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Virgin Media UK Scraps Traffic Management for Broadband Downloads

Friday, Feb 28th, 2014 (7:32 am) - Score 18,062

One other huge change at Virgin Media today, which deserves its own news item, is that the cable provider has also scrapped the Traffic Management Policy (TMP) for downloads across all of their fixed line cable broadband packages. Sadly upload traffic isn’t so lucky.

Readers might recall how last year’s pressure from the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), which repeatedly questioned whether or not Virgin’s TMP restrictions were “moderate” enough for an “unlimited” promotion, eventually resulted in Virgin cutting their max peak time speed reduction for downloads from -40% to just -16% / -10% (here and here).

A VM Spokesperson told ISPreview.co.uk:

We’ve always looked to lessen the impact of traffic management on the small percentage of people who reach our thresholds and are now removing it on downstream.”

The move is likely to be welcomed by customers and is perhaps not a huge surprise given that the previously standard limit of -16% wouldn’t have had much of an impact upon their users, at least not compared with their prior restrictions of -40% and -50% before that.

Unfortunately upstream traffic management remains unchanged, which does at least make their Traffic Management Thresholds page easier to read; although it will probably still appear confusing to untrained eyes. Too many thresholds and time periods can easily make for a brain tingling mess of information.

Some may fear that the new measures will result in a greater degree of network congestion, although Virgin Media has always stated that 95-97% of their broadband customers “won’t be affected at all by traffic management” because this is “only applied to a small minority of customers downloading and uploading the largest files during those peak times“.

On top of that the operator has confirmed that they’re continuing to upgrade their network and add extra capacity.

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By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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