You're probably familiar with the phrase "giving with one hand, and taking away with the other". It's a saying that Virgin Media customers may feel resonates with them given the latest move by the company regarding broadband packages.
At the start of the year, Virgin Media announced a major upgrade programme of broadband speed doubling for customers. Over the next 18 months, users will find their connections doubled up at no cost to them, although 100Mbps customers will only get an increase to 120Mbps (still, it's an increase nonetheless, and obviously a doubling to 200Mbps wouldn't be possible).
However, there seems to be a catch which comes in the form of a new throttling policy Virgin has introduced this week.
Customers on packages of 30Mbps or faster can expect to see their speeds cut in half if they exceed a fair usage limit.
Between 10am and 3pm, the fair usage limit for 30Mbps customers is 7GB. It's 10GB for 50Mbps and 60Mbps users, with a 20GB allowance for those on 100Mbps connections. Exceed these limits, and your speeds will be slashed by 50 per cent for five hours.
Limits between 4pm and 9pm are stricter still, with the fair use allowance ranging from 3.5GB to 10GB at the top tier. There's no throttling outside those times (or between 3pm and 4pm, weirdly).
So, while you'll be upgraded to double your speed for free, that will also be halved should you start doing too much in the way of intensive stuff during the day. We're predicting some unimpressed customers...
A Virgin spokesman defended the policy, stating: "Broadband services are by their nature shared resources, so Virgin Media's traffic management policy is designed to ensure the vast majority of customers get the high quality of service they expect from Virgin Media's fibre-optic broadband without being negatively affected by extremely heavy users using more than their fair share at the busiest times."