Virgin trials weekend speed limits

Virgin Media is considering an extension of its speed-limiting traffic management system to weekends.

In trials presently running across Preston, Wigan and Blackpool, the cable operator has defined "peak time" on Saturdays and Sundays as being between 11am and 9pm downstream and 10am to 8pm upstream. Once a customer reaches the throttling threshold, their speed is reduced for up to 10 hours with the last "release" back to normal speeds taking place at 11pm.

The thresholds vary according to tier of service: on the 2Mbps tier, a customer will have a 50% speed reduction after downloading 1.25GB; on the 10Mbps tier, a 75% reduction after 3GB; and on the 20Mbps tier, a 75% reduction after 7.5GB. Upload limits are much lower, at 400MB, 1.4GB and 2.8GB respectively.

Virgin Media said: "Over the coming months, we'll be conducting a trial on the way we manage our network in certain parts of the country. During these months, we'll be making a few changes to our Traffic Management policy, to help us figure out how to improve the quality of service we provide to our customers.

"Our Traffic Management policy makes sure our service is fair for everybody, by occasionally moderating speeds for the top 5% of customers who are downloading and/or uploading an unusually large amount of data.

"The aim of this trial is to enhance the way we do this, limit the number of people who have their speeds moderated and ultimately improve the service we deliver to all our customers."