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View Full Version : Virgin Media - the good, the bad, and the downright ugly



RobL
09-04-2012, 12:23 PM
Hi,

I have a colleague, based in Brighton, who used to be an IT geek in the city. He's now working from home, trading using software on his home gear.

He uses Virgin Media cable (50Mbps), BT ADSL2+ ("up to" 24Mbps) and carrier seagulls.

Due to "contention", he's downgraded his Virgin media conenction to 10Mbps as he wasn't getting any better performance from the substantially more expensive 50 Mbps service. He has all of this graphed using monitoring software (a bit like Sam Knows, but home brewed). There are some graphs and an interesting thread here:

http://community.virginmedia.com/t5/Fibre-optic-broadband-cable/Brighton-problems-today/td-p/403089

(http://community.virginmedia.com/t5/Fibre-optic-broadband-cable/Brighton-problems-today/td-p/403089)http://community.virginmedia.com/t5/Fibre-optic-broadband-cable/Fibre-Optic-Explained-A-Brighton-Customers-View/m-p/372681#M65601

What does this say? It says "SPEED is not everything - in fact, it's barely relevant if you need good quality of service for a low bandwidth application". It also says, Virgin aren't providing it to "Dave" and many others in Brighton and Cambridge.

So, he uses his ADSL2+ connection which churns over at about 11Mbps, for trading, and lives with Virgin's 10Mbps service which did just fine when I visited for an HD Horizon program on "AI". I would point out, that NOTHING else was competing for bandwidth as he has multiple connections, so ALL that the Virgin cable had to deal with was a 4.2Mbps feed of an HD program to his location, with no upstream component. There were no kids playing games, no VoIP phone calls and no Video conferencing happening concurrently on the same connection.

What will the next generation of applications, invented by HMRC to submit our tax returns, or Tescos to shop online, or YouView.com for video, require of our broadband connections? Well - I don't see them canvassing the rural third of people stuck in BT's ADSL Max (less than 8Mbps) zone, before they build them.

Food for thought.

--Rob.