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Virgin Media to introduce new Traffic Management measures

# 19 April 2008, 16:04 by Cable Forum

As reported earlier in the week, Virgin Media are to trial new measures regarding Traffic Management for their Broadband customers. The new measures will be trialed within the following regions; Preston, Wigan, Blackpool, Camden, Dalston, Enfield and Haringey.

ntl:Telewest, as it was known at the time, admitted to us back in October 2006, that it was applying Traffic management on its network, but only in certain areas and at certain times.

The old measures which are currently still in place, just not in the stated trial areas, include limiting the bandwidth available for customers who exceed an unacceptable amount (to Virgin Media) of data that has been downloaded.

Virgin Media now say they have reviewed their polices and feel there is a need for change, they have announced:-

As part of our continued efforts to improve our customer’s broadband experience we are continuing to trial measures which will more efficiently and pro-actively manage network traffic.

As part of our continued efforts to improve our customer’s broadband experience, we are making changes to the current Traffic Management Policy within certain trial regions.

This updated policy will be trialed within the following regions Preston, Wigan, Blackpool, Camden, Dalston, Enfield and Haringey.

These measures are based on policies that detect traffic patterns that are deemed potentially abnormal and apply traffic management rules to ensure that other customers are not adversely affected by this traffic.

The trial aims to prevent or reduce the effects of a minority of users abusing the network and preventing the majority of subscribers from having the network performance they desire.

For the vast majority of customers, upwards of 95% of the base, their experience will be a more consistent speed (both upload and download).

Those who have the policies applied to their connection will experience their download / upload speed being constrained (less than 5% affected). Breach of acceptable use policy may lead to these policies being applied.

These optimisation policies are being trialed during the following times where the potential for abnormal traffic has been identified as having the greatest adverse impact on our customers’ experience.

10am – 3pm Download only
4pm – 9pm Download
3pm – 8pm Upload

During these times the following thresholds will be applied for upstream and downstream.

10am – 3pm Download
Size M: 900Mb
Size L: 2400Mb
Size XL: 6000Mb

4pm – 9pm Download
Size M: 450Mb
Size L:1200Mb
Size XL: 3000Mb

3pm – 8pm Upload
Size M: 200Mb
Size L: 700Mb
Size XL: 1400Mb

It’s been noted on our forum and the VM newsgroups that the times stated are not entirely accurate. There is even some ambiguity as to whether Virgin Media implement Traffic Management overnight, a claim that a senior product manager has denied at Virgin Media. However, it would now be more prudent to say that Virgin Media is reducing the amount of content their broadband customers can download at certain times.

Virgin Media advertising 'No download limits'

As the above image shows, taken from their product portal pages, Virgin Media are still advertising ‘No download limits’, the above changes clearly refutes such benefits.

A Virgin Media broadband customer makes a substantial claim when they say:-

“I’m not paying for 20mb any longer, if they don’t provide it there’s no point paying for it.”

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