Virgin Media announces free broadband upload-speed increase

Nothing makes us happier than having the fastest broadband possible, so we're delighted to hear Virgin's cable-broadband customers will have their upload speeds increased for free.

We don't know about you, but we hate it when people have things that are shinier, faster or just better than what we have. Thank the speed of light, then, that we've got Virgin's 50Mbps broadband, and thank fibre optics that the company has today announced all of its cable-broadband services will be getting a free upload-speed increase.

The rule of thumb here is that Virgin's cable-broadband customers will now have 10 per cent of their download speed as their upload speed. That means customers on 10Mbps packages will go from a 512Kbps upload speed to 1Mbps, 20Mbps subscribers will be bumped up to a 2Mbps upstream speed, and 50Mbps customers --you're there already aren't you?-- will go to 5Mbps.

What does this mean for your day? Well, with an increasing amount of Web 2.0 tomfoolery relying on a good upload speeds, it will make your photo and video uploads much faster, enabling you to share content with friends at a speed that, in some cases, will be faster than their download speed can handle. We're sure you can think of some slightly less legitimate uses for this increased upstream speed too, but we'll let you wrangle with ACS:Law over that.

There is one slight downside -- 50Mbps customers will now be subject to some throttling. Don't panic, though, as it will only affect the upload rate and you'll have to send more than 6GB between 3pm and 8pm to trigger it. When that happens, your upload speed will drop from 5Mbps to 1.75Mbps, which is still faster than the current upload speed of 1.5Mbps, so it's not a total disaster.

Virgin told us that this cap is to ensure its network isn't saturated during peak times, and it's more than happy for customers to upload plenty, but they might need to consider running cloud back-ups overnight, instead of during peak hours.

While the company remains silent on the subject, we know that 100Mbps broadband will be coming this year, and we think it's reasonable to take from today's announcement that it will have a 10Mbps upload speed when it does arrive. It's too early to tell whether it will be subject to throttling, but we think such choking is quite sensible anyway.

We can hear you clamouring at the Intertubes to get your speed upgrade, but you may have to wait a while, as Virgin is rolling out the change from this month right through 2011. We hope we get it sooner rather than later, though -- we hear the Joneses are getting a 1Gbps upload speed in the next 10 minutes.

 

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