. katrinab Silver badge

        Re: It is not the router

        Configure the pinhole to use DOH, then they can't intercept it.

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      "Oh and every time we set the router to 'modem only' mode, so that we can use it with, like, a business router, not their POS, the settings revert after a few days."

      That must be something special about the business grade one then, or it's borked. My home one has been in modem-only mode since it was last replaced/upgraded some years ago and has never reverted back to factory settings.

  13. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

    I was going to joke it was me downloading simulators from Apple. (2gig/pop) But I've barely scratched the surface of what you guys are capable of.

  14. adam payne

    ...households have downloaded an extra 325GB on average

    That'll be the Modern Warfare updates then.

  15. Mark192


    "with network traffic in Wales increasing by the lowest amount of all the home nations – namely 10 per cent. The ISP didn't hypothesise about the reason why"

    It's because much of Wales doesn't get much of a connection (says me with a fancy fttp connection and a view of the mountains, so we're not all suffering)

    1. spireite Bronze badge

      Re: Wales

      Could it be because there isn't much movie/ TV content featuring sheep??

      1. Clunking Fist Bronze badge

        Re: Wales

        And there's been no rugby during lockdown.

  16. nap

    I must say I feel quite lucky with my connections at home - mobile I get around 400mbps with 3 on 5G, and home WiFi is 200mbps FTTP from Aquiss.

    I've been quite impressed with them, any issues I've had have been immediately sorted by someone who knows what they're talking about. Compared to my previous experience with BT and Virgin... I left Virgin at the end of my contract, and they honestly called me 25 times a day for 2 weeks offering a special discount to come back. They eventually acknowledged my complaint, said it was due to a system error and sent me a cheque for £2.50 as a "goodwill gesture"......

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