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Virgin Media Begins Broadband Traffic Management

Posted: 05th May, 2007 By: MarkJ
The UK's largest cable operator, Virgin Media (formerly ntl:telewest), has finally introduced its long threatened traffic management policy. The move won't come as any surprise to long time customers and has been on the cards for awhile:

To make sure our service is fair for everybody, we sometimes moderate the speeds during peak times (4pm till midnight) for customers who are downloading an unusually large amount at these times.

Your speed won't be moderated unless you're in the top 5% of downloaders. Our boffins recently ran a trial to see how much our service was being affected. They discovered that, in certain areas, just 5% of customers were downloading such a large amount of content that it was affecting the service for other users in these areas.

And we're not talking about just a few video clips. In some cases the top 5% of users were downloading as much as 3GB, just during peak times.


Broadband Size: M
During peak times, the top 5% on the Size: M package download at least 350MB of traffic each.

Any users hitting this amount during peak times (4pm till midnight) will have their broadband speed temporarily traffic managed – their download speed will be set to 1Mb, with their upload speed set to 128Kb. This will last for 4 hours from when the traffic management policy is applied.

Broadband Size: L
During peak times, the top 5% on the Size: L package download at least 750MB of traffic each.

Any users hitting this amount during peak times (4pm till midnight) will have their broadband speed temporarily traffic managed – their download speed will be set to 2Mb, with their upload speed set to 192Kb. This will last for 4 hours from when the traffic management policy is applied.

Broadband Size: XL
During peak times, the top 5% on the Size: XL package download at least 3GB of traffic each.

Any users hitting this amount during peak times (4pm till midnight) will have their broadband speed temporarily traffic managed – their download speed will be set to 5Mb, with their upload speed set to 256Kb. This will last for 4 hours from when the traffic management policy is applied.

http://allyours.virginmedia.com/html/internet/traffic.html

Naturally the policy will cause mixed reactions, though it very much depends on whether you're one of those likely to be impacted or not.

Virgin makes no bones about the fact that it can adjust how traffic shaping is applied in the future, should circumstances require.
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