Virgin Media dishes out free bandwidth boost
Upgrade for 'L' punters
Virgin Media has announced plans to upgrade its mid-range "L" broadband from maximum 4Mbit/s downstream to maximum 10Mbit/s at no extra cost to customers.
The upgrade will start in late February on a region-by-region basis, and will take until late summer to complete.
Upstream speeds will also get a boost to 512Kbit/s, from the current 384Kbit/s. Peak time bandwidth-throttling policies will still apply for heavy users.
"L" users got the thin end of the wedge when Virgin relaxed those traffic limits in December. Today's free speed upgrade announcement should help redress the balance.
It's part of moves by Virgin to position itself as the premium broadband provider ahead of BT's 24Mbit/s upgrade, which won't be complete until 2011. By the end of this year Virgin's fastest cable package will tip the needle to 50Mbit/s downstream.
The firm's recently-installed boss Neil Berkett is set to speak tomorrow at a second government conference on improving UK internet infrastructure. There's growing calls for action in order to compete with international rivals who have taken the lead on next-generation access. The first meeting was in November. ®
upgrade still a joke
ok so vm are trying to reballance things, but it's still no go for most customers, i have been on the 20mb service for nearly 12 months,the first two weeks were good, then it all went down hill, the most i could ever get was 5mb max, the ubr i am conected to has been waiting to be upgraded since may 2007 with all the fix dates just getting canceled, and no new date in sight, as i last ditch attempt i managed to get hold of the broadband manager, who was honest enough to tell me that not only was the network in my area compleatly nackered, but the most of the uk as well, and to be honest we have no money to fix it, i said i wanted to cancel my account, and the manager said ok we will put you on the 4mb service and only charge you for 2mb, this has now gone to 10mb, but my max speed is between 0.5mb and 1mb so we the customers loose again,
ofcom arn't intrested, the asa let vm get away with false advertizing the gov dont give a dam, so what can the customers do................dont say use my bt line , that will only support a max of 0.3 -0.5mb
OK, now count me stymied
OK, now I'm mystified. Re: Virgin analysing torrent traffic and blocking ports... I've done some more tests, so I shall bore you with tedious details:
I figured it might be down to particular trackers or a particular use of trackers, so I tried starting with a bare un-sullied azureus, shifted to an unblocked port and started a torrent tracked on an obscure german open source tracker. Ran like a dream, no blocking. Then I tried starting a TV episode download tracked at a bunch of places. Sure enough, the port was blocked instantly.
Next, I picked the "dodgiest" looking tracker among the torrents I'd been trying to run when I first encountered this stuff - turned out to be a cartoon TV episode (OK, so I use bit-torrent as a remote video recorder...) tracked at what looks, on closer inspection, to be primarily an "adult" torrent tracker - I blocked access to that IP and also turned off scraping in azureus, switched to an as-yet un-blocked TCP port and fired up another torrent on another mildly suspect tracker.
To my surprise, no port black-hole this time. OK, to see what was responsible, I turned scraping back on and provoked re-scraping. Still no block... Feeling that I'd finally pinned it down, I unblocked access to the dodgier tracker IP, and poked the cartoon torrent back to life. Er, still no block. Forced a tracker update. Still no block.
So for now I'm stumped. Did they try out some torrent-nobbling service on my line, then turn it off? Or maybe it was in fact some DOS type attack being triggered by my torrent activity? Will it happen again? Did I just stumble on a port number they don't block regardless? Or do they, after all, turn this blocking behaviour off at around 2am?
It's more /interesting/ than BT's service, I'll give it that...
Virgin block torrent ports?
Final installment, I hope - more trials and it transpires that what provokes the black hole effect is having the torrent client accept UDP and TCP connections on the same port. Leading me to the Homeric (as in "Doh!") realization that it's possible, just possible, that this may be down to my router being a bit pants and fouling up its NAT routing in a way that my old ADSL Netgear job didn't. Or it might be that UDP/TCP traffic to the same port is part of the torrent traffic signature which triggers packet dropping at the ISP. However, my suspicions are swinging towards the "bad router" explanation, so I'm preparing to accept that maybe in fact I don't know what the **** I'm on about after all...
Well, I did say I'd be pleased to be proven wrong...