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Virgin Media Relaxes Traffic Management

Gordon Kelly


Virgin Media Relaxes Traffic Management

Virgin Media certainly runs the fastest broadband service in the UK, but its traffic management is also one of the most complex. So thankfully it has seen fit to now loosen the reins a little.

Highlights from the new deal see the total daily download allowance for 'L' (10Mbit) and 'XL' (20Mbit) subscribers increased from 3600MB to 4500MB and 7400MB to 10500MB, jumps of 25 per cent and 42 per cent respectively.

These allowances apply from 10am to 9pm (excluding one unmonitored hour from 3pm - 4pm for some reason) with the caps taken off at all other times. Users who break the threshold will see their speeds capped at lower speeds for up to five hours. As for 50Mbit subscribers, they have no download restrictions whatsoever.

"Today's changes just go to highlight how the major investment in our new DOCSIS 3.0 network is enabling all Virgin Media customers to enjoy the best of today's Web, whether viewing full screen HD video on a PC or unlimited downloads," said Virgin Media Broadband executive director Jon James.

In all fairness to Jon, these allowances are now pretty substantial. Unlike some when the boundaries are broken Virgin chooses to throttle rather than enforce additional charges too, a frustrating, but infinitely preferable course of action.

Currently 'S' (2Mbit) and 'M' (2Mbit) customers (see what I did there?) haven't been included in the changes, though M users are soon to get a free 10Mbit upgrade (where available) which will see their allowances increased.

Breaking everything down beyond this gets ridiculously complicated so I've added a full table at the bottom. In short however well done Virgin Media, just don't get any fresh ideas about the French 3 Strikes bill...


Virgin Media Traffic Policy


May 14, 2009, 10:40 am

£50 a month is mental! Even the £30 for 20Mbit is mental. I would consider myself a heavy user and that is way too much money for me. The upstream should be at least 10mbit for that cost. I can get 1.5mbit up with my crappy 6Mbit dsl connection.


May 14, 2009, 12:09 pm


im on virgin media 20 meg and i don't have a download limit :S

Barry Ward

May 14, 2009, 12:42 pm

I agree- their prices are ridiculous! Look at the L price there- £20 p/m (after the first 3 months) for Up To 10Mb??? You're joking right? I am paying £12 for 8Mb on O2, which gets reduced to £7 if you have an O2 mobile! And I am actually getting what I am paying for too. PLUS, NO traffic management AT ALL!!!!! I am so glad I moved away from Virgin.


May 14, 2009, 2:57 pm

I am with Virgin on 50Mb and pay a total of £69 a month for broadband, phone and V+ HD box with all channels except sky movies and sports.

I am more than willing to pay this for CONSTANT 220kb/s upstream and 5-6MB/s downloads with no restrictions on traffic.

Ben 3

May 14, 2009, 4:53 pm

This really annoys me. Why does everyone quote Virgin's standalone broadband prices and then compare them to an ADSL price where you have to pay for a landline to get the broadband?

If you want to do a fair comparison look at Virgin's broadband when you have their phoneline:

BB L 10Mbit is £14

BB XL 20Mbit is £20

BB XXL is £35


May 14, 2009, 6:10 pm

@Ben: maybe because most people would have a phone line anyway so making it pre-requisite isnt counted as an issue? i can be a heavy downloaded but even at the best of times when i download i would break those limits with ease, in 3 hours last week i downloaded at least 16 gigs or so, no limits full speed the whole time. Sky top package for £10pm (think its 16 meg? maybe 12? someone could check if its that big of a deal) would never go to virgin throttling is something i dont need in any respect.


May 14, 2009, 6:13 pm

I am on virgin media ADSL as I can't get cable where I live. Do they feel like reducing traffic management on there non-cable any time soon? I can't even watch iplayer at certian times of day thanks to it.


May 14, 2009, 7:07 pm

Your editorial on the story is inaccurate, for instance. the 20mbit allowances hasn't increased from 7400MB to 10500MB, the previous allowance was 9000MB.

Also it's not from 10am-9pm, it's 10am to 3pm, then 4pm to 9pm. 3pm to 4pm isn't monitored.


May 14, 2009, 9:15 pm

@BlackAle - I'm quoting directly from Virgin's own figures regarding the 20Mbit allowance and yes, there is a single hour in the middle to make things even more complicated. I'll add that. The full table is printed at the bottom of the story.


May 14, 2009, 9:20 pm

I am with Virgin on the soon to be upgraded M package and I am just happy I get a constant connection unlike the crap BT ADSL I had before it. Now I would like them to give me a better time frame than "In the next few months" for the 10Mb upgrade!


May 14, 2009, 10:05 pm

Interesting table - so at least Virgin haven't forgotten us 10Mb users who weren't upgraded from 2Mb, although I'd have preferred being bumped up to 20Mb, then having more relaxed STM limits.


May 14, 2009, 11:34 pm

@Nomad: That must have been due to your house wiring or a very poor ISP, ADSL as a whole is very reliable (my connection uptime is current 80 days for example).

@scott: Do you have any troubles with lack of upstream bandwidth restricting your download speed?


May 14, 2009, 11:52 pm

@Nomad - Remember to sign up for your upgrade at:


To get your 2Mb -> 10Mb upgrade a bit quicker. Also, checks whether you need a newer cable modem.


May 15, 2009, 12:29 am

@Xiphias: Yes, I think it was a combination of the two(distance from exchange, line interference etc). As we already had tv with Virgin it was an easy decision to switch to their fibre optic internet.

@Pbryanw: I have done that already thanks, that's where I got the "In the next few months" message.


May 15, 2009, 4:09 am

go virginmedia! loved their service for a very long time I have no quibbles or complaints at all.


May 16, 2009, 1:51 am

I'm glad there are other people here who have a good experience with Virgin's cable service, I was starting to think I was the only one.

We've been with them through the Telewest and Blueyonder days, and they have been absolutely fantastic. I've been on the 20mbps package for a while now (which I might add I got upgraded to freely from 10mbps, and before that from 2mbps) and have always got the full 20mbps as advertised (generally around 2300-2400K/s downloads from servers that can handle it) and never had a problem with their billing, policy or customer services.

They are coming round to install the 50mbps modem on Monday afternoon, it's even going to cost me 2 quid less a month than my current 20mbps line. Rock on.

Judderman 1

May 17, 2009, 2:53 pm

Im in total agreement with Life above but I have noticed the traffic being throttled between 6pm and midnight most nights. It annoys me virgin have started to do this as they have always sold there broadband to be a full 10mb service with no restrictions!, yet my speeds drop from a 10mb to 2mb connection for 1/4 of everyday, I would call this a big restriction. If there network is capable of piloting 50mb surely it should be capable of supporting the speeds people are already paying for, 24 hrs a day!


May 21, 2009, 9:19 am

@Gordon. "I'm quoting directly from Virgin's own figures regarding the 20Mbit" ...you're obivously not, as they're wrong. lol.

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