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Virgin Media Users Face Multiplayer Slowdown

Posted: 23rd Apr, 2007 By: MarkJ
Some customers of 'Virgin Media' have been e-mailing us to help raise awareness of a growing problem with multiplayer gaming performance on the ISP, specifically that of the online mmorpg 'World of Warcraft' (WoW).

The high latency (lag) issues, which could be related to the ISP's bandwidth management process or general congestion, appear to kick in during peak hours. In most cases this raises network lag to such a degree that the subscription based game becomes unplayable, while others find themselves unable to connect.

One concerned reader, James, echoed the problems:

If you head on over to the World of Warcraft forums, there was a massive forum post there involving over 300 Virgin Media customers with no access to the game. Many other online games reporting similar issues - specifically with this ISP. All this is within the last few months, since Virgin's takeover.

Unfortunately Blizzards (developer) EU forum hasn’t been functioning properly today, although we did manage to find a number of topics covering the issue on other sites. Many have been complaining since earlier in the year and some have even gone back to dialup as a means of getting better performance; hardly good advertising for a broadband product.

It’s unclear whether the issues are related to generalised network congestion or Virgin Media specifically choosing to limit multiplayer usage. Online games rarely consume vast amounts of data and are instead highly reliant upon fast response times (it’s not the size of your pipe that counts). Hence even small adjustments can have a major impact upon performance.

Please let us know if you too have been suffering such problems, meanwhile we will continue to investigate the matter.
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