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Virgin Media to deploy performance monitoring tech

750 testers needed: Actual figures delivered may be far fewer

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Virgin Media will install specially-adapted kit in some of its customers' homes, to monitor and report the performance of its network. The move takes place against a background of increasing regulatory scrutiny of the discrepancy between advertised and real world speeds.

The firm will use the same technology as Ofcom, supplied by analysis outfit Samknows, to monitor downstream and upstream speeds, latency, and other performance measures across its range of packages. Initially, the necessary hardware will be sent out to 750 customers who volunteer via Virgin Media's website.

A spokesman for the firm said the plans were born of frustration with inaccurate web-based speed testers.

He said the new performance monitors, which will not examine what a connection is used for, will gather more reliable data on how customers experience their Virgin Media network. Volunteers will also be able to access their own connection statistics.

A voluntary Ofcom code of practice on broadband speeds came into force in December. It said ISPs must provide realistic performance estimates at the point of sale, rather than just "up to" headline speeds.

Virgin Media's sign up page is here. ®

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