Virgin to target those throttling the network with heavy use
Virgin Media are bound to irritate people with their announcement that they're introducing new throttling "trigger levels" for those of you who make heavy use of its network.
The company have updated their subscriber traffic management (STM) policy yesterday to "ensure the vast majority of customers get the high quality of service they expect from Virgin Media's fibre optic broadband without being negatively affected by extremely heavy users" at peak times.
It classified a "bandwidth hog" as a 60Mbit/s customer, who can download 5,000MB of data between 4pm and 9pm on a weekday before having their broadband connection pinched in.
"During this time that customer would have to download 7 standard definition movies or 1,250 songs before a 5-hour temporary speed reduction was applied, and even then they can of course continue to browse the web and use services like the iPlayer without interruption," Virgin Media explained. "Customers can still continue to use their services whilst having their traffic managed, however the temporary reduction in speed will help minimise the impact of their usage on other customers, ensuring more customers are able to enjoy their services at peak times.”
Specifically, the traffic that'll get throttled will be peer-to-peer and newsgroups and not things like video streaming, music downloads and VoIP.
Virgin added that they'll be "trialling a variety of different approaches to traffic management over the coming months to make the system more intelligent and flexible, while ensuring the optimal quality of service. We'll publish more information on this as soon as it's available."
While Virgin have been selling the 'fastest' broadband service to consumers, are they putting so many limitations on it that you'd be better off going for a 'lesser' (and cheaper) package that guarantees you a certain speed, rather than one that can fluctuate at their whim?