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UPDATE ISP Virgin Media UK to Take Tougher Line on Heaviest Broadband Users

Posted: 17th Jul, 2009 By: MarkJ
Cable giant Virgin Media UK has revealed that its broadband Traffic Management Policy (linked) will in the future seek to target (restrict) only the top 2% of customers, during peak times, who are "downloading and/or uploading an unusually large amount", instead of the current 5%.

Precise details about what this will do to the current system, which only recently had its flexibility improved (original news), remain unclear. The obvious assumption would be a softer policy for the rest of users, though whether this means that the remaining 2% will see a tougher one is as yet unknown.

Reports on The Register inform that customers in the heaviest bracket of usage are also likely to receive a message from Virgin Media, which will advise them to curb their usage. The providers updated Acceptable Use Policy (here) now reads as follows:

3.2.1.
There does not appear to be a threat or any particular measure mentioned for those who choose not to "move some of their activity into the less busy period", other than the natural imposition of Virgin Media's traffic management of course.

The operator has apparently been able to prepare a softer policy because of the huge network upgrades that have come about as a result of their new 50Mbps service and related platform enhancements. Presently there is no precise ETA for the new management policy.

UPDATE @ 10:24am

Speaking to Virgin Media about this we've managed to gain a few additional bits of information. There will not be a specific date for the changes, instead it's more of a "path" with progressive "adjustments" being made along the way towards the above outcome.

The plan, we're told, is to not only lighten traffic management but also to get smarter with its focus on extreme users.
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