• New Patreon Tier and Early Access Content available. If you would like to support AVForums, we now have a new Patreon Tier which gives you access to selected news, reviews and articles before they are available to the public. Read more.

Can anyone explain this



I noticed for a few days that my download speeds had dropped dramatically. Usually around 60 to 80kb. (I am on a 20mb account).

Today I lost my temper and phoned the helpline. Nice... First person I could barely hear so had to put the phone down. Wasted money.

Second person got me to do the usual reboot of the pc and the modem then he asked me to go into IE and clear the cookies etc. I kept telling him I dont use IE.

He then said that my modem was set as the 20mb connection so I gave up with him.

I dont get mad at the help desk folks. I have worked on one in the past so know the crap they have to deal with.

Anyway I tried to download a file again and still was only 80kb as it has been. I went and made a coffee and tried again...

This time no problem 640kb straight away with barely a whisper either side.

Tried browsing and suddenly everything is as it was a few days ago.

What the heck did they do as there is no way this is coincidence. 5 minutes after phoning its suddenly back to the speeds I expect.

Perhaps the throttle crap they have kicks in of its own accord wrongly and never sorted itself out. Who knows. (I dont download torrents or crap like that so I shouldnt be throttled anyway.)


Mike R


Prominent Member
Assuming you mean 640 kilo Bytes per second transfer rate (kB/s) then this equates to about 5 Mb which I believe is the speed you get put on after the throttle has been applied.

So I guess it could be connected to their throttling policy. The even lower speeds you mentioned could just be the throttle settling down to the correct speed if you will.

As I understand it the policy does not target certain protocols like bittorrent. Rather it is simply applied if you download more than 3GB between 4 PM and midnight.

A 20 Mb connection would only need to be going at full whack for 20 minutes to achieve this amount of data. Could this be one possible answer? If you didn't download this much maybe the system screwed up somewhere and applied the throttle in error.

Otherwise I guess maybe it was just down to good old fashioned contention.


So that means my connection is not working as it should be. Any speed tests I do online never go above 5mb connection speed. (Including those listed here on this forum.)

Anyone know the Customer services number as I am not going to be charged yet again to complain.

Pretty fed up. I do understand that you dont get full speed on most websites.

I have only been browsing the internet so the throttle should not have kicked in.

Not happy.

Mike R


Here is a screen grab of my speed tests during the day.

Notice how it starts at 5mb connection then after a reset of the modem it ups to around 13 to 15mb connection.

It stays up for a wee while then I try a ttest again and its back to 5mb. 4 times in a row. I reset the modem and its back to 14 or 15mb (Never 20) twice in a row.

Later in the day ( about 20 minutes ago I try again and its yet again down to 5mb twice in a row. I reset the modem and it hits 13 or 14 mb 3 times ina row.

Why do I have to keep resetting the blasted modem.

Really pretty pathetic.

I get my first clue something is not right when suddenly a download seems very slow. (9kb this evening) After the reset its up to around 300kb. Not brilliant.

Who do I complain to? I am not spending another penny on the helpline in India.

Do they have a free email address to send your problems to.

Getting very annoyed with this broadband. Never ahd this issue on a 10mb connection.

Mike R


  • SpeedTest.jpg
    53.9 KB · Views: 92


Getting very angry with Virgin Media now. 4th time I have called them.

Still have the issue of every hour or so the system dropping me to 5mb connection until I reset the modem yeat again to get about 14mb.

They tried to tell me it was my firewall. lol. I get the exact same with or without the firewall on.

I had to ask him twice if I would be charged for the next call when it drops to a 5 mb connection. (This is not in the evening. I am disabled and am in my house all the time. This happens at all times of the day.)

I am not going my the speedtest alone either.

I know its gone wrong when my browsing slows and my downloads drop to around 80kb. Thats when I know I need to reset the modem yet again and everything goes back to normal.


Mike R


Established Member
Virgin has introduced traffic shaping into its networks, so you're been affect by this

Got this from ITPRo

Virgin Media, the cable and mobile phone operator formed out of the remains of NTL, Telewest and Virgin Mobile, has confirmed that it is applying traffic shaping measures to around five per cent of its broadband customers, curbing bandwidth use among its heaviest users.

The company, which promotes on its web site and in marketing materials that its broadband service has "No download limits - unlike some of our competitors" has admitted that it occasionally moderates downstream speeds for subscribers 'downloading an unusually large amount' of data, the trigger point for which can be as little as 3GB - less than a DVD full of content - during the peak 4pm-to-midnight period.

'Our boffins recently ran a trial to see how much our service was being affected,' it explained. 'They discovered that, in certain areas, just five per cent of customers were downloading such a large amount of content that it was affecting the service for other users in these areas.'

Traffic shaping - the industry's term for temporarily reducing individual user's speeds - will be applied at varying thresholds. Subscribers to the M package will have their download speed cut to 1Mbps (from 2Mbps) for four hours if they download 350MB during peak hours; L subscribers will be limited to 2Mbps (from 4Mbps) for exceeding 750MB and XL subscribers to 5Mbps (from 10 and in some cases 20Mbps) for exceeding 3GB. Upstream speeds will also be cut.

The ISP said it would monitor the effects of these restrictions and would raise or lower the thresholds if necessary. It said that it has already noted a 'positive response' from customers, with fewer calls to its technical support teams regarding problems with broadband performance. Indeed the broadband speed was faster for the vast majority of users, it said.

Virgin is not alone in applying traffic shaping to manage bandwidth during peak hours. However the problem may soon disappear for customers of rival DSL services at least, with BT promising that its 21st Century Network, which it began implementing late last year, will provide enough capacity to make such restrictions unnecessary.


Thats quite funny.

They say they recieved a positive response in the factt hat they recieve less calls to tech support. What a joke. I would say charging customers for this tech support is what has reduced the calls.

Anyway this is happening at all times of the day. I DO NOT download torrents or mp3 files etc. So I do NOT understand why I would be choked by the system. Also if it was the choke system why would pulling out the power in my modem and then plugging it in sort out the speed again?

I browse the internet each day. I know that there is no way that my downloads go over the 3gb limit even during peek hours.

That is my argument. It seems the system chokes speeds as and when it feels like and for no reason in particular.

This has ONLY happened since the network dropped out for 24 hours last week.

If I was a big downloader and it was happening during peak hours then I can accept that but neither is true. (Sometimes if I have bought a new application it may mean a big download but that would be during the day.)

As per usual they do not listen and assume you are an idiot.

Mike R


Standard Member
just out of interest, why do you need a 20meg pipe if you don't download????



Its what I pay for as part of my service. I do on occasion actually buy software online. I dont like to wait around if I can help it. Do I need 20mb. Not a chance. 10 was perfectly fine for me but its part of my deal so I wont argue unless it drops to the low speeds. Like most people I expect to actually get what I pay for.

Mike R


Established Member
Oh for the love of crap, I've been trouble-shooting every aspect of my laptop, router, software, firewall virus checker etc etc for the last week or so and even worked with admins of a website to work out why my downloads are suddenly so slow. Now it turns out Virgin are traffic shaping and that's why I can't download an mp3 at more than 20Kb/s, why media-heavy websites like Flickr take noticable much longer to load, why my remote access to my work PC has been frustatingly slower.

Did I miss a memo or did they not actually announce this to their customers. I'm so mad right now for the amount of time I wasted looking into this and if I call up to confirm any of this it sounds as though I will be charged money just to be told there could be another reason.

I have to transfer files from my office network to my local PC so that I can work from home - that's why I signed up to unlimited cable, that's why I don't mind paying over £30 a month for for a fast, unlimited connection. I don't however think that I fall into their 'top 5%' of downloaders but again I'll have to pay for the privelidge of phoning them to ask this. Has anyone called them about this to be told if they are in this group or not - are they allowed to say?

So, unless you're downloading an unusually large amount of information at peak times, we won't restrict your service and you can download to your heart's content.
Is this calculated each week/day or something? There's no way I have downloaded 3Gb today but it's throttled since I got home.


If there were actually other cable companies to consider switching to then I would be doing that right now. Looks like I might have to get a BT line installed again :(


Try removing the power from the modem then power it up again (Dont bother switching off your pc). That sorted the problem for me. However since my last chat to them I have only had it drop once to 5mb. (Still dont think it should but what the heck.)

Mike R

The latest video from AVForums

Is 8K TV dead? Philips OLED+907, Pioneer LX505 AVR plus B&W 700 S3 Reviews & Visit + AV/HiFi News
Subscribe to our YouTube channel

Full fat HDMI teeshirts

Support AVForums with Patreon

Top Bottom