What is Virgin Media's XXL service like?

16 Feb

Uk_dp

On the BBC Technology blog, Darren Waters posts about his shiny new 50/1.5 service from Virgin Media in the UK. It's an early implementation of Docsis 3.0 in Europe and as such, quite interesting to examine. So far Darren has not had time to really test the connexion to the fullest but he asks his readers to suggest things to do with it.

Interestingly, I didn't know that Virgin would be doing no traffic shaping and/or caps at all on the XXL offer… for now. One thing that I think Darren should do (I'll suggest that in a comment) is do a daily measure and write down the result so that in 6 months or a year he can plot it in a graph. That should allow him to see two things:

  • Does the quality of the link degrade over time? It's a sad reality of network that they're super cool when they're (comparatively) empty and get really bad when new customers join.
  • If and when Virgin starts traffic shaping? It should show rather sharply (assuming Darren's measure is made at the time of day they shape.)

I would also like to see how the connection works with the recently released Skype HD video calling. Not that you necessarily need that much capacity, but regular Skype video is not all that stable as it is, so…

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