Now, Virgin is dropping the 10am-3pm weekday period, but extending the other period from 4pm to 11pm. It's also adjusting how much it reduces speeds by and shortening the amount of time broadband speeds will be reduced for when customers use their broadband to download in excess of the threshold.
For example, if you trigger the traffic cap by downloading, say, the previous two seasons of Game of Thrones in HD by naughty naughty means, but then immediately cease downloading so much data so that you once again fall beneath the threshold, your speed will only be reduced for an hour. (Which you probably won't notice because you are watching Westeros's finest anyway rather than wasting time on the web.)*
The data cap counter will roll in 15 minute increments, so it starts from 4pm to 5pm, and then from 4:15 to 5:15 and so on.
Simple? Hardly. Furthermore, Virgin has also cut the speed reduction. For the first hour, download speeds will be cut by 30%, rising to 40% for two hours and above. Upload speeds will be cut by 60% and 75% respectively.
Theoretically, Virgin's new system means you won't have to suffer an evening of slower speeds for briefly exceeding a download cap. But you will receive no warning from Virgin. "To get back to full speed all you need to do is reduce your usage during peak hours," the company said. But how would you know? And, what's more, how consistent is the speed you get in the first place? My service is supposed to be 100mb but over the wifi I'm seeing it peak around 75mb at the moment, but then I'm still using an older cable modem and haven't set up the new one they set me as I'm moving house shortly and can't be arsed.
Virgin Media added in a statement that the aim was to make the traffic management policy "more flexible and responsive. We remain committed to bringing greater clarity to the broadband industry and urge every provider to step up and advertise the information people need to make an informed choice," . Their attempt at clarity (to see the details click here) is quite challenging to say the least...