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Virgin Media customers slam firm for dated traffic management policy

INQUIRER readers and Netflix subscribers are not pleased
Wed Apr 17 2013, 15:18
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VIRGIN MEDIA broadband customers have blasted the company as "dated" and "out of touch" following its introduction of a revised traffic management policy on Tuesday.

Virgin Media's new traffic management policy caps its customers data traffic on 30Mbit/s and above broadband connections if they are found to be exceeding expected traffic levels. Its cap kicks in between the hours of 4pm and 11pm on weekdays and 11am to 11pm on weekends, and will see users connections slowed until they stop "overusing" them.

While the service won't affect people using Virgin Media's own service such as TiVo on demand, it will throttle those using services such as Netflix and Lovefilm.

Virgin Media said that this policy makes its internet service more "flexible" and "responsive" although, unsurprisingly, it's fair to say that its customers don't agree.

One INQUIRER reader slammed Virgin Media for its "dated" approach with its new policy, and said that users shouldn't have to pay the price for its struggling network. He said, "Seriously, this sort of prehistoric nonsense should have gone the same way as 56k dial up, pay per minute access, by now."

Just getting warmed up, he continued, "If their networks can't cope during peak time hours, then surely that says more about their appalling infrastructure investment and capacity, than it does about the type of use their customers are putting it to."

Another reader echoed the opinion that Virgin Media's new policy shows how "out of touch" the company has become, with other internet service providers removing their caps on networks.

He or she said, "They've resolved nothing and simply shown how out of touch they are; I can't watch Sky or the iPlayer without being capped and that's farcical when you consider how strongly companies are trying to push internet TV."

The reader observed that the cap could spell trouble for gamers too, following the release of the next generation Xbox, which is rumoured to launch as a device that's always online.

"What will happen when consoles go always online, will a few games suddenly destroy my internet connection or is that safe? With Virgin we just can't be sure," they added.

Despite this, Virgin Media doesn't seem to think there's a problem. A spokesperson said, "It's just temporary and you can carry on using your broadband during traffic management anyway. It doesn't stop anything you're doing, you may just notice the speed has slowed.

"To get back to full speed all you need to do is reduce your usage during peak hours."

However, it also pointed out that, as Netflix said in its latest speed report, that Virgin Media is currently top dog for streaming HD videos, so users needn't get too worried about the new policy just yet.

Virgin Media isn't the only operator in hot water regarding its traffic management policy, as the Advertising Standards Authority called out T-Mobile today for its misleading "unlimited" data policies. µ


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