Virgin Slapped Following BT Speed Complaint

It had a point...

Virgin’s recent attack on net neutrality coupled with its rather zealous P2P crackdown and complex traffic management means it isn’t our favourite ISP at the moment and now the last of these schemes has got it into hot water with the Advertising Standards Agency as well…

Lodging a formal complaintby British Telecom, the ASA has pulled up Branson’s boys for their ‘Hate to Wait?’ campaign which is used to show the service’s superiority compared to rival solutions. The big oops in all this is Virgin forgot to mention its rather convoluted speed throttling which comes into play after certain amounts of data have been downloaded.

So intricate you need virtually a PhD in mathematics to memorise those restrictions they essentially break the day down into three monitored time zones: 10am to 3pm (for downloads), 4pm to 9pm (downloads) and 3pm to 8pm (for uploads). During these levels ‘Broadband M’, ‘Broadband L’ and ‘Broadband XL’ customers are given differing download and upload limits which – if surpassed – see their services’ speeds proportionally capped for five hours. I’m not digging deeper because it’s something of a Gordian knot.

Perhaps unsurprisingly then the ASA is backing BT’s complaint and has ordered Virgin to clearly state the restrictions on its service. Hopefully such newly enforced transparency will see Virgin rethink this overly elaborate policy – especially with services like iPlayer seeing everyday users download more than ever before – because it does run a good network, just an overly bureaucratic one…

BT Broadband
Virgin Media

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