Virgin boosts upload to distract from traffic management introduction

Seeks to ensure video streaming still works at peak times
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Virgin Media has announced changes to the firm's consumer broadband packages which double upload speeds but add "traffic management."

The four broadband packages the cable company offers are M, L, XL and XXL with the first two being upped from 512Kbps to 1Mbps, XL upped from 768kbps to 2Mbps and XXL's 1.5Mbps to 5Mbps. The change brings Virgin closer to the 10Mbps upload speeds offered by fibre-to-the-cabinet services from BT and overtakes ADSL based O2.

"We’re once again pushing the boundaries of UK broadband with a true next generation broadband service that vastly outperforms struggling DSL-based services," said Virgin Broabdnad boss Jon James.

"With the huge growth in social networks these new upload speeds will help Virgin Media customers share their most precious moments and keep up with what friends and families are up to, whether it’s uploading to YouTube or even hosting a live videochat to show off baby’s first steps in high-definition."

The changes seem likely to serve as a sweetener as the cable company adds a new traffic management system which it chose to describe as prioritising web traffic over P2P but can also be described as slowing down P2P applications.

Virgin recently opened the taps on business fibre broadband, removing all bandwidth limits in their entirety which it said was possible due to the low day time use of the firm's network, pointing out that peak data traffic time was 10pm at night.

The new traffic management rules are designed to ensure that so-called time sensitive applications such as video and web browsing will continue to operate smoothly. Doing so at Peak time, the company argues, means cutting back on some of the traffic for all those thousands of 100% legal bittorrent downloads going on.

Virgin issued a new Traffic Management table which explains exactly how the new system works for each of the broadband package.

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