As Virgin Media reveal their outstanding new 50 MBPS Broadband package, talks are emerging about how the company will be tackling the ever increasing problem of illegal downloading. Virgin Media’s new package claims to allow a high speed connection to the Internet, that they “don’t slow down”, in an attempt to woo customers over to their service, but with new customers comes the odd illegal downloader.
Virgin have announced that they will be bringing in steps to secure the flow of illegal downloading is stopped in its tracks, or at least slow it down. Virgin Media claim that their current capping policy for heavy downloader’s allows the other 95 per cent of customers to enjoy unfaltering connections and speed.
However the new plans by the company will aim at specific traffic and will come in to effect mid way through next year. A spokesman for Virgin Media gave some insight into the new path the company is taking. He said, “Broadband has become integral to delivering home entertainment services and with data consumption growing rapidly, we are exploring new ways to enhance our product offering. Part of this involves intelligent monitoring and understanding the way people use our broadband service.”
Neil Berkett, Virgin Media chief executive, has also stated that the company is still aiming to introduce a new advertising technology, similar to the method used by Phorm, that has been heavily criticised in the past for breaching the privacy of Internet users.
“There will be a point in time when we use the intelligence of our network for targeted advertising, will it be with Phorm, will it be with a modification of their product? I think it is a technique, but it is not something I want to rush into. We have got a fantastic brand and we want to take our customers with us,” claimed Berkett.
However, the introduction of the ultra-speedy broadband package from Virgin Media has provided some cause for concern for its users. Principal analyst at Forrester Research, Ian Fogg, is claiming that as more people turn to Virgin Media for super-fast broadband, their speeds will be cut down, dramatically.
Fogg said, “The reality will be a bit different. How successful it will be is how successful Virgin Media will be with customers. The more customers that sign up, the lower the speeds customers will actually receive, because of the way the network is structured.”
However, Virgin Media have become obviously defensive on the subject claiming that their customers on their 50 MBPS package will be receiving a minimum speed of 45 MBPS around 80 per cent of the time. Berkett tried to pound home the importance of the new package, how it was a revolutionary move and not something that should be taken lightly. He said, “We’re not just launching a product, we are catalysing a step change in the UK’s development.”
Still the pressure is on Virgin Media to control the amount of illegal downloading that will inevitably slow down other users.