Virgin media finally revealed details of their traffic management system which they’ve been trialling for the last few months. While it’s no big surprise that it was coming with so many other companies implementing it in some shape or form some of the limits seem a little low.
- Broadband Size: M – download more than 350MB during peak hours (16:00-00:00) and your connection will be throttled to 1MB download, 128kb upload lasting for four hours from when it was implemented
- Broadband Size: L – download more than 750MB during peak hours (16:00-00:00) and your connection will be throttled to 2MB download, 192kb upload lasting for four hours from when it was implemented
- Broadband Size: XL – download more than 3GB during peak hours (16:00-00:00) and your connection will be throttled to 5 MB download, 256kb upload lasting for four hours from when it was implemented
While I’m not against throttling this seems to be a blunt instrument to address the problem. Instead of throttling back torrent and newsgroup ports to a slow speed they are dropping your full connection speed. For those on M & L, those limits are pretty easy to reach. Just one of the podcasts I subscribe to is over 400MB for one file. With some careful management throttling could be avoided but your back to downloading overnight and during the day to keep peak hours free for normal web use, VOIP, gaming etc which can eat into those limits fairly easier.
Put it another way, once 20MB connections are introduced just 21 minutes at full speed would take you over the 3GB limit. Not much, eh? However factor in that after the 21 minutes you are still getting 5MB and it’s not really too bad. It will be frustrating though if your hosting on Live and you pop over your limit, throttling back upload speeds and potentially dropping your friends. Also, does the new connection speed implement seamlessly or is there a drop and re-connect?
I can’t really see me having a problem on XL although I was considering dropping to L once the upgrades were completed. After these changes I’ll be staying where I am.