Category archives: Virgin Media

Virgin Media Blocks The Pirate Bay



The cable TV, phone and broadband provider, Virgin Media have become the first ISP in the UK to start blocking sites known to encourage illegal file sharing, in this case the first site to be blocked it the Pirate Bay. In a post on the Pirate Bay blog, they say that UK internet users should protest to their MP about the UK High Ruling! Of course, Virgin Media subscribers will have to take our word on that one.



According to a statement by Virgin Media presented to users looking for the Pirate Bay;


“Virgin Media prides itself on being a responsible ISP, and acts under instruction of Court Orders to block sites deemed by the courts to be infringing copyright.”


However, the cable provider does state that they;


“Strongly believes that changing consumer behaviour to tackle copyright infringement also needs compelling legal alternatives”


Source [The Verge]



Virgin Introduce Broadband Throttling



If you are one of the lucky UK broadband users who are able to get the cool 100 Mbps broadband service from Virgin Media, then you are going to be extra pleased when the speed increases to a massive 120 Mbps. Sounds great so far! However, at the same time, the cable provider had updated its fair usage policy (FUP) and that means throttling for those users that like their broadband a little too much!


Between 10am and 3pm, the FUP will be as follows on 30 Mbps it is 7 GB, on 50 Mbps to 60 Mbps it is 10 GB and on the 100 Mbps it is 20GB, going over these limits will mean a fifty per cent reduction in broadband speed for five hours. However, there is more, the limits between 4 pm and 9 pm will range from 3.5 GB to 10 GB for those customers on the upper packages, but even at half speed, this is faster than a lot of other UK broadband users are getting.



According to a Virgin Media spokesperson, they gave the reasons for the change;


“Broadband services are by their nature shared resources, so Virgin Media’s traffic management policy is designed to ensure the vast majority of customers get the high quality of service they expect from Virgin Media’s fibre-optic broadband without being negatively affected by extremely heavy users using more than their fair share at the busiest times.”


Source [IT Pro Portal]



Where Do You Fit Into The Digital Divide?


When we think of the so called digital divide it is easy to think of third world countries being on the wrong side of the line, but sometimes the digital divide is much closer to home.

Here in the UK there is a digital divide forming as there are places where BT are testing a 300 Mbps fibre optic broadband service, but not far away there are places where a broadband connection is not possible at all!

This info graphic by Online IT Degree shows that digital divide from a US perspective and once again, here we see that despite there being places where fast broadband can be achieved there are also places where no broadband at all can be found.

Source [Mashable]


The Coolest Wi-Fi Network Names

Sometimes when you are out and about trying to catch a Wi-Fi connection do you check out the local network names, well maybe you should because there are some gems out there!

The thing is that many people don’t even change the name and so we get BT, Virgin and Sky, but with a bit of creativity a Wi-Fi network can be shocking, funny or best of all, both. What is the best network name that you have come across?

Source [How To Geek]


Virgin Media Offers Free Wireless

It seems that the old battle is about to start once more, with Sky under the media, police and governments microscopes, what better time would there be to introduce a new service?

Could this be why Virgin Media are thinking about introducing a free Wi-Fi service in London? After all, it was only a couple of months ago when Sky bought “The Cloud” and yet have yet to do anything substantial with it.

It seems that Virgin Media have been in talks with various London Councils over the roll out of a free wireless broadband service, the issue will be the terms of a free wireless network. A service such as this would also directly compete with the BT Openzone, which is free for BT customers to use.

According to the chief executive of Virgin Media, Neil Berkett;

“In the not too distant future. The proposition would be that we would provide free Wi-Fi access for all. The gap that is increasingly occurring between consumers’ need for data outside the home and what they can get on 3G,”

Are we being too cynical here or are Virgin Media ready to go all out and see how much of the Sky business they can poach.

Source [Telegraph]


Virgin warns customers about virus

The cable phone, TV and broadband provider Virgin Media has issued a warning to around 1500 customers that their computers have been infected with a malicious virus.

It turns out that these customers have been victims of the SpyEye Trojan, this can be particularly menacing as it attempts to steal the data used to login for online banking services.

According to a Virgin Media spokesperson;

“It’s a small number compared to the four million customers we have, but regardless of that, because of the seriousness it’s still important to communicate with our customers.”

Virgin Media are believed to be the only internet service provider to issue its customers regarding viruses on their computers. The company continued by saying;

“The category we are looking at are the ones that put our customers at most risk or the ones that will steal from them,”

The ISP has sent out letters to those affected and they are urging them to check or update their computers security software.

Source [BBC]



ISP’s in speed slowing deal

The UK’s main internet service providers (ISP) including BT, O2, Sky, TalkTalk, Three, Virgin Media and Vodafone, have signed an agreement, which amounts to a new code of practice compiled by the Broadband Stakeholders Group.

The idea is to ensure that the UK broadband network is in good order, but this may mean that there could be restrictions placed on the connection speeds, in other words this could pave the way for a two-tier system, it just keeps coming back doesn’t it!

According to Antony Walker, the chief executive of the Broadband Stakeholder Group, “There has been more heat than light in the debate about traffic management over recent years,” he added, “This commitment to provide clear and comparable information in a common format is very important.”

“It will not only help to ensure consumers are better informed about the services they buy and use, but will also provide a clearer picture for policy makers of the way in which traffic management is actually used in the UK market.”

This plan will be brought into practice during 2011 and with final adjustments during 2012 before the plans is brought in fully across the board.

Source [IT Pro]




Virgin Media to trail P2P throttling

The cable TV, phone and broadband provider Virgin Media will be trailing a new traffic management system that will slow down the upload speeds for P2P use.

If this system proves successful, then the ISP will be implementing right across the board with immediate effect. The throttling will take place between 17:00 and 00:00 in the week and between 12:00 and 00:00 at weekends.

According to a blog posting by the internet service provider, “After the successful out of hours trial of our combined upstream and downstream file sharing traffic management policy, we will be trialling this new policy between 17:00 and 00:00 (12:00 and 00:00 at weekends) for one week starting on Wednesday 2nd of March,”

“Between these times, P2P and newsgroup upstream traffic will be managed in a similar way to our current downstream traffic management. If the trial is successful we’ll launch the new policy immediately.”

Already users have noticed that some online games such as Rift and World of Warcraft are almost unplayable during the throttling period.

Source [PC Advisor]



Virgin Media signs deal with London Grid for Learning

Virgin Media Business will be providing over two thousand schools with network capabilities under the London Grid for Learning (LGfL) network. This agreement will see primary schools in the area receiving a 10 Mbps broadband connection, while the secondary schools will be surfing the net at speeds of around 100 Mbps, but at around a 33% of the standard cost.

The cable broadband, phone and TV provider will be connecting schools in all thirty three boroughs of London, allowing them to teach and use state of the art educational technology.

Brian Durrant, chief executive (CEO) of the LGfL said, “It allows a depth of understanding, a depth of interaction and a level of achievement not seen before… with thousands of teachers and children finding a new way of teaching and a new way of learning,”

“We need the infrastructure to provide that.” he said.

Mindful of the current financial climate the internet service provider (ISP) will not be charging an upfront fee for set up and equipment, although these costs are to be spread over the five year contract.

Source [IT Pro]

Virgin Looking to offer Public Wi-Fi

In the same way that BT offer wireless broadband around the UK through BT Openzone and BT Fon, it looks as if the cable broadband provider Virgin Media are interested in doing the same with their network.

The demand is there, the iPhone, iPad and other Smartphone devices has created a demand for Wi-Fi hotspots, BT have around two million throughout the UK and it seems that Virgin Media are now actively looking into how their network can be used in a similar manner.

As with BT customers, access to the Virgin Wi-Fi hotspots will probably be free for cable customers, whereas for other consumers a subscription or pay as go system may be put in place.

Kevin Baughan, Virgin’s director of advanced technology, said public Wi-Fi could be the solution. “We have been inspired by what Cablevision has been able to do in New York and are actively exploring the possibility of creating a similar network here,” he said. “It takes the sheer power of the cable broadband network and puts it where people need it.”

“Previous attempts were to fulfil a social objective. This is to solve a real problem,” Mr Baughan said. “Steve Jobs the chief executive of Apple, has created phenomenal demand, and we’ve got the best fibre network in the country that could help meet it.

“This isn’t about building broad coverage, it’s about giving you fast, predictable, access where you need it.”

Source [Telegraph]

Virgin Media attacks other ISP’s

It seems that there is battle in the offing between the UK’s top internet services providers, with cable phone, broadband and TV provider Virgin Media striking out at the other IPS’s over what they call the “Broadband Con” this where broadband providers mislead consumers with their adverts and marketing schemes.

There is a campaign for broadband honesty it can be found here, this is where consumers are being urged to demand change. However, at the time of writing, the site is actually down and the only complaints are heading to the webmasters email address.

There are issues over speed, or rather advertised speed as there cannot be anyone around who actually gets the advertised broadband connection speed and it is this that the campaign would like to see stopped once and for all.

Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group, has said in an open letter to “There’s something going on in broadband advertising that’s just plain wrong. Some Internet Service Providers (ISPs) just aren’t keeping up with their promises. Many of them are advertising superfast broadband speeds they know full well they cannot deliver, offering speeds of ‘up to’ 20Mb but delivering an average of just 6.5Mb. And what does this mean for the customer at the end of the line? Buffering, delays and not getting the broadband you are paying for.”

Source [Broadband Genie]

Just where is the slowest broadband connection!

In a study carried out to see the state of the UK broadband network, it has found that Farningham in Kent with an average connection speed of 1.3 Mbps is the slowest broadband service in the UK!

However, that cannot be right, these figures are for those who took place in the study and I know of places around the UK where a broadband connection of 0.5 Mbps is the norm and therefore these places are the slowest in the UK.

This study highlights the failures of the UK’s internet service providers (ISP) to provide an all round service, but consumers that live in areas where the broadband speed is very low, must do their bit by letting everyone know, otherwise nothing will done about it.

Alex Buttle, director of broadband comparison website, which carried out the study, said: ‘Probably the biggest surprise is that a city, Worcester, made it into the top 20 list of broadband black spots out of more than 2,000 towns, villages and cities surveyed.

‘With a population of just under 100,000, that’s a lot of people and businesses reliant on sub-standard broadband speed.’

‘It’s a shame that in this day and age broadband black spots continue to exist. The UK needs to offer top broadband speeds across the country regardless of geographic location, which is something the UK’s networks are failing to deliver.’

Source [Daily Mail]

Skype offer free wi-fi for internet week

The online phone service Skype are pulling out all of the stops for the first Internet Week Europe, which started off yesterday and will be running all week long with events in and around London. However, Skype have gone one better with their service offering it not just to those able to be in the capital as the Skype offer is UK wide.

According to the Skype Blog, “With Skype Access you can pay for Wi-Fi access per minute using Skype Credit. All you need is a connection to a Skype Access compatible hotspot and the latest version of Skype for Mac or Windows. From 0001 GMT on the 8th November 2010 to 2359 GMT on the 12th November 2010, Skype Access will be free to use, so you can surf the web, send email and make free Skype-to-Skype voice and video calls at Skype Access-enabled Wi-Fi hotspots in cafés, hotels and airports across the UK. Internet Week Europe is festival dedicated to celebrating Internet organisations and culture, and aims to bring over 80 events to London during the week.”

These are the details for the first Internet Week Europe that is currently being held in London;

We’re excited to announce the first Internet Week Europe, coming to London 8-12 November 2010. This five-day festival has been set up to celebrate the very best of Europe’s digital industry, with events hosted by The BBC, Yahoo!, Creative Review, Google, Lonely Planet, Channel 4 and more. The calendar is now packed with over 100 events! Use the listing to navigate through the options and plan your customised festival experience – there’s plenty to choose from.

Source [Telegraph]

Virgin Media offers half price broadband

The cable TV, phone and broadband provider, Virgin Media are currently offering new customers the chance to sign up for six months half price on the company’s dual and triple play bundles, these will include the Virgin Media phone, broadband and the TV service or bundles of these services.

New customer can get the choice of either 10 Mbps, 20 Mbps or the highly rate 50 Mbps connection speed services.

So this means that a new customer can get onto the lowest level of the Virgin Media experience for a mere £6.25 per month, this will rise to £12.75 after the six month half price offer has expired.

These are the main features for the special half price offer for Virgin Media bundles;

6 months half price offer: 18-MONTH MINIMUM TERM CONTRACT APPLIES, except for Mobile, which has a 24 month minimum term. Cable areas only. Offer ends 31/01/11. May not be used in conjunction with any other offer unless stated by Virgin Media. New customers (subject to status and credit checks): to get half-price discount you must take TV M+ with a phone line, Broadband L with a phone line, or a bundle combination of at least TV M+, Broadband L, Phone M with a phone line. Half-price discount not applicable to Phone L or XL or line rental

Source [ISP]

BT Slams Virgin Media’s Fibre Broadband

BT have been questioning why broadband rival is charging so much for its brand of superfast fibre broadband, given that we are currently in a financial crisis and consumers are having to cut back on their expenses.

BT claim that while the rolling out fibre broadband can only be good for the UK, as a whole charge a high price for it is not going to do anyone any good at all!

Virgin Media are charging £45 per month for 100 Mbps fibre broadband service, but if it is part of a bundle then the price reduces to £35 per month.

The problem here is that BT’s fibre broadband service, only costs from £19.99 per month, but will only provide an up to 40 Mbps service, so currently there is no real like for like comparison.

Source [IT Pro]