Virgin Media will throttle heavy users’ broadband

BROADBAND VENDOR Virgin Media has “updated” its traffic management policy to throttle the broadband speeds of heavy data users, particularly those accessing filesharing services.

The internet service provider said that its move to “moderate” the speeds of heavy users is designed to give all of its customers the best broadband service and not “just a few”. The firm justified its policy by saying that, when someone is downloading or uploading a particularly large amount of information over a long period of time, it will slow down the broadband speeds for other users in their area who might just be checking their email or browsing the web.

“That’s why we occasionally moderate the speeds of customers who are downloading and/or uploading an unusually large amount. That way, everybody gets great speeds and all our customers stay happy,” the communications company said in a statement.

It added that at peak times it will also slow down the speed of filesharing traffic, including services like Limewire, Gnutella, Bittorrent and Usenet Newsgroup traffic. Customers will, of course, still be able to use these services, but downloads and uploads “will take longer during these peak periods”, it said.

Virgin Media explained that it will “moderate” the total volume of filesharing traffic on its network between 5pm and midnight on weekdays and midday and midnight on weekends. It said this policy, which applies to all broadband packages, will be restricted to Peer to Peer applications.

This policy does not, the company claimed, impact any applications other than Peer to Peer, so things like watching Iplayer, online gaming, making calls via Skype, downloading music tracks from Itunes or streaming music from Spotify and sending an email or normal web browsing will be unaffected.

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