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UPDATE2 Virgin Media Inform Subscribers of New Broadband Speed Boost

Posted Monday, August 17th, 2015 (4:40 pm) by Mark Jackson (Score 44,697)
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Customers of Virgin Media are receiving a new letter, which informs them that the cable operator will soon begin the rapid roll-out of a new broadband speed boost on 1st October 2015. This is likely to be another double-speed upgrade and that would push their top tier from 152Mbps to 300Mbps.

At this stage the details are sketchy, although it’s perhaps quite telling that those who have received the message are already able to benefit from the last round of upgrades (this took the top tier to 152Mbps and created a new entry-level service of 50Mbps), thus the letter appears to reflect something new that goes beyond 152Mbps.

The news will not come as a surprise to ISPreview.co.uk readers because we’ve been predicting the deployment since the end of last year (example). Since then we’ve also seen Virgin Media trial a batch of new speeds up to 300Mbps (here), which if carried forward would see the new product tiers looking a bit like this. Virgin has a long history of doubling its download speeds.

Virgin’s Predicted Cable Download Speed Boosts for Autumn 2015

Current Package: 50Mbps [3Mbps Upload]
New Speed: 100Mbps

Current Package: 100Mbps [6Mbps Upload]
New Speed: 200Mbps

Current Package: 152Mbps [12Mbps Upload]
New Speed: 300Mbps

In the meantime Virgin Media’s letter takes subscribers to a vague information page, which simply states that they’re “increasing our customers’ broadband speeds yet again. And it’s on its way! Today you have the fastest widely available fibre optic broadband, that’s 2 x faster than Sky Fibre and BT Infinity. But we’re not stopping there, because we’re going to be increasing your broadband speeds once again.“. A closer look reveals the following titbit of information.

Speed Upgrade (T&C’s)

We will start the upgrade programme on 1 October which will offer a free upgrade to our base. This will roll out to 90% by the end of 2015 and the remaining will be completed in early 2016. As an area of the network is upgraded we will write to all of our customers in that area letting them know that their upgrade is ready and all they need to do to accept the upgrade is log on to their account online to confirm and we will then increase their speed.

By writing to them we are not forcing the upgrade upon them and if they want to stay as they are they can. If they decide not to take it at that time then the customer is able to log into their online account to take the upgrade at any time before the program is completed in 2016.

It’s worth noting how Virgin Media has previously needed between 12 and 18 months to complete such upgrades, although this time around they appear able to perform the work at a much more rapid pace. We suspect that stems from the efficiency of combining such upgrades with their on-going network expansion and future DOCSIS3.1 upgrades.

The upgrades would also give Virgin Media another marketing win to spout over BT’s new 500Mbps capable G.fast technology, which won’t begin its commercial deployment until around 2016/17 and it will then need a decade to reach “most homes” (here and here). G.fast is also predicted to launch with an initial top speed of up to 300Mbps.

Mind you not everybody on Virgin Media’s network gets the speeds they’re promised and there will always be some who fear that the operator is moving too fast, while others may question whether anybody really needs 300Mbps yet (that’s never stopped Virgin before).

Likewise, until this is confirmed, there will continue to be a question mark over whether Virgin Media’s long stalled upload speeds, which aren’t as good as FTTC’s best (20Mbps), will also be getting an overdue upgrade.

One other point to consider is that past speed boosts have often been followed a few months later by a price rise, which is despite such increases often initially being promoted as coming “at no extra cost” to the customer.

UPDATE 4:54pm

A spokesperson for Virgin Media has just confirmed to ISPreview.co.uk that this is indeed for a boost beyond the current 152Mbps maximum, although the official details will be revealed in October. You heard it here first.

UPDATE 4th September 2015

It looks like we now know what the new upload speeds will be too (here).

UPDATE 29th September 2015

Sadly the final confirmation isn’t quite as expected, with top speeds pushing to 200Mbps and uploads remaining unchanged (here).

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133 Responses
  1. Robert

    Well done Virgin……

    Now awaits the predictable “congestion” comment guff from BT die hards.

    • MikeW

      This won’t disappoint, then, will it?

      I’ve a choice of VM (at any speed) or 80/20 from an Openreach-based supplier. I’m after predictability, and I’ll take the 80/20 anytime over a current VM product (I’d probably choose 100Mbps rather than 152Mbps, but possibly just the 50Mbps).

      I’ve not seen great evidence that VM react to congestion in a swift manner (or even a reasonable manner), even with their current products. If they automatically upgrade people to higher speeds (rather than making them pay for it), I’d be even more wary of picking VM.

      For some, speed isn’t everything. There may be a point where VM realise this, and I can consider them as an option. In the meantime, I do wonder why they pander so heavily to the 10% in favour of the 90%
      http://postimg.org/image/bly6o16cl/

    • NeilM

      “There may be a point where VM realise this, and I can consider them as an option. In the meantime, I do wonder why they pander so heavily to the 10% in favour of the 90%
      http://postimg.org/image/bly6o16cl/

      Not sure how accurate that chart is or what 10% you are referring to but from a quick look it appears only about 15% on FTTC get 75+Mb where as its nearer to 18% getting 75+Mb on Virgin.

      As to what 100% get that seems to indicate about 20Mb is available to 100% of the Virgin userbase where as on FTTC only 95% can get 20Mb.

      Was you referring to only 10% on Virgin getting 100Mb or better? If so that is 10% more than FTTC.

    • MikeW

      It’s self-evident, isn’t it? The 10% of VM users that are on 120Mbps and 152Mbps packages – these are the only people that VM are chasing with their attention-grabbing headline speeds, whereas the 100Mbps packages (and below) are the cheaper mid- and entry-level packages.

      And unfortunately, it appears to be the chase for these attention-grabbing headline speeds that then trips up the overall capacity of *some* of the coax segments. When the segment hits congestion, it affects the 90% … but in reality, it is the behaviour of the 10% that triggers it.

      That doesn’t explain everything, however. I think the other half of their downfall is to “just” double everyone’s speed without the corresponding network upgrades.

      *Shiver*

      I wasn’t using this post to make any comment on the FTTC takeup shown in the same graph. It does say plenty about that technology too, but in subtly different ways to the messages it reports on VM choices (which are, after all, 100% choice).

    • DTMark

      “I’ll take the 80/20 anytime over a current VM product”

      Most people with the option of VDSL do not have the ability to choose or get “an 80/20 product” unless they can lean out of the window and touch the cabinet.

      That being the key difference.

    • NeilM

      “It’s self-evident, isn’t it? The 10% of VM users that are on 120Mbps and 152Mbps packages – these are the only people that VM are chasing with their attention-grabbing headline speeds, whereas the 100Mbps packages (and below) are the cheaper mid- and entry-level packages.”

      I think you need a lesson on how to read a chart.
      What package are VM users on which are getting between 51Mb and 99Mb then?????? Are they all on 50Mb and getting and extra UPTO 49Mb for free then???????

      Are you saying someone with 90+Mb is on the 50Mb package? Suggest you look again and re-evaluate your 10% guess. on who is on 100Mb and up.

      “When the segment hits congestion……”

      SNORE, its less congested than FTTC
      http://postimg.org/image/r5ql3rmnr/

      Unless that chart from the same report is wrong?

      “I’ll take the 80/20 anytime over a current VM product”

      Most people with the option of VDSL do not have the ability to choose or get “an 80/20 product” unless they can lean out of the window and touch the cabinet.

      That being the key difference.

      Indeed he seems to have also forgot in his 10% VM bashing its only about 14% from his chart that get 76Mb on FTTC. Not that his 10% for VM and user on 100Mb and up packages is even accurate. The other 85+% with FTTC must all be suffering congestion to not get their 80Mb (snigger).

    • MikeW

      @DTMark

      So what? I’m relating my personal experience, and personal choice. That’s what matters to me – which matches the way you choose to write here about your personal 4G experiences (which don’t match mine).

      If I only had 40/10 speeds available, I’d still make the same choice; below that and I’d be forced to contemplate more heavily … and that kind of speed, by the chart, is available to 80% of FTTC subscribers.

      Incidentally, last time I was house-hunting, my threshold was just above this 40/10 level. It turns out I didn’t need to reject any properties, as they all came in at above that level.

    • MikeW

      @NeilM

      “Suggest you look again and re-evaluate your 10% guess. on who is on 100Mb and up.”

      Lets ignore your diatribe on 51Mb, 99Mb and free 49Mb. Lets concentrate on how to read the graph … because it isn’t me that needs the lesson. Oh, and a reminder that my post includes the 100Mbps group within the mid-speed tier; I only had the 120Mb and 152Mb groups within the top 10%. It may once have been their top-tier, but no longer.

      The graph tells you that, of all VM subscribers:
      – approx 19% choose to be on 20Mb
      – approx 31% choose to be on 30Mb (taking total to 50%)
      – approx 13% choose to be on 50Mb (taking total to 63%)
      – approx 19% choose to be on 60Mb (taking total to 82%)
      – approx 9% choose to be on 100Mb (taking total to 90%)
      – approx 5% choose to be on 120Mb (taking total to 95%)
      – approx 5% choose to be on 152Mb (taking total to 100%)

      The last 2 categories are the top 10% that I refer to. If you think differently, let’s see your interpretation of the graph.

      It is interesting to see that (13+9+5)=27% of the subscriber base are on the currently-purchasable speed tiers of 50, 100 and 152Mb, which, IIRC, have been available since 2013. Everyone else is on a legacy package. That probably says something about the rate of churn and upgrade going on too.

      “SNORE, its less congested than FTTC”
      Unfortunately, any picture of “average” behaviour doesn’t help to show the effects of congestion, whether benign or harsh. The majority of people getting an OK service (yes, on both services) mask the issues being dealt with by those on a miserable service.

      And should we expect a chart of “averages” from a sample of 2000 to manage to show the worst problems? I’m not sure. However, the chart you chose doesn’t come from the same report as my original one. Yours details the spread of results limited to the 2000-strong pool of Samknows testers; my chart is from the nationwide Infrastructure report.

      Having said that, I expected you to link to the latency graph here, as that really does show a nice picture. Unfortunately, the speed table you *did* include shows a much higher degree of peak drop-off of the VM 152Mb package. Ofcom have a slightly different graph that shows the same effect, from the same report as your chart:
      http://postimg.org/image/lw9gub0r5/

      Any such “average” graphs don’t encapsulate my problem with VM’s service; even the benign effect of an average speed drop from 152Mb to 115Mb isn’t a big deal. I don’t care much about the benign “ordinary” peak-hour congestion, as I already factor this into the choices made. In this instance, I care about the worst-case scenarios.

      My problem with VM comes down to:
      – VM’s worst-case behaviour is dire – on both speed and latency. Far more dire than anything I’ve seen on ADSL or FTTC, save perhaps some small exchanges still constrained by 20CN DSLAMs and their limited 20CN backhaul.
      – The risk of my cable segment experiencing worst-case behaviour is unknown, can never be known, and (worse) could switch in an instant. It depends on the people I share with … and it only takes 3 to saturate the shared bandwidth.
      – Where shared coax segments are experiencing the worst-case congestion, VM’s speed of action is slow.

      I care about a robust and reliable connection, that works as expected, preferably without fail, and with a decent prospect of repair. Some time-critical service (such as VoIP) means I desire decent performance in terms of latency and packet loss much more than I care about a slight dip in the top-end speed.

      VM could give me a connection like that tomorrow. But then fail to give me that next day, without them changing a single thing. And then not do anything about it for a year.

      The same could be said of BT too. But I judge the risk of it happening in the first place to be lower; I judge the resulting behaviour (if left unfixed) to be better; I judge the likelihood of getting fixed to be higher (and that takes into account Openreach’s dire statistics on fixing things too).

      But I’m not everyone … and other people make other judgements, and have other priorities. VM is a perfectly fine service for some of those.

      “Indeed he seems to have also forgot in his 10% VM bashing its only about 14% from his chart that get 76Mb on FTTC.”

      In this post, I’m posting about the choices I have made from what is available to me. The variety of speeds available from FTTC to the rest of the nation is irrelevant to that choice.

      The supposed “VM bashing” is relevant, because VM’s marketing chase of the top-tier speed (to keep the “always double BT” strapline), and the 10% that use it, is precisely what makes the VM network too much of a risk to me.

      The other 85+% with FTTC must all be suffering congestion to not get their 80Mb (snigger).

      Are you naive enough to believe that the worst effect of congestion is seen in the speed reduction?

      I agree there is plenty to read from that graph about FTTC behaviour. It takes more careful reading than the VM plot does, because it mixes together physical limitations along with consumer choices. I’m not sure anyone who needs to add “(snigger)” into a discussion can be bothered with the nuances.

    • Robert

      “The graph tells you that, of all VM subscribers:
      – approx 19% choose to be on 20Mb
      – approx 31% choose to be on 30Mb (taking total to 50%)
      – approx 19% choose to be on 60Mb (taking total to 82%)”

      No such packages exist, no idea what you are on about the rest of the essay made as little sense also.

    • NeilM

      Using his logic means people getting 70-80Mb could be on any number of packages.

      He also seems to think more people are on 60Mb than they are on current 50Mb!!!

      I spose that is possible, the only problem is he also thinks an even larger group of legacy users are on 30Mb than they are 60Mb. A shame 30Mb was scrapped circ 2013 and by now everyone on a legacy package had their speed doubled to 60Mb.

      Let him be with his essay though about who gets what speed and it all being congested…. NOT that he can prove a single nonsense claim.

    • Robert

      I think you mean 30Mb got boosted to 50Mb rather than 60MB….
      http://www.ispreview.co.uk/index.php/2014/02/virgin-media-uk-set-begin-broadband-speed-upgrades-152mbps.html

      Regardless though he has no idea, NOBODY is on a 30Mb package anymore. Which ironically is what he thinks 31% of the userbase are on, cos he obviously knows better ;).

    • MikeW

      It’s not me that thinks people are on 30Mbps packages. Ofcom thinks that; or thought it at the end of last year, at any rate.

      In this I am just the messenger.

      I agree that VM *said* that people were being upgraded automatically from the old packages … but I also recall them saying it would be done over time, and into 2015. Perhaps VM haven’t been keeping up with their intentions.

    • MikeW

      @ComedyDoubleAct

      Incidentally, once the upgrade process (in @ComedyDoubleAct#1’s link) completes, the Ofcom figures will have migrated to be
      – 63% on entry-level 50Mbps
      – 28% on mid-level 100Mbps
      – 10% on top-tier 152Mbps

      So, even after the interesting display of mathematical prowess, the underlying facts haven’t changed. VM is chasing 10% of their market with the headline-grabbing speeds, resulting in network over-utilisation that the other 90% have to put up with.

    • NeilM

      “@ComedyDoubleAct

      Incidentally, once the upgrade process (in @ComedyDoubleAct#1’s link) completes, the Ofcom figures will have migrated to be
      – 63% on entry-level 50Mbps
      – 28% on mid-level 100Mbps
      – 10% on top-tier 152Mbps”

      There is no comedy double act, the only comedy is your Essays trying to bash a product. You may be taken seriously with your figures if you could demonstrate them, you can not though.
      Ill be kind and not mention that even at near 4am even i am still awake enough to know…

      63% +28% + 10% = 101%

      So apart from nonsense essays and attempted stat manipulation it appears you underlying issue is you simply can not count. Which is what i thought from the first interaction.

    • NeilM

      Oh and incidentally the old 30Mb etc packages and the FIRST speed doubling programme of them was completed a long time ago,
      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-16491614
      http://www.ispreview.co.uk/story/2012/03/01/virgin-media-starts-national-uk-rollout-of-its-free-double-broadband-speed-boost.html

      Fire up your next propaganda filled segway!

    • Lauren

      Both sets of his Virgin figures (the original legacy package percents and the non legacy quoted percents) he quotes added up to 101%………………..
      Maybe this is the same BT employee that tried to bill AAISP £25,000? They both seem to have the same counting ability?

    • Darren

      I agree with what MikeW is saying, BT haters gonna hate. Logic, facts and reason is wasted on them.

      Top and bottom of it is BT’s network is better, unless of course you care about epeen speeds that your lucky to get some of the time and don’t mind being left to rot on a dog of a connection once it goes downhill. BT have theri problems just like every other company but the core network is in another legue quality wise compared to the VM amatures.

    • NeilM

      “I agree with what MikeW is saying, BT haters gonna hate. Logic, facts and reason is wasted on them.”

      You are right the “logic”, “fact” and “reason” things add up to 101% is totally lost on me. Please explain that “logic” further.

    • Robert

      I did not even think to check his figures, just assumed they were wrong which obviously they were.

    • NeilM

      Can not say i have ever had an issue counting to 100. Sorry, i learned how in primary school, i imagine when the summer holidays are over you will find it is part of the curriculum.

    • Paul

      Just to let you know the upgrade is killing VM in this area, even long time users are looking elsewhere because of the lack of support, they seem lost with the amount of people with evidence.

      I have been told allsorts of stories on why my connection is only 0-6Mbps
      (Megabits per sec) instead of 90-100Mbps I will be phoning every month with my growing evidence in hand for my discount 🙂

    • Tom Smiles

      Virgin media may claim to make surfing faster …..but in thier last half of the year ( 2016 ) I seem to be having problems surfing the internet , there are ..No not there are times , but Every time I try to surf the internet I find I am waiting no less than 6 minutes before I see any activity ( recently I have noticed the internet connection has become slower than before ) maybe this action has been rolled out as the normal speed …before the ” Great Speed Increase” which will in fact will be in fact, seem as in fact see Virgin’s internet connection seem faster than before , when in fact it will be the speed it was before Virgin slowed our internet connection down…. scammed or what ? I for one will seek another “Truthful Provider “

  2. TTT

    No boost for upload speeds?
    Guess I’ll stay with BT then!

    • Final speed tiers not officially confirmed, so there’s always the possibility of another upload increase.

    • Robert

      Story clearly states any upload speed increases are not known at this time and full announcement will be in October.

      Upload difference on top tier Virgin products is not much different to what people get in reality on the best FTTC line. Currently i believe this is 12Mb on Virgin and UPTO 20Mb on FTTC, with typically the best lines managing 17-18Mb (or thereabouts) So around a whole 5Mb difference.

      BT and other FTTC suppliers also do an inferior upload FTTC product with only 10Mb. or 2Mb less so end of the day theres only a few Mb in it here and there, compared to the MASSIVE difference in down rates. Theres also old 2Mb upload FTTC products, which make it 10Mb slower.

      Horses for courses, id personally prefer to lose a handful of Mbps on either the download or upload stream if it meant the other was vastly superior in Virgins case more than 3x quicker than the best FTTC down speeds. Kinda cutting your nose off to spite your face if you really deem a few Mbps on up or down is more important than a VASTLY superior rate on one or the other.

    • Ignition

      Upload speeds are going up too.

    • DanielM

      @Ignition

      to what? you have any info?

    • empty

      @Ignition Will they get rid of shaping & throttling?

    • Karl Pilkington

      @Robert

      Not really defending BT, I have VM. Still, there is so much wrong with your comment.

      Firstly, those few megabits make a big difference when the upload speed is so low.

      Also for some the upload speed is much more important compared to download speed. How is that cutting your nose of to spite your face? Your usage is not the same as everyone else’s. L O L.

    • Darren

      Well said Karl.

      Also BTs max upload speed is 19Mbps, that’s actual throughput, which is 7 more than VM (presuming they can provide 12Mbps actual throughput) or an extra 37%. Plus BT will run at 19Mbps 24/7 (I once ran it at that for 4 days straight) with no slowdown or impact on other activity on the connection. Same can’t be said for VM, they will throttle your speed as soon as you start using it and latency/jiitter will go through the roof.

      Of course it’s the limitation of DOCSIS that holds VM back from pushing upload speed. Which is why I laugh at their advert claiming their copper coax with magic DOCSIS is twice as fast as BT. 37% slower on the upload is not twice as fast. 16Mbps download at peak time on a 150Mbpss package is not twice as fast.

    • NeilM

      “Plus BT will run at 19Mbps 24/7 (I once ran it at that for 4 days straight)”

      Please demonstrate your connection running at a FULL 19Mb.

      “Same can’t be said for VM, they will throttle your speed as soon as you start using it and latency/jiitter will go through the roof.”

      A common myth presented by BT promotors…
      http://postimg.org/image/sxw3soid7/

      Look whos latency is better LOL

      “16Mbps download at peak time on a 150Mbpss package is not twice as fast.”

      No idea what you are on about…
      http://postimg.org/image/r5ql3rmnr/

    • DanielM

      Virgin media latency is quite low it’s just the upstream jitter where the problem is.

    • Robert

      No worse than FTTC looking at the physical size of the blobs on http://postimg.org/image/sxw3soid7/
      If jitter was that bad the figure (IE lowest and highest measure) would be far larger in difference.

      Everytime there is a VM story on here it is the same protagonist trying to claim it is congested etc, the research does not back up their make believe statements.

    • TTT

      frankly, I would never make full use of 152Mbps, which you have to sign up for to get 12Mbps upload in the first place.
      PlusNets 40/20 package was excellent for me (now withdrawn), because of the 2/1 ratio.
      As it stands, if it were affordable, I’d take a 20Mbps symmetric leased line over the consumer stuff any day!

    • Darren

      haha, go on any forum and you’ll see people talking about their dismal speed experiences with VM. What I quoted is from those unfortunate VM users. There’s even people in this comments section on this article now.

      As for the BT upload, it absolutely runs at 19Mbps, and has done for years. The early modems were around 18Mbps unless you unlocked the GUI then you could disable QoS and get an extra meg to bring it up to 19Mbps. These days the firmware is more optimised and you get 19Mbps out the box.

      From my router and confirmed accurate via several software tools, 19.23Mbps.
      http://i.imgbox.com/ckkW4YXn.png

      VM cannot touch BT for upload speed and quality of connection, especially when your using the connection while uploading.

    • NeilM

      And yet we still wait for a simple speed test to show your connection uploads at 19Mb.

  3. adslmax Real

    @ Ignition
    August 17, 2015 at 8:06 pm

    Upload speeds are going up too.

    Yes only a tiny bit increase as below:

    Current Package: 50Mbps [3Mbps Upload]
    New Speed: 100Mbps (6Mbps Upload)

    Current Package: 100Mbps [6Mbps Upload]
    New Speed: 200Mbps (9Mbps Upload)

    Current Package: 152Mbps [12Mbps Upload]
    New Speed: 300Mbps (15Mbps Upload)

    • NeilM

      “Current Package: 152Mbps [12Mbps Upload]
      New Speed: 300Mbps (15Mbps Upload)”

      No doubt a certain individual will still sooner have 4Mb more on his up stream than a massive 224Mb increase over FTTC max of 76Mb on the downstream.

      4Mb more upload is more important than having 224Mb extra on your download speeds…

      Well maybe if you are uploading gigs upon gigs upon days and days and can not bare to wait an extra couple of hours for it to complete even though you have waited days already 😉 Makes perfect sense 😉

    • Carl

      Be interested in the source for those numbers as at least one of them isn’t correct.

    • Carl

      Hit the button early. I suspect the 200Mb will have a 12Mb upload, the 300Mb 16+.

    • Ken

      Well VM haha I was/ Maybe going to get a Leased Net line 😛 But at the Moment http://www.speedtest.net/my-result/4497344357 You can tell 😛 if you have more better speed be happy!

    • comnut

      Ken, how nice for you… BUT reading the reviews, I think people should stay away from EE… :O :O
      http://www.ispreview.co.uk/review/products/825.html

  4. Elia

    Oh Darren….

    The average broadband speed delivered by Virgin Media 152Mb is more than twice as fast as BT 76Mb, according to Ofcom.

    Virgin Media’s ‘up to’ 152Mbit/s cable service achieved the fastest download speed over a 24 hour period, averaging 141.9Mbit/s.

    This was followed by BT’s ‘up to’ 76Mbit/s fibre package, which delivered an average download speed of 62.0Mbit/s.

    Virgin also remained more than twice as fast during Peak time (8pm to 10pm weekdays)

    Virgin 152Mb = 125.3Mb to 140.2Mb

    BT 76Mb = 60.1Mb to 62.9Mb

    Virgin’s maximum speed was nearly 100Mb faster.

    Virgin 152Mb = 160Mb to 160.5Mb

    BT 76Mb = 62.6Mb to 65.5Mb

    The limitation of DOCSIS that holds VM back? UPC Ireland (which recently became part of Virgin Media) already offers 240Mb (24Mb upload) speeds using the same ‘limited’ DOCSIS 3.0 tech as Virgin in the UK and that’s before Virgin begins rolling out D3.1 (in 2016) which will enable cable operators to deliver multi-gigabit speeds on their hybrid hybrid fibre-coax networks.

    • Ignition

      DOCSIS 3.0 seems capable of delivering speeds matching BT’s ambitions for G.fast right now.

      https://www.comhem.se/bredband/abonnemang/bredband500

    • Robert

      Indeed Ignition. VM can go much faster than it currently offers, Docsis 3.1 will also be a much simpler upgrade than any Gfast offering.

      UPC which Elia mentions i had never heard of (do not think they have ever been mentioned on a site like this, wonder why???)

      If you live in Ireland and have them available they look like a pretty good offering… http://www.upc.ie/ I wonder what the BT promotions team would come up with as lies for that being inferior to super slow FTTC?

    • DTMark

      UPC NL has had a fair few mentions. Search ISP News for “UPC Netherlands”.

    • MikeW

      I’m not sure that VM’s limitations stem purely from DOCSIS.

      Currently, VM’s architecture is built on bonding 8 channels to form 440Mbps of shared capacity.

      ComHem’s offering comes from deploying cable modems that bond 16 channels together – so I agree that VM can do that, and more. Getting their network to achieve a huge headline speed is easy … so long as only a couple of modems attempt to use it at once.

      Getting the network capable of handling capacity is the issue the VM have, but it is entirely behind the scenes, requiring resegmentation, new optical nodes and CMTS.

      The limitation really comes from how many properties end up having to share a single bonded group of channels. And no-one seems able to answer that statistic.

      If the coax has the spectrum free to allow 16 channels to be bonded though, why aren’t VM doing a virtual split of a segment? Where half of the properties use 8 of the channels, and the other half use a different 8 channels?

      Do VM actually have 16 channels free/available for carrying broadband?

    • NeilM

      “…Getting their network to achieve a huge headline speed is easy … so long as only a couple of modems attempt to use it at once….”

      Jealous dribble again…
      http://postimg.org/image/sxw3soid7/
      better than BT, better than pusnet.

      Why is BT so poor?

    • Darren

      Oh Elia… haha. I was talking about the UPLOAD. lol. I suggest you read and read again before replying in future. haha.

  5. TheManStan

    Can’t see that this will really increase VMs customer base within areas they are already operating. As with previous speed increases, there were no significant increases in customer base. Their expansion plan is the only way they will get customers or by dropping price (which is highly unlikely).

    • FibreFred

      Agreed, I suspect that if they kept on the 50Mbps package on for less money most would choose that as well

      in a bit they will be boasting all their customers are on 100Mbps but as before this is forced not chosen

  6. Adam

    Why are BT fanboys getting so shirty, They provide a router that doesn’t have all Gigabit ports which is awful for connectivity. That is pathetic, the other Open reach guys like PlusNet also give you a Potato for a router pretty much : technicrapo rubbishness. And all this about upload speeds, are you serious ? Anything that important to upload either leave on or send on a hard-drive to wherever! And if you really need that kind of Upload speed either : Move somewhere that has Hyperoptic or pay loads and get a leased line. Virgin isn’t without its many faults, but BT is utter rubbish, Have our TV Package that for any premium channels is streamed and sucks out all your bandwidth vs TIVO which has its own 10mb connection only for streaming.

    I have had both and quite honestly Virgin is like having a Ferrari, BT is like getting Aids.

    • dave

      the bt homehub5 has 4 gigabit ports, that router has been out for over a year.

    • Robert

      “the bt homehub5 has 4 gigabit ports, that router has been out for over a year.”

      And for everyone else that had FTTC from BT more than a year ago they are stuck with a HH3 or HH4 both of which do not have a full compliment of gigabit ports. To upgrade to the HH5 which has had its own share of faults BT will want £52 (including the P&P) to upgrade.
      http://bt.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/35097/~/how-can-i-get-a-new-bt-home-hub%3F

      Virgin will give you a new hub if you have an old device for free, so will even the likes of Talk Talk and Sky.

    • Darren

      Who chooses an ISP based on the free router! all of which are made to a price point, are deliberatly basic and have limited support especially long term. Buy your own and it if you choose well it will be way better than any of them. That’s what I’ve always done, it costs a fraction of the of yearly BB bill and will last years.

    • NeilM

      “Who chooses an ISP based on the free router! all of which are made to a price point, are deliberatly basic and have limited support especially long term. Buy your own and it if you choose well it will be way better than any of them. That’s what I’ve always done, it costs a fraction of the of yearly BB bill and will last years.”

      A pity the current poll on here disagrees with yet another opinion of yours.

    • JamesM

      Ive had both too. For VM I had the 152 package with BK Sports and Movies and phone line. Yes the Tivo has it’s own connection but everything was slow and clunky and often YouTube, Netflix and other apps, you know the ones put in there for that 10mbps connection didn’t work at all. I also got after 2am every day.

      I then left VM after for filling my contract and went to Sky and FTTC. Now Sky is a bit faster and yes uses Wifi to connect itself up (but I hear VM are also doing the same soon) and i have the same as I had with VM. I just prefer the Sky interface more. Yes I have to download things whilst I watch them but I still find it faster over the on demand content from VM

      My FTTC (as I am close to the cab) is 80/20 and I get 74/18 all the time. This is more than enough for me. I never really downloaded massive amounts when I was with VM but now I find I am doing 15-20TB a month over this new line. It’s solid 24/7 and has a fast money backed fault fix.

      And before anyone tells me I am hogging it all or affecting others – please note that this is a leased line and therefore it’s dedicated and uncontended. Although it still runs from my local cabinet.

      I even had to buy my own Cicso kit. The free offering was so pathetic it was unreal.

    • JamesM

      I also got under 10mbps most of the time peak times and over 150mbps from 2am every day.

      Thats what I put but the posting left that line out!

  7. Mark

    My personal experience with Virgin was an upgrade in speed would quickly be followed by congestion which would take between 6-9 months to fix and then 6 months later it would start to get congested again.

    • Robert

      “My personal experience with Virgin was an upgrade in speed would quickly be followed by congestion which would take between 6-9 months to fix and then 6 months later it would start to get congested again.”

      As Neil linked to earlier
      http://postimg.org/image/r5ql3rmnr/
      So either myth or very rare occurrence.

    • MikeW

      Unfortunately, the @ComedyDoubleAct aren’t very good on the maths front.

      Showing a table where performance is averaged for everyone doesn’t do a very good job of telling you the behaviour of the worst 1%, 5%, 10%. It is all hidden by the silent majority.

      Attempting to then use statistics from a sample of 2000-ish lines (likely to be represented by around 400 VM subscribers) to prove that worst-case behaviour is a myth in the general population is laughable.

      And the funniest part is this … that the table actually does show congestion problems, anyway.

      They should put their show on in Edinburgh.

    • NeilM

      No the funniest part is in whatever amount were tested VM is better than BT…
      http://postimg.org/image/sxw3soid7/

      Though yes maybe it is only based on 2000 users, so scaling that up yes BT congestion is terrible.

    • Robert

      “Unfortunately, the @ComedyDoubleAct aren’t very good on the maths front.”

      I will take that as a compliment from someone that quotes figures that add up to 101%.

    • Darren

      Mark, exactly why BT are better. It is a nightmare to be in that situation, especially for so long only for it to then happen all over again a short time later.

      These VM employed trolls really make me laugh trying to defend the indefensible.

  8. TheManStan

    Business wise, I think VM have been quite astute and walked right up to the line that has allowed them to stay off the SMP list with OFCOM.

    Personally, I think that OFCOM have been a bit daft by not applying SMP to VM as clearly they’ve had a pretty dominant triple and quad play offerings with substantial infrastructure to ~50% of the population.

    Clearly, OFCOM have said expand and we won’t SMP you. So OFCOM are perpetuating a single supplier wholesale market… so no competition…

  9. mrpops2ko

    As someone who has had both, I feel I can comment on this.

    I was with virgin (NTL and previously telewest) since 1996~, always had them because in my eyes it was a superior service. What has followed though is them losing touch with how some people use the internet. Some of us need that upload speed and do not like to be throttled.

    The thing is, I personally use most of the upload and that is just by myself. I feel so sorry for people who live in multi person households, where people actually do computer related stuff.

    Online gaming, streaming, broadcasting, uploading facebook pictures, using backup services like backblaze – all of them together can absolutely hammer your upload. Streaming your desktop for some friends to watch you play a game or something alone uses up around 8mbit (depending upon settings) of your bandwidth.

    Most of the short line BTOR connections are able to run at 24/7 usage fine. I migrated from Virgin Media in February 2015 and the only way they will tempt me back is to remove the throttling on upload. I don’t mind these small upload increments, but having throttling is totally unacceptable. If you do the math on how much a BTOR connection could do at 18 or 19 mbps * 1 month and then compare it to the 12 (which then gets throttled down to 5, for half the day in the weekends and certain times throughout the week) then you see how much of a difference you can do with uploading.

    Like I said only way I would move back (and will do) is if they drop their stupid throttling policy. I’ll gladly take the poultry 12mbit upload but I won’t then have it throttled down to 5mbit.

    @NeilM
    ‘Please demonstrate your connection running at a FULL 19Mb.’
    http://i.imgur.com/Tiqt4qr.png my connection has been running on full for quite some time. I migrated to BT in February.
    Roughly runs at 16 – 18.5 mbps

    • NeilM

      “@NeilM
      ‘Please demonstrate your connection running at a FULL 19Mb.’
      http://i.imgur.com/Tiqt4qr.png my connection has been running on full for quite some time. I migrated to BT in February.
      Roughly runs at 16 – 18.5 mbps”

      Sorry how does that show your connection speed?

      1. That networx https://www.softperfect.com/products/networx/ tool you are using can be set to monitor any network traffic, including LAN, though im sure you are not showing that 😉
      2. To upload 28.2TB only takes approx 145 days or if you prefer around 3500 Hours. At the speeds you quote. Though why if that is internet traffic you would be downloading AND uploading several TB every month is a mystery in itself.

      A simple speed test from the user concerned showing it running at 19Mb or greater would prove his claim, not that he can prove it, as its complete rubbish.

    • Darren

      NeilM, LOL see my reply above. Proving it is no problem becasue I’m not lying. Drink it in, it’s the truth.

    • NeilM

      Yet here i am still waiting for you to post a speed test of your connections upload speed.

    • Darren

      [Admin Note: Removed post for seemingly using somebody else’s speedtest data and passing it off as their own]

    • Darren

      Wow, I’m sorry but your wrong. They were absolutely my speedtests. I fail to see why you would think they are not.

      Even if they weren’t mine, which they are, they still demonstrate my point. So why remove them anyway!

      So, I hope you’ve have a backup and can restore it! I mean, get your facts right before deleting peoples posts!

    • Hi Darren,

      The alleged “owner” of those speedtests dropped us an email to complain about your post and highlighted his original posts.

      http://forums.overclockers.co.uk/showpost.php?p=27813041&postcount=373

      The complainant states that the other test was allegedly “conducted a day ago” and “was also stolen from my signature i used on kitz website” (this test has since been removed).

      All comments on here are anonymous and so we can’t be 100% sure either way, although the original poster does seem to be a John and you are a Darren. As such it may be best to refrain from re-posting the same test and instead conduct a new one, which should be easy for you to do. Thanks and sorry if this caused upset.

    • Neil

      One that is done within minutes of posting like me here…
      http://www.speedtest.net/my-result/4618446056

      Would prevent any further identity vs connection speed queries.

    • Darren

      Mark, hi, this is hilarious. I am John24 at overclockers. I didn’t use Darren when I signed up there back in 2007 because it was taken, so I used my middle name instead, John. Whoever contacted you was lying and has been caught out big time. It was probably a red faced NeilM LOL

      I’d be happy to make a post on overclockers proving John24 is me. In fact I might just post this hilarious story in the general section over there, they love a good laugh in GD.

      It’s so sad when someone cannot just accept when they are wrong and go to such pathetic lengths to save face. Or when they are employed by the competition and will go to any lengths to stop their upload being embarrassed by their competitors.

      Neil (are you also NeilM!), I did post a second speedtest ran at the same time as posting in my deleted post. Here is another ran on the same server as yours, seems you cought it at a busy time because it’s much faster here, despite being much further away and seperated by water: http://www.speedtest.net/result/4623703151.png

      And MY other speedtest: http://www.speedtest.net/result/4234945995.png

      As I said in my deleted post, actual file uploads run at 19.23Mbps. Speedtest sites clock a bit lower for some reason.

      Anyway, all the best. Good luck to VM increasing the upload too, I hope they manage it because it’s more likely BT will then increase it even further too.

    • Neil

      NO not the same Neil as the NeilM above. I do though, think your story sounds very dubious also.

      The username Darren24 is not taken at overclockers and if John is your middle name neither is the username DarrenJ or Darren24J or DarrenJ24 all 4 of them you could of had and would had made more logical sense and thats before we even get into placing an _ (underscore)or a . (fullstop) somewhere in the username. Unless you are a troll that just gives yourself random names on websites it seems strange you would call yourself “John” but not only John but “John24”.

      I actually went and created an account there to discover all those names were available.

      Id be interested if you have posted this story on there though which would indeed put the matter to bed entirely. I doubt it personally.

      Oh and unlike yourself and the other Neil I have no vested interest in either BT or Virgin my ISP if you go google them has nothing to do with either.

  10. Prom3theu5

    I’m a virgin customer, and would openly never recommend to anyone that they jump on Sky with their sky high line contention ratios.

    That aside, my brother whom works for them has outlined the details of their new 4k streaming box to me, as well as their new 940mb download rate at £30 plus line rental to go with it.

    I’m sorry, but 300mb from virgin is going to be pitiful in comparison

  11. Mark

    @ Robert

    Like I said in MY PERSONAL EXPERIENCE with Virgin that is what happened. I lived in a densely populated area (Easter Road in Edinburgh) and for the 3 years I was with Virgin they were hands down the worst isp I have been with.

    • Robert

      Must had been something wrong with your connection. Ofcom testing shows the service does not suffer congestion or any other nonsense you wish to try to spread.

    • FibreFred

      Virgin does not suffer any congestion ? None ? Lol

      Switch id and prove us wrong

    • Robert

      I never said NO congestion. Please read before being annoyed.

    • FibreFred

      Let me repeat that for you

      “Ofcom testing shows the service does not suffer congestion”

    • Robert

      And where in that DO I SAY the service suffers no congestion. Am i now every other poster as well as the chief of Ofcom?

      You do understand the difference between what i say and what Ofcom states do you not?

      http://postimg.org/image/sxw3soid7/

    • TheFacts

      Where are those latency figures measured from and to? They are so similar to not mean anything significant. ISP rerouting can easily change the numbers.

    • TheFacts

      ps – how do those numbers show congestion?

    • Robert

      Maybe you should ask Ofcom both your questions to find out the statistical relevance of the figures. Any answer i provide will not be satisfactory for you.

    • comnut

      of course that would depend on how long ago that was… The biggest mistake they made was taking over NTL, truly master-grade awfulness… BT lines are awful up there, the why Virgin has replaced them with fibre…

  12. Skar

    I would agree with the earlier comment regarding upgrades and Virgin. The period around upgrade time is often a nightmare, sometimes for 3 – 4 months. I have experienced at least 3 of the Virgin/Telewest “Fr££” upgrades. It is always problematic, fingers crossed for this one.

    Congestion is a problem around this time.

    As with a lot of people, for me the problem is upload speeds and virgin. If BT come to the table with a significant upgrade in their upload speeds, I would expect quite a few of the more astute people would take a BT 150/100 over a Virgin 300/19. I know I would.

  13. Mark

    @ Robert

    If it was a fault then one of the 6 or 7 engineer visits I had would have found it?
    Or maybe even one of the 5 superhubs I was sent would have done the trick?. Even though there was nothing wrong with the first one.
    What about the number of ping graphs I had running that clearly showed my ping jumping up to over 60ms and my jitter going up to around 30 during peak times?
    There was no fault just Virgin massively over subscribing their network in my area and taking months to fix it even though they and I knew fine well what the problem was
    WORST ISP EVER!

    • Lauren

      People can either believe Ofcom testing, and facts that say VM are one of the least complained about ISPs of the big players, or they can believe your non-backed up, no evidence claims. I trust sensible people know what to believe.

    • Darren

      Lauren/Robert, the Ofcom testing doesn’t tell the full picture, it hides the pure hell that people experience. You cannot convince anyone that all the people experiencing the over utilisation and slow fix times, months sometimes years, are infact mistaken because an averaged graph says so. Sensible people who don’t live under a rock will see you have no clue.

    • FibreFred

      Those sensible people can also see through one person posting under multiple ids

    • NeilM

      Oh the old multiple Ids accusation and no evidence to show Ofcom testing is wrong, although its suddenly right if it shows BT in a good light.

  14. Mark

    @Lauren

    Sensible people as you say would learn to read my comments and realize that its my individual case and is not to be compared to any ofcom testing. I also have no way of proving it as it was over 2 years and flat moves ago.
    Lauren all you need to do is go onto the virgin media forums and there are several people posting their own individual cases of the same type of problems as I was having or will you not believe them either ?

    • Robert

      Makes perfect sense, if you are making rubbish up, there would be no record of it. Or maybe he expects us to believe he is going to persistently complain here but never complained to Virgin so there is no forum record.

  15. Mark

    Had a little check of the virgin media speed forums and low and behold the third post in was about over utilization in Edinburgh no less with ever slipping fix times as well the dirty little liar the OP is eh 😉

  16. Mark

    @ NeilM

    Why do you have such a hard time believing me about problems I had with Virgin? Are you some kind of shill who gets paid to call people liars?
    I’ve never had bt fttc so I wouldn’t know what their forums are like. I did have adsl with them many years ago and had one fault which was identified and fixed within one week.

  17. Mark

    I really dont get why he/she/they get so defensive about a service supplied by a company that they have. Would they get so defensive if I questioned the practices of their gas/electric supplier?

    • FibreFred

      Nothing to “get” he’s a well known troll please do not try to apply any logic or intelligence he just loves to bait and argue nothing more nothing less

  18. Fed Up With Vermin Media

    I dont need a speed upgrade Vermin, I just need the 50 Meg service I pay for to work properly in the first place. Much of the time my download speeds are measured in patheticly slow Kpbs!

    No doubt the speed upgrade will be quickly followed by yet another price increase!

    To cap it all Vermin Broadband been down much of today – cant be bothered to waste yet another hour of my life talking to a Vermin Media customer service thicko

  19. Scott

    I can confirm as a Virgin Media employee there still are customers on the older tariffs such as 30Mbps and 60Mbps.

  20. virgin media has not customers they are doing any upgrades on mobile phone network when they sort it out

  21. Dave

    Just had a letter though informing me about a price increase! So much for a “free upgrade”.

  22. I can confirm that there are many people not getting anywhere near what they pay for with virgin media – and maybe it is these changes that are causing the disruption

    I hope its okay to put my post and findings here – http://techieminx.com/virgin-media-fastest-broadband-why-are-people-reporting-3mbs-download-speeds.html

  23. kevin bates

    I pay for 100 mbps and get 106 mbps in every test iv done since the upgrade 6 months ago 🙂

  24. paul

    152 is going up to 200, getting the new super hub on Monday 12 October. My area is Colchester

  25. paul

    If you’re lucky log into your my virgin media account and the free upgrade offer be will right in front of you! Opt for “self install” and they’ll mail the new “super hub 2” out to you.

  26. paul

    Just remotely upgraded my dad’s from 50 to 70, and there is no need to change his’s super hub!

  27. Steven

    Virgin are by far the best broadband supplier and anyone who thinks BT need help.
    I pay for 152Mb and that is what I get.

    BT are still using old technology and old cable which has so many problems it isn’t funny not to mention Openreach are the worst service providers I have ever dealt with.

    If you are worried about getting more than 20Mb Upload then you should be using FTTP instead of FTTC.

    Also the upgrade isn’t free this time with Virgin they are trying to charge me which I won;t be paying.

  28. Rich

    I’ve had VM for the 5 years since I moved to my property and I have always received what is stated. Being a shift worker, I use the network at varying times of the day and I always have a strong connection.

    I’ve just been upgraded, for the huge cost of 76pence over my previous package, to 200Mb and over the last week or so, I have run several tests, again, at varying times of day, making sure to do so at peak times for a fair idea of what I get throughout the day. It always hits 180+ during peak times, (I assume 5pm to 10pm is peak?) Off peak, when I return from a late shift at 2am, I’ve had 210. Upload speeds average between 9 – 11, the former being during my peak time tests.

    I’ve no allegiance to any brand, with anything, as many people seem to these days (which I don’t understand one bit). If VM gives me persistent problems, I’d switch to BT or Sky without second thought. Fact is, for me, VM has been solidly providing me with what I pay, for the last 5 years.

  29. Hussnain

    So are there any disadvantages for customers getting the speed boost? I am on VIVID100 and already applied for their free speed boost but i cannot seem to figure out what is the catch of it all? Will i be paying more etc?

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