October 27, 2007 (PRLEAP.COM) Technology News
Cable provides the potential for much faster internet connections and Virgin Media is currently testing 50Mb speeds - more than double the top speeds available over the BT network that competitors use, and its own top speed is currently 20Mb.

However, Michael Phillips, product director, said that although Virgin Media will be offering the fastest speeds in the UK, traffic shaping could slow users down considerably. ¡§Virgin Media announced its traffic shaping policy earlier this year, and even on the top 20Mb package, customers could find themselves throttled to only 5Mb during peak hours - when obviously, people are most likely to be using the Internet.

¡§In a market where broadband speeds are advertised as ¡¥up to¡¦ because of the unreliability of speeds and technology, cable has proven to be more reliable than ADSL. Our own [Speed Tester |] results - taken from over 100,000 speed tests last month - show that cable customers enjoyed an average of 47.5 per cent of their promised speeds, compared to an average of 37.7 per cent for ADSL customers.

¡§Virgin Media is looking to regain some of the 40,000 customers that defected after Sky pulled its basic channels, with applications that need much faster broadband. Few other providers can offer the type of speeds needed for high-definition video-on-demand and home surveillance but using these applications could see customers¡¦ speeds throttled and there is little point in a 50Mb connection that is cut each time you use it.

¡§For example the Broadband XL package at 20Mb has a peak-hour allowance of 3GB which could be exceeded after little more than 20 minutes if the connection was running at top speed. After this time, the connection would be limited to 5Mb for the next four hours. Virgin Media said that this policy would only affect the top five per cent of downloaders but marketing itself as a super-fast broadband provider for bandwidth-hungry applications - and even introducing some of its own - will see increasing numbers of people affected by this,¡¨ concluded Phillips.

- Ends -
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